Dressing 2″ Taller & Sleeker

If your “get ready for summer” diet hasn’t quite gotten you to your ideal weight yet – take heart.  This week’s lesson will show you simple dressing tricks to make you look at least 10 pounds thinner … instantly.

Most of these tricks apply to all the body types, so whether you’re an hourglass, triangle, rectangle, inverted or circle – get set to look and feel more sleek and svelte TODAY!  But first you may want to let go of a few things you already “know” about dressing slim – ‘cause they may not be as valuable as you have been led to believe.

Meet my friend Nancy, demonstrating lots of potential for dressing thinner. Let’s see what happens when we apply a few simple guidelines:

#1 – A column of color lets your eye move easily up and down your figure.  So unbuttoning that sweater will move the vision line away from Nancy’s hips.  The darker color of the column is particularly slimming – but this dark brown is just as minimizing as the traditional black and a lot more flattering to Nancy’s coloring.  Navy blue, charcoal gray, forest green, dark burgandy or any other deep color would work equally well.

#2 – Accessories tell your eye where to focus – so adding a vertical scarf will reinforce the up-and-down, lengthening illusion.

#3 – Too-long sleeves  pull attention downward.  Pushing up the sweater sleeves (and holding them in place all day with sleeve bands) will lift the attention and trim your silhouette.

#4 – Narrow, rounded or sloping shoulders allow attention to go right to figure challenge areas like hips, tummy, upper arms or full bust.  Adding a subtle (removable) foam shoulder shaper is a MUST for almost every woman who wants to look taller and trimmer. The only exceptions are small-busted inverted triangles – and there aren’t very many of those.

#5 – High-vamp shoes cover the top of Nancy’s foot, making her legs look shorter and her whole body look heavier.  Changing to a low-vamp shoe can effortlessly add 3” of visual leg length.  High-vamp shoes are great with pants … but with skirts … not so much.

#6 – Emphasis around your face nearly always minimizes body fullness, so you’ll want to follow Nancy’s lead and fluff your hairstyle, brighten your makeup a bit and add statement earrings to even your every-day look.

#7 – You can’t see them, but you can see their effect.  A better bra keeps Nancy’s “girls” higher and perkier, while Body Shaper panty hose ( like Great Shapes from www.NoNonsense.com) firm up any lumps and bumps below the waist.

Take a look at Nancy’s new slimmed-down style:

If you’d like to see our 10# thinner strategies in action, check out this video version from my appearance on the Creative Live program for PBS.

Assignment: now it’s your turn to apply these same techniques to your personal style.  Tell us how it works for you.



About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Joanne Kozarek on June 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Thank you. I needed the reminder as it is way too easy to throw on what ever outfit is handy and go. Summer for me is very casual but come fall, I will have more dressy occasions and need to pay more attention to how I dress.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      So often it isn’t much more trouble at all to do the flattering thing — for me it can be as simple as adding lip color and a pair of earrings — and it feels so much better, doesn’t it?

  2. Elaine Earnshaw on June 27, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you Nancy for demonstrating how just a few small changes can make such a big difference to our appearance. I live in Florida and in the summer months it is very hot so I find that wearing a skirt or dress is the coolest way to dress. Since I sew I have learnt how to taper my skirts or dresses and it really does make a difference. I haven’t been wearing shoulder pads but can see from your video that they too can improve your appearance. Scarves, unfortunately, are too hot so I will have to rely on a pair of statement earrings.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 27, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      So glad you are enjoying the results of applying these concepts. Sometimes St. Louis is actually even hotter than Florida (my husband actually checks such things) so I appreciate dresses and skirts for summer wear. If you like the look of a scarf you could do cotton or linen ones that are cooler to wear. But statement earrings are certainly another good trick.

  3. Kathy Stephens on June 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I am one of those “rare” small busted inverted triangles! Hard to figure out what I am supposed to wear!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      The recommendation would be similar – except you need not pay so much attention to the specifics of making your upper body appear smaller. You’ll still have upper body width, but less conspicuously.

  4. Sharon on June 27, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Nancy – Thank you for this content. Are the shoulder pads appropriate for a petite body? I am 5’2″, and agree that a stronger shoulder would be helpful. I am wondering if these shoulder pads are sized for petites, or if they would be too large? Thank you.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 28, 2017 at 7:27 am

      The Shoulder Shapes are a one-size-fits proposition in terms of thickness, but you do trim them to the width of your own shoulderline/neckline. I’m also 5’2″ and don’t leave home without them, but I’m not a particularly delicate frame, so if you are tiny overall that could make a difference.

  5. Emilie Johnson on June 28, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Wow, such a difference from just a few small changes! I think the darker color of her hosiery also helps emphasize the slimming vertical lines.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 29, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Good eye, Emilie – can’t believe I forgot to mention the hosiery change.

  6. Ann Gosch on June 28, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Nancy, you are a video natural! I marvel at your ability to talk and move at the same time, getting your points across with aplomb! The video segment demonstrates your points so well in just a few minutes. Excellent advice presented so clearly. Thank you!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 29, 2017 at 11:21 am

      You are a sweetie to say so – coming from you that’s an especially lovely compliment.

  7. Pamela Ann on July 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Wow! What a difference!! And, as another mentioned, in summer and all our casualness, its easy to ” forget” those touches that makes us feel better and more polished! I have 2 questions, I wear a lot of blouses ( Lands End, LLBean type) for every day wear, do you think that I would need the shoulder pads for that also?? And I am having a difficult time with statement earrings, I am five one and have always worn very petite jewelry ( or pearls) never over doing it, I started wearing more scarves and received a lot of compliments!! What can I do for an every day type statement earring? Drop or on the lobe?? I am not talking about activities such as swimming or beach etc, but activities like going to grab something to eat after the beach,,,, I am at a total loss here~

    Love your book and your Craftsy class!!!!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on July 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      I slip my Shoulder Shapers into everything I wear unless is is such a skimnpy sleeve or wide neckline that it won’t accommodate them. Why not look the best possible me? Even if I’m honme alone I still see my own reflection throughout the day.
      As for statement earrings – they don’t have to be huge – just enough that they focus attention at your face. My own preference is a clip earring on my lobek but that’s jusst personal preference. Experiment with stepping out of your comfort zone and see how you feel about it.

  8. Pamela Ann on July 27, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Thank you Nancy,, I will shopping for earrings soon, I wear my hair short and see what a difference it makes, on you. I am just used to wearing tiny things bc of my particular size,,,,but,,,,it IS time to get out of the comfort zone. Moreover , just wearing scarves in many different ways I am receiving many compliments asking me what makeup I am using!! Guess it really DOES affect skin tone after all! Not difficult to figure out as I thought about it, the only conclusion is this,, it is the color that adds the finishing touch and can make a big difference.

  9. Nancy on June 5, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    love your video! I have lost some weight and due to bad legs I prefer to wear slacks. Being short…5’ and shrinking, I don’t see a lot of video of ladies under 5’. Maybe that is something you could address for us short plus size ladies. Also, 90% of the time in pictures, videos etc you see ladies who are not plus size so it’s hard to assimilate. Thank you so much!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      Congrats on moving toward a healthier weight – that is quite an accomplishment! As for height, I myself am only 5’2″ so I think about dressing taller/trimmer all the time. In fact I’m doing a new e-book on that topic, so watch for it out soon. Also my client Kathleen in barely 5 feet tall and you can read about her capsule wardrobe in another blog post – http://www.nancynixrice.com/week-27-kathleens-capsule-wardrobe/#more-19232

  10. Susan-Dietitian on February 5, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Awesome; right to the point, well-thought through and presented. And didn’t require BUYING!

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