There’s so much pressure to be fit and stay in shape, but sometimes no matter how much we work out we all have those days when we just don’t look as good in our clothes as we want to. Sometimes an unflattering cut or unforgiving fabric is to blame, but we need to start asking ourselves if we are making the best choices when it comes to fashion.

Whether you are trying to look better in your jeans or you’re attempting a big goal such as wearing a wedding dress, the best fix isn’t always extra hours at the gym or a crazy diet. It may be re-evaluating your wardrobe and making the right decisions when it comes to what best flatters our bodies. I asked several stylists and designers how women can learn to rock what they’ve got and look better than ever. Here some of their best hacks to flatter your figure, no matter what you are wearing.

 Understand proportions

“Always remember the rule of proportion,” Wardrobe Consultant Diane Pollack told me. “If you wear a large top, then wear skinny bottoms. But [if you have a more] voluminous bottom, then you should wear a more form-fitting top. Areas that are smaller can take bulkier fabrics and eye-catching details. Think pleats, ruffles, trim, and pockets. Larger areas should be thinner fabrics, dark minimizing colors, and simple clean lines.”

Pollack also addressed a mistake that many women make when they are trying to hide bigger parts of their bodies. “Large expanses of fabric can make you look bigger,” she said. Women with large busts especially need to consider proportions.

“Trick the eye. Big busted women should not wear high necks. Break up the expanse of fabric with a scoop or v-neck to show some skin. Colorblocking, seams, scarves, or jewelry are other ways to break up a large expanse of fabric.” Part of the rule of proportions is also knowing your body and shape. She suggests considering what your most and least favorite features are, “Highlight your assets and camouflage your least favorite areas. For instance, if you have great legs but have a belly wear a boxy top or dress and show those legs. Bigger on the bottom? An A-line skirt flatters most figures.”

 Make sure your clothes fit

Stylist Susan Padron told me it’s best to think simply when it comes to flattering your figure. “Make sure your clothes fit. It sounds stupid and basic, but it’s the complete truth.”But it isn’t just a matter of actually being able to wear something. Pardon believes comfort is key. “Just because you can get it on and button it, doesn’t mean that it actually fits! You don’t need to go to a bakery to get a muffin top. Your clothes shouldn’t be uncomfortable to wear. Fashion doesn’t always need to equal pain.”If you want to make sure you always look good, Padron suggests, “An easy hack to make sure you always look good is to define your waist. This can be done simply by wearing a dress that has a seam or waistband placed perfectly. You could also throw on a jacket or blazer to achieve a defined waist.”

 Be analytical, not critical

Padron believes you should approach your wardrobe logically. “Make sure that you are analytical and not critical of your body shape,” she explained. “Figure out what parts of your body you like to show off, and find clothes that accentuate those areas.”

Having some favorite go-tos takes the guesswork out of your planning your outfits, especially on those days you aren’t in the mood to think about what you are going to wear. “Choosing a great dress can absolutely be helpful here,” Padron continued. “A dress is one piece that you can throw on, add some accessories, such as a jacket or blazer, and look completely polished. [This works] even when you’re running late, having a fat day, don’t have anything to wear.”

Another part of being analytical is to make sure you periodically evaluate your wardrobe. “In addition to being analytical of your body, you should also make sure that you check on your clothes from time to time, especially if they have been tried and true favorites. Some materials hold up better than others, so you should check your older clothes for pilling, holes, fading, and staining. If your clothes have any or all of those features, it’s time to either transition them to in house only or get rid of them.”

 Buy the right size

Many of us make the mistake of buying the wrong size clothing. We either think we are certain size and stick to it or we don’t consider the cut of an item when we choose a size. Stylist and owner of Lilac and Lilies Boutique, Michelle DiMarco thinks a big problem is that we are buying bigger sizes than we need. “People seem to think that bigger clothes will make us look slimmer, swallowing us in fabric. But that is a huge misconception,” she said. “Everything should be body skimming. Vertical pieces are great for this rule and build length to the body.”

On the other hand, Lindsey Bennett, who is the lead designer for Azazie thinks the problem is we are trying to wear clothing that is too small for us. She told me, “So often we get hung up on fitting into a certain size and end up buying something a little too snug.” She explained this is a big issue when it comes to trousers. “Making sure your wide leg trousers drape softly over your legs is actually much more flattering than a pair that hugs your thighs.”

She also says that we need to seriously consider function when it comes to fashion. “For important events, such as your wedding, buying the right size will also guarantee you can rock your look for hours and still boogie down on the dance floor.”

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