Picture: Fumie Sasabuchi

1. Results of recent research from the UK’s York University show that horizontal stripes can give the illusion of being more slimming than vertical ones. However, wearing a single or multiple vertical stripes will lengthen your silhouette and diagonal stripes can make you look leaner.

2. Layering your outfit is more slimming than a single piece providing you don’t wear bulky or too tight fabrics. Good quality fabrics that hang rather than cling to every lump and bump are more flattering. Interestingly, loose floppy outfits, rather than hide your excesses can actually make you look larger than you are.

3. V-necks, square-necks or deep round-necks will lengthen your torso by showing off your décolletage. It will make you look less bulky than a high round neck or turtle neck, especially if you need to minimize your big-size

4. Hemline lengths are all important. The most slimming length for short and medium-height women is just on, or just above the knee. Taller women can wear longer hemlines well.

5. Tapered trousers (peg-style pants) are the scourge of women’s fashion. Very few women can carry them off with aplomb. Tapered trousers have the ability to make your hips look bigger and your legs look shorter. A traditional boot-cut is far more slimming and leg-lengthening.

6. When it comes to fashion accessories, wide corset-style belts can give the illusion of a waist, and therefore a more slimming hour-glass figure. Even if you are bulky round the middle, a cinch-waisted belt will actually give shape and form to a silhouette. Long necklaces will serve to elongate your body, in contrast to a piece worn at the neckline.

7. High heels elongate the leg and make ankles and feet look thinner. They can turn around an outfit in a moment, from frumpy to stylish. If you want to appear taller then wear hosiery that matches your dress or skirt, so the line of your outfit continues down to your shoes.