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Good Housekeeping
Stephanie Castillo, Contributor
April 19, 2012

6 Skirt Tricks that Slim You Down

Bigger on your bottom half? Columnist Stephanie Castillo shows you how to skirt the issue. By Stephanie Castillo

Stylewise SkirtsCall me biased, but I don’t see how much good a pair of jeans can do a girl in this heat. You all know I love dresses, so it will come as no surprise that my favored bottoms are the leg-less kind: skirts!

The shorter, the better, some say—and when a summer as hot as this one rears its boiling head, it makes a lot of sense. Sadly, though, not all of us are built for those thigh-high, butt-cupping hemlines—the very ones which give the cool breeze access to our limbs.

I, for one, have thunder thighs. My mother is always on my case about how short some of my skirts are, because I inherited the tree trunk limbs on my father’s side. Mukhang pata, I think, is how she puts it. Of course I’ll moan and groan, as fashion-lovers do when their moms start to meddle. “It’s fashion,” I’ll sigh, rolling my eyes. “It’s too short,” she’ll reply with a disapproving look. “And it makes your legs look huge.”

Mom, one point. Me, zero.

I’ll stick to my guns, though, and I’ll work that skirt like it’s nobody’s business. Then one day, I’ll catch my reflection in a store window or the ladies’ room looking glass, all unawares. That’s when belated realization flashes across my face, quick as lightning. Like so many women caught with their guard down in a questionable skirt, I’ll utter the unspeakable. “Why do I look so fat?”

Moral of the story: mother knows best. (Most of the time.)

It pays to know how to pick the right skirt, and to shy away from daring hemlines (no matter how fasyon) if they don’t flatter your frame. This is a lesson I learned the hard way, after going through a major bandage skirt phase. It ended promptly after several of my sukis asked why I was looking “a little chubby” lately. Horror of horrors!

Since then, I’ve gravitated toward certain cuts, lengths, and colors which I probably wouldn’t have considered before. I used to have this mindset that the best way to flaunt your body was to show some skin; now, I realize it’s your shape that matters, not the amount of leg on display. Choosing a flattering skirt that happens to be more modest doesn’t make you any less sexy. In fact, it’s just the opposite—it highlights the best areas of your body, smoothing over any bumps and lumps, so when you pan out and see the big picture, you get a pleasing, proportionate whole. It’s common sense, really.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this, so I’ve decided to turn this week’s column into a primer on slimming skirts. I’ve tried to make my tips as universal as possible, so they apply to a range of body types (and not just my own). Remember, the sexiest hemline isn’t necessarily the shortest one—and you can quote me on that.

(Flashbox photo from Sex and the City courtesy of HBO)

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Stephanie Castillo
Stephanie Castillo is a freelance writer and fashion stylist. Her column, Stylewise, appears on FN every Friday... Read more...
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