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How To Look Slimmer Over The Festive Period Without Trying Too Hard

Shall we step away from cyber world madness for a while. My inbox is pingaling pinging every few seconds and there's dozens of browsers opened on the laptop. I'm trying to hide all digital evidence from the kids and I can't remember what I've ordered and what I haven't. It's full on click frenzy mayhem. And I am exhausted.

Deep breaths into a brown paper bag Donna, deep breaths.

So let's talk about me and you instead. I'm a firm believer that over the festive period, we should be able to eat and drink what we want, when we want without worrying how we look. Trouble is, these days Christmas starts in September and of course we're still eating Panatone and mince pies well in to February. Let's just gloss over that point.

How then, do we still look good while piling on a pound or two? Well, here's a few tips.

(Apologies for the amount of photos of this old woman but they illustrate a point!)

1. Wear A Column Of Colour 

You know by now that I'm a huge advocate for wearing the same colour top to toe. Thing is, people mistakenly think that I'm slim-slim. Yes, I have thin legs but my top half is a good size larger (I'm not proud of this, we won't go in to detail) so I have to watch what I wear. A column of colour not only helps balance this imperfection but it also elongates the frame giving a leaner silhouette. 

I wear a column of colour casually

Off Duty Jumper - Boden (similar hereand here)
Navy Pull On Coated Leggings - Next
Tan Boots - Boden (similar)
Twiggy Bag - Modalu

When I'm dressing up

Top - Ichi (similar)
Black Pull On Coated Leggings - Next
Shoes - ASOS (similar here)
Tassels Metal Trim Clutch in Bronze - Mimi & Thomas

Christmas sparkle-wear

Lift & Shape Slim Leg Jeans - M&Co
Bag - Next (old)
Cold Shoulder Shimmer Jumper - M&Co
Shoes - Next (similar)

Even when wearing a skirt

Ruched Skirt - Kettlewell Colours
Cara V-Neck T-shirt - Kettlewell Colours
Bag - See By Chle (old)
Sandals - Top Shop (black version here)

It just works! Pick your fail safe trousers/jeans and add a top of a similar tone. It doesn't have to be exactly the same shade; charcoal and black, navy and black, navy and charcoal. They all work just fine. And of course deeper colours are always more slimming than lighter ones but don't discount them. A column of winter white can look utterly divine. 

You can even add a jacket or coat in a different shade as long as you've got the column of colour going on underneath, you will look slimmer

Here I have a charcoal top and black bottoms (the shades are near enough to work) and I've added this lovely rich burgundy. 

Merino Wool Wrap Coat - Winser LondonBlack Pull On Coated Leggings - Next
Grey Frill Jumper - Next (similar)
Trainers - Adidas Gazelles 

Remember: an uninterrupted vertical line draws the eye up and down making you appear taller and leaner

2. Wear The Right Shoes

Shoes? How can shoes make you look slimmer? Oh they do my friends, they do. Firstly, expanding on the theme above, wearing tonal shoes will extend that vertical line. 

Here I'm wearing boots so there is no interruption of flesh at all from top to toe. Wearing a contrasting shoe would interrupt the vertical line.

Cashmere Blend Chunky Coat - Winser London
Top - Ichi (similar)
Coated Leggings - Next
Boots - Marks & Spencer (similar)
Bag - Mimi & Thomas
Even if you can't bear to do a heel, that all black combo will still have the same effect on your frame. 

And speaking of heels, of course they're going to make you look longer. Not one to be prescriptive but I feel I need to point out that beauty is pain and all that. Feel free to take this piece of advice as you see fit. Need I mention that a heel also changes our posture. We automatically draw up the torso and push our shoulders back. Go on, tell me you're tempted to dust off those stilettos.

3. Raid The Jewellery Box

Now you're thinking I've totally lost the plot....or I've been on the vino again. Well neither actually. Let's take necklaces first of all. A long necklace adds length and takes the attention away from the hips. It's working the old verticals again. Scroll back and have a look at the photos above for examples. 

Stacks of bangles, interesting bracelets and watches draw the eye to the wrists ie. away from the upper arms, belly and hips. Who would have thought a humble bracelet could have so much power? Of course we all have amazing wrists so we should hilight this virtue yes?

Mine look very wrinkly. At least I have something in common with Madonna other than the name.

Bob over to ASOS here for some really lovely affordable pieces to get you started. Use code GOGOGO for 20% off and free p&p (arghhhhhhhhh this is supposed to be a Black Friday free post).

4. Don't Go Overboard On The Layering

I know, I know it's been baltic this week (try living in this house. No, our central heating still isn't fixed) but over-layering adds bulk. Vest, long-sleeve t-shirt, shirt and jumper all add bulk. 

Here's a little physics experiment for you. Lay each piece on the bed, one on top of the other, grab them at the waist and scrunch them up in the middle. That huge amount of material in your hands is how much bulk will be added to your frame. Scary huh? Better to be cold, slim and miserable then? Errrrr no, my bones are too old to suffer in the name of fashion (unless we're talking shoes). All I'm saying is don't go over board and choose natural fibres where you can, cashmere and Merino wool are far more heat efficient than acrylic. 

5. Get That Fake Tan Out

Brown arms and legs look slimmer than white pasty ones, fact. Give yourself a once over with a tanning mitt and when completely dry, go back over your flabby bits with an extra layer to deepen the colour. It's a bit like contouring your face. This is great for an instant tan (3 shades, I wear medium).

6. Wear Your Hair Up

Or at least away from your face. Your face will look instantly thinner. My goodness, we might even discover our long lost cheek bones.

So my top tips for disguising the extra pounds this Christmas. There'll be no dieting in this house. In fact the only sweat I'll break is curling my hair. Jeez-Louise I feel as if I've done a full bicep workout when I've finished. No one said looking good is easy!

Hope you've got lots of lovely things planned this weekend. We have a football match tomorrow (please let us win) and then I'm meeting up with my blogging pal, Helen from The Flaky Fashionista for a long overdue catch up. 

6 comments on "How To Look Slimmer Over The Festive Period Without Trying Too Hard"
  1. Will definitely be following this advice as my pot belly is now mega sized even before Christmas! I am admiring your Modalu bag in the first picture because of the dark brown shade and the lovely texture of the leather. It may have to go on my wish list. Is yours the Walnut shade Donna, if you don't mind me asking?

    1. Hi Elaine, hope you are well. I know what you mean about the belly, I've given up! I think I linked to the wrong bag above but I've changed it now. It's the Twiggy in Oyster Croc which is kind of a gorgeous rich chestnut colour. I've been after a Twiggy for ages so delighted when I got it for my birthday x

  2. Thank you Donna. The bag has a lovely classic texture and a rich colour as you say, combined with a modern shape. It's really calling my name and definitely on my wish list. I have been dropping hints for presents! Hope you're having a good weekend. Xx

    1. It is isn't it. I really like Modalu, they're well made and very reasonably priced. Fingers crossed you get one for Christmas x

  3. Hi Donna, I love your blog! It's so useful and you do make me laugh ;-) I wish I had your slim legs, I've got short 'strong' thighs and calves and a long body - lucky me! What would you suggest to make the best of my curvy petite proportions? Quite a challenge and I'm just under 5 foot tall...

    1. Hi Shazzy thanks for your comment. You wouldn't say that if you had to go long boot shopping - nightmare, absolute nightmare. They all look like flappy wellies on me!!!! We're never happy are we? First of all, you would benefit from doing the column of colour thing that I suggest above (you can add colour by way of a jacket/coat/cardi). And pay particular attention to your footwear (see number 2), this will give you vital inches. You'll probably benefit from an 'artificial' waist which you can create above your normal waist line. Have you tried an empire line for example? This will trick the eye into thinking your waist is higher than it really is but still give you some definition. Make sure you always buy from the petite section because they're built for your proportions. Shaped jackets will nip in slightly above your natural waist which is good. But it's going to be the column of colour that will be your best friend. Email me if you need anymore advice. Donna xx