Anything that has to do with clothes, has to do with shape – your shape. The swish new lines of clothes won’t fall happily over a thick waist or sloping shoulders.
These easy exercises, done faithfully each day, can help you reshape your body. And stand tall: posture is important. There’s a simple way to check it.
Ankle straps on shoes and high heels all call for neat ankles. Here’s an exercise to trim them. Stand with feet turned out, hands clasped in front of you. Breathe in and start. (If you have poor balance lean against a wall or use a chair for this.)
Bend right leg, placing the left well back, up on its toes. Breathe out. Now, while inhaling again, move up and down slowly three times on the right leg. Straighten up, exhale and repeat the movement with left leg. Work up to 15 times.
We don’t all have a small waist but can make it seem as if we do! Don’t wear clothes that bunch around the waist. Wear straight, narrow skirts, wide belts, full shirts tucked into the waist.
If you are carrying extra kilos on your waist, disguise them with jackets, bigger blouses. In the meantime shed the weight with this exercise, and less food on your daily plate.
The Tummy Roll firms stomach and thighs as well as waist. Lie flat on your back, arms straight out and elbows pushed down, fingertips on the floor. Bring your knees high towards the chest as you inhale, and roll over to your right, all the time keeping the hands and elbows on the floor. Return to the original position and exhale. Now, inhale and roll to the other side. Work up to 20 times.
You’ll see lots of padded shoulders from those on shirts right through to coats and jackets this winter. If you wear them and your shoulders aren’t perfectly straight, the effect will be disastrous. Push shoulders down and back, stretch your neck up.
Make any legs look thinner with tricks. Seamed stockings are probably the single most flattering trick. Also, all legs look slimmer in darker pantyhose – greys, darker browns and even black. The higher the heel on your shoes, the slimmer the effect on the legs. Keep your legs smooth (razor and body lotion are needed here), and exercise each day. While a skipping rope will help firm the muscles, it won’t increase their size.
Your clothes look more elegant and you look confident when your posture is good. Check it by standing sideways in front of a mirror. Your ankles, hip bones and shoulders should all be in line. You have to check posture constantly if you want to look good sitting, standing or walking.
You can wear tighter skirts, fitting jackets, hugging sweaters if you trim thighs by running or walking for at least half an hour a day or skipping at least 100 times a day (work up to this number gradually).
Or you can do this exercise. Stand straight with your feet turned out, hands clasped in front of you. Breathe in and start gentle little squatting movements, going down as far as you feel you can go. Come back to the original position, exhale and repeat the movement.
Do only a few of these at first, then gradually increase them when your muscles can take the strain more comfortably.