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Spring Fashions That Flatter

Learn how to dress 10 pounds thinner this spring without wearing black.
By Sherry Rauh
WebMD Feature

Learn how to dress 10 pounds thinner this spring without wearing black.

What should you wear if you want to look svelte? Ask around and you'll probably get a one-word answer -- black. But who wants to wear black all spring? To get the skinny on dressing thin in today's styles, WebMD turned to Sam Saboura, style and image consultant for ABC's Extreme Makeover and author of Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women With Real Bodies. Saboura helped us sort the latest fashions into those that flatter a full figure and those that don't.

Do's

  • Brown and Navy. While it's true that black is slimming, the same goes for other dark shades. "Chocolate brown and navy are big colors this spring and a great alternative to black," Saboura says. Replacing black with brown or other deep hues can refresh more than your wardrobe. Maryann Troiani, PsyD, co-author of Change Your Underwear, Change Your Life, tells WebMD, "If you're always wearing black, you're going to be in a dark mood." Adding a little color, even a dark color, "can make a person feel more vibrant."
  • Ethnic A-Lines. This year's flowing, gypsy-style skirts are flattering for most body types. "Looser skirts with an ethnic feel offer a wonderful way to camouflage the lower half of the body," Saboura tells WebMD. Current styles range from classic A-lines to fluffy, multitiered chiffon numbers. How much volume is too much? It depends on your body type. If you are larger on top, a fluffy skirt can fill out your bottom half to match. If you are fuller on the bottom, a leaner skirt will suit you better. "Tiered skirts balance out a diamond-shaped body," Saboura explains. "If you're pear-shaped, an A-line is still good, but avoid styles with exaggerated volume," such as ruffles or tiers.
  • Lapel-Free Jackets. "A lapel can overwhelm the top half of the body," Saboura says. The cleaner look of a lapel-free jacket can de-emphasize fullness while still showing some curves. "Oprah wears [this style] all the time."
  • Espadrilles and Wedges. Chunky heels add height without requiring a superhuman sense of balance. And according to Saboura, adding height is an essential step in dressing thin. "Any time you add height, you look a few pounds thinner. Women with fuller figures should always wear a heel."

Don'ts

  • White. "Monochromatic dressing is slimming," Saboura tells WebMD, but not if you're all in white. He suggests using white "as a layering tool" underneath darker, more vibrant shades. The same goes for pastels. "If you are going to wear superlight, wear it as a foundational piece."
  • Bermuda Shorts. "Bermuda shorts cut you at a wider part of the thigh," Saboura explains. They may be chic this spring, but "they are not very forgiving." Capri pants are a good alternative.
  • Cropped Jackets. Tight, short jackets -- particularly those that end just below the bust -- will exaggerate your curves. A hip-length jacket or cardigan is a safer choice.
  • Cargo Details. The safari look is back, but watch out for pants and tops with cargo details. Bulky pockets over the bust, hip or thigh will add volume to those areas.

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