Camouflage dressing

You can appear up to 5kg thinner or heavier without breaking a sweat. All you have to do is change the way you dress

well-dressed man and womanIf you have been yearning to put on or shed the inches to improve your visual appeal, there’s a simple instantaneous way to achieve it—dressing. Though dressing doesn’t help you actually lose or gain weight, it surely creates the illusion. Isn’t it interesting that something as simple as our dressing can have such an impact?

This is how it works: clothing is created from fabric, And a fabric has colour and lines. The colour of an item of clothing can influence what we see by making the person wearing the clothing look smaller or larger. Also, our eyes automatically follow the lines of clothing. Depending on whether the lines are long, short or stop, we look either large or small. At any given time, there are more people who want to look slimmer than people who want to look larger. And if you are one of them, try these tricks to achieve your goal.

Fit facts

To look slimmer, wear clothes that fit properly. Jackets that are too big across the shoulders, sleeves that are too long, or waistbands that fall too low will make you look like you are wearing someone else’s clothes. Sometimes people try to look slimmer by wearing big clothes—women wear over-sized dresses and men wear ill-fitting jackets and pants—because they think it hides their weight. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Not only do they look larger, but they also draw attention to themselves by looking sloppy.

The same holds true for clothes that are too small. Tops that are too small across the chest, sleeves that are too short, pants that are too short, either in the leg or at the crotch, makes the person look larger.

Sometimes women who want to look slimmer try squeezing into dress a smaller than their size and this defeats the purpose. Tight clothing always makes you look larger. It is more flattering to wear clothes that fit well and glide over the body. Lines, not size is what you should be working at to camouflage your actual shape.

Line of vision

The eye naturally follows lines and all clothes have lines. When we say lines, here we are talking of necklines, pockets, sleeves and hems—lines of a clothing item and not the lines [patterns] of a fabric. For instance, a sweater that has v-neckline will draw the eye downward creating, the look of a longer neck, longer face and slimmer upper body. By contrast, a turtleneck creates a short, horizontal line that stops eye and makes the face appear fuller, the upper body bigger and the neck shorter. Using this concept alone you can create a slimmer upper body by sticking to tops with vertical lines that create the look of length; and by stashing the turtlenecks until you feel a little slimmer.

For men, vertical lines created by buttons in a double-breasted suit draw the eye outward and create a larger look. In contrast, a single-breasted suit, which has only one vertical line has a more slimming look. For tall, slim men who want to look larger, a double-breasted suit is better; men who want to hide their middle should go for a single-breasted style.

Turtlenecks and V-necklines

You can find a number of fashion photos of models wearing turtlenecks on the ramp on this blog
In Style has a selection of turtleneck looks here
See how short stars like America Ferrera, Eva Longoria Parker, Rachael Ray, Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger use V Necklines to look taller on
Americans can shop for turtleneck dresses at
Britishers can buy turtleneck dresses at
Everyone on this Yahoo Answers discussion thread seems to agree that horizontal stripes make you look wider.
—Team CW

Colour concepts

Monochromatic colours [all the colours, tints and shades of a single hue] when worn together create a slim look because, as mentioned earlier, the eye follows lines. In this way, colour too can be seen as a line. When there is a change in colour, like when a white top meets a black bottom, the eye stops at the line where both colours meet. Whether you are male or female, this is something to consider if you have a large mid-section. Wearing the same colour from head-to-toe or wearing monochromatic colours does not interrupt the line our eyes follow and we look taller and slimmer.

different colour clothes arranged in a rowA basic rule of colour is that black recedes and white advances. In clothing, this is important because it means that dark colour apparels make a person appear smaller and light colour ones make a person look larger.

You can even use dark colours to make specific portions of your body appear smaller. For example, if your shape is like a triangle with a larger lower body than upper body and you want your lower body to appear smaller, wear a light colour top with dark pants or skirt. Men with a large upper body and large mid-section can look smaller simply by choosing shirts and T-shirts in dark colours like navy, royal blue and burgundy.

Refrain from opting for black all the time and try using other dark shades. Wearing black to look slimmer is an over-used trick. Also, wearing too much black can appear dreary and can create a washed out look, if the you don’t back it with proper make-up.

Material world

The material of your dress also has an effect on your looks. Materials too, have a certain lightness or darkness. For example, cotton has a matte look and doesn’t reflect light so it cannot make you look large. Velour or satin has is shiny and will reflect light making you appear large. As it is with colour, when a material attracts or reflects light, it will make you look larger or slimmer depending on its properties.

Satin, velour, velvet, materials with sequins and iridescent colours have a reflective quality. The weight of a material also plays a part in adding or subtracting inches from your shape. Wool and fur are heavy materials so wool sweaters and fur jackets or large insulated coats will create the look of extra pounds.

Look large

To look larger than you are, wear lighter colours, prints, and plaids. Choose clothing that has broken lines such as, a light top and dark bottom; wear three colours instead of monochromatic colours. The idea is to break the line of vision. Also, wear clothes with horizontal lines.

Shoe shape

Even the shoes you wear can make a huge difference to your overall look. Shoes, like clothing, can be big and bulky, or thin and slim. And like clothing, shoes too have lines. The correct shoe can make your legs look slim, which will make you look taller. How can a shoe do this?

Every shoe has a vamp— the area from the toe upward or the front part of the shoe. If this area, the vamp, is short, like in pumps, more of your foot will show creating a longer looking leg. If the vamp is high, the leg appears to begin farther up, which will make the leg look shorter. The height of the vamp is of utmost importance when wearing dresses or skirts, where you’ll want your legs to appear long.

different shoesThe colour of your shoes is also important in creating a longer line for the eye to follow. A shoe that is of the same colour family as your pants or skirt will create a longer line and a slimmer appearance. Shoes of a different colour break the line the eye follows and do just the opposite.

Also, to create a slimmer look, match the weight of your shoes with your outfit. If you choose to wear a linen or cotton suit, wear lightweight shoes. Large, clunky shoes draw attention and create an imbalance.

To create a longer, leaner look, men can choose shoes that are the same darkness or lightness of the pant. For example, black shoes with black pants.

To get started, evaluate your current wardrobe and replace clothes that are adding pounds to your look them with items that reveal a slimmer you.

Sheila Dicks
Sheila Dicks is an image and wardrobe consultant. Her motto help people reach their full potential and perk up their self-confidence with improved dress sense. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.


  1. Sir,
    Some Doctor has prescribed me camouflage colours for pigmentation, where can I get in Jaipur India?

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