How to camouflage certain areas on your body? (And my answers may SHOCK you…)
Today, I am answering a question that I get over and over again…
“Kelly, what do I do if I have a trouble spot that I want to camouflage? How do I camouflage certain areas on my body?”
What Drives You Crazy?
Let me ask you, do you have any certain areas of your body that you just kinda’ wish you could cover up? Does your tummy stick out further than your breasts? Have your “arm muscles” dropped down to the bottom of your arms? Do you have “cottage cheese” thighs that keep you from wearing shorts?
Listen, I am just like the rest of you. Sometimes I see pictures of myself and I am cringing on the inside. I’ve got the jiggly arms, the cellulite, the tummy…and I don’t even like my knees. So that’s my list, and I’ll bet it’s different than your list because we each have things that drive us crazy about our own bodies.
We Are Our Own Worst Critic
I would be willing to bet that if you look ed at the same picture where I see all of my trouble spots, you wouldn’t see the things that bother me. You might think, “Well I don’t see any jiggly arms. I think her waistline looks great! And what cellulite?”
That’s because we are our own worst critic.
We tend to focus and hone in on the things we think are wrong with ourselves. And the fact is, we compare ourselves to what we think other women look like. If you are getting your ideas of what your tummy or arms or thighs should look like from fashion magazines, online images of models, or professionally photographed “regular” women, then you aren’t seeing reality. You are seeing Photoshop and retouching.
Camouflage Doesn’t Equal Hiding
When we talk about this subject, we first have to differentiate between camouflage and flat-out hiding.
Let me start by asking you a question: have you resorted to wearing items of clothing that are bigger than you need for the sole purpose of hiding the spot you hate?
Inside the Adore Your Wardrobe course, I cover a concept called visual weight. On a greatly simplified level, visual weight is the concept that the eye fills in any empty space. So if you are wearing a huge, oversized tunic in order to hide your belly, the fact is that when anyone looks at you, their eyes automatically fill in all that empty space in the tunic. And what do they fill it in with?
More of you.
That’s right. Wearing something that’s too large for you actually makes you look bigger all over instead of just hiding the spot you want to cover. So you not only cover the spots you hate, you cover it all. Even the good stuff. That maxi-skirt you wear to cover your thighs makes your entire bottom half look way bigger than it really is!
So if we aren’t going to wear a top that’s 2 sizes too large in order to cover our tummy, what can we do to detract from that tummy area, or any area, if we aren’t happy with it?
The first thing you can do to help yourself, without making your whole body look bigger than it is, is to try some shapewear. Okay, I hear you…”But Kelly, I HAAAAATE shapewear!!!!!!” *insert gagging noises*
If you feel like a sausage stuffed into its casings when you try to get your body into a piece of shapewear, you are wearing the wrong shapewear. You are most likely thinking of Spanx. Listen to me, Spanx serves a purpose. It’s what you want to wear under that little black dress for your 20th high school reunion. It’s what you wear under that smoking hot dress for your friend’s wedding reception. But it is not, I repeat, NOT, for everyday wear.
What you want is lightweight shapewear that smooths out the rolling hills that you hate. It will not make the hills flatten out, but it will smooth them. It will also help your tops fit better; instead of grabbing onto your body, the right shapewear will allow your tops to skim your body the way they should.
Another helper, especially for the jiggly upper arm area, is a lightweight shrug. These add no weight or warmth, and the length of the sleeve hits right below the part of your arm you want to hide. Remember though, the shrug should fit you. If it’s huge and flowy, your arms will look bigger.
And the last helper I have to mention before we move on is a good bra that actually fits. When the girls are front and center like they should be, you lose a ton of visual weight. So if you haven’t had a bra fitting in the past months, make it a priority to get one as soon as possible.
Accentuate the Good
As much as I know you could give me a list right now about the parts of your body you hate, you also have a list of things that you love. Things that no matter what else is going on, you look at that and say, “Okay, that is awesome.” It could be your legs, your neck, your waist, your hair, whatever. Everybody has things about their body that they love.
Just because you have a couple of areas that you don’t like doesn’t mean your whole body should be covered in a shroud.
If you’ve got smoking hot legs, then girlfriend, you should be wearing skirts, shorts, skorts, and jeans that show off those legs! Are your shoulders super sexy? Buy some tops that show those babies off! When you accentuate the things that are great and that you love, that’s where other people’s eyes are naturally going to go.
And it’s not all about clothing either. Do you have great hair? Then spend the money and take the time to accentuate it. Maybe you love to shop for accessories; use those accessories to draw the eye away from your trouble spot and to the accessories. When is the last time you did a make-up tutorial? Learn how to put on make-up to look your best.
If you don’t want people looking at the spot you hate, then give them something else to look at!
Smoke and Mirrors
Even if you do all the things I have talked about today, guess what? Your trouble spots aren’t going to go away. They just aren’t. And even if one of them did go away, you would still have things you don’t like about your body. So what we are talking about here is called illusion.
Here’s where that comes into play. If you give the eye multiple things to look at besides your trouble spot, then the eye is never going to fall on that spot. Let’s talk about some examples of using smoke and mirrors to achieve the effects you want.
I am a straight body type; no hips or butt to speak of, no waist, no hourglass figure. It’s kinda’ just straight down. Unless I do some kind of plastic surgery, I can’t change my body shape, but I can use smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of a different shape.
- I use accessories to get the eye to go anywhere and everywhere else besides that area.
- Patterns in my clothing that sort of V-in and V-out, to create the illusion of a waist.
- Accessories that draw the eye to my face.
- Pants that elongate my legs.
The trick is to choose items that draw the eye somewhere else.
If you hate your upper arms, don’t wear tops with big sleeves that draw attention to that area. Despise your tummy area? Don’t wear tops with details that draw attention to that area. The more you try to cover up your trouble spots, the more the eye is going to be drawn to that area.
What you want to focus on is having someone notice a beautiful outfit that fits well and then the eye goes right back to the face. It just naturally does! So figure out how to showcase your assets and you won’t be wasting time trying to camouflage the areas you don’t like.
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