You don’t need a big budget to look better in your clothes. These tricks can have you looking like you lost 10 pounds—and gained tons of new outfits.
1. Choose High-Rise Jeans
Battling the belly bulge when shopping for jeans? High-rise jeans help suck your belly in and create a beautiful waistline at the top, right where you need it.
2. Embrace Stretch
Women who carry their weight in their hips and thighs often struggle to find jeans that also fit their waist. Buying jeans made of a combination of lycra, spandex and polyester allows the pant to hug each part of your body. Remember, these jeans should be snug, not too tight in order to be flattering.
3. Pick the Darkest Color
Get yourself a more slender look with a dark pair of jeans. Across the board, darker jeans are more flattering. Shy away from washes and extra pockets or embellishments and optimize the slenderizing effect of dark jeans.
4. Buy Black
There’s a reason black endures—it always looks great. Clothing in a darker hue looks more expensive—and tends to hide wear and imperfections more easily over time. Invest in staples in this stark shade for longevity.
5. Don’t Distract With Your ‘Do
If you have a big occasion and you want to look your best—treat your tresses. A blowout or a professionally styled hairdo can make your look feel united—and makes any outfit look more pulled together.
6. Splurge on Your Jacket
In the cooler months, your coat is the first thing, and sometimes only thing, people see. Spend your money wisely and invest in a nice jacket, since it will be the main component of most of your outfits.
7. Focus on Fit
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating—only wear clothes that truly fit you. Just because you can squeeze into a smaller size doesn’t mean you should. Clothes that fit comfortably will make you look thinner, and not the opposite.
8. Pick a Statement Bag
Instead of purchasing several inexpensive purses, invest in one statement bag. A splurge in a shade that works with most of your wardrobe (a black or brown combo, a neutral tan, or oxblood) looks more refined than a range of inexpensive matching options.
9. Opt for A-Line
Long thought to be one of the most flattering cuts for skirts, A-line shapes create the illusion of a small waist, thanks to a boxy upper that minimizes problem areas, and a roomy bottom that leaves legs looking great.
10. Don’t Be Afraid of Flounce
More fabric doesn’t always adds the appearance of pounds. With a balanced top (like a fitted tee or sweater), a voluminous skirt can send the eye upward to the parts of your figure you want to showcase.
11. Skip Statement T-Shirts
If you want to look slimmer, skip tees with text — even the slightest warping will make slogans look sloppy and ill fitting. Choose solid colors or smaller-print patterns.
12. Do Less Laundry
The more you wash your clothes the more the fabrics fade. Most pieces don’t need to be washed every time you wear them. Just spot clean with a sponge or toothbrush.
13. Stay Simple
When purchasing clothes, avoid buying inexpensive items that are over embellished. Details can be difficult on a budget, so for items that require more skill — like pleated tops, distressed denim, and embroidered pieces be prepared to spend.
14. Play Down Your Bust
If you’re trying to minimize your top half, pick plain colors for your blouses and go bold on your bottoms. Pants in a bright hue or playful pattern can distract from a heavy top half.
15. Pick Petite Prints
If you’re trying to look smaller, select small prints. Bolder repeats can look stretched in all the wrong places.
16. Avoid Ankle Straps
Strappy shoes cut off your legs. Pumps and sandals without ankle straps elongate the line of your body, making you look longer—and thinner.
17. For Petites, Pick Properly
Full-length coats and maxi dresses drown. To give the appearance of more height, opt instead for cropped jackets, shorter skirts and mini dresses to keep a petite frame in proportion.
18. For Cocktail Dresses, Go Fitted
Play up your curves with a slim-fitting cocktail dress. A design that’s snug around the hips and butt area does double duty by making your upper body look smaller while putting the focus your rear.
19. Be Well-Heeled
Though heels can be difficult, the rewards are occasionally worth it. The added height draws out your body, and helps you appear thinner. If you can manage, chose shoes with some lift.
20. Treat Your Handbags
Well You carry your bag everyday, so keep it in proper shape. Moisturize your leather totes—or drop them off at the shoe store for a thorough treatment. Scratches and scuffs on your bag make your whole look tattered.
21. Shop in the Men’s Section
Don’t limit yourself to ladies’ linens. French women have known the secret for years. Menswear clothing is often more durable with better fabrications. Choose men’s sweaters and button-up shirts in the smallest size for a chic style and durable do.
22. Choose One Shade
Monotone is anything but boring—it’s modern and makes you appear even thinner. Embrace a single shade to create a cohesive and slimming look.
23. Go Vertical
Commit this to memory: horizontal stripes widen. Instead of the side-to-side stripe, pick up-and-down patterns instead to make you look leaner and add the illusion of height.
24. Hold the Hose
Panty hose have officially fallen out-of-fashion. Though they are still needed for some formal occasions, tights can make your outfit look dated, or tattered, if you aren’t storing your hosiery properly. Better no hose than a holey pair.
25. Focus on the Fit
Baggy clothes don’t hide all manner of sins—they just make you look like you’re hiding. Chose clothes that are cut to your size to look leaner, over ill fitting and loose.
26. Button Up
Upgrade a basic blazer with better buttons. Take an off-the-rack piece to a tailor and replace your buttons to create a one-of-a-kind piece.
27. Debulk Your Boots
Try this tuck-in tip. Before tucking pants into your boots, cuff jeans to condense the bulk in your boots.
28. Don’t Skip Skinny Jeans
While the style might seem intimidating, the cut is actually very flattering. The slender fit hugs your butt, highlighting its shape and making appear lifted and toned.
29. Shave—Your Sweaters
Keep knits looking new with an inexpensive sweater shaver. For less than $10, a battery-operated fabric shaver eliminates snags and pulls in the bud, adding life to your winter wear.
30. Drop a Dime on Denim
Higher quality denim is usually a heavier weight and the heft can help your look. The weightier fabric will smooth and flatten out any unwanted curves—highlighting the curves you do want to showcase.
31. Less Logos
While logos usually make a statement (expensive), fashion insiders always prefer well made to brand name. Instead of hunting down deals on designer goods, search instead for classic pieces that will stay in fashion.
32. Nail It
A perfectly put-together looks a lot less polished with a chipped manicure. Take the time to paint and maintain your nails. For minimal fuss, keep nails buffed or swathed in a neutral hue to resist wear and tear.
33. Try Texture
It’s not always about prints. Textured pieces add tons of style without going too loud. Mix in various dimensions of fabrics in your details (particularly in the same shade) for a sophisticated style.
34. Keep Costume Jewelry From Feeling Too Costume
Sure you can go big when it comes to faux pieces, but resist the urge to fake splurge. Smaller cubic zirconia, think understated studs, look much more realistic (and less phony) than gigantic gemstones.
35. Don’t Rub It Out
Rubbing a stain might remove the offending liquid—but it can also ruin your fabric. Instead of treating a stain by rubbing on remover (which can damage the threads), blot out bad spots instead, to avoid damaging the threads.
36. Store Smart
Don’t let your out-of-season items get out of shape. Stow unseasonal items in a cool, dry place and in their best condition—clean and unwrinkled—to prevent solidifying stains or creases.
37. Go Long With Your Jacket
If you are trying to hide your hips or an ample backside, pick a longer jacket that comes in at the waist and widens below. A blazer that ends at the waist accentuates your backside.
38. Vamp It Up
Look for shoes that have a flattering “vamp.” The portion of the shoe that cuts across the base of your foot can do wonders to elongate your legs. Pick a low-cut vamp to slenderize, just be careful to avoid “toe cleavage” when tootsies are out in the open and too tight.
39. Remove Labels
In a move that would make brand-name obsessives angry, remove clothing labels. When you get a new item, carefully snip out the labels. You’ll permanently ensure your items always lay flat, and that an errant tag never irritates you.
Remove excessive hardware, do-dads like dangling charms, and additional straps to streamline your bags into something sophisticated.
41. Trade Up
Don’t let the unused goods in your closet gather dust—gather dollars instead. Clothing swap sites let you swap your stuff for cash.
42. Stop Stacking
While boatloads of bangles was once the trend; the layers of jewelry just look distracting and cheap. Instead go for impact with just one sleek (and slimming) bracelet.
43. Build a Base
The right “foundation garment” (i.e.) bra is the simplest way to magically shed pounds. Have a clerk measure you to ensure you’re wearing the proper size, and not just what you think is appropriate (or has worked in the past).
44. Down With Browns
Earthy hues can look great, but tend to wear more quickly. When wearing warm tones like mauve and olive, choose high quality options and be sure to cycle them out of your wardrobe once dinginess sets in.
45. Get Some Air
Air-drying your clothes not only saves energy (and money), it adds years to their life. Treat your clothes gently to maximize their lifespan and to minimize wear and tear.
46. Buy Basics in Bulk
For staples that you’ll spend lots of time in, don’t bother investing in items that will end up being worn and torn. Instead purchase mid-range styles that won’t wear out immediately, but won’t be a drain on your finances when you need to replace.
47. Tuck It In
An untucked shirt can at worst look sloppy and at best isn’t doing you any favors. By tucking in your blouse you nip in your waist, and creating a tailored effect.
48. Practice Good Posture
If you are hunched over your clothes won’t hang properly. Stand with your head high and your shoulders back to put your clothes to their optimal potential.
49. Go for the Right Amount of Buttons
Those with a broad mid-section should avoid two button style jackets, which usually stop right at the stomach. Instead chose three-or-five button styles, which draw attention away from your problem areas.
50. Raise the Bar
Avoid having rumpled bottoms and wrinkled cuffs to your pants by elevating the hanging bar in your closet. You’ll keep your items from dragging the floor (and dragging up dust).
51. Maintain Boots’ Shape
Keep tall boots looking tall by storing them in a way that saves their shape. Rolled up magazines or used paper towel holders keep knee or thigh-high styles from slumping over and wrinkling.
52. Fold Sweaters
While hanging sweaters might be preferable in some storage spaces, you’ll end up with saggy and lumpy shoulders. Fold sweaters and stow in drawers or on closet shelves with dividers so they stay in shape.
53. Find a Tailor
Fashion folks swear by having a tailor, and their services aren’t just for special occasions. Don’t be afraid to take an everyday piece to a seamstress to get it fitted just for you, for as little as $10.
54. Listen to the Tags
If a garment tells you to dry clean it, dry-clean it. Washing your clothes against the manufacturers instructions can render expensive pieces unwearable—and wastes your money in the long run.
55. Wash Like With Like
Just because you’ve washed a piece multiple times, doesn’t mean it couldn’t still run. Separate your laundry loads by shades (darks with darks and lights with lights) to prevent residual running.
56. If You Wear a Trend, Spend
While many people assume that they should buy inexpensive of-the-moment pieces, the opposite is true. If you’re going to wear a trend, it’s best to buy a little higher end. Since this stunning style is where the attention will be, splurge so you look current and not like you’re
rocking a cheap knockoff.
57. Do a Daylight Check
Sure your outfit looks great in the lighting of your home, but will the bright lights at an outdoor BBQ reveal more than you mean too. Be sure to check your outfit out in the appropriate lighting to make sure there are peek-a-boo surprises.
58. Pencil It In
For women with a wider hip and behind, a pencil skirt creates curves and flatters your posterior. Pair the fitted bottom with looser fitting blouse to create a stunning silhouette that helps your best-looking rear stand out.
59. Don’t Distress
Shy away from inexpensive distressed pieces. Distressed hardware and fabrics, particularly whiskered, tend to look old and worn out more quickly.
60. Go With What Works
Once you find a fit that flatters, don’t be afraid to stock up on that style. No one will notice you’re in the same shape, so don’t be afraid to buy multiples in various colors and patterns.
61. Hang In There
To keep clothes looking their best, hang them on helpful hangers. Flocked hangers stop straps from sliding off and help clothes keep their shape. Bonus: their thin profile means you can fit more in your closet.
62. Keep a List
Shop with a purpose. Stow a note in your phone of the items you’re looking for—and of styles that have worked well in the past to help you shop smart.
63. Color Block
Large swathes of color can camouflage problem areas, and look mod and modern. Opt for items that feature contrasting shades for a slimming and so-of-the-moment look.
64. Factor in the Cost Per Wear
Feeling guilty about spending more on any one item? Think of the cost per wear when making your purchase. An expensive item is worth lasts for many times out, while a cheap piece is only worth the number of nights it survives.
65. So Clutch
Don’t be afraid to rock a small bag during the day. A clutch removes bulk from your outfit, and gives your outfit an of-the-moment edge.
66. Break the Rules
White isn’t just for the summer. Don’t be afraid to bend the formerly fastidious Labor Day rules. Winter white can look super stylish, and super slimming in the winter.
67. Wash Delicates Delicately
When laundering bras and other unmentionables, keep protect them in the washing machine. A delicates bag lets lingerie get laundered, while making sure they aren’t misshapen.
68. Honor the Hourglass
Those with apple or hourglass shapes should focus on a supportive bra. It’s important to keep your top looking perky, not droopy, so as to avoid the appearance of your looking overweight.
69. Skip the Shower
We know it sounds like a time-saver, but hanging your clothes in the bathroom doesn’t provide enough steam to stop wrinkles. Ambient bathroom steam won’t work wonders on wrinkles, just wastewater.
70. Have Some Flare
For apple or straight-shaped bodies, flared pants provide more shape and help balance wide shoulders or a bulkier upper body.
71. Swap Straps
Resurrect an old handbag by switching out straps and hardware. Your local shoe repair store can change closure clasps or replace handles to give a bag new life.
72. Shape at Your Shoulders
If you fear looking broad in the shoulders, upper arm or back, cover up—literally. Toss a light jacket, sweater or shawl across the shoulders to shed some pounds.
73. Sock It to Deodorant Stains
A white sock is the only thing that stands between you and stain-free shirts. If your antiperspirant makes a mark, rub a sock in small circles to remove the stain without smearing, as water does.
74. Be Bright
Bright tights and bold hued pants make the most of great legs, and can distract from less ideal upper areas.
75. Your Lips Are Sealed
Good lipstick turns simple into stunning. A bold red lip looks great with any outfit, but even a tint of color can keep you from looking washed out. Don’t be afraid to spend: mid-to-higher priced brands give you more pigment and can be longer lasting.
76. The Glass Is Half Full
With sun or eyeglasses, be sure to pick the best shape for your face. For those with round visages, opt for larger or angular styles, while square faces benefit from lighter frames.
77. Find the Right Fabric
The type of textile you wear can make or break your outfit. Steer clear of rigid or thick materials that won’t lie properly on your body. Look for items that drape close to your body and mold to your silhouette, not just lay flat.
78. Look Pleasant in Peasant Sleeves
Peasant sleeves can feel hip and not just hippy. In a mid-length and a non-balloon size make arms extra attractive.
79. Wrap It Up
The cross-front dress is a classic because of its versatility. By showing a little skin, you elongate the neck to seem even more svelte. The forgiving knit doesn’t bind or pull, and the bold print is busy in the best way.
80. Go Nude
Skin tone shoes blend in with your body to great effects. The subtle hue gives the illusion of endless legs, so a pair does wonders when paired with a shorter dress (or on a shorter frame).
81. Buy the Best Bag for Your Body
Who knew there was a perfect purse for your proportions? A round handbag could make you look even more rotund. Choose a long, rectangular bag for slender style.
82. Zip it Up
Midline zippers pull the eye to the center of your frame, cutting away pounds.
83. Be the Cream of the Crop (Top)
No we don’t mean a bare midriff. Layer an oversize crop top over a tank to minimize your middle without showing too much.
84. Notice Your Neck
Opt for low and straight necklines to flatter your décolletage while staying sophisticated.
85. Pair for Pear Shapes
For short people (or those with shorter legs), skip skinny jeans, lest you look like an upside down triangle, and flared pants, which can make you look thick and bow-legged. Your best bet: straight leg or slightly flared options.
86. Watch Those Panty Lines
Visible panty lines make your clothes look flimsy or poorly fitted. Always make sure underwear and slips don’t show or provide any distraction from your look.
87. Shift Into Something New
Known for it’s forgiving silhouette, this flattering dress gets even more flattering in a playful soft shade, which lets you appear as light as its weight.
88. Frame Your Face
Instantly lose weight in your face and shoulder by pulling your hair back. By showcasing your neck and shoulders, you’ll look more slender than if you’re hiding behind a nest of hair.
89. More Mid-Length
To downplay your legs, chose mid-length skirts. The always stylish skirts work because the extra fabric camouflages, while the top cinches your waist.
90. Get Flat
Pleated pants add bulk to your body instead of distracting from a busy mid-section. Choose khakis or pants of the flat front variety for less messy middle.
91. Wrinkle Release
Ironing is a hassle—and could damage delicate fabrics. A steamer blasts out wrinkles more quickly, and without harming your favorite pieces.
92. Dress for Success
A shirtdress never goes out of style. The staple appears polished, and not being too buttoned up, while its casual, yet, crisp look flatters almost all body types.
93. Save Money With High Heels
Here’s a surprising stat: high heels have been proven to help you balance your budget. Research shows that the sense of balances women focus on while wearing heels helps them focus on balance in other areas as well, leading to smarter shopping choices.
94. Contrast at Your Waist
A brightly colored sash or belt provides a visual tuck in, making your body appear thinner.
95. Untuck Wisely
You don’t always need to tuck your shirt in, just make sure you loosen up properly. A shirt out over a skirt or shorts detracts from your width if it hits at your hips (and doesn’t drag past).
96. Oversized Shades
Larger spectacles in dark shades highlight your cheekbones creating the illusion of a smaller face.
97. Don’t Fear Ruffles
A well placed flounce, say right above the natural waist can make the area appear smaller than it really is. Pick peplums for optimal effect.
98. Make a Statement Necklace
Chunky necklaces slim you at the shoulders and distract from other problem areas. Perk up a plain tee with an attention-grabbing accessory.
99. Go Round
Square toe shoes can make you look stocky. Instead pick shoes with slightly pointed toes to make feet look thinner.