Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Swimsuit Choices For The Plus Size Woman

The summer season is nearly here and a bathing suit is a hot weather necessity. If you haven't looked at swimsuits in several years because you were disappointed at the options for plus sized women, be prepared for a treat this season!

Plus sized women have a number of bathing suit options that are quite different from traditional swimsuits. Here are a few ideas for nontraditional bathing suits for the plus sized woman.

The Tankini
The tank suit top combined with a bikini bottom is a tankini. You can look it up in the new dictionary. "Tankini" was a new inclusion this year.

This bathing suit is designed for the woman with longer legs. It is easy way to camouflage a body that has slimmer legs and bottom. It is also easy to understand why this suit so popular with plus sized women when you see how the swimsuit fits. The bottom allows coverage, while still having style. The top can be pulled down over the top of the bikini or it can be bunched to allow a small space between the bottom and the tank. The emphasis on the waist can be avoided in this suit.

The tankini has an advantage to women who are dieting, since the top and bikini bottoms are sold separately. One size can be purchased for the top and another size for the bottom of the suit.

The Skirted Tankini
Take a basic tankini and add a small skirt to cover the front of the bikini and you have a skirted tankini. This bathing suit is the perfect nontraditional suit for a woman who wants to emphasize her rear look. Reverse the skirt, and the legs from the front can be featured.

The Skirtini
The skirtini combines the bikini with the tank suit top and an attached skirt. The skirt is usually longer than the attached skirt, so the hips can be covered in full. This is the perfect suit for a woman who wishes to emphasize the lower legs and upper thigh.

Women who wish to feature the bust line will find the skirtini a perfect nontraditional suit. String bikini tops or halters can be worn on the top with the skirt covering the waist and lower hip section.

The Two-toned Skirt Suit
This suit is a modification of a traditional suit, with an important twist. The two-toned suit is really two pieces that can be placed together with a skirt cover. It has options for a light color on either the top or bottom. If you wish to emphasize the top part of the body, select a dark color for the bottom of the suit and a light color on top. Anyone wishing to emphasize the bottom of the body reverse the location of the dark color.

The Blouson
The blouson bathing suit allows great coverage for the woman who wishes to cover more of the bust line and feature her legs. It is also an easy way to balance the top and bottom of the body by adding emphasis to the shoulders with straps and small cap sleeves.

The Sarong Cover Up
The sarong is more traditional to cover up for legs, but the new cuts in sarongs can emphasize one leg while covering the bottom portion of the body. The new sarongs, with leg openings, are cut mid-calf length.

Full sarongs can cover the bust line and open at the waist. Color can be used to draw the eye to the top or bottom of the body, depending on the design and color balance. A solid color draws the eye to other designs. Elaborate patterns draw the eye to the design.

A full length sarong with a pattern on top and a solid color on the bottom emphasizes the top of the body. A sarong with a patterned fabric on the bottom and a dark solid color on the top will draw the eye to the bottom of the garment.

Top with Bra Insert
Another variation of a traditional swimsuit with a twist, the top with bra insert is placed into such nontraditional swimsuit options as the halter and bikini top. The bra insert allows lift and structure that a simple suit cannot.

Summer is a time for swimming and water sports. Plus-sized women now have nontraditional choice in bathing suits that open wardrobe choices to new levels.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

How To Look Thin In Photos!

It's spring! There's Prom Graduation Weddings etc. and if you're like us, the results of your swimsuit diet aren't quite showing yet. If you've got any graduations or weddings coming up in the warmer months ahead, you're likely to get your picture taken. If the thought of a photographer makes you want to run, relax: We've found a few tips -- online, in books, from experts -- on looking thinner in pictures.

1. Use flashes in sunlight. It's all about the lighting. Flashes are good because they override the shadows that overhead sunlight might cast on your face, making for pronounced under-eye and chin shadows.

2. Lean in towards the camera. Leaning slightly towards the camera is helpful: "Think of having a long neck like a gazelle, and tilt your chin down just a bit to avoid the appearance of a double chin."

3. Stand like a ballerina. No, we're not kidding. While it stops short of recommending you wear a tutu, you need to pose like a ballet dancer: "The most flattering (read slimming) pose: Face front and cross one leg in front of the other, then turn your body at a 45-degree angle away from the camera and turn head and shoulders toward the camera. Place feet in ballet third position (one foot angled in front of the other)."

4. Put your hands on your hips. Your shoulders might look less rounded this way.

5. Get a shot from below, as if you were on the runway. In Camilla Morton's new advice book for women, 'How to Walk in High Heels,' (which is in another post) model Giselle Bundchen (pictured) is interviewed about how to look good, both in front of and away from the camera. For pictures, the runway-veteran agrees that lighting is crucial, but she adds a few tips on angles and poses: "For long legs, point one leg into the center of the frame and get the photographer to shoot looking up your body," says Bundchen. We just hope it's not up your nose, Giselle!

6. Get a shot from above. The best way to hide that double chin is to have someone shoot your face from a few inches above your head. Just find someone who's taller than you. Either you'll look up at them, which makes double chins disappear, or the area below your chin will be in shadow, and won't show up in the picture at all. For a group picture where you want everyone to look good, stand on a chair and have everyone look up at you: We've been using this technique at parties for years. It works!

7. Forget about looking thin and just relax. Not all experts agree with the stand-up-straight, pose-like-a-movie-star advice. We spoke to Edward Keating, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning photographer for the 'New York Times,' who was the principal photographer for the newspaper's 'Vows' column for seven years. He says that the best thing a subject can do to look good in photographs is to be relaxed and happy. "Look at the photographer, not at the camera," says Keating. "If they're connected with me, they're not thinking about the camera and the lens."

Good Luck and remember it's all about attitude "If you feel Beautiful you will look Beautiful!"

How To Walk in High Heels

Though many of us love high heels, others don't wear them very often. Some are intimidated by high heels, while others have just never had the occasion to wear high heels.Either way, when a "high heel occasion" rears its ugly head, many will stay home with their trusted friend, the sneaker. If fear is keeping you out of the high heels you covet, set your phobias aside! Walking in high heels is not that difficult, and with a bit of practice, you'll stepping out in high heels in no time.

Here's How:
First practice just standing in high heels.
In front of a full length mirror, stand for a while, then turn slightly to each side. Not only will you be able to check your posture and profile, but the act of merely standing in high heels will help remove some of your apprehension, and let you get accustomed to the added height of the heel.

Take a few steps in your high heels. If possible, do this at first on a hard floor (not too slick), or in a room with low carpeting, as really thick or padded carpeting can throw off your balance.

As you walk in high heels, remember to keep your legs straight and as close together as possible. With each step, point your feet as straight in front of you as you can. Start off with slow, determined steps at first, being extra conscientious of each step. As you build confidence and experience walking in high heels, it will become much more natural.

Continue walking back and forth across the room, turning different directions, and stopping without wobbling on your high heels. Once you're comfortable with this, try the same thing on different floor surfaces, and remember to start off slowly with each one.

When it comes to actually walking comfortably, practice, practice, practice. If you haven't ever worn high heels, or you are already comfortable in high heels, this sounds silly. But trust me, the first time you put them on, you'll see what I mean. Wearing high heels is a totally different walking experience, and if you take it for granted, you'll not only end up with sore feet, but possibly an injury. And, if you have a bad experience first time out, you'll be doomed to flats forever.

As you grow more confident in your abilities to walk, turn, and do all the other things you might need to do in high heels, you can move up to the height of shoe you'll be wearing on the day or night of your event - but remember to start slowly with each bit of added height. Jumping from two inch heels to four inch heels probably will not be quite as disorienting as your first step in any high heels, but it still will require patience and practice.

When wearing high heels on a staircase, always use the rail if it is available, or at least be close enough to a rail that you can reach it if you need to. When climbing steps, your entire shoe heel and sole should land firmly at once on each step.

If you know you'll be slow dancing in your high heels, you should practice side-to-side stepping, as well as turning slowing in your high heels before actually hitting the dance floor.

If high heels are not your thing, or if this is the first time you'll be walking a lot in high heels, you may want to consider "working your way up" to the heel height you'd like to be wearing. Start with a lower heel than the high heels you'll be wearing on the day or evening of the event, and practice walking in them first, using the above steps as you work your way up through to higher heels.

Consider starting out with a chunkier high heel, as opposed to a stiletto. If the high heels you'll eventually be walking in have a thinner heel, you can at least adjust first to the "added height" element before adding balance to the equation.

If possible try to limit the number of obstacles in the first high heels you'll be wearing - for example, a pair of high heels with rounded toes will probably be more comfortable than pointy-toed shoes, and you can concentrate more on walking gracefully in high heels if your toes aren't being pinched together.

Try at first to avoid backless, or extremely flimsy high heels. Opting for a pump, or a sandal with an ankle strap will add support for your ankles, and will definitely help in your attempt to walk in high heels.

Fast dancing in high heels can be extremely dangerous, and should be avoided. But don't think it's okay to simply throw off your shoes and head barefoot onto the dance floor. This can be equally or more dangerous if you were to step on broken glass, or have someone else's spiked heel come down squarely on the top of your foot. If you have a chance to remove high heels before dancing, do! When clubbing, opt for a lower heeled shoe that you can dance safely in - or go to the club, and don't dance.