Hiding the Holiday pounds – 5 fast fixes

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By Kelly Smith

December has arrived and if you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. You promised yourself that you wouldn’t fall prey to the easy trap of fall gluttony. Your leftover Halloween candy suddenly is no more.  The Thanksgiving buffet of pumpkin pie packed a punch, the egg nog knocked you out, and the stuffing left you looking and feeling, well, stuffed.  So stuffed, that now you find yourself in the dreaded dilemma of how to fit into those holiday dresses.  And while most us have every intention of losing those excess pounds, right now, you need a quick and temporary fix.  We do, after all, still have a whole 30 more days or so of dinner dates, family get-togethers, and office parties.  And, let’s not forget the cookie swaps, not to mention all those (calorie-rich) holiday toasts!  The reality is, not many of us have the will power to be so quick witted with our calorie counting during the holidays so let’s look at a few tricks that will make your December merry, bright and beautiful!

Accessories are your friend! — Fail-free scarves are always my go-to accessory when I feel a bit of weight coming on.  Don’t get caught in the trap of darker is better, quite the contrary, adding color to a dark outfit will give it a much-needed kick of color while still doing its job – keeping the muffin top at bay!  Also on the slimming side of accessories are longer, dangle earrings.  What better time of the year to showcase sparkly bobbles while drawing attention away from problem areas.

Shape wear with flair— It’s not just a pair of spanx that keep things in place.  Control top hosiery as well as camisoles can give you an instant slimming effect and will let your dress or top drape properly.  Also, never underestimate the shaping power of a good bra.  A well-fitting bra pulls everything up to where it should be, allowing your waistline to be seen.  Shape wear also forces you to stand taller and makes you a bit more conscientious of your posture, so you have now visually elongated yourself!

Shrugs/sheer tops/sweaters– If your arms are the problem, not to worry, I’ve got that covered, literally!  A lot of holiday dresses are sleeveless but this isn’t always practical for a lot of women. Whether you feel your arms are not quite toned enough or see some signs of sagging skin, a cute shrug will camouflage that problem.  If a shrug isn’t quite your cup of egg nog, then do try a sheer top.  I have found that these will be mixed in with the dressy cardigans and come in a bevy of beautiful colors, textures and styles. A cardigan is always a safe option but be sure to get one that is fitted and has some give to it.  Otherwise, showing up to a dressy event in an oversized, loose fitting cardigan defeats the purpose of stealthily hiding those extra pounds.

Go-to outfits for all- There are some outfit combinations and styles that are just universally flattering to the many different body types out there.  Here are just a few to try: A-line dresses, V-neck tops, wrap tops/ wrap dresses, ¾ length sleeves. For a festive and fun combination, try a knee length dress with matching tights and pumps.  Using dark hosiery that matches your shoes will make you look taller and slimmer.  Another good go-to combination for more casual settings is just a simple pair of printed leggings under a solid tunic.  Wearing heels as much as you can tolerate is always a quick fix in the slimming department but just in case your feet stop cooperating with you, in your quest to cover your pounds, always bring a cute pair of ballet flats.

Tummy tucking– No need to “suck it in” for every meeting, party or photo session!  There are lots ways to hide a not-so-svelte mid-section during the holidays without having to hide behind the buffet table.  A peplum waist is a shape maker in an instant!  Whether you choose a peplum waisted dress, jacket or blouse, you will create a silhouette that is worthy of having that extra glass of wine!  Another tried and true tip for accentuating the waist is by cinching it with a belt or scarf.  Lots of women know about this little trick but not everyone can pull it off.  For a flawless “flat” tummy, the trick is to drape the material in a way that is proportionately gathered.  For example, if you just pull a belt in the front, the back will be pulled upwards and this can create a slanted affect from your side view, very much the same way men with “beer bellies” let their mid sections spill over their belt.  By loosely, and evenly draping your excess dress or top fabric, both your front and back will be horizontal and will perfectly disguise any tummy bulge.

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, and that goose won’t be the only one to indulge in the delectable holiday dishes!  It’s such a wonderful time of year indeed and since my old adage has always been “diet starts Monday”, who’s to say that it can’t start in January?  Happy holidays to all!