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When you're short and somewhat heavy, it can be discouraging.when flipping through magazines and browsing through your favorite department store, especially when you find that most of the latest fashions are for taller, slimmer figures. However, there are tips and tricks to dressing your body and making the most of what you have.

Vertical Stripes

Clothing with vertical stripes, such as pants, shirts and jackets, will slim you and make you look longer, leaner and ultimately taller and slimmer.

On the flip side, horizontal stripes, which are stripes that run from side to side, create the illusion of width instead of length, which can make you look heavier and shorter instead of taller and slimmer.

Light vs. Dark

Decide whether you're an apple or a pear. An apple-shaped woman is one who carries most of her weight on top, while a pear-shaped woman is one who carries most of her weight on the bottom.

Universally, dark colors are more slimming and usually flattering to almost all body types. However, if you want to wear light colors because you crave some variation, wear them strategically. If you're a pear-shape, you could wear dark colors on the bottom, and light colors on top to create the illusion of a smaller bottom and larger top. If you're an apple-shape, you could wear the opposite, which is light colors on bottom and dark colors on top to create the illusion of a more in-proportion shape.

Avoid Pleated Pants

Pleats may seem like an interested detail to jazz up what may be considered plain, run-of-the-mill pants, but pleats are also notorious for adding extra puffiness to the front, which basically is extra bulk around the lower tummy area that you don't need.

A-Line Dresses and Skirts

Dresses and skirts cut at an A-line are universally flattered for most women. An A-line fits snugly at the smallest part of the waistline and flares out to create an hour-glass figure. Because they skim the hips, they simultaneously camouflage larger hips and thighs for pear-shaped women, but also disguise the fact that the hips and thighs may be smaller in proportion to an apple-shaped woman's top. If you're a pear-shape, look for A-lines that are simple with no frills. If you're an apple-shape, look for A-lines that have details along the sides of the skirt, such as ruffles or pockets to create the illusion of more proportion.

V-Neck Tops

Tops or dresses with a V-Neck neckline are great for elongating the torso and opening up the neckline, which is more flattering than closing it completely. V-necks are also great for flattering and sometimes even minimizing a large bust.

About the Author

Tobias Starr

Tobias Starr has been writing professionally since 2010. Her specialties include fashion/beauty articles, literary analysis pieces and the occasional commentary on cultural issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in speech communication and a Master of Arts in secondary education, both from Morehead State University.