Friday, February 08, 2013

How Do I Get Rid of Bulges in Clothing

Weight Loss Coaching moment: Always good for the heart.

Client question asked by one of my fitness/weight loss clients: Why don't you ever have any bumps and bulges under your clothing?

Feeling like an Amazon woman: I'm 5'6
scrunching down a little for the photographer.
Without her up-do and heels, this dear lady is about 4'6
Stunned, I didn't think anyone but me noticed something like that. I'm always analyzing how I look. I think most women are self-analyzers. Don't you? But we're told no one else analyzes us like we analyze every little part of us. In the regular day, I don't think that's a wrong statement. But when you're a coach like I am, clients want to believe you know what you're talking about. I have to live what I teach. So physically, I think I'm more prone to being analyzed because it's a trust factor for people who receive my coaching. Same as a band teacher needs to know how to play instruments. The teacher must be able to display their knowledge and ability to the student.

She followed up with: How do I get rid of bulges under my clothing?

In the photo above, the sweet lady at one of my speaking events is a very petite and fine-boned gal. She's really about a foot shorter than my average 5'6 (and a quarter). I'm wearing a size 6. But could have fit into a size 4. I not only look like an Amazon woman, next to the petite woman I look down right chubby! (Um, that would be a good reason why you've never seen this particular photo before, lol.) Yet there's no bumps or lines in the "wrong" spots. How is that possible?

But let me tell you a few little things that make this picture a perfect example for getting rid of bulges under clothing and then I'll give you a few tips.

The fabric is a tweed. It hangs well and wears well.
*The photographer is below the two subjects. Not ever flattering for anyone.
*I'm hunching down so you see a little belly that isn't there when straightened up. Chub factor.
*One subject is a foil for the other. Next to a 6'6 muscular man, an average subject looks like a twiggy. (Look at the photo below for an example. These pictures show me the same size, but in different perspectives.)
*Perception and perspective matter. Notice the gal behind us? She's quite a distance back and so also looks much smaller.
*My photo partner's clothing reveal no bumps and bulges though she has a very different figure.
Wearing red satin is possible.
The dress is lined to help the fabric flow.
It helps to stand next to my 6' hubby to look smaller too ;)
So what are a few tips will help any woman get rid of bulges under clothing? I learned these from charm school. Yes, I really did go back when they still existed. Do they now? I have no idea. But the lessons are still strong in my way of being.

Tips for Banishing Bulges Under Clothing
1. Toss out fixed sizing. There ain't no such animal. Use the size as a guideline, not a law. Even within the same brand, you'll find two garments the same size on the tag that are not the same size in real life. I use the size number to guide me and then try on one up and one down to see what really looks good on my body. I can buy sizes from 4-8 and XS-L. It isn't about what is on the tag. It's how the garment fits and feels. My husband can't figure out what size I wear. Because I don't wear "a size".
2. Buy one size larger of undergarments than the package says. Make sure the item fully covers derriere and doesn't cut into your skin causing a dimply effect under your clothing. Often the bumps, dimples, and bulges are simply caused by poorly sized underwear.
3. Avoid undergarments that hit at the largest curve of the hip. Instead of an hour glass figure, you'll appear to have scalloped edges.
4. Get fitted properly for bra and support garments. Proper support and fit make a major difference in how your clothing flows over your body. Go to a full service department store, not the fad lingerie shop to get fitted. Allow the trained and expert staff to help you find the proper fit for your body type. Lifting the bust line properly allows the lines of the ribcage to show and slenderizes to a sleeker silhouette.
5. Buy tight-fit clothing (like yoga pants, skinny jeans, etc.) one size larger. Clothing should skim, not grip your body. Tight, tight accentuates little bumps, bulges, and undergarment lines.
6. Avoid muffin-top. If the waist is too small, we overflow. It looks plain awful. Psychologically, the number on the tag doesn't make you feel better if you see a muffin-top.
7. Wear slacks and skirts just above the hip, not at it. Wearing anything at the largest curve of the hip draws the eyes to that larger circumference. You'll appear larger. Elongate your body by wearing waistlines above the hip bone, not at it.
8. Skim, skim, skim. The picture in my charm school book is emblazoned in my mind. A belt cinched around a pillow. Clothing should lightly skim your body to cause the perception of a smaller body. The biggest error in fashion I see is women, no matter what size or body type, wearing their clothing too tight. They appear chubby even when they aren't.
9. Belts. Wear the width of a belt to fit your frame. For instance, I have a shorter area between my ribcage and my hips. Wide belts make me look like I don't have a waist while pencil thin belts look great. Look at the length of your torso. If it's long between the ribs and hips, have fun with wider belt styles. If not, pencil them in ;) Choose the belt to fit you, not the fad.
10. Fabric choices matter. Certain fabrics like satin and clingy polyester can cause anyone to have unsightly bumps and bulges. I avoid them unless they are cut properly to flatter and these fabrics are often made cheaply without lining. Some fabrics are almost always flattering like jerseys, denims, and stretch denim. Always, always look at the cut and fit.
11. Take your clothing to a seamstress. Have your clothing altered. It's very inexpensive and helps get rid of gaps in waists, tucks in extra material, and fits the clothing to you. I do this often because clothing off any rack is made for a general population. But our bodies are unique. Spend a small amount (for me it runs $5-20 depending on if I need a simple dart or to re-cut a piece down) to make your clothes really fit you.

12. Exercise daily for your heart, your life, and your goals. By being a good steward of the body you have, you'll be able to reach those dreams. But battling health, pain, and weight slow us down from living out our God-given purpose.

Bottom line? Toss out the number and look at each piece of clothing for its specific fit and style. Feel good in your clothes and you'll always be a more confident woman.

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