Slimming strategies: How to use colors to appear thinner

A basic understanding of how colors can be used to play up a plus-sized figure can be a real asset while shopping. When used correctly in clothing, colors can make your body appear slimmer and conceal any areas you’d rather not show off.

If you don’t use flattering colors or patterns, though, you run the risk of wearing items that create the illusion of more weight. If you aren’t sure how to use colors to appear thinner, you aren’t alone. Take a look at this basic guide for finding clothes with flattering and slimming colors and patterns.

A guide to colors

Whether you’re talking about bathroom paint colors, abstract art or clothing, one rule remains the same: dark colors recede and light colors advance. What does this mean for you?

Light-colored clothing will draw the eye and stand out, making the area it’s covering appear prominent and larger. On the other hand, dark-colored clothing will diminish the appearance of whatever it’s covering, making it seem smaller and slimmer.

For instance, if you want to make your legs and hips appear thinner, opt for dark jeans and pants rather than khakis, white pants or even light denim.

Just because it’s universally slimming does not mean you should feel like you must have an all-black wardrobe. Here are some ways to use bright or light colors in your outfits:

- Layer up: Layer light colors under dark ones to get the best of both worlds. A white or light-colored blouse looks pretty and sophisticated under a structured black or navy blazer or fitted cardigan.

- A statement piece: Go for a bright yellow handbag, red pumps or a cerulean statement necklace to incorporate some brightness into your look. Statement pieces are a great way to show personality!

- Balance your proportions: Ladies with smaller upper bodies and curvy hips and thighs can balance dark bottoms with brightly colored tops. Try tucking a pastel-colored button-up into a black skirt, for instance, to make your upper body stand out and create an hourglass figure.

- Use darker colors: Black isn’t the only dark option for slimming clothing. Try playing with dark greens, reds, blues and grays to add some extra excitement to your outfit.

Using patterns

Like colors, patterns can also create the illusion of slimness or added weight depending on how you wear them. Here’s a guide to wearing some common patterns:

- Stripes: Horizontal stripes can make whatever they’re covering appear wider, so it’s a good idea to stay away from them. Instead, wear clothing with vertical stripes, which creates a long line, making you appear taller and thinner.

- Color-blocking: Color-blocking is when two or three colors are used in graphic shapes to add interest to a piece of clothing, and it can be very flattering for curvy women. Look for color-blocking that uses darkly colored panels along the sides or around your waist, which will make you appear thinner.

- Busy patterns: Large busy patterns can look unflattering on curvy women, so if you’re going for a busy pattern, it’s best to find one with very small designs. Clothes with small all-over patterns are great for curvy women because they can disguise any lumps and bumps underneath.