Our expert gives advice on working with what ya got…
By Rebecca Paiement
“Does this dress make me look fat?” It’s an age-old question and the answer may very well be a resounding, “Yes!” There are indeed ways to work around your figure flaws. Whether you need to lose, or even find, a few extra pounds, personal fashion stylist, Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt shared some tips and ideas to make the most of your frame, and help you feel sexy at any weight, height and size.
For a hot Valentine’s night or just hitting the town, Greenawalt says to “play up your best assets. For example, a woman with a bit more weight most likely has great breasts so play those up with a sexy sweetheart neckline dress. If you’re underweight, you might have a great behind or a trim waistline. Try, perhaps, a waist hugging dress which has ruching in the breast area to create the illusion of a fuller chest. Whatever you got, make sure to show it off.”
Queen Latifah, for instance, sizzles on the red carpet, using every bit of what mother nature gave her. “Latifah always looks amazing, and Oprah too,” says Greenawalt. “They both know how to play up their breasts and play down shape imperfections. They know the value of a corset dress.”
While horizontal stripes really do add weight, the idea of black being the best camouflage is a myth. “Black is not the only slimming color,” says Greenawalt. “Any deep color that flatters your skin tone, like deep aubergine, chocolate, dark green, or navy, work. For some women, black is a good choice, but it also ages many women, depending upon their skin tone. It simply is not the magic color for all.”
As for the most common figure flaw, “Most women are pear shaped,” Greenawalt says. “They have extra weight in the hip region. That can easily be balanced with necklines which widen at the shoulder line, go off the shoulder or have wider collars.”
The one truly dependable flaw fixer remains the wrap dress. Greenawalt laughs and says, “Wrap dresses are pretty much magic for all. There’s a reason Diane Von Furstenberg is so successful!”