Dress-slim secrets

Sure, many celebs start off with better bodies than the rest of us mere mortals. (They have personal chefs and trainers on demand, after all!) But even the fittest stars still deal with figure challenges, so they turn to stylists who are geniuses at putting together outfits that hide flaws and play up a star’s best assets.

To help you do the same, we turned to two of those gurus—Nicole Chavez, whose clients include Catherine Zeta-Jones and Scarlett Johansson; and Phillip Bloch, stylist to such stars as Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry, and author of The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More. Use their insider advice to master your top dress-slim challenges.

One word: shapewear. “It smooths and reshapes, but also helps you stand taller,” Bloch says. “Shapewear makes you more conscious of your posture.”

Invest in a high-waisted shaping bike short, Chavez advises: “It’s one-stop shopping—for the stomach, hips, thighs.” It’s also important, she adds, to not buy clothes that are too fitted in that area: “Go up a size, then have them tailored to your dimensions so they fit you perfectly.”

An empire-waist dress is flattering, as are A-line dresses, because “they graze the stomach,” Bloch says. “You can also put a wider belt—3 to 4 inches—over the tummy, especially in a darker color. No skinny belts. You’re looking for a corset-like belt.”

Find fashion that flatters

Determine and embrace your body type
Body shape is all about proportion, and fashion is all about dressing those proportions to look their very best.

When you think about body types, don’t focus on height and weight… focus on shape. A slender gal can have the same body shape as a curvy gal, just as a short woman can have the same body shape as her taller friend.

Each of us is unique — and our bodies are, too! Nevertheless, our body shapes are generally narrowed down to five general categories: pear, wedge, rectangle, apple and hourglass. You might fall into one category, or you might be a blend of two or more categories.

Once you’ve determined your body shape, you can begin to consider which fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid. Spend some time in front of the mirror and do a fair and honest assessment of your body. Then put these fashion tips to work for you!

Pear body shape
Pear body shape

Pear-shaped celebrities: Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Katherine Heigl

Pear body traits: Your lower body is wider than your upper body — in other words, your hips are wider than your shoulders. Your bottom is rounded and your waist is well-defined.
Your best assets: Shoulders, torso and flat stomach
Your fashion goals: Emphasize your waist and arms, add volume to your shoulders and upper body and minimize your hips.
Kim Kardashian has a pear shaped body type
Dos and don’ts
If your body is pear-shaped like Kim Kardashian’s, then you want to minimize your lower half and focus attention upward.

DON’T wear clothing that draws attention to hips and thighs, such as cargo pants or print skirts.
DO try a-line skirts, which camouflage wider hips.
DO keep hems of pants, skirts and dresses wide to balance the hips.
DO experiment with light-colored tops and dark-colored bottoms for contrast.
DO look for boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines.
DO wear strapless dresses to show off arms and even out proportions.
DO try styles with ruffles on top.
DO wear jackets that hit right above the waist.
DO opt for pointy-toed shoes to elongate your legs.

Apple body shape

Apple-shaped celebs: Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Hudson

Apple body traits: Most of your weight accumulates above the hips, which are narrow. Your back, ribs and shoulders are broad, and you may feel wider than other body types.
Your best asset: Those legs!
Your fashion goals: Elongate the torso, show off your legs and use fashion to create the illusion of a waist.
Jennifer Hudson has an apple shaped body type
Dos and don’ts
If you have an apple-shaped body like Jennifer Hudson’s, then you want to elongate your midsection and create the illusion of a smaller waist.

DO go for monochromatic looks.
DO go for v-neck tops to create the illusion of a longer torso.
DO wear a bra that offers good lift and support.
DO wear belts at the smallest part of your waist.
DO conceal tummy bulge by wearing empire tops and dresses.
DO wear boot cut and flared jeans to create an even line from the shoulders down.
DO wear shorter skirts to show off your legs and draw attention away from your midsection.

Hourglass body type
Hourglass-shaped celebs: Beyonce, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, Vanessa Minnillo

Hourglass body traits: Your shoulders and hips are similar in proportion and set off by a tiny waist.
Your best assets: Curves, curves, curves!
Your fashion goals: Show off your curves… without going overboard.
Dos and don’ts
Beyonce Knowles has an hourglass shaped body type
If your body is hourglass-shaped like Beyonce’s, then you’re a lucky girl! Your shape is all about tastefully showing off those curves: not too baggy, not too tight.

DON’T hide your curves with baggy clothing.
DO wear a good bra and showcase your bust.
DO wear fitted dresses.
DO wear a belt at the waist to enhance your hourglass shape.
DO try wrap dresses.
DO go for high-waisted skirts to show off your hips.
DO pick thin, lightweight styles and fabrics.
DO wear skinny or straight leg jeans.

The 4 pregnancy body types and how to dress them

No matter how you’re carrying your baby – big all over, carrying high, carrying low, or tiny all over – flatter your figure with tricks from top stylists Alison Deyette, Amy Tara Koch (author of Bump It Up), and Leka Dobbs.

From puffy face to swollen ankles, you want to signal that you’re pregnant, not fat! Your goal: Emphasize length, not width.

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Black magic
Pair a floaty tunic top (Olian Maternity, $143) with plain black pants (Japanese Weekend, $100). The dark head-to-toe silhouette lengthens your torso, which offsets roundness and de-emphasizes girth. Draw the eyes upward to a snazzy neckline with jeweled or embroidery detailing. Down below, slim flats (Calypso by Sam Edelman, $98.95) or wedge or kitten heels lengthen your legs. Steer clear of rounded-toe shoes, which can make your legs look stumpy. A cool clutch (L.A.M.B. at Zappos, $225), studded bangle (Crush, Oakland, CA $22), and watch (DKNY at Zappos, $169) complete this lean, refined look.

From puffy face to swollen ankles, you want to signal that you’re pregnant, not fat! Your goal: Emphasize length, not width.

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Do the drape
Layer a long, drapey sweater (Crush, Oakland, CA, $52) in a neutral hue (khaki, tan, gray, or black) over a dark, body-skimming shirt or tank top (Michael Stars at Mom’s the Word, $54). Instantly slenderize and elongate your legs with a pair of dark denim pants (Japanese Weekend, $98) in either a boot cut or trouser cut over a low-heeled, pointy-toed boot (Enzo Angiolini, $99.99). Be sure that the hem of the pants hits an inch or two above the floor – any higher will shorten your legs; longer and you may look sloppy.

Draw the eyes up with dangle earrings (Nordstrom Rack, $13). A long patterned scarf (Banana Republic, $59.50) or a few fun long necklaces (Nordstrom Rack, $49.97) and an oversize bag with a long strap (Crush, Oakland, CA, $68) will add further length to this look.

Your baby rides so low on your frame that you look overdue. Your goal: Rebalance your proportions by drawing attention elsewhere.

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She’s got legs!
Make your limbs appear longer beneath your low-slung belly with a knee-grazing pencil skirt (Paige Premium Denim at Mom’s the Word, $174) in a dark stretchy denim or other dark fabric paired with comfy wedges (Plushing Bride by Aerosoles, $69). Then draw attention upward with a V-neck top (Funmum at Mommy Appelseed, $58) in a bold color and a pair of dangling chandelier earrings (Target, $8) or a chunky necklace.

Choose tops that are long in the torso so they adequately cover the expanding real estate below! A colorful leather purse (Steve Madden at Nordstrom, $112) pulls the look together.

Your baby rides so low on your frame that you look overdue. Your goal: Rebalance your proportions by drawing attention elsewhere.

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The empire waist strikes back
A V-neck Empire-waist top (Olian Maternity, $93) lends definition to your figure, raises the eye upward, and accentuates your blossoming bustline. Sassy sunglasses (Jessica Simpson, www.zappos.com, $59) and hoop earrings (Nordstrom Rack, $7.97) keep the focus up top. Throw on a shorter open cardigan (Liz Lange Maternity for Target, $19.99) to help even out your proportions. And since a low belly can make legs look stumpy, lengthen yours with boot-cut dark pants in a jersey knit or stretch denim paired with a slightly pointed flat (Steven by Steve Madden, $110).

Breast and belly have merged into one – you’re an apple on a stick. Your goal: Use a little flare here, a little cinch there, to create a leaner, more feminine silhouette.

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Color block party
To separate bust from baby, consider a color-blocked frock (Olian Maternity, $90) with one hue up top, another down below. Pair with comfy canvas shoes (Toms, $44), a necklace and bangles (Nordstrom, $49 each), and a colorful bag (Orla Kiely, $168), and you’re ready for fun!

Another option: A simple timeless wrap dress in a jersey knit will help you feel instantly elegant, while giving much-needed definition to your torso. You can also add a skinny belt to a breezy shirtdress above your bump to help break up your top half.

Breast and belly have merged into one – you’re an apple on a stick. Your goal: Use a little flare here, a little cinch there, to create a leaner, more feminine silhouette.

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High definition
Look for a top in silk or stretch jersey (Japanese Weekend, $72) with ruching below the bust line, which helps distinguish your breasts from your belly. To help your legs appear less sticklike in comparison to your voluptuous breasts and belly, pair with a slightly flared pant (Japanese Weekend, $80). Flatter your face and draw the eye upward with a signature necklace and bold sunglasses (Jaye Hersh at Target, $14.99). A studded clutch (Urban Expressions, $40) and faux snakeskin flats (Franco Sarto, $79) crank up the fashion wattage of this look.

You look like a python that swallowed a basketball, and you’re having trouble finding clothes that fit. Your goal: Showcase your belly and add dimension to your boyish figure.

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Curves ahead
A top (Olian Maternity, $80) with gathers or ruching along the sides will add a ripe roundness to your growing belly. Other good options for curve enhancement: shirts with a bit of embellishment — either a ruffle, a bow, rolled-up sleeves, something to pump up the intrigue and carve more shape.

Give your bottom half a lift with a body-skimming straight-leg or boot-cut pant or jean (Maternal America at Mommy Appelseed, $96) with bum-boosting patch pockets. Hoop earrings (Nordstrom Rack, $12) and a statement necklace (Crush, Oakland, CA $16) add more depth to this outfit, while a metallic clutch (Crush, Oakland, CA $38) and bejeweled flats (Sam Edelman, $99) bring on the bling!

You look like a python that swallowed a basketball, and you’re having trouble finding clothes that fit. Your goal: Showcase your belly and add dimension to your boyish figure.

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Stripe a pose
You’re one of the lucky few who can embrace horizontal stripes even while you’re pregnant. The pattern will help accentuate your growing belly and add curves to your slim figure. Opt for a stretchy, body-skimming top (Cocoon top by Nuka at Mommy Appelseed, $62) paired with skinny or straight-leg jeans or leggings (Japanese Weekend, $44). (Steer clear of blousy or super-wide-leg pants, which can swallow you up.) Pair with a slightly pointed flat (Michael Kors, $98), Lucite bangles (Forever 21, $8), oversize shades (Quay Fashions Australia, $25), and a hip bag (Diesel, $580) for a fresh and fabulous take on an Audrey Hepburn-inspired look.

Men’s Fashions To Avoid

The problem with resurrecting clothing is that if you exhume just one item, it’s anachronistic and weird. And, if you bring a whole outfit back, you’re basically cosplaying. This list includes current fashion everyone wishes would go away, recent items that are making an ugly comeback, and some historical styles that might truly be dead — and hopefully stay that way. Ironic or not, these styles are downright bad. Some personal biases might be showing here, but I’m sure you’ll agree with a lot of these.

10. Fishnet (Origin in fashion: 1980s)

Disgusting nylon lattice spider webs, or “fishnets”, have fortunately not made much of a comeback since the days when Eddie Murphy was the funniest man on the planet. Let’s keep it that way.

9. Spike/Leather “Bands” (Origin in fashion: Heavy Metal)

Gross. These were always ugly, and always made you look like an Ed Hardy tool crossed with a bulldog. Unless you’re already carefully dying and crimping your hair for a metal show — leave these in the garbage where you found them.

8. Shell/Hemp Chokers (Origin in fashion: Cameron Crowe movies)

Jewelry again, not technically clothes, but man, are shell/hemp chokers a no-good-very-bad look. In 4th grade I loved hemp and shell chokers. They may have briefly looked cool on the members of *NSYNC and Abercrombie models, but they look good on no one else. Some shells are also insanely poisonous; this is Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Don’t put this on your neck.” (Too bad frosted tips aren’t similarly lethal.)

7. Trucker Hat (Origin in fashion: Truckers, Ashton Kutcher)

Truckers have a sketchy rep, but work insanely hard at a pretty thankless and lonely job. So truckers, wear whatever you want — you deserve it. Non-truckers and non-Ashton Kutchers, however, leave these hats at home. If every picture in your Tinder profile has a trucker hat you know which direction girls are gonna swipe. Really worn trucker hats might look good on a farmer or something, everyone else stay away.

6. Dickeys (Origin in fashion: Early 20th-century menswear)

Not to be confused with the ugly farm-clothing brand that narrowly escaped this list, a Dickey is an older and historically ugly item. Once intended for use with a tux, the modern version is an insert to wear that makes it look like you’re wearing a turtleneck. These are useless. Good for 20th-century and medieval cosplay only.

5. Popped Collars (Origin in fashion: 1998-2006)

I can’t even. In 4th grade I dabbled in popped collars and quickly realized the trend was not for me. One beacon of light for the less-than cool is being too afraid to really commit to hideous trends. Let us never again think this looks good. Definitely Top 5 Personal Fashion Regrets list material.

4. ’90s Oversized Jackets (Origin in fashion: 1990s, 2011-?)

Wearing ugly 90’s clothes ironically is so hot right now. But really, why? The clothes are still ugly. Loose fitting, baggy, ’90s stuff is pretty heinous. Whether it’s that onesie, a shoulder-padded jacket (gasp), a down jacket with pop graphics, or most anything else, let it rest along with monstrous hair, The McLaughlin Group, and the “end of history”.

3. Depression-Era Chic (Origin in Fashion: 1929, 2014)

The actual clothing from this era arose out of desperation and the bleakest of poverty. Are we nostalgic for The Great Depression or just really out of ideas? Because it’s no longer hip enough to bring back ’90s things, too many people are doing it, the “really hip” have turned to 1930s Great Depression Era chic. Leave the ratty pinstripes, the Zoot suits, and the overly affected Gatsby wear in the dustbin of history where they belong!

2. Jean Shorts (Origin in Fashion: 1980s)

Ugly, ugly, ugly. What more needs to be said? Jean shorts have never looked good on any man, ever. Their baggy stiffness makes men look weirdly proportioned and, ugh, jean shorts are just terrible. Not even male models can make these look good.

1. Carpenter Jeans/Shorts (Origin in fashion: N/A)

Carpenter shorts are 10 times worse than awful cargo shorts, mostly because they have an even worse fit, and come with a pocket for tool/brush. The fit on carpenter jeans is unbelievably bad. They’d fit a life-sized Lego man. The structural design is bad enough to warrant No. 1 on this list. Imagine wearing a paper grocery bag fitted with ugly pockets designed for paintbrushes.

Wedge body type

Wedge-shaped celebs: Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Renee Zellweger, Teri Hatcher

Wedge body traits: Also known as the inverted triangle, this body shape features a broad chest and wide shoulders which are large in proportion to a narrow waist and hips.
Your best asset: Your legs
Your fashion goals: Accentuate your lower body while softening your shoulders and upper body.
Audrina Patridge has a wedge body shape; also called inverted triangle body type
Dos and don’ts
If you have a wedge body like Audrina Patridge’s, then you want to draw attention downward to the narrower parts of your body, such as your waist and hips.

DO wear bright colors on bottom.
DO wear wide-leg pants.
DO wear full skirts.
DON’T wear spaghetti-strap tops.
DON’T wear boat neckline tops.
DO wear tops that call attention to your waistline.
DO experiment with high-waisted styles.
DO look for clothes that create the illusion of a waist.

Rectangle body shape
Rectangle-shaped celebs: Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Hilary Swank

Rectangle body traits: The waist, hip and shoulder widths are similar and are usually on the slim side. Slender rectangles have an athletic look about them.
Your best assets: Your arms and legs — and you don’t have to minimize any body features.
Your fashion goals: Create curves and show off slender legs and arms.
Natalie Portman has a rectangle shaped body type
Dos and don’ts
If your body is rectangle-shaped like Natalie Portman’s, then you want to create curves where they don’t necessarily exist.

DO wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops to create curves.
DO wear long jackets to create a lean look.
DO wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
DO wear a good bra that will make the most of what you have.
DON’T wear overwhelming styles.
DO layer to add more dimensions.
DO wear dresses with ruching. Cinches on sides are ideal.
DO have fun with colorful bottoms… feel free to experiment.

We’re thankful for these sales

Steve Madden ballet flats
Classy, elegant and versatile — no color combo is more timeless than camel and black. These chic and comfortable “Favoryte” ballet flats by shoe mastermind Steve Madden are on sale on Zappos.com — a steal. They will keep your feet comfortable and stylish all day long on Thanksgiving and pair perfectly with skinny jeans and layers. Invest and be thankful!

Double-cloth greatcoat
Coats pull together outfits in a magical way no other piece can. When shopping for your next greatcoat, it’s important to take three factors into consideration: color, warmth and durability. With that said, this double-cloth greatcoat from J.Crew is perfect for both autumn and winter. You’ll be the talk of the Thanksgiving table (or at least your fabulous coat will be).

Maxwell Trousers with Leather Trim
We are head over thankful heels in love with these merlot trousers with leather trim by Elizabeth and James. The color is warm and cozy, and the cut breathes holiday comfort. Pair these with some black ankle boots or heels and you’ll be the style center of the room, whether you’re visiting family or meeting the beau’s parents for the first time.

Raj Dress by Rag and Bone
No, we can’t get over the oxblood and merlot trend this fall. We are in love with this “Raj” dress from Rag and Bone — modest enough for family events but body-hugging enough to flatter your figure to the max. This versatile number is on sale on the designer’s website, so don’t miss this. Pair this one with black tights, ankle boots and a statement necklace.

5 mistakes you’re making shaving your legs

1. Shaving your legs as soon as you hop into the shower. Understandably, you want to get your routine underway, but experts advise hanging out in the shower or bath for about 15 minutes before you start shaving—this will soften the hair and open up follicles. Any longer, though, and your skin will wrinkle and swell, making it harder to score a close shave.

2. Doing it first thing in the morning. Shaving at night will leave your legs smoother. As you sleep, your legs swell slightly, which can make hair retreat back into its follicles.

3. Not using anything to lather up or using bar soap. No matter how in a hurry you may be, skip the temptation to shave “dry.” Lather up your legs with a moisturizing shaving cream to make sure the razor glides easily over your skin, and you’ll avoid nicks and cuts. In a pinch, hair conditioner will do just as good a job. But skip the bar soap: “It doesn’t create enough lubrication for a razor to slide easily against your skin, which can up the odds of cuts,” says dermatologist Ellen Gendler, M.D.

4. Using single-blade disposable razors. This is fine once in awhile, like if you forgot yours during a hotel stay, but for everyday use it’s best to invest in a four- or five-blade razor. They provide the smoothest results, letting you navigate tricky areas like your knees and ankles. “Single-blade disposables are more likely to drag against the skin,” says cosmetic dermatologist Neal Schultz, M.D.

5. Not replacing your razor blade often enough. You may have bought yourself a nice razor, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t change your blade at the first sign of dullness (usually, about five to 10 shaves!). Old blades are not only ineffective, but more likely to cause bumps and redness and trap bacteria, which can potentially cause infections.

Legging tips for all body types

Legging tips for tall women
Show off your long legs with a great pair of leggings under a tunic, skirt or dress. If you have a favorite dress that’s just a little too short to wear by itself, try pairing it with some leggings in a color that ties in with your dress. Even a summery dress can be worn into fall and winter if you layer it with a long cardigan and a scarf. A solid colored shirt dress paired with a patterned legging and tall boots is another stylish choice. If you’re going for a casual look, try a tunic that comes down to mid-thigh length with leggings and ballet flats.

Legging tips for petite women
Shorter women should try a pair of the latest jean leggings or “jeggings” with tall riding boots. Not only are jeggings easier to tuck into your boots than regular jeans, but they are unbelievably comfortable thanks to their stretchy fabric. Go for a dark shade that matches your boots. The monochromatic color scheme will help draw a longer visual line, giving you the appearance of more height. Low heels and flats look best with leggings, so save the platform wedges for another outfit.

Legging tips for curvy women
Women with hourglass figures look phenomenal in a belted tunic worn over a pair of leggings. Just make sure the tunic is long enough to cover your hips and rear, so you’re flaunting your assets and not your… well, you know what we mean. Monochromatic colors are always flattering, but if you’re a gal with a passion for print, go for a pattern either on top or bottom — never both.

Legging tips for pear-shaped women
If you have the classic pear-shaped body (small on top, bigger on bottom), your first inclination might be to avoid leggings altogether. Worn the right way, however, leggings can be a fashionable and flattering look. Think Kim Kardashian. Ankle-length leggings are a staple in Kim’s wardrobe, paired with a long tunic layered with a jacket or cardigan. Try a chunky ankle boot with a small heel to give your outfit a little extra sass.

revolutionary new nail polish

Primping before a blind date may be the norm, but thanks to this latest beauty invention, a fresh manicure could potentially save your life. Four college students—Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankesh Madan, and Tasso Von Windheim&mdashat N.C. State University have created a nail polish that changes color when exposed to date rape drugs.

If there seems to be a boom in assault-preventing technology of late, it’s perhaps only because reports of sexual assault are at an all-time high. A study published inThe Washington Post notes that instances of campus sex offenses have risen by as much as 50 percent in just the past three years. What’s worse: In spite of this, college administrations tend to have a history of doing little to nothing to support victims.

Though we’re not quite sure yet how the nail polish will work—will we have to stick our fingers in a drink to detect if the drugs are present? If we do consume a drug-laced drink, will the polish change color, and how soon after would it change?—we’re sure these questions and more are being addressed, since the product is still in the prototype stage while it awaits additional funding. And we’ll applaud any development that protects women from such unspeakable violence—especially when rape statistics continue to rise rapidly.