Hide the Inevitable Holiday Weight-Gain ... With Clothes

Style expert Gary Robinson reveals the fashion sins and solutions

The holidays are a time for giving, receiving... and gaining some weight. Ugh! Did you know about 69 percent of Americans grow one full clothing size -- about eight pounds to be exact -- during this time of year? Fear!

But, help is on the way. "When it comes to clothing, 'ill fitting' is the fast lane to frumpy," warns Gary Robinson, a celebrity personal shopper, stylist and veteran of Bergdorf Goodman's Private Services department. "I tell clients that there are 'seven deadly sins' of dressing after weight gain." They are...

Fashion Sin 1: Pouring yourself into clothing that's too small.
Solution: Get the right size, ladies (and gentlemen). Having the right fit will create a slimming illusion.

Fashion Sin 2: Wearing prints that belong on bowling shirts.
Solution: Large prints and patterns make a person with extra pounds look bigger. Edit those out of your wardrobe for now, but keep neutral shades and jewel tones.

Fashion Sin 3: Dressing like a Sicilian widow.
Solution: Black might be slimming, but it's also very grim. Balance light and dark solids. A pair of well-cut navy pants with a cream top is flattering on about 95 percent of women. Also, don't outfit yourself like a French maid in black and white.

Fashion Sin 4: The gunny-sack look.
Solution: Clothing that's too large just makes you look bigger. Invest in one or two pairs of tailored pants with some stretch. A combination of 90 percent wool and 10 percent lycra is a good bet.

Fashion Sin 5: Ditching your blazer for a chunky sweater.
Solution: Knits add bulk, which can be great when you're at your fighting weight and wearing a sexy sweater. However, if you're trying to flatter a figure with extra pounds, nix the knits if they're not hot. A blazer is your best friend when you're overweight. Invest in one that fits in a neutral shade like charcoal gray or taupe. Blazers are easy to alter, and you can get it tailored down when you're ready.

Fashion Sin 6: Taking "voluptuous" too far.
Solution: Breasts should be inside clothing, especially in a work environment. When some women get heavier, they take refuge in cleavage. Eek! When you're a size larger than normal, opt for moderate V-shaped necklines, which add length to the torso. Avoid turtlenecks.

Fashion Sin 7: Pilgrim-length hemlines.
Solution: Wearing a mid-calf or longer hemline draws attention to the hips, so keep your hemline where it should probably be: an inch or two above the knee.

Now that we've prepped you for the inevitable holiday weight gain, hopefully you can enjoy the feasting to come a little more! Eight pounds? No problem! Come New Year, just join our Rev Up Your Weight Loss Community Challenge to get back to your normal weight (or better). Starting January 3, 2011, fitness expert Leslie Sansone will coach you during the free 6-week weight-loss plan. You can also enter to win an $100 American Express gift card in the process. Woo hoo!

Do you usually gain weight during the holidays? Vent away!

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