Yes, Spanx and bandage dresses are great for creating that sleek look. However, I'd like to share some shape alternatives that allow you to breathe and move in comfort...
The key lies in mastering the tricks of focus via draping, colors, cut and garment lengths.
Here are the high-level, basic tricks:
- Tall/Thin– Horizontal & curved lines, contrasting/bright colors, fitted detailing, bulky/mixed textures and large prints
- Full/Short - Vertical lines, smaller prints, simple details, lightweight/matte fabrics, color-blocking, monochromatic colors, body-skimming pieces
Here are my favorite secrets to looking sleek and polished...
Controlling Eye-Flow with Lines
Lines are key to controlling visual interest. These lines can be the cut/drape of the garment or literally the print on the material.
Lines via drape/cut
The cut (or shape) and drape of a garment can control eye-flow and create the illusion of your desired shape. For example, a single-breasted jacket with smaller lapels is slimming. Longer jackets that are nipped-in at the waist create a nice waistline and the illusion of a longer line (height). Shorter, cropped jackets/cardigans highlight a good waistline and the hips.
Drape tricks that skim the body like bias & A-line cuts with ruching, tucks and gathers are great for curvy figures. Fitted styles with detailing in the right area(s) add interest, like pleats, ruching, gathers and pockets ... They highlight those areas and create the illusion of curves.
Lines via prints
Wearing a piece with lines of the same width makes the eye follow the lines, especially with fitted styles. This is why many suggest curvy figures avoid horizontal lines. However, there is a workaround ... Prints that have lines with different widths (and colors) create more interest in the print, especially in loose-fitting and body-skimming styles. A scarf, hanging just off-center in a bright, contrasting color can add vertical interest.
Directional stripes is another option. Chevron and diagonal stripes draw the focus towards the center and the length of the body.
Controlling Eye-Flow with Color
Wearing a complete ensemble in one, monochromatic color is very slimming. It creates the illusion of one long, sleek line. This technique work best with dark and neutral colors.
Color-Blocking, whether in one piece (a dress, top or skirt), or in an outfit (like a black top & pants paired with a red jacket or cardi), works very well to control eye-flow. The secret ... Bright colors on the edges create curves, while dark colors on the edges slims.