We know, we know: A healthy diet and a dedicated fitness routine are the keys to the hot body kingdom (sigh), but there are times when we’re all a little less diligent than we should be. Whether we’re too busy to count calories and hit the gym, or we’re just enjoying indulging for a change, we’ve definitely all slacked when it comes to keeping our bodies in tip-top shape.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to—for lack of a better word—fake a hot body using a few clever tips, tricks, and hacks.
Invest in ShapewearBy now you’re probably tired of hearing about Spanx and the other gazillion types of stretchy devices that promise to shave off of pounds, but here’s the thing: They really work. At its core, the right piece of shapewear works as a means to help distribute bulges while smoothing you out and holding you in.
To look thinner, it pays to choose a seamless pair of slenderizing briefs, boy shorts, camis or full-body pieces that have reinforced panels to suck in your stomach, slim your thighs, boost your derriere, and define your waist when wearing bodycon dresses, clingy skirts, tight pants or evening gowns.
The right shapewear makes a big difference. Photos: Getty Images
Buy a New BraDid you know that over 80 percent of women wear bras that are the wrong size? It’s true, and it can make your look larger due to the appearance of sagging breasts. When there’s proper space between your waist and chest, you appear leaner. The solution? Head to your nearest lingerie store to get measured by a pro, or learn to measure your own bra size at home.
Skip the weightliftingOnly have a few days to slim down before a big event? Weightlifting can cause your body to swell thanks to a temporary buildup of lactic acid, so skip the iron-pumping and stick to lengthening exercises like pilates and yoga.
Consider a digestive enzymeDigestive enzymes help the chemical breakdown of food into smaller, absorbable components, which can target bloating, gas, and other digestive scourges.
Become BFFs with your tailorA tailor is arguably your most important asset when it comes to dressing thinner. A good tailor can alter anything you own to custom fit your body because, let’s face it, we weren’t all built like Gisele Bundchen. And if we haven’t made it clear enough already, the right fit is everything. From shortening sleeves, nipping waists, hiking up hems, and even changing the fit of a winter coat, a tailor can work wonders on your wardrobe.
That said, even a tailor can’t make certain pieces flattering, so stay far away from things humorously associated with tourists if a hot body is what you’re after: capri pants, pleated khakis, long baggy shorts or shapeless calf-length skirts.
Get a new haircutHere’s the thing—when your face looks thinner, so does does your whole stature. Not to mention, your face is the first thing people see, so the right haircut can do wonders when it comes to slimming. For example, no matter how thin you are, if you have a round baby face, you’ll want to stay far away from cuts that are fuller around your face. Check out our sister site Daily Makeover for 10 haircuts that can make you look 10 pounds thinner.
Long layers flatter every face shape (Imaxtree)
Use your tongueThis is one of best tricks out there for looking leaner in photos—and the weirdest. It might feel strange, but by pressing your tongue on the roof of your mouth while smiling is an effective way to help avoid the dreaded double chin, as it elongates your neck and your jawline. We’ve tried it, and it works! It also works for Heidi Klum and Renee Zellweger, who are fans of this trick.
Practice your postureYou’ve heard it so many times that it’s become a cliché, but good posture really makes a difference. Not only will it elongate you and gives you an aura of strength and confidence, but constantly collapsing forward or hunching compresses your lungs, reducing their capacity by 30 percent or more. Your organs can’t function properly, and neither can your muscles, joints, or connective tissue.
Sleep in a cold roomWho knew sleeping in a cool bedroom may to increase your percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle, helping to burn other fat and increasing metabolic rate — according to a 2014 study conducted by tthe National Institutes of Health. Read all about it here!
Choose heels with a low-cut vampHere’s small trick that can change the way you shoe shop: Footwear that features a low-cut vamp instantly elongates and slenderizes your leg when you’re wearing skirts, shorts, dresses, and even cropped pants.
What’s a vamp? It’s the portion of a shoe that cuts across your foot at the front. So, a low vamp cuts across the base of the toes, while high vamp can come up the foot and possibly up to the ankle. If you’re able to find a pair that matches your skin tone, all the better to give the illusion of slim legs. Speaking of shoes, a heel—think two and a half inches and above—lifts the body and makes clothes fall better, which gives a slimmer appearance.Look for pumps with slightly pointed toes and thin heels, as opposed to square-toes, super-chunky styles or thick ankle straps, all of which can give the appearance of a shorter, stockier leg.
Even better, choose a heel close to your skin tone, which will make your legs looks longer and leaner.
Nude heels with a low-cut vamp.
Photo: Dust Jacket
Say yes to dark jeans with a higher riseHigh-waist bottoms get a bad rap, probably thanks to an unfortunate Jessica Simpson mishap, but when worn correctly, they can trick the eye into thinking you’re leaner by elongating your lower body.The most slenderizing item to choose are slightly high-rise slim-fitting jeans that hit your ankle with a bit of added spandex for stretch and movement. (One of the most slenderizing styles we’ve found is the High-Rise Twig by BDG, which is sold at Urban Outfitters and is highly affordable.)
Be sure to make the elevated waist visible by tucking in a tailored blouse, tee, or opting for a slightly cropped top. Don’t choose garments with a super high-waist that button up or have an elastic waistband. Instead, go for a rise that hits directly above your belly button and has a zipper fly
Cinch with skinny beltsTo automatically look thinner, cinch dresses and tunics with skinny belts—they help define your natural waist in the most flattering way possible. A thick belt, however, can cut you in half, which can cause you to look stumpy. A common trick curvy girls use in the winter that we love is to cinch a boxy coat with a skinny belt in a fun print, like leopard.
Wear all blackUsing one color to enhance a slender illusion is the oldest trick in the book, and for a good reason: It helps create a long vertical line. While wearing head-to-toe black is the most effective—and eternally chicest—option, other darker hues work well too, such as navy, oxblood, and green. The trick to monochrome dressing: Keep each silhouette crisp and tailored, and stay away from pale shades like beige.
All black is a surefire way to look leaner.
Photo: Harper & Harley
Walk it out.If you’re feeling particularly full or bloated, take a brisk five-to-ten-minute walk. Physical activity helps air bubbles pass through your digestive tract quicker.
Skip the chokersSupertight necklaces can give the appearance of a stockier neck, as opposed to an elegant, elongated one. Instead, choose V-neck tops and add a long pendants instead.
Get a spray tanWe’re not talking about Snooki levels of orange, but a subtle glow makes a world of difference when it come to faking a better body. If you’re showing skin, a light spray tan can make your legs, arms, shoulders, and neck look slimmer.
ContourYou might it’s a totally ’80s practice, but subtly contouring your face can make a world of difference. When you contour your makeup, you’re essentially doing some real life Photoshop on your face. Your cheekbones pop, your face glows, and in general, your bone structure immediately looks chiseled. Head over to our sister site Beauty High for a complete how-to guide now.
Photo: Beauty High
Mask Problem Areas with Dark Colors, and Highlight Assets With Bright ColorsIf you don’t want to wear all black, just try masking your problem areas with the shade. Not thrilled with your legs but love your upper body? Mask ‘em with a well-fitting pair of black pants or a skirt, and add a bright-colored blouse.
To hide larger arms, midsections, or hips, choose a tailored black blazer, a black silky button-down, or a well-fitting black flat-sweater and show off your great legs with a pair of printed pants, colored jeans, or a bold skirt.
Drink water. All day. One of the surest ways to banish bloat, try to sip around 100 ounces of water a day. If you really want to banish bloat, start every day with a glass of lukewarm water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. This eye-opener not only gets your organs going, but fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper both have major anti-fungal, immune boosting, and detoxification properties. Plus, lemon juice is nature’s best tool for aiding in digestion and regularity, destroying bacteria and cleansing the system.
Look for illusion dressesA dress that gives you a slimmer figure? This is no fashion myth, but rather a stylish reality that’s on trend and flatters everyone. “The most fashionable way to create a smaller waist is to wear clothing that has black or navy panel sides,” explains model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “It will create a beautiful illusion for your waist.”
Dresses with slimming side panels trick the eye. Photo: Getty