I’m sure you’ve all had your fair share of them. Fat days. The days when nothing in your wardrobe fits well or feels right. When your jeans are a tad too tight around your waist pushing that muffin roll of fat around your middle well over your belt. When the buttons of your shirt come perilously close to buckling under the strain of holding in your ever-expanding torso. When even the most cunningly cut jacket can’t make your bum look small. Fat days.
We all have them, some of us more than others. And the only way to cope with them is to have special fat day clothes set aside for that purpose. I have blocked off a portion of my closet for these, and you can’t believe how calming it is to know that no matter how many pounds I may pile on during the holidays there are always a couple of outfits I can wear without looking like a blimp.
In case you’re curious, here are my rules for fat day dressing:
When in doubt, wear black. It is a bit of a cliché, yes, but you simply can’t go wrong if you fall back on its slimming qualities. If black seems too funereal to you, then any other dark shade like navy or burgundy will do the trick.
n No oversized clothes – never ever. It’s a common rookie mistake to believe that they will make you look slimmer. They won’t. You will just look like a tent. Much better to wear something tailored that nips in at the waist or skims your hips and gives your body some shape.
If you are wearing something loose and outsize then pair it with something fitted so that you don’t look like a helium-filled balloon. So, if you want to wear your boyfriend’s sweatshirt, pair it with skinny jeans. If you’re wearing loose pyjamas, then wear a structured kurta on top.
Draw attention to the thinnest parts of your body. No matter how fat you may feel on the day in question, there is always some part of your body that looks slim. It could be your ankles, your forearms or even your shoulders. So wear something that draws the eye to these parts: a boat-neck blouse that shows off your clavicles; cropped trousers to reveal a well-turned ankle; three-quarter sleeves that make the most of your tiny wrists. This will create the illusion that the rest of you is as thin (well, a girl can only hope!).
Invest in some control underwear. You know the kind of granny pants that Renee Zellweger made famous in Bridget Jones. You might look like a tightly encased sausage before you put your dress on, but the spandex will hold in all the bumps and bulges and give you a streamlined look once you’re ready to go.
Minimizer bras (which miraculously take a couple of inches off your bust) are not a good idea, though. Reduce your bustline and your waist will look thicker in comparison. The reason Nigella Lawson has that hour-glass silhouette is because her ample bosom and bum make her waist look tiny by comparison. That’s a good recipe to follow when dressing if you’re bosomy and big.
Wear clothes with a bit of give. You may be able to squeeze into your tightest pair of trousers but you’re also going to ooze out of them in an unsightly way. You may be able to button that fitted shirt but spare a thought for the ugly bra-roll it exposes on your back. Much better to wear something that actually fits and keeps all your wobbly bits in.
Don’t be afraid of showing a bit of cleavage. A deep-V neckline makes your torso look slimmer, reducing the danger of looking top-heavy.
Wear high heels; as high as you can possibly go without toppling over. The shorter you are; the dumpier you will look. The taller you look; the slimmer you will seem.
Carry an oversized bag in a solid colour. When that huge weight is hanging off your shoulders, your arms will look as spindly as Victoria Beckham’s. There is a good reason Posh Spice is always photographed carrying one humongous It Bag or another (rumour has it that she has a thousand Birkins!). She knows that there is no better way of looking skinnier than ever.
Seek shelter in the six yards of a saree. When everything seems too tight for comfort, there’s nothing quite as safe as the good old saree. You can hide a million flaws within its folds, and who’s to know that the drape of your pallu hides a blouse that is bursting at the seams.
Get your hair done. No, it probably won’t make you look any thinner, but you’ll feel much better for it anyway.