Thursday, April 12, 2012

3 Ways to Look Better in the Clothes You Already Have

We all want to look good. Sometimes we specifically want to look good without putting in any effort (or at least look like we didn’t put in any effort), but not all of us can afford to replace our entire wardrobe the moment we feel it isn’t working for us. Maybe you can, but I sure as heck can’t. Have you ever had a day wherein you take your regular amount of time getting ready for the the day, look in the mirror and think, yeah, I can work with this, or even, H yeah Barbie! You hot! Go get ‘em tiger! only to later see a candid picture taken of you that very day and mentally scream into the sky, WHYYYYYYY!!!?

If you are having a hard time reconciling the girl in the mirror with the girl in the photographs, here are a few easy ways to make your clothes work.

3. Make sure it actually fits.
It’s always exciting to go for that new top that’s a totally sweet buy and realize that you can get into the medium/small, which is way hotter than your normal large/medium, right?

The only difference between these two pictures is that in the first picture her shirt is too small and her pants are too big and cinched up too high, and in the second they fit. If you are wearing a shirt that is too small, even if you can physically get it onto your body, I guarantee that it is doing all the wrong things for your figure. The shorter length in the body and the sleeves will make your torso look shorter and much wider. Oftentimes, those little blouses will be tight on your chest and just a bit looser on your waist, which will cause it to bunch up; you can imagine what that is doing to your shapely curves. This may mean strategically stretching your sweaters and t-shirts when you wash them. I know that fitting into your favorite high school jeans is a major victory for your New Year’s Goals list, but a smaller size pants will never be worth the consequential muffin top bulge. Your body looks better without it.

As far as larger clothes, I advise you to use your discretion. With the return of the 80’s, giant t-shirts have been widely popular, but make sure that you don’t get something based solely on how cute is was on your mannequin-shaped girl friend. Also, don’t go thinking that you can take just anything several sizes bigger than you are and achieve that same look. I had to learn that one the hard way. You can tell the clothes that were made for that style apart from those that weren’t because a small in the first will be the same size as the xxlg in the latter.

2. Mix up your outfits.
When I was in high school, everyone I knew thought that my wardrobe was completely endless. I had one girl tell me that she was convinced that I never wore the same item twice the whole year.

My secret was that at the start of the year, I decided to see just how long I could go without repeating a single outfit. I managed to go the entire year with my (I swear) totally normally sized and under-priced wardrobe wearing something brand new every day because I decided that if I had worn that top with that bottom with those accessories to school at any point that year, it was off-limits (another contributing factor was that I tended to avoid doing my laundry as long as possible, which forced me to wear those items in the back of the closet that never seemed to make it into my outfits if I had the choice. I recommend wearing your less-loved clothing while still doing laundry regularly). Even if you’re a solid jeans and t-shirt girl and there are only so many combinations you can use before running out, try adding that hat and that scarf. Bam, new outfit.

So try mixing it up. Seriously. It’s like shopping in your closet.

1. Check your posture.
You would be surprised how much difference this simple rule makes. Aside from the fact that a perpetual slouch will eventually lead to your hunchback figure, a slouch will automatically make your stomach develop faux fat rolls. Even the skinniest of girls has had that moment, while resting on the toilet, when she looks down at those extra few folds of skin and thought, what can I stop eating to make these go away?

I’m not saying that you need to start balancing books on your head in your alone time, but if you want just one trick that will immediately give you that appropriately curved rump, a flatter stomach and perkier boobs, then straighten up that back, pull back those shoulders and start staring down the world. Show off that imaginary diamond necklace you’ve been wearing since you turned 13.

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning again that slouching is really bad for your body in the long run. Keeping up that comfortable slouch will gradually cause permanent muscle deterioration and curve your spine, causing a condition called “Kyphosis,” colloquially known as "postural hunchback," which requires a great deal of painful physical therapy to ever overcome. So ask yourself if coming across like Queen Elizabeth II is preferable to coming across like Quasi Motto.

(what you think you look like)

(what you actually look like)

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