8 Types of Unflattering Clothes That Can Make You Look 10 Pounds Heavier

You may not be able to lose those extra stubborn pounds overnight, but wearing the wrong clothes can make you appear bigger than you really are. So, if you’re trying to trim down and tone up, make sure your outfits are working in your favor, and stay away from these eight types of unflattering clothes that can easily make you look 10 pounds heavier — if not more.

1. Skinny jeans

Woman trying to close jeans button

Skinny jeans won’t make you look skinny. | iStock.com/wckiw

Skinny jeans are a bit of a misnomer in that, no, they don’t always make you look skinny. In fact, sometimes just the opposite can happen. Shrink-wrapping yourself into a pair of tight pants isn’t just an uncomfortable way to dress, it can exacerbate any problem areas. And if the jeans are “skinny” enough, they can even create a pudge factor that was previously nonexistent, squeezing the legs and thighs in all the wrong ways. Much better to opt for a pair of slim-cut jeans that are more forgiving. Or, balance out a larger hip and butt with a subtle boot-cut, which is always a fail-safe bet.

2. Too-tight-for-comfort clothes

Three tight belts on belly

You shouldn’t be squeezing into your clothes. | iStock.com

Just like skinny jeans, overly tight garments also aren’t your friend when it comes to keeping those faux pounds off your frame. Squeezing into clothes like they’re sausage casings is simply not a good look, as they can distort your figure and accentuate all the flaws — big or small. Instead, invest in ensembles that hug you and your curves in all the right ways. Just because a piece stretches, doesn’t mean it should. Choosing the right size — no matter what that number is — is a good place to start. The right fit and well-tailored silhouettes will work wonders for your figure.

3. Oversized statements

Smiling Young Woman Who Has Just Woken Up

Baggy tops will make you look wider. | iStock.com

If you’re playing hide-and-go-seek with your sartorial statements, then you may be doing a disservice to your figure. Trying to disguise your body by drowning it in a sea of fabric is not the solution for any figure-based insecurity. When you wear bigger clothes, you look bigger — no matter your size. Plus, oversized looks can often seem sloppy. Instead, work your outfits to your advantage with well-fitting (not tight!) garments that glide over your shape. Then, enhance your assets and work those curves to your advantage. Highlight an hourglass silhouette by cinching in your waist with a belt, or dare to bare your beautiful décolletage with a sophisticated deep V-neck that will also elongate your upper body.

4. Prints and patterns

Miranda Kerr attends Harper's BAZAAR celebration of the 150 Most Fashionable Women

Models might be the only ones who can pull these looks off. | Rachel Murray/Getty Images

If you love channeling your inner prints-cess, you could be putting on a few more pounds than you’d like. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of all that patterning. Prints can add dimension and volume to the body if you’re not careful. The obvious offender is the horizontal stripe, which creates a visual illusion of width. Other bold, busy prints can also be problematic. Vertical stripes are generally a safer choice as are subtler, tonal prints.

5. Jersey pieces

woman looking at a men's dress shirt

The material matters. | iStock.com

Next to the definition of “unforgiving” in the dictionary is jersey fabric. The light, stretchy material may be comfortable but it does no favors for your curves as it literally shows everything — everything. Even the most toned and trim figures can fall victim to its unflattering ways. Thicker, slightly more substantial fabrics will be a far more slimming option, creating a more streamlined shape. Or, look for light cottons or linens that won’t cling to all the wrong places.

6. Chunky shoes

brunette wearing white suite and high heels

Platform shoes won’t make you look slim. | iStock.com/mashimara

Perhaps you haven’t even considered your shoes when it comes to slimming your shape. But chunky heels and thick platforms are aptly named for more reason than one. They can add a certain measure of unwanted bottom-heaviness. It’s all a matter of proportion: A sleeker, thinner shoe — especially one with a pointed toe — provides a lighter touch, slimming the leg whereas fat, clunky soles can make the leg line look a big stubby.

7. Puffer coats

A woman checks her smartphone

These coats add too much bulk. | John Moore/Getty Images

We all love a good puffer coat for keeping warm and toasty in the brisk months, but this type of outerwear can pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. The sheer volume of some varieties can create added bulk, especially for those with a broader upper body. To avoid the Michelin Man effect, look for puffer coats that are cinched at the waist and feature a more streamlined, less full silhouette. Or, you can always wear a more tailored overcoat or trench, instead.

8. Bad undergarments

colorful bras hanging in lingerie store

Select your undergarments carefully. | iStock.com/amnachphoto

Consider your undergarments the foundation of your form. Wear the right bra, panties, and shapewear, and it can be the equivalent of looking like you dropped 10 pounds. Wear the wrong ones, and just the reverse can happen. Bras can be your best friend, lifting, nipping, and tucking, or they can be the bearer of bad news like back fat. Make sure to get fitted properly if you’re unsure of the proper size. And, just say no to panty lines. They’re not just a distracting fashion faux pas; they also make your rear appear far less fit.

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