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Thursday, August 5, 2010

16 Tricks for Look-Younger Style

  • Work your wardrobe!
  • 1. Lose the pleats
  • Flat-front pants slim your tummy and lengthen your legs, so you seem taller and better proportioned, says Kristin Rawson, style director at Ann Taylor.
  • 2. Roll up your sleeves
  • To expose the thinnest part of your arm (from your elbow to your wrist) and give the illusion of a slender shape, push back the sleeves of sweaters and shirts or opt for three-quarter-length sleeves, says Kim Johnson Gross, style expert and author of What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life.
  • 3. Show some shoulder
  • This is one body part that's slow to age, so expose them by wearing a slender boatneck or wide, scooped neckline, suggests Gross. If your bust is large, opt for V-necks that show off your clavicle and decolletage to help you look less top heavy.
  • 4. Wear the right bra
  • The most common mistake: a too-loose bra band. "It allows the back of the bra to rise up, causing breasts to sag," says Susan Nethero, owner of the Intimacy lingerie boutiques nationwide. This "seesaw" effect also emphasizes unsightly back fat.
  • 5. Learn to love shapewear
  • To flatten your tummy, try a cami or high-waisted brief (make sure it goes up to your bra band), suggests Charla Krupp, style expert and author of How Not to Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again. To slim bulky thighs, go for bike shorts. The perfect garment is seamless and smooths you consistently without any gaps or ridges.

  • 6. Go long
  • Camouflage back fat by slipping on the latest sweater look: a long cardigan paired with a V-neck T-shirt or blouse, says Krupp. Opt for a ruffled edge, a boyfriend style, or a wispy, waterfall sweater that’s longer in front. Make sure it skims your mid-thigh and covers your bum but doesn’t overwhelm your frame. (If you’re tall, you can pull off a longer, more voluminous style.) Wear it open like a jacket, creating a chic, lean line with slim pants, a fitted sheath, or straight-leg jeans.

  • 7. Give your legs a lift
  • Cover up less-than-gorgeous gams by slathering on a tinted body moisturizer, suggests Scott Barnes, celebrity makeup artist and author of About Face. Self-tanner works, too, but you’ll get out the door faster with a glow-tinged bronzing moisturizer like L'OrĂ©al Paris Sublime Bronze One Day ($10.50; drugstores) or St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Glow Body Lotion ($18; One coat plays down spider veins, evens out discoloration, adds definition, and hydrates for supple, firmer-looking skin worthy of shorts or a skirt.

  • 8. Dress taller
  • To elongate the look of your leg, match the color of your shoes to your panty hose, skirt, or pants. The darker they are, the longer and slimmer your legs will appear. (Bonus: This trick also visually diminishes large feet and thick ankles.) Nude-colored shoes worn with nude hosiery (or bare legs) will also visually elongate your legs, says Gross. Shoes with a low vamp (the part of the shoe that covers the top of your foot), fitted knee-high boots, and pointy shoes will all elongate and slim the look of your ankles and legs. Chunky shoes and ankle straps make legs appear shorter.

  • 9. Distract by attracting
  • Strategically draw attention to an asset or away from a not-so-favorite asset, suggests Gross. “I often wear a bold necklace and patterned panty hose so the eye is drawn to my face and to my legs and away from my protruding middle.”

  • 10. Dress for your neck
  • “If you have an aging neck, hiding it in a turtleneck is not necessarily the best solution,” says Gross. “It’s not always practical, comfortable, or flattering, especially if you have a short neck, full face, or jowls, or if you suffer hot flashes.” A cowl neck or a colorful scarf looped around the neck is a softer alternative. Or wear a dazzling necklace (faux is fabulous), an upturned shirt collar in a flattering color, or short decorative earrings. Play up your hair and your eyewear. Each of these elements will beautifully frame your face rather than draw attention down to your neck.

  • 11. Stand straight
  • Do this quick shoulder roll, from pain specialist Esther Gokhale, when you feel yourself slumping: Stand tall and roll your shoulders slightly forward, then slightly up, then back in place. Proper posture can make you look 5 pounds slimmer, not to mention stave off back pain.

  • 12. Rethink your manicure
  • “Too-long nails are old ladyish,” says Krupp. Keep nails no longer than 1/4 inch beyond your fingertips and opt for light-colored polish, which elongates the look of your fingers.

  • 13. Take a break from black
  • It’s a go-to slimming shade, but black can be harsh on aging skin, says Krupp. To warm your complexion, pair the dark hue with a sweater, jacket, or scarf in a soft color like a pastel.
  • 14. Look hot in jeans
  • “Nothing is more aging than ‘mom’ jeans,” says Krupp. Update to a straight or bootleg style in a dark tone that optically trims thighs and legs. To avoid the dreaded muffin top, look for a waistband that dips just below the belly button.

  • 15. Manage your middle
  • When your stomach isn’t flat, tops look best worn untucked (wear hemmed styles for a neat look) and resting comfortably mid-tummy. Anything shorter will emphasize your midsection. Other tricks from Gross: Wear body shapers that minimize your middle, push-up padded bra to balance torso proportions, open necklines that show off your naturally thinner collarbone, tops that distract with shirring or ruffles that flourish above the stomach, and dresses with raised or empire waistlines—which emphasize the thin area just below your bust.
  • 16. Experiment with eyeglasses
  • When the time comes for reading glasses, buy a pair that makes you feel cool, suggests Gross. (Her first pair was like a piece of sculpture—deep red and shaped like a pagoda.) They don’t have to cost a mint; you can buy glasses in whimsical or edgy shapes and colors at bargain prices at the supermarket and drugstore.

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Work your wardrobe!

The right clothes can alter the shape of your body, draw attention away from trouble zones, and make you look younger all around. Here we reveal our favorite new tips that are affordable, realistic -- and truly flattering.

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