Monday, September 15, 2014

Fashion Strategies: Dressing to Look Thinner

"Do I look fat in this dress?" How many women have not asked that question of their spouses, boyfriends, or friends on several occasions? Very few women and men are fortunate enough to have a perfect body shape. Some are heavier than they would like to be. Looking thinner is a goal for many women and men. This blog post addresses how to dress to look thinner. 

It’s imperative that women and men who want to look thinner know how to choose a wardrobe that will help them achieve that result. It’s also important that they know how to wear the chosen outfit correctly. Selecting the right wardrobe can create an illusion that will appear to reshape a person’s body in a more flattering manner.

 Assessing Body Shape or Type 

Men and women should analyze their body shape. To do this effectively, they should stand undressed in front of a mirror. In assessing the body shape, there are certain features that should be noted. They should take note of the proportion between the top part of their body and the bottom part of their body. They must observe their bone structure, the width and size of their shoulders, chest, waist, and hips, and the length of their neck. In order to create the illusion of being thinner, people must choose wardrobes that draw attention away from the less flattering part of the body and accentuate the more flattering part of the body.

For Those Who are Heavier on the Top

People with a heavier body type should wear loose fitting tops that gradually taper in hugging the waist and hips. Lighter and thinner fabrics, such as cotton or jersey, are good to wear as they are less apt to add bulk than heavier fabrics would do.  One color choice for the entire outfit will also help to create the illusion of being taller and leaner. They should avoid jackets with shoulder pads. Pleated skirts ( as long as they are in fashion ) are a good choice because they tend to draw the eye away from the heavier top part of the body down to the more flattering lower half.

For Those Who are Heavier on the Bottom

People who are heavier in the bottom half of the body could opt for shirts, blouses, or jackets with a bit of shoulder padding. Such a strategy helps to balance the frame of the body. They should choose vertical lines and patterns when opting for an outfit.  People with such a body shape, should wear printed fabrics on the top half of the body. They should opt for longer jackets and tops that completely go below the hips. Such a strategy creates a longer line and serves to hide a heavier bottom. They should choose suits, jackets or shirtwaist dresses that are classically straight in design.  Such choices would better flatter the shape of people who are bottom-heavy.

Flattering Fashions for Those Who are Less Curvy

All women would love to have curvy figures but, unfortunately, not all women have vivacious curves. We can't all be Sofia Vergara, can we? Ladies lacking curvaceous figures can add breadth and give the appearance of having curves by choosing clothes with prints, patterns, or flowers. 

For Those with Hour-Glass Figures

Some women have hour-glass body shapes. Such women can wear clothes that drape and are looser fitting. Such women can accentuate their slim waist by wearing a beautiful belt.

Slimming Fashions for All Body Types

Petite women are those shorter than five foot four inches. Shorter women should opt for dresses that hit just above or at the knee. A-line dresses, dresses with empire waistlines, and straight-legged pants also help to create a longer and leaner appearance. Men and women should avoid wearing pants with pleats. Such pants serve only to add bulk or girth to the middle of the body. 

People should avoid turtleneck tops. Turtlenecks make the face look wider. V-necks, jewelry and scarves, however, flatter and draw attention to the face.

In conclusion, despite one’s body size or shape, a slimming effect is better created with monochromatic coordination of outfits and color schemes. No matter what type of outfit people choose in an attempt to create a longer and leaner illusion, the choice will be ineffective if they have poor posture. Men and women should remember to stand tall, square the shoulders, and hold the head upright to help elongate the neck.

Picture credit:  Marek Bernat

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fighting the Good Fight: Fast Food Workers on Strike

            “No soup for you!” This line made famous in an episode of Seinfeld could now state, in 150 major cities across the nation, “No hamburger for you!”

            Fed up with being unable to earn a living wage, fast food workers across the nation have taken to the streets in a display of civil disobedience to draw attention to their plight. A few demonstrators have been arrested for sitting down in the streets and blocking traffic.

Some fast food workers earn near the minimum wage with a salary of $7.25 an hour or approximately $15,000 a year. This does not translate to a decent living wage for most. The disparity in salaries between the CEO’s of such fast food chains and the workers who man the counters serving food to the masses is startling. CEO’s of such companies earn 700 times the salary of the employees staffing the counters to serve people their burgers. CEO’s of the fast food chains on one day of business earn more than most of the employees in the restaurants earn in a year. 

New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman issued a statement in support of the workers. "Nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty, and this starts with raising the minimum wage. I applaud the fast food workers across New York State who are standing up for their rights and fighting for a living wage."

The strike comes just days after President Obama’s Milwaukee Labor Day speech in support of the Fight for $15 movement. "All across the country right now, there's a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to life wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity," Obama said.

The public may be temporarily inconvenienced with the inability to get their Big Mac or their Popeye’s chicken, but it is a small sacrifice to make to be supportive of the fast food workers who seem to be fighting the good fight.

Photo credit: John Taggart