Can Wearing Lighter-Colored Clothing Make You Look Thinner?

One surefire move Hollywood relies on to instantly look better: Hire a stylist. Much easier said than done for us regular folk, but celebrity stylist Karen Raphael says it’s not totally impossible to take some of the go-to tricks and apply them to everyday life. “The number-one tip for dressing better is to emphasize the best part of your body and divert attention from the areas you don’t like. It’s that simple,” she says. Here are some of her other standbys:

Colors Can Really Make a Difference

According to Raphael, if you have a “pear-shaped” body (think smaller on top, larger on bottom), your best features are usually your waist and your upper body. “The secret to dressing best for this body shape is to divert attention from the bottom to the top,” she says. “So I recommend wearing darker colors, no patterns and things that ‘graze’ over and conceal the bottom. Then, on top, you wear lighter, brighter colors and a lower neckline to draw the eyes there.”

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Fit-and-Flare Is Your Friend

When it comes to dresses, Raphael’s favorite is a fit-and-flare for pear-shaped bodies. “It’s the most common body shape. If you go back to the ’60s, so many women were wearing this style and a lot of women were curvier then.”

This Shade Emphasizes Everything

Raphael says if you have an “apple shape”—where you are technically larger on top and smaller on bottom, you want to reverse the above color rule. “You usually have thinner legs and carry your weight in your upper body with this type of shape. So I recommend deeper, darker colors like navy or black, but nothing bright, for the top, then lighter colors for the bottom—like a white pant or a lighter skirt. You basically want to wear the attention-grabbing color on the bottom.” And, as a general rule, Raphael says that white is the color that emphasizes everything.

You Can Create the Illusion of Curves With the Right Skirt

If you have more of a “boyish” figure, where you are “straighter,” Raphael says you may want to create the illusion of curves. “You can do this by wearing layered skirts or A-line skirts to make it look like you have more shape. It emphasizes the waist at the point it curves and then it comes out so you are adding shape.” Another flattering trick: Wear something that’s more high-waisted or cinch the waist with a belt to create “hips.”

Necklace Length Matters

If you have a larger bust, Raphael says you usually want to wear a necklace that is either really short or really long. “You don’t want the necklace to end at the same point of your breasts or else that’s where all the attention will be. It’s all about pulling the eye to the right point.”

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