What to wear to flatter your figure

More stories from Chanel Connor


(Chanel Connor/ Amherst Wire)

With dining halls open until late at night, unlimited meal plans, Grab N’ Go, cafés and vending machines in almost every building and Baby Berk trucks open frequently, it’s pretty easy to gain weight during your years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

If you’ve found yourself enjoying the Roots Cafe quesadillas and dining commons desserts a little too much, here are some fashion tips and ways to dress that will flatter your shape. 

Wear heels
Not only do they look adorable, but heels boost your height and make your legs look longer. They’re perfect for a feminine, polished and professional look. Of course, it’s quite difficult to walk around our huge campus in stilettos. More viable options include wedges, platform heel boots or kitten heels. Be careful and don’t feel bad if you end up tripping a few times. It happens to the best of us. A few spills will be worth it, hopefully, when you get complimented on your amazing outfit.

Wear dresses
A nice dress is a fashionable way to look slimmer and flatter your figure. Wrap dresses, for example, are great for highlighting the smallest part of your shape. Empire waists draw attention to the slimmest part of your torso, right below your bust. Black dresses are an excellent option as well, concealing any unwanted creases. While campus still lingers in cool weather, pair your dress with leggings or jeans as a nice way to mix things up and stay warm.

Wear shapewear
Shapewear is perfect for smoothing out your shape and masking any lumps. Body shapers can be lifesavers, especially if you get a little “food baby” after eating. Drinking plenty of water and standing up straight will reduce the appearance of bloating like a body shaper does. Slouching curves the spine forward and creates unwanted belly rolls, along with making you look shorter. Stand tall and confident.

Wear blazers
Hide your love handles and stay warm by adding a cute blazer to an old sleeveless shirt. Blazers can be worn with pants, dresses or skirts and are a great way to streamline your back and sides. Blazers add a look of sophistication and elegance. They are a must-have in your wardrobe because they create a business casual look that’s ideal for job interviews.

Wear clothes that fit
Clothes that are too small can squeeze and push your body in the wrong way, not to mention how uncomfortable they can be. Clothes that are too big appear baggy and can make you look larger than you are. No matter how cute a shirt or pair of pants is, you won’t enjoy them, nor will you look your best if the fit is inappropriate. Opt for comfortable clothes tailored to your size. Fit is the most important aspect of style. Don’t settle for ill-fitting clothes. When in doubt, if there’s a clothing item you really want, buy it in the size up. You can always take it to the tailor or your local dry cleaner. Plus, it will probably shrink in the washing machine.

Dress the way you want to be addressed
At the end of the day, your body is your body and you should wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. If you like to dress up, do it. If you like hanging out in sweatpants, then do that. Keep in mind however, especially for formal occasions, attire is one of the first things people notice about you. How you present yourself can sometimes unfairly impact how people treat you. Make sure your clothes are appropriate for the occasion and your personality. Do your clothes convey an image of you that you want the world to have?

Where can I shop?
The Hampshire Mall is the perfect nearby place to find many of these items, and at decent prices. Check out Target, American Eagle, Touch of Class, Payless and JCPenneyMarshalls in Hadley as well as The Holyoke Mall are the perfect spots to shop for all of your style needs. If you’re more of an online shopper, check out their websites.

Treat yourself, but be selective. Your hard-earned money should not be spent on the first dress you see just because you need a new dress.  Make sure it fits you right and that you really like it. Have fun trying on different clothing styles and spend wisely.

Email Chanel at [email protected].

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