Sometimes you just have to face facts, and this is mine: no matter how many times I go to the gym, my ratio of hip to waist measurement is never going to change.  I just don’t have much of a waist.  Sigh.  So I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the question: how do you make your waist look slimmer?

Let’s face it, hourglass or boyish figure, we all want our waists to look as tiny as possible. I’ve learnt to rely on stying tricks to create the illusion of a waist, and I thought I’d share my favourites with you. So here’s what you can do instead of hours at the gym.


1. Make belts your best friend

Nothing creates a waist more quickly than cinching it all in with a belt. Thick, thin, it doesn’t matter.

If your clothes have a bit of volume – think chunky jumpers and cardigans – then pulling it all in with a belt creates the illusion of a tiny waist amongst the layers. But equally finishing off a sleek fitted outfit with a belt can also give you a crisp finish that accentuates the waist.

The key here is this one simple fact: the eye is drawn to lines.

If you want to look tall and slim, short horizontal lines and long vertical lines are the name of the game.

So stylish dressing is all about creating lines in the right places. And belts do just that.

Even better than regular belt are belts that draw the eye to the middle of the waist and let the edges fade away. Bingo! These are keepers for sure. They might have a large logo to draw the eye to the centre such as this:

No wonder every blogger known to man is wearing that Gucci Double G belt (no hint of jealously at all in that statement, definitely not).

Or a darker colour in the centre flanked by pale sides does the trick even more effectively. With no need for a corset. Result.

And don’t just stop with a belt around your trousers, skirt, dress. Think of belts around coats, jackets, jumpers, cardigans.

2. Tuck in, half or full

And I don’t mean to your lunch!

Don’t drown yourself in big jumpers just because it’s cold. Or worse still, hide yourself behind baggy tunics because you think it hides the bits you don’t like. It doesn’t – it just makes you look like a tent.  Neither will make your waist look slimmer – quite the opposite.

Tucking your tops in is always going to give you more of a waist than not. Now I appreciate that some things don’t tuck in well – enormous jumpers for one. No one wants a lumpy profile around the waist area.

So this is where the front tuck comes in. Simply tuck a small section of your jumper or top in at the middle of the waist, and let the rest artfully drape around your midriff. I sometimes use a back tuck too – same principal just in the centre of your back.

This creates a glimpse of a waist, which does the same as the two belt types above – creates the illusion of a small waist.

If going for the full tuck I recommend hoicking your skirt up (or enthusiastically shoving your hands down your trousers!) and really pulling down your top. Then just ease out a small amount of fabric, to create a slight balloon effect just above your (now smaller) waistline.


3. Create long vertical lines

This waist slimming tip links in nicely with the two points above. If you’ve created a neat horizontal line around your waist, you can shorten it by creating two vertical lines up and down your body that cut off either end of your horizontal line (are you still with me?!).

So, whilst I appreciate you might not like this suggestion from a freezing your tits off point of view, but wearing your coat open is a perfect way to achieve this. Same with a long cardigan. Or a scarf. These can all shorten your visible waist line by cutting off either end of the horizontal line. Follow my tip – wear thermals underneath and then always wear your coat open.

4. Stride out in high waisted, wide leg trousers

Ever noticed that the higher up your waist you go, the smaller it gets? That’s why high waisted trousers are so flattering on the waist. And with the advent of 70s inspired fashion being rife, there’s nothing to stop you experimenting with this one.

High waists alone will show off the smallest part of your waist, but the advantage of some wide bottoms accompanying the high waist is that they provide a contrast. Your waist looks smaller because it’s near big wide trouser legs. It’s almost like a visual cone that peaks at your waist.

5. Don a waist slimming full skirt

Really full skirts achieve the same thing by creating a big difference between the waist and the bottom of the clothing – hence making the waist seem tiny. (With a caveat here – I’m not talking about elasticated waists here, unless they are hidden under a belt).

Obviously this only works if you can see your waist – think tucked in blouses or even a crop top that just skims the waistline (don’t worry I’m not advocating any exposed midriffs – let’s face it, people who are happy to do that are probably not reading this article).

Ted Baker have obviously noted this and keep bringing out an endless supply of hard to resist floral/occasion skirts that fit this bill perfectly.


6. Hunt down panelled clothes and optical illusion dresses

These are clothes that exist purely to make your waist look slimmer.  That’s right – how brilliant is that!

The principle here is the same as I described with the belts above. These are items of clothing where the colour blocking, pattern or fabrics are used to cut away sections of the waist and draw the eye to a central silhouette.  


There are a number of dresses out there that are designed to do this and they are the perfect way to create a waist if you don’t have one (like me).

Please excuse the illusion dress photos – I know they are not the best, but hopefully they give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

7. Fitted blazers and trench coats are your friends

Both these styles of jacket are really flattering if they’re a good fit and will instantly trim a few pounds off your waistline.

I personally find single breasted blazers that have one or two buttons to be the most waist cinching because of the focus on the waist, but that may also be because I’m small.

With trench coats, the same logic applies as full skirts – if you can find one which has volume on the bottom when fastened neatly at the midriff, you’re on to a waist slimming winner.


So that’s it for now. But obviously I share this obsession along with the rest of the female side of the human race, so let me know your tips.

What works for you?