STYLE What to wear to look slimmer


Give the illusion  of a lighter you

Give the illusion  of a lighter you

Maggie’s tips for dressing slimmer this Christmas

Maggie Gibbons

The clothes we wear say so much about us. You can totally project your personality in the way you dress. However, from time to time, it can be a nightmare to find something to wear. With me, it’s usually when I’m having a ‘fat’ day – fine if I’m just hanging around the house, not good, however, if I’m going somewhere.
Party season is upon us so whether you want to fit into a special gúna or just want to sparkle on Christmas day, then help is at hand. You know, it’s quite easy to make yourself look a few pounds lighter: It’s called illusion dressing. Here’s how to do it.
Know yourself
Start focusing on your overall body shape. Become aware of your body proportions, where does you waist come in relation to your torso? Are you long or short waisted? Bust size? Hips? You achieve a visually balanced look by paying attention to your unique body details. Think about the following tips, and which ones apply to you.

  • By wearing the same colour skirt, tights and shoes you’ll look a lot thinner from the waist down
  • Long scarves and dresses that have buttons or zips in a line down the front are great as it creates a vertical line.
  • Wear wrap dresses and dresses with ruching to camouflage a big stomach
  • Wear dark colours on your heaviest bits, for wide hips and legs wear dark skirts and pants.
  • Avoid belts if you have a big stomach as it only pushes the fat above and below, not a welcome sight (unless you’re Santa)
  • Heels will visually lengthen your leg
  • Keep pattern size in proportion to your size
  • If you are large on top, wear a V neck or scoop neck
  • Have skirt hems hit at the slimmest part of your leg
  • If you’re wearing volume on the bottom, wear a fitted top, and vice versa
  • Be yourself!

Control pants
These babies get a whole paragraph to themselves, they’re so worth it! For some reason women are terrified when they hear about control pants, but if you want a lump-free silhouette, then it’s the way to go. Today’s shapers are breathable and comfortable. If you tried them in the past and found that they rolled down, then fear no more, as you can get them with straps now. I got a great pair in Boutique Colette in Westport, and I’m addicted!  Control pants will give you that instantly slimmer look. I promise!

Added bonus
Learning to play up your good points while minimising the ones you don’t like will make shopping easier, and save you money in the long run. Choosing clothing to suit your shape, colouring and lifestyle can actually cut your wardrobe spending in half.
Women wear 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time. Just think about all the little orphans left hanging there! Don’t bother waiting until they come back in fashion, because fashion is fickle, and by the time it comes back, the fabrics and colours will have changed anyway.  
Some classics, such as good black pants, good jackets and trenchcoats, never go out of style, so they’re worth investing in. But the best rule is, if you’re not going to wear it immediately, leave it behind. A bargain is only a bargain, if you get the wear out of it.

Each of the three dresses pictured are available from

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at