Itâ€™s a no-brainer that the key to looking your very best is daily exercise and a proper diet, but did you know that your wardrobe alone could be piling on the pounds?
It may sound silly, but it actually makes perfect sense â€” especially after you tried to squeeze into those skinny jeans, only to end up with a dreaded muffin top. And that loose bra you just canâ€™t give up because itâ€™s super comfy? Itâ€™s only making your upper body appear wider than what it really is.
Fixing these problems requires a trip to the department store, but there are some tricks and tips every shopper should know for rocking the right look and trimming the figure. And according to Eila Mell, co-author of â€œHow to Win at Shopping,â€Â she swears anyone can appear 10 pounds lighter just by the way you dress up (or down).
Fox News Magazine spoke with the renowned fashion expert on how you can appear slimmer just by getting dressed, and here’s what we learned:
Always Start with the Right Foundation
â€œLow hanging boobs or bras that make you look like you have four boobs will add pounds for sure,â€ says Mell. â€œMake sure youâ€™re wearing the right size and cut for your body. Any department or lingerie store can give you a proper fitting for free.â€
Ever wondered why that little black dress has always been a go-to staple for any occasion? Not only is it easy to accessorize, but its simple, solid hue enhances a seemingly thinner shape. â€œOne color head to toe will create a long, lean line,â€ says Mell. â€œWhen you wear separates in different colors, it breaks up the body, and the eye is drawn to one section more than others â€” and hopefully an area you want to highlight! Going with one color, or similar shades of that color, will create the illusion of height and thinness.â€ Keep in mind this trick works for any color, so consider giving that usual LBD a break and embrace jeweled-inspired shades instead, such as cobalt, emerald or coral.
Seriously, Avoid Clothes That Are Too Tight
Sure, no one wants to feel like theyâ€™re wearing an oversized potato sack, but choosing an outfit that feels like second skin will instantly flaunt those lumps and bumps you donâ€™t want others to see. â€œJust because you may be able to fit into a size 0 doesnâ€™t mean you should wear a 0,â€ says Mell. â€œClothes that are too tight will create rolls of skin where you may not normally have them. Even the thinnest women will have a muffin top in pants that are too tight. Think body-skimming, not skin-tight.â€ If you can’t sit or stand comfortably, chances are you need to go up size. And donâ€™t feel intimidated by a bigger number. When it comes to looking good, fit â€” not size â€” is what ultimately matters. Plus, a piece in a bigger size can easily be tailored.
Define Your Waist
Now hereâ€™s one trick many celebrities swear by for any red carpet affair â€¦ and it has nothing to do with Spanx. â€œSo what if you donâ€™t naturally have an hourglass figure? You can create one by cinching in at the waist,â€ says Mell. â€œA belt is one of your best accessories when dressing to look thinner. You can also wear your belt slightly above your natural waist, where you are even slimmer.â€
Avoid Sheen on Areas You Want to Minimize
You may be tempted to try a sparkly, embellished look from head-to-toe, but think twice before going all out. â€œSequins, sparkle, and ornamentation will make an area look larger,â€ explains Mell. â€œBe strategic where you choose to shine. If you want to make a small bust look fuller, wear a satin or sequined top. The same is true for color. Use darker colors for areas you want to look smaller, and lighter ones for areas you want to accentuate.â€
Choose an A-Line Dress or Skirt
An A-line is slimmer at the waist and wider at the hem,â€ says Mell. â€œIt does all the work for you, as it naturally nips in the waist and slims the hips as well. You can also add a belt to even further define your waist.â€ Best of all? An A-line works for any shape or body, so you can never go wrong with this look.
This article originally appeared on Fox News Magazine