Civility: Slimming tips for plus-size women

Part 1

The average size of the American woman is a size l4 and 145 pounds. All women can celebrate their beauty and uniqueness by emphasizing, not hiding, their positive shapely features.

As I have said before, there is nothing wrong with your body, but there may be something wrong with your particular clothing choices. Education is the secret to personal knowledge. For three years, I wrote for the Weight Watchers newspaper for Southern California, and did my "Makeover Magic" for those who had lost the most weight.

Many were continuing with their weight loss, but wanted to know how to wear the correct clothes and makeup to help encourage them on their continuing journey. The information included, for example: If you are full through the waist, bust and hips, then you can redirect the emphasis to your slim neck, face, arms and legs. In their style analysis, there was much more to learn:

•Nude-colored wedge heels, pumps, or high-heel sandals elongate the legs and body.

•To draw attention to the face, wear earrings, color-keyed makeup, and longer necklaces.

•It is not necessary to wear baggy clothes; semi-fitted over the heavier area is more flattering.

•Wearing your correct colors and styles slim and beautify. Personal clothing colors and color-keyed makeup direct the attention upward to the eyes. Wearing no makeup creates attention on the body, whereas it should be on the face, and eyes — the center of communication. Any of the tips that I will share can be used by plus-size women, or by any woman who wants to look slimmer:

Pants: Wear slim-cut, vertical stripes, culottes, gauchos, boot leg, or capri-length pants with no cuffs. Palazzo pants slim the hips when worn with heels; capri pants lengthen the legs; and cigarette pants hide tummy bulge. Flat-front pants, smaller prints, Spandex, no pleats, and dark-colored pants are flattering as are wide-leg pants that fall gently from the waist and elongate the legs and body. Denim jeans with spandex and wedge heels or pumps are slimming.

Dresses: Jersey stretch knits that move with body curves and hold the shape of the body are flattering. On a sheath, boat-neck collars are those that are straight across shoulder to shoulder. This line broadens shoulders, minimizes waist and hips. For a full bust, wear an empire waist dress or blouse. Empire waistlines, A-lines, wrap styles, ties under the bust, and deeper necklines are slimming. For longer arms, wear three-quarter sleeves; for heavier arms, wear 3" past the elbow. For a romantic look, wear lace over the bust. With heavier hips and smaller waist, emphasize the small waist. Wide or narrow elastic self-belt the color of the dress will work well with a smaller waist.

The slimming tips will continue next week.

DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, is an image/etiquette & civility specialist. Reach her at (626) 685-9761,, or e-mail

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