I’m a firm believer that when we look good, we feel good. A strong sense of personal style, a perfectly tailored dress or suit, even a killer pair of heels can empower us with confidence. We feel bold and assertive, ready to take on the world. But you don’t need to spend a lot—or anything for that matter—to capture those feelings. You just need a firm understanding of how clothing works on the body. I got a crash course in this during my time in TV news (image is part of the job), so allow me to share a bit of what I learned.
My first tip doesn’t cost a cent. Posture matters! Have you ever seen a professional dancer walk? They carry themselves with such grace and elegance, they look stunning in whatever they are wearing. I might be 4’11 and change, but I walk tall. In fact, my hubby has said I look intimidating at times. (I think he means that in a good way?) To begin your path to posture perfection, give these techniques a whirl:
Don’t get hung up on sizing; a great fit is not about the number. Furthermore, we can’t really trust the number any more. Sizes vary wildly from store to store, and if you shop online, you’ll find even more discrepancies. I wear 4 different sizes! It all depends on the retailer. You want your clothing to elegantly skim, not to cling to your body.
Small adjustments to a garment (including pieces you already own) can turn a zero to a hero! Since I’m quite short, I usually take up the hem and sleeve cuffs on most of my clothing. But remember, you can also nip in a waistline or narrow a sleeve. That’s why Hollywood stars look so great in their clothing! It’s made for their bodies. If you’re curious what tailoring will do to your outfit, use clothespins or take a few straight pins to make a quick adjustment. Peek in the mirror and consider… Hmm, does this improve your look? Tailoring takes time and/or money, but I have never regretted it.
No matter how fit or toned you are, shapewear is your friend. In fact, it’s a must for today’s thin, stretchy, and body-con fabrics, as well as anything unlined like this purple dress. When I dress for on-camera work or an event, I almost always wear a pair of shaping tights. This is my go-to brand. They nip/tuck in all the right places, smooth curves, provide great support and camouflage any undergarment lines.While we’re on that topic, you also need to become BFFs with no-show underwear. I’ve tried all kinds and find this vanishing edge style works best. They’re a bit expensive, but 100 percent worth it! They are all I wear. If you wait for a sale, you can stock up for a decent price.
Every body is different, so we need to look for the pieces that play up our unique features and figures. For me, that means hunting for styles with details that define/highlight my waist area like these two styles (when you are petite, it is easy to get overwhelmed by your clothing). I often use a skinny belt in a complementary color to add definition. Unsure what works best for you?
Shoe choice is also important. Avoid styles that cut your leg line, like ankle straps, and consider a heel. I know a lot of people think they are difficult to manage, but they can work wonders for your look. A slight heel will draw out your body, helping you appear taller and thinner. You can never go wrong with a classic pump. Pointy toe styles are generally more flattering than round, because they elongate the leg line. You can also visually lengthen your legs by choosing shoes in a nude shade. The majority of my heels are nude. It’s boring, but effective!
If you have any questions about these tips or dresses, please let me know in the comments below!