7 things in your wardrobe that can make you look bigger than you really are.

Clothes should flatter your frame and make you look streamline and gorgeous. Yet the below culprits can make you look frumpy and bigger than you really are.

1. Elastisised Waistbands – the problem with elastisised waistbands (except for gals with boyish figures), is not only the way the material puffs out instantly creating more volume where you don’t need it but also the instability of the garment. If you have any sort of curves the waistband will move either up or down as you go about your day. The band is going to find the slimmest place to sit. Basically it just doesn’t fit properly. A tighter band that does sit where you want it doesn’t work well either as it will ‘squish’ any soft bits. Keep the elastisised waistbands on your gym clothes only.

2. Pleats – that fall from the waistband of your pants and skirts create volume. Pleats are added with the intention of creating a better fit, to follow the curves of the body more comfortably and stylishly. Since they sit on your hips and tummy they will highlight your hips and tummy. Some pleats can create unnecessary bulk and add volume to your body. So please be really careful with pleats. If you have a small bust, pleat details on your bust will help create the illusion of having a bigger bust.

TIP: Look for inverted pleats (pictured) or flat front pants. The more structured the pleat the less likely it is to add bulk.

3. Horizontal Stripes – trick the eye into thinking ‘wider’. The smaller and closer together the stripes the more pronounced the effect. A wider stripe still has the same effect, though not as bad. So if you are going to wear them, keep them in proportion to your body. If you’re a small person go for a small stripes. If you’re a large person go for a larger stripe. If you’re big busted or plus size, skip it altogether. However if you have a small bust – wear stripes across your bust to create the illusion of having a bigger bust.

TIP: Horizontal stripes are an excellent way for pear-shaped ladies to add volume to their upper body which will balance your lower half. So stripes on top half, but keep bottom half a solid colour.

4. Metallic fabrics & Shiny clothes and reflective clothes. The effect is to make whatever they’re covering look bigger. So when you reach for those satin pants or that metallic jacket be aware of what the overall effect is going to be. It can be a great way to get proportion back into your shape. If you’re bigger on top got for a the metallic skirt matched with a matt simple top.

5. Handbag size – if you’re a big person and you go with a small handbag it’s not the handbag that’s going to stand out. Comparisons will be made and since your body is approximately 30 times larger than the handbag the size of your body will be emphasized, even if you’re not particularly big in the first place. Your bag should mirror your size. If you’re smaller and wear a bigger bag – same comparison, different conclusion – you will seem small. Moral of the story choose a bag in proportion to you.

TIP: For best effect your handbag should be the opposite of your shape. If you’re a curvy person go with a more structured handbag like the one pictures. If you’re angular go with an unstructured tote.

6. Zips, pockets, ruffles, feathers, fur etc – any of these ‘bells and whistles’ that are added onto clothes is going to draw the eye and make the piece of body it’s covering look bigger. So if you have big boobs then no ruffles or pleats as they will make your bust look bigger. The same if you got lots of junk in da trunk, keep things simple and minimal there. Cargo pant pockets just add extra bulk to your frame. Not good my dear friends. Anyone who is plus sized should avoid like the plague. However for super slim gals who don’t have curves and want to add some booty, then you can add ‘shape’ to your body by wearing clothes with ruffles, pleats, bow details etc

7 . Baggy Clothes – we all have ‘fat days’ when we reach for baggy loose clothes. But anything loose or baggy will make you look bigger than you really are. It will not “hide” anything. You will look 10 times bigger than you are. Wearing fitted clothes will make you look slimmer but you will also feel more confident. Trust me, it works.

Happy Friday and happy styling.