Here are some great tips to slim down fast:
— You can forget sizes. Focus on buying clothes that fit, including swimsuits. Always take three or four sizes into the dressing room with you. Remember that sizes will vary with labels and designers. Avoid becoming stressed out if you need a larger size; the goal is to buy clothes that flatter your figure.
— Don't get stuck buying shapeless clothing in order to cover your body. Talk about just hanging out, if you know what I mean. Clothes that are too tight are just as bad for your fashion weight loss plan, as well. However, form-fitting clothes can actually shave off pounds. Instead of wrapping a towel around your swimsuit at the beach, try to swirl a sarong around your waist.
— Invest in a swimsuit with plenty of built-in control features. We're talking some serious stretch. Swimsuit manufacturers now offer many ways to disguise our insecurities at the beach. Take advantage of these innovations and get some support! Steer clear of horizontal stripes and unflattering prints. If you have saddlebags, avoid high-cut legs.
— Find a good tailor who can give you expert assistance, if you don't want those pants dragging or need your straps to stay up. Avoid becoming stuck with a closet full of clothes that don't "quite" work.
— Color can also slim you down. Yes, black can disguise many figure flaws, but in the summer, it's often too hot. Pair it with white and you have instant summer. A long white tunic top over slim white capris can be a very flattering combination. Or try wearing vibrant color head to toe. Keep prints to a minimum, and always wear your darkest colors on the bottom.
— Avoid wearing shorts with pleats or gathered waists, if you're fighting the battle of the stomach bulge. Instead, leave the high-waisted looks behind and go for flat fronts with lower waists. Shorts or pants that have a little bit of flare and stretch to them can also be flattering — if they're not too tight and skim your hips and thighs.
— Don't be afraid to wear layers in the summer, but make sure they're not too bulky. The T-shirt over tank top is a great fashion trend, but remember thin knits work best. Ditto for cardigans and crewnecks. Buy ones in luscious tropical colors.
— Upper arms a problem? Don't sweat the flabby stuff. There are many fun tops available this summer with roomy, batwing-style kimono sleeves. Choose a lightweight knit or gauzy sheer fabric in a graphic print, and let the summer of love flow. Toss a shawl around your shoulders or layer a transparent blouse over a tank top.
— Stick your neck out. That's right, show off some skin. Leave the scarves and heavy-duty necklaces at home during warm weather. Go low at the neckline with open collars, halters and scoop-neck T-shirts. If you have great shoulders, experiment with a trendy one-shoulder top — a great look for special occasions on summer evenings.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.