Figure-Flattering Secrets for the New Year

Figure-Flattering Secrets for the New Year
ESSENCE.COM Dec, 30, 2008

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What Looks Great on Your Curvy Shape?

Roz is 5 feet, 4 inches-tall and curvy all over, with a midsection that needs defining. Her challenge: finding styles and fabrics that skim her in all the right places.

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A brightly colored shirt paired with a white cropped jacket works perfectly over Roz’s curves. And these stretchy, slightly flared jeans elongate her legs. Jeans, Lee, $42; Jacket, $108; top, $78; and bag, $228, Banana Republic; Shoes, Coach, $258.

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This super-simple, slightly stretchy suit boasts sharp lapels that add structure and definition. The pants fall about an inch from the floor, lengthening Roz’s legs. And the fitted knit top is a more comfortable alternative to the classic button-down shirt. Jacket, $780, and pants, $395, MaxMara; Sweater, Banana Republic, $58; Shoes, $230, Stuart Weitzman.

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An empire-cut dress with a V-neck and slight drape draws the eye upward, emphasizing Roz’s gorgeous face and cleavage. Saturated colors, like tomato red, work like basic black to create a lean silhouette. Boots are also great for making legs look longer. Dress, $98, boots, $198, Banana Republic.

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QUICK TIP: Layer on lightweight knits. They skim over your curves, giving you a body-conscious look.

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The key to keeping warm and looking slim and trim is choosing fabrics that create warmth rather than over layering. Wool, silk and cashmere work great during the winter months because they are warmer fabrics. Steer clear of heavy layers of cotton because it adds bulk to your frame. Check out these Eddie Bauer Vashon Fit Donegal Wool Trouser pants, $59.99,, made of soft woolen tweed that offers the right weight of warmth for winter.

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Worried about looking slim during the bulky layered-up winter months? Try wearing a coat that showcases your figure. Avoid designs that are too tight because when you layer your clothes you will create unwanted bulges, which can make you appear heavier than you are. Even if you have to buy a coat in a size or 2 up, it will enhance your figure because the coat will fit properly. We like this cozy wool coat from Lane Bryant that features knit bands at the cuff and portrait collar for added warmth ($149.99,

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V-neck shape tops ($24, that highlight your cleavage are a must-have for curvy women because this cut draws attention up and away from any lower body problem areas. The 3/4-sleeve length works well to slim down any extra weight you may carry on your upper arms as well.

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Embellished waist line dresses like this Lucia Jeweled Empire-Waist Dress in Verdant Green ($76, draws attention toward the waist, making the lower half of the body look pinched in, creating dimension.

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Look stunning for less in this Old Navy Women’s Plus Notch-Front Dress ($15, This is the perfect transitional dress because you can wear it for both day and night. The notched neckline works well for women with ample breasts, because you can still look sexy while leaving something to the imagination. The dress was crafted with a hint of stretch material making it even easier for you feel comfortable while looking your best.


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