How to Dress to Look Thinner: 23 Slimming Fashion Tips That Work!

If you’re looking for tips and tricks to help you learn how to dress to look thinner – and how to make yourself look skinny in pictures – you’ve come to the right place! As much as we all strive to follow the latest fad diets and workout regimes to help us shed excess body weight so we can look and feel our best, many of us don’t have the time or willpower to stick to our goals 100% of the time. And that’s completely okay! In order to live our best lives, we need to find a happy balance. Not all of us were meant to be a size 00, and the sooner we accept this and learn to love the bodies we’re in, the happier we’ll be.

So, whether you’re a voluptuous, plus-sized woman with a sexy hour-glass figure, a broad-shouldered gal with next to no curves, or a petite Colleen who’s fallen off track with her weight loss goals and feels bloated and swollen, we’re sharing 23 simple ideas to help you learn how to dress to look thinner and call out your most attractive features.

How to Dress to Look Thinner: 14 Tips that Work

Define your waist.

If you want to know how to dress to look thinner, finding ways to define your waist is a great first step. This helps create the illusion that you have an hourglass figure with curves in exactly the right places, even if you don’t. Opt for high-waisted bottoms made with structured fabrics, tuck loose-fitting shirts into pants and skirts, cinch dresses with a small belt, and consider wearing shapewear beneath your clothes for added definition.

Wear clothes that are the correct size.

Contrary to popular belief, wearing clothes that are a size too big or a size too small for your frame doesn’t always make you look slimmer. Bulky clothing is more likely to make you look bigger than you actually are, and sizing down tends to draw attention to problem areas like back fat, muffin tops, and cellulite, so always choose clothing that fits true to size.

Choose the right undergarments.

When it comes to finding clothes that make you look slimmer, your undergarments are just as, if not more important than your outfit. Tight bras draw attention to back fat, and tight panties can cause rolls, muffin tops, and cellulite to show through your clothes. Take the time to get fitted properly, and if you’re wearing an unforgiving fabric, don’t be afraid to ditch your underpants altogether. No one needs to know!

Avoid rounded shoes.

While they may look cute, rounded-toed shoes do nothing but make your legs look short and stumpy. Opt for pointed-toed shoes as they help elongate your legs and give the illusion that they are longer than they really are.

Wear heels with skinny jeans.

If you’re a fan of skinny jeans but feel self-conscious about the width of your legs, avoid flats and flip flops at all costs. You can make your legs look longer by ensuring your denim is ankle-length (or slightly longer) and pairing them with a sexy pair of pointed-toed heels.

Invest in shapewear.

If you want to know how to dress to look thinner, shapewear is about to become your new best friend. Most women save shapewear for special occasions, but there’s no reason it can’t become a daily staple. Shapewear offers more support than your average undergarments, hides bulges and imperfections like cellulite, and gives an overall slimmer appearance. Control camis offer seamless coverage from your breasts to your waistline, corsets help cinch your waist and accentuate the curves of your hips, and control tights will slim your tummy, bum, and thighs. There are heaps of other body shapers to consider, but in my experience, these 3 will cover all your bases!

Dress in one color.

When you dress in 2 contracting colors and/or prints, the eye is naturally drawn to the area in which the 2 come together, which is typically your waistline. This can be a good thing if you have a natural hourglass figure, but if you want to elongate an already boxy frame, dressing in one color is a simple way to lengthen your body by creating one, sweeping look.

Cover up with long outwear.

If you live in a cooler climate and want to find ways to stay warm without adding unnecessary bulk to your look, long sweeping outerwear will help lengthen your frame. Pair with skinny jeans and pointy-toed heels or boots and leave your coat open, or cinch at the waist for a more flattering look when you really need to bundle up.

Wear clothing with vertical stripes.

It’s no secret that horizontal stripes can make us look wider, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid stripes completely. You just need to be a bit more strategic when wearing them. Remember that stripes tend to stand out, so if you’re trying to figure out how to dress to look thinner, opt for smaller, vertical stripes in dark colors and avoid dressing yourself in the same pattern from head-to-toe. While stripes can certainly be slimming, you want to accentuate your waistline. For example, a black top tucked into a pair of pin-striped pants can elongate your legs and make you look slimmer instantly.

Avoid pleated skirts and dresses.

While pleats can be sexy and feminine when worn correctly, the moment they start to part and open up, they immediately add bulk to your frame. There are certain things you can do to help avoid this, but many of these techniques have the potential to make your waist look thicker. So if you’re looking for clothes that make you look slimmer, my advice is to avoid pleats completely.

Swap skinny jeans for boot cut jeans.

If you want to draw attention away from your tummy and thighs, ditch your skinny denim in favor of bootcut jeans to add height to your frame. Choose a dark wash with a high waist, and pair with pointy-toed heeled shoes or boots, ensuring the bottom of the jeans hits your shoes for maximum effect.

Avoid light-colored jeans and pants.

White and light-washed jeans and pants have the potential to make your legs look thicker, so if you were blessed with big thighs, always choose darker colors as they have a slimming effect.

Wear v-neck tops.

Another simple but effective tip to teach you how to dress to look thinner is to wear v-neck tops as they help elongate your upper body by adding balance to your hips and thighs. This is an especially great tip for gals with a bigger bust as v-neck tops will naturally draw the eye away from problem areas and towards the cleavage instead. Don’t have big boobs? No worries! I speak from experience when I say a good push-up bra can go a long way!

Choose your accessories wisely.

My last tip to teach you how to dress to look thinner is to accessorize. Necklaces, earrings, belts, and bracelets can help draw the eye away from problem areas while accentuating your best features. For example, long necklaces take the focus away from the hips, big earrings draw attention away from the upper body and towards the face, big bracelets are great at hiding big upper arms by bringing the eye towards the wrists, and belts help define the waist. Just be sure to avoid thick belts as they can cut your torso in half and have the opposite effect you’re looking for!

How to Make Yourself Look Skinny in Pictures

They say the camera adds 10 lbs, but there are days when it feels more like 25 lbs to me. LOL. The good news is that in addition to figuring out how to dress to look thinner, there are certain things you can do to make yourself look skinny in pictures no matter what you’re wearing, or how bloated you’re feeling.

Stick your chin up and out.

If you’ve ever wondered why every single girl you know sticks her head up and out when someone’s taking a photo of her, it’s because she’s trying to avoid the appearance of a double chin. Give it a try!

Stand at a 45 degree angle.

If want to look skinny in pictures, do your best to avoid being photographed head-on. Instead, turn slightly to the side, put one foot in front of the other so your front foot is pointing toward the camera, and then lean your body weight on your back foot.

Put your hand on your hip.

Another thing a lot of gals do in photos is put their hand on their hip. This ensures their arm isn’t smooshed against their body, which can make the upper arms look chunky.

Photograph from above.

If you want to know how to make yourself look skinny in pictures, another trick to use is to angle your camera slightly above your face to help elongate your neck and body.

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth while smiling.

I know it sounds weird, but when you position your tongue so it’s touching the roof of your mouth – preferably the area just beyond your teeth – while smiling, it will help tighten the area underneath your chin, giving you a more defined and chiseled look.

Use fake tanner and/or bronzer.

In case you aren’t already in the know, a darker complexion can help your body look tighter and more toned, and can also help hide imperfections like cellulite. Of course, applying fake tanner is a job in and of itself and not everyone has the time or funds for regular upkeep, but it’s amazing what a little bronzer can do. CLICK HERE for our best bronzer application tips and tutorials.

Stand (or sit) tall.

If you’ve ever needed a reason to stop slouching, this is it! Good posture has so many health benefits, with the added bonus of adding length to your frame!

Dress in darker colors.

While you don’t need to dress in black 24/7, opting for darker clothing can certainly make you look slimmer, especially in pictures.

Cross your legs at the ankles and not the knees.

Just as you don’t want your arms pressed against your body in pictures, you don’t want to smoosh your legs together either. Sitting on the edge of your seat and crossing your legs at the ankle will help make your legs look thinner and avoid the appearance of cellulite.

I hope this collection of tips to teach you how to dress to look thinner – and how to make yourself look skinny in pictures – helps you as much as it’s helped me! Be careful to choose clothes that are true to size, find ways to accentuate your waistline, avoid bold patterns and opt for darker colors, use accessories wisely to draw attention to your best features, photograph yourself from above, and remember that self-confidence is the best outfit you can ever wear. Love your look and own it!

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What to Wear for Professional Headshots (Updated 2023)

There’s truth to the adage “clothes make the man.” According to researchers, the way we dress conveys information about our identity both in and outside of the workplace, and has a significant impact on what others believe about us. That includes beliefs about how much influence and power we have, how smart we are, and even how much money we make – all of which impact whether hiring managers, coworkers and clients consider us trustworthy and reliable.

Beyond having the right professional pose and portrait style, what you choose to wear in your headshots will help establish your professional identity within your network. Since most people will see your professional headshot before they meet you face-to-face, your wardrobe in professional headshots is also an important part of making a great first impression.

If you’re considering updated your headshots, you might be wondering “what you should wear for professional headshots?” So as you prepare for your headshot session, consider these wardrobe tips and tricks for great professional portraits!

Style Tips for Professional Headshots

Dress Like Your Boss

What’s considered appropriate dress in the workplace varies widely by industry. Lawyers and doctors, for instance, are generally expected to dress in a more formal and conservative way, whereas those working in technical or creative roles may look out of place if they come to work in a suit and tie.

When in doubt, look to your boss or another industry leader you respect. The way your superiors dress is usually a good indicator of what’s appropriate for your industry, and will help you convey confidence without appearing as if you’re trying too hard.

Avoid Overly-Casual Clothing

Even if you work in an industry where informal dress is the norm, consider donning more formal threads for your headshots if you want to appear more confident and authoritative. Research suggests that simply wearing more formal clothing can contribute to a feeling of power and control, which can impact your posture and presence in photos.

The way you feel behind the camera will impact how you appear in your photos, so consider formal clothing options that make you feel good about yourself. If you need an extra boost of confidence, stick with formal options like suits, ties and formal blouses.

Just because you don’t want to wear a suit, doesn’t mean you can’t dress “smart casual”. You’ll have a friendly appearance to the outside world, without looking like a corporate stiff.

Feature Multiple Outfits

Consider the different people you interact with during the working day, and what clothing is most appropriate in each of those settings. Do you tend to wear the same types of outfits regardless of who you’re interacting with, or do you tailor your clothing choices to your audience?

If you regularly interact with different types of people throughout your day — which is often the case for entrepreneurs, consultants and salespeople — make sure you have a headshot that fits each of your audiences. Instead of trying to match all possible professional scenarios to one outfit for your headshots, make sure to get multiple photos in different outfits. That strategy guarantees that you’re always wearing the right clothes in your professional headshot.

Opt for Suit-Inspired Silhouettes

For better or worse, clothing traditionally perceived as more masculine — including trousers, blazers and suit jackets in darker hues — can have a significant impact on perceptions of intelligence and ability, especially when it comes to people in management and leadership positions.

According to a study that examined the connection between clothing style and hiring recommendations, blazers and trousers contributed to applicants being perceived as more forceful and influential than those wearing other types of clothing. Suits and trousers in darker colors also contributed to more favorite hiring recommendations for leadership and management positions.

Not a suit, but still inspired by the jacket and dress shirt combo.

Avoid Older, Worn-Out Clothing

Everyone has one favorite piece of clothing that they’ll wear again and again — but over time, even the nicest blouses and shirts will begin to show signs of wear. This is especially true of brightly-colored clothing or knitted fabrics, which could fade or show signs of pilling of each time it’s washed. To ensure your clothes make you look tailored and put together, opt for newer clothing or “dry clean only” items that won’t show these tell-tale signs of wear.

Stick with Simple Jewelry

The best professional headshots enhance your natural features without distracting from them. For this reason, simple jewelry is a better choice for professional headshots – especially if your headshot will be cropped closely to your face (as most are).

So long as you have the right hair and makeup for your headshot session, jewelry should just be a “finishing touch.” For necklaces, make sure the pendant is visible above the crop of the photo. For earrings, stick with simple metallic or gemstone studs, and wear dangling earrings with caution. Hoop earrings and anything that dangles tends to be caught in hair and gets lost in the photo.

When using new clothing your whites/blacks will come out sharper, and your colors will be brighter.

Ditch the Undershirt and “Floppy Collar”

In a professional headshot, the area directly under your face is critically important. These photos are cropped closely for LinkedIn profile photos and other placements. So think about your undershirt and collar first.

First, unless you’re going for a casual look, with an un-buttoned oxford shirt, avoid wearing an undershirt in your headshot.

While many men wear an undershirt to avoid building up sweat during the day, a white, black, or grey undershirt will be distracting in a formal professional headshot. Why make people think about your sweat?

Second, especially if you’re not wearing a tie, make sure your collar is stiff. A “floppy collar” can make a headshot look sloppy, even if you’re dressed perfectly otherwise.

What Colors To Wear for Headshots

Consider Color Theory

Color theory refers to the science of how certain colors influence our moods, thoughts and behaviors – and how certain wardrobe hues can influence what others believe about us. For instance, red conveys confidence and energy, whereas navy blue and black elicits a sense of dominance and authority. Think about what message you want to convey in your professional headshots and select colors accordingly.

Dark colors are perceived as more formal, dominant and authoritative

are perceived as more formal, dominant and authoritative Light colors make the wearer appear more friendly and approachable

make the wearer appear more friendly and approachable Some bright colors convey confidence and energy

convey confidence and energy Muted colors are conservative and less threatening

are conservative and less threatening High-contrast pairings like a dark jacket and light shirt can create a powerful image that conveys influence and authority

Stick with Solid Colors

Regardless of your portrait style and setting, simple colors and subtle patterns usually look best on everyone. Bold or busy patterns tend to distract from your face and can lead to moire, an unpleasant visual side effect of repeating patterns.

Contrast with Your Backdrop

When choosing colors for your professional headshots, consider your portrait backdrop. Unless you’re getting a company-branded headshot, choose wardrobe colors that contrast with your background so you stand out. This is especially true if you plan to have black and white headshots – a dark top against a dark background could make you look like a floating head!

If wearing a button down shirt, try to avoid matching your shirt with the background color. In this photo, the charcoal background photo looks better than the version where the client’s shirt matches the background.

Contrast with Your Skin Tone

As a general rule, professional portraits look best when your skin tone, your clothing and your backdrop all contrast. When choosing what colors to wear, make sure the color is significantly darker or lighter than your skin tone so you don’t look nude from afar. If possible to create a great monochromatic headshot as well, but make sure you let your photographer know beforehand so we can advise you on your best options.

Building contrast between your outfit with your skin tone, background, and clothing will help you stand out.

Avoid Outfit Combinations That Are Typical for Other Professions

The most common mistakes are 1) Dressing like a doctor or 2) Dressing like a waiter.

To avoid looking like a doctor, if you’re going for a headshot, don’t wear a white blazer. It’s very likely to look like a medical coat in the final cropped headshot. (Particularly if you’re shooting with a studio backdrop)

To avoid looking like a waiter, don’t wear a white button down shirt, with a black tie, and a black suit.

How Clothing Should Fit For Professional Headshots

Wear a Higher Neckline

If your headshot is destined for a corporate website, keep in mind that headshots are typically cropped closely around your head and face. So, even work-appropriate tops, with lower necklines, could end up looking more provocative than you intended.

For men who plan to wear a button-up shirt, make sure the buttons won’t connect below the crop of the photo. Women in particular are perceived to be less competent if their clothing is considered provocative or revealing, so blouses and tops with higher necklines are best.

Opt for Tailored Clothing (Use tailored fits)

More closely-fitted clothing tends to look cleaner and less distracting than loose or baggy clothing, especially for formal or business-casual photos. If you plan to wear a blazer or suit jacket, make sure it fits closely around the shoulders and arms – even if that means it’s slightly too tight. If you’re concerned about your waistline, don’t worry – most headshots are taken with jackets and blazers unbuttoned, as the creases along your ribs tend to show at the bottom border of the photo.

The space between the body and arm creates a flattering silhouette

The same goes for collared shirts and blouses. If you plan to wear a collared shirt buttoned to the top, make sure it fits snugly around your neck. Loosely-fitted collars leave distracting gaps that draw attention away from your features.

The Right Wardrobe, the Right Photographer

What you wear for your professional headshot session has a big influence on what those photos will say about you – but nothing matters as much as the quality of your photographer. If you’re a Bay Area professional and want to book a headshot session, head over to our Individual Sessions page for pricing and booking information.

Helping Toddlers Dress Themselves and Develop Style

There is not much cuter than a proud toddler who has gotten their own clothes on...almost perfectly. You excitedly tell them what a great job they did, while holding back your giggles because the shirt is backward, and the shoes have been meticulously velcroed onto the wrong feet.

Learning to get dressed all by themselves is integral to your toddler's development. This gradual process begins when they are babies and they pull their little hats off their heads. Over time, toddlers learn how to put their own clothes on and eventually how to work zips and buckles.

Read on to learn how you can help your toddler get dressed independently and develop their own sense of style.

When Should a Toddler Be Able to Dress Themselves?

There is no exact age that a toddlers must be able to dress themselves. Rather, it's a mix of their interests and their skill level. "Toddlers generally start by taking their clothing off rather than dressing themselves," says Pierrette Mimi Poinsette, MD, a pediatrician and consultant with Mom Loves Best. "At about 12 to 18 months, your child may start taking their clothes off, especially socks and shoes. Starting around 3 years of age, your child may begin to dress more independently."

Your toddler will show you when they are ready to begin the gradual process of learning to dress themselves. When they begin to try, let them help as much as they can. "If a young child is continuing in their learning of removing their shoes, adults can observe and see which steps the child can do on their own and which they may need guidance," says Pamela Green, a Montessori consultant and owner of Ananda Montessori, an infant playgroup.

Benefits of a Toddler Who Can Dress Themselves

Having a toddler who can get dressed on their own has many benefits. There is one less thing for you to help them with. Instead, you can do something else, such as help a younger sibling, or even just sit down for a minute.

Getting dressed has developmental benefits for your toddler as well. Choosing clothes and putting them on lets them practice planning and sequencing. Plus, the act of getting on pants, jackets, and socks works on their fine motor skills.

Making their own choices, such as which shirt to wear, also allows toddlers to begin to express themselves. And when your child finally masters the art of getting their own clothes on, they will feel capable and independent.

How Can I Help My Toddler Get Dressed?

Learning to get dressed is a gradual process that requires plenty of adult guidance. You will want to help your child develop the skills needed to get dressed, such as pulling their pants up or buttoning a coat. You can also help your little one understand how to put together a coordinating outfit.

Skills for Self-Dressing

Teaching your child how to get their clothes on begins very early in life, when you are the one taking onesies on and off your newborn. You can talk to your infant about what you are doing, such as putting an arm into a sleeve.

As your child grows, help them practice the skills needed for self-dressing. You can start by putting their pant legs over their ankles and having them pull the pants up, or putting a shirt over their head and having them push their arms into the sleeves. Eventually, they can learn skills that require more precision, such as pulling on socks or buttoning a coat.

"In this process, we allow freedom for a child to do as much as they can, with as little help as is necessary," says Green.

Toys with fasteners, such as buckles, buttons, snaps, or ties are a great way for your little one to practice the skills needed for self-dressing.

Toddler Style Tips

Some parents are okay with letting their toddler dress in anything they want, while others would like to help their kid learn to coordinate. Offering limited choices helps make sure that your child is dressing in a somewhat-stylish way while building their decision-making skills and boosting their autonomy. They will also slowly start to observe how colors and patterns complement one another.

Limited choices help ensure that your toddler does not get overwhelmed. "Some autonomy is beneficial, but stick to two or three options rather than choosing from everything in a drawer," says Dr. Poinsette.

Here's how you could use limited choices: Offer two dresses, two pairs of pants, and two sweaters for your toddler to choose from. You can hang all these options on low hooks that your little one can choose from in the morning. Other kids will do better with a more step-by-step approach, where the parent offers two of each item, one at a time, before presenting the next set to choose from.

Toddler outfits can include basic pieces, such as pants, shirts, dresses, and sweaters. But there are lots of adorable accessories to have fun with too, like headbands, hair bows, hats, mittens, and of course, princess crowns.

Milestones for a Child to Dress Themselves

Every child learns at their own pace, and there is no exact age by which your toddler must be able to dress themselves. However, kids generally follow a basic pattern of development.

Young toddlers will usually start to participate in the dressing process. "Toddlers may start removing their clothes around 1 to to 1 and a half," says Dr. Poinsette. "They may also put out their arms when you get ready to put on a top of a dress."

By age 2, many children will be able to get a shirt or pants on with some parental guidance. Toward age 3, they will be able to do it by themselves and they may be able to zip or button their coat or put on velcro shoes.

"Practicing with large buttons or toys with zippers on them will help kids master these skills," says Dr. Poinsette.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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