10 Ways to Fake a Smaller Waist
Trends come and go, but we’re always looking for clever ways to slim our silhouettes. If you’re anything like us—so, that’s everyone—heed celebrity stylist and Yummie Tummie founder Heather Thomson’s waist-whittling advice.
Your first thought might be that extra volume adds bulk, but that’s not the case, says Thomson, who calls these shirts her “go-to tummy cinchers.” The key is to avoid ruffles that are too flared, which can overemphasize your butt instead of accentuating the curves in that area. Wear it without or without sleeves, depending on the season and your feelings about your arms. “Either way, when the cinching happens in that perfect spot just below the waistline, it can really flatter your silhouette,” says Thomson.
Jersey Peplum Top, $49; Ann Taylor.
It’s not difficult to rattle off a whole list of Old Hollywood actresses whose hourglass silhouettes we’d love to have—but it’s time to stop envying and start living it. “I’ve always loved a colorblock dress,” says Thomson. “When you want to get dolled up, side panels emphasize the lines of an hourglass silhouette and flatter your figure.”
Donna Morgan Extended Sleeve Fitted Sheath w/ Leather Piping, $95.99; Zappos.
Looking for the perfect work slacks? That would be a pair with thin, vertical stripes, which will do wonders for your body. “The up-and-down stripes draw the eye from the waist and make your legs look long and lean,” says Thomson. “Just make sure they’re properly cut on the rear end as a too-tight pinstripe can widen the butt.”
Slim Cropped Pinstripe Pants, $54.95; Gap.
There’s a reason this topper has endured over the years—we attribute it to a combination of flattery, functionality, and necessary wardrobe basics. Although some women are hesitant to belt anything for fear of drawing the wrong attention to their midsection, the controlled volume above and below the belt on a trench actually helps to define your figure.
Tipped Cotton Canvas Trench, $128; Loft.
Got curves? Excellent. This one’s for you. Unlike a shift, which hangs loosely off the body, a sheath dress fits closely and hugs your natural curves. “I recommend one in a thicker fabric, like a cotton twill, because the drape is more flattering and it doesn’t cling to lumps and bumps the way some flimsier fabrics might,” says Thomson.
Le Suit Dress, Sleeveless Melange Sheath, $69; Macy’s.
A wrap dress is Thomson’s all-time favorite look—and we understand why. The universally flattering, tie-it-on-and-you’re-done style is our go-to as well. “It never goes out of fashion, because it highlights a woman’s natural curves and works with any body size,” she says. “Just throw on a pair of pumps or boots for fall and you’ve got it all covered.”
Maggy London Print Jersey Wrap Dress, $98; Nordstrom.
Though slouchy cardigans are great for weekends, more polished, structured blazers are the best way to pull your entire outfit together this fall. Thanks to a wide variety of options, you can choose an incredibly nipped waist or one with a subtle cinch, depending on what you wish to show off. “If you’re self-conscious about your belly, wear a looser-fitting blouse in a fun pattern underneath,” says Thomson. “It won’t cling to your curves too much, and the pattern will mask any insecurities.”
Cotton Linen-Blend Jacket, $129.99; Mango.
Whether at the office or in the evening, this style’s become ever-popular in our Mad Men age. Create your own Christina Hendricks-esque silhouette with the curve-flattering bottom, which, by emphasizing your hips, makes your waist appear smaller in comparison. “Pair with a body-hugging sweater or fitted blouse for an ultra-feminine look,” suggests Thomson.
Classic Pencil Skirt, $27.99; Target.
The best way to take the focus off of something you don’t like is to call attention to an area you do. And thus goes the logic of a frilly top. “It balances the silhouette by adding volume at the neckline and distracting the eye from the tummy,” says Thomson. If you’re busty, wear a shaping tank underneath for extra slimming powers.
Pintuck Frill Blouse, $62; Oasis.
Forget sky-high stilettos. “A pair of high-waisted pants with a flared leg flatters a woman’s length, even when she doesn’t have much of it,” says Thomson. Whereas many pants sit at your hips, the widest point of your midsection, a high-waisted pair puts the focus on its narrowest area, right below your ribcage. “If you’re self-conscious about your stomach, a belly-taming foundation matters,” adds Thomson.
High Waist Pants, $50.63; Asos.