Highlight your strengths, hide your flaws!

MINAL KHONA on how to maximise your body’s best features and minimise its flaws

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perfect body

None of us have a perfect body. Even the waif thin supermodels may be too skinny for someone and a plump woman might be just perfect for someone else. And let’s face it, no matter how thin or fat, tall or short, none of us are really happy with our bodies the way they are. We all wish they were shaped differently or better. Well, what you can do is maximise your body’s best features and minimise its flaws by dressing right. That way, you look your best and feel good at all times…

Face

If you have a wide forehead, do not bring it into focus by wearing all your hair away from your face. Have a fringe or let a few strands of hair fall forward on your face. This will hide the forehead and give you a softer look. If you have a wide jaw line, wear your hair in a soft bob or in layers that frame your face and camouflage your jaw line.

Neck

If you have a long neck that you are conscious of, you can break the length by wearing your hair in a style that ends halfway down your neck. Something like what Meg Ryan has in You’ve got mail would be perfect. You can also wear chokers as neck pieces, scarves and long earrings to make your neck look shorter. Roll neck tops and blouses with collars work well too. Do not wear open neck and low neck blouses unless you have a scarf or a choker to minimise your neck’s length. The extra layer of a scarf also adds a bit of perfect body to your neck if you have a thin one. Chinese or Mandarin collars on jackets are also good for long necks. On the other hand, if you have a short and thick neck, avoid wearing collars. Wear open necklines and v-necks which add length to your neck and make it look slimmer. Wear fine jewellery such as long thin chains and long earrings. Avoid keeping your hair too closely cropped to your neck and wear your hair slightly longer.

Shoulders

Some of us have broad shoulders and some of us have narrow ones, regardless of how tall or short we may be. If you have broad shoulders you ought to wear jackets that are soft in their silhouettes rather than the sharply cut designs with shoulder pads that will make your shoulders look bulkier. If you have some sort of trimming or piping on your jackets, it makes the shoulders look narrower. Wear open necklines and halter necks when you are going out for the evening. If you have a long neck along with broad shoulders, wear chokers round your neck to detract from your shoulders. If your shoulders are narrow or sloping, avoid wearing spaghetti tops, skimpy blouses and body suits. Wear a jacket or a long sleeved shirt over a tank top if you must wear one. If you have the option, go for blouses or jackets with shoulder pads but make sure the jackets are not too structured. Shoulder pads – the very obvious ones are passé so go for a subtle one that adds just the right amount of bulk to your shoulders.

perfect body

Bustline

None of us I am sure are happy with the shape or size of our boobs. Too big or too small, we women find faults with our breasts more than any other part of our anatomy. Hips come close but nothing to beat our fault finding with our bustline. So if you have a small bustline, do not get conscious of the fact or worse, stoop to avoid drawing attention to it, or lack thereof. Wonderbra has truly worked wonders for all of us less endowed. Choose a good underwire bra that creates shape and lift and gives you a bit of cleavage as well. There are some fabulous bras in the market that come with padding to give you a bit of extra oomph. Do not choose sports bras unless you are into sports or go running. Wear loose tops and if possible, wear layers, a top and a jacket over it. Wear scarves draped over your torso to add another layer. But keep in mind the length of your neck before buying a scarf. Wear short sleeves instead of long ones, which will make your chest, look wider. Go for horizontal stripes and select fabrics, which have texture or surface treatment on them like embroidery etc. Choose blouses and jackets with pockets as they will add bulk too. While buying formals, choose satin and thick silk instead of sheer fabrics which will make you look thinner. If you are into exercise, work on your upper body to develop or accentuate the chest muscles which will also give you a fuller look.

On the other hand, having a fuller bust can often make you feel like a cow with udders. Unwanted attention to that part of your anatomy often leaves you feeling very self-conscious. You can camouflage a big bust line by wearing clothes that detract from your chest area. Open necklines, soft fabrics that gently follow the silhouette of your body, loose tops, none or minimal surface treatment, small or muted prints, plain fabrics in matte colours work best in minimising your bustline. It is important to have a good bra that that doesn’t hike up your breasts too high or lets them  sag too low. One which firmly supports your breasts is best. Avoid wearing tight waists, body hugging tops, belts and scarves and minimise layers whenever possible. Wear long sleeves or go sleeveless if you don’t have arms that sag.

This is a two-part article. The next part about arms, waist and legs will be covered in the next issue.

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