8 Red Carpet-Approved Styling Hacks to Look Thinner

January is prime time for slim-down resolutions and “detoxes,” but it also coincides with the start of awards show season, beginning with the Golden Globes on Jan. 7. Wellness resolutions notwithstanding, if the goal is to look thinner, look no further than the red carpet for tried-and-true styling hacks that can be applied to real life. No heavy lifting (or dieting) required.

1. Use an A-line style to emphasize the waist

Perhaps the oldest slimming style hack in the book, the waist cinch has the most impact when paired with an A-line silhouette. The red-carpet return of the tea-length dress, as seen on Nicole Kidman and Millie Bobby Brown — both in Calvin Klein — is a good reminder of this vintage look.

Nicole Kidman Emmy Awards 2017
Nicole Kidman at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards
CREDIT: 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2017

2. Created a lean line with dress details

Sometimes the right dress is all one needs to create a slimmer look, whether it’s with illusion color blocking or embellishment details, like the buttons on Mary J. Blige’s navy dress.

Mary J. Blige Mudbound Variety film screening
Mary J. Blige at the 'Mudbound' Variety film screening series, December 2017
CREDIT: David Buchan/REX/Shutterstock

3. Go nude (with heels)

One of the most tried-and-true red carpet styling tricks, the nude heel continues to live on as a slim-down move because it works. It’s also a signature tactic for Jennifer Lopez, who wears both patent, matte leather and sparklier iterations of the style.

Jennifer Lopez NBCUniversal Upfront
Jennifer Lopez at the NBCUniversal Upfront Presentation, May 2017
CREDIT: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock

4. Keep it all simple

Less does not have to mean more. Selena Gomez stays simple and sleek in black strappy dress, pulled-back hair, nude lips and minimal accessories (save for the amazing architectural heel on her Jacquemus sandals).

Selena Gomez 2017 InStyle Awards
Selena Gomez at the 2017 InStyle Awards
CREDIT: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

5. Lengthen the neckline

Whether it’s a V-neck sweater or a plunging evening dress, the V-shaped neckline does wonders for the face and an overall streamlined appearance. Olivia Wilde’s sparkly red Michael Kors gown highlights her perfect skin, and the floor length is forgiving on anyone.

Olivia Wilde 2017 Tony Awards
Olivia Wilde at the 2017 Tony Awards
CREDIT: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock

6. Brighten up a (belted) monochrome look

The continuous line of color — regardless of the actual hue — is the key to this trick, which means it’s more important to match top to bottom. Stylist usually recommend using a more subdued palette, but Blake Lively showed that it can even be done with a bright banana yellow top and wide leg pants (the belt also helps).

Blake Lively Good Morning America 2017
Blake Lively at Good Morning America, October 2017
CREDIT: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

7. Go long and adorned

There’s a reason that the long, flowing and highly embellished gowns by Valentino and Gucci continue to be both red carpet and fashion girl favorites. The long-sleeve, floor length and belted-waist silhouette is perfectly proportionate and allows for height-enhancing hidden platform shoes. The dress cut also provides a good balance to intricate embellishments so they don’t look too busy.

Claire Foy Breathe London film premiere
Claire Foy at the 'Breathe' film premiere in London, October 2017
CREDIT: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

8. Try a riskier style in black

The ultimate slimming tool, wearing black allows for more risk-taking in sexier or more avant-garde styles. Longtime reigning Queen of the Black Dress Jennifer Aniston has proved time after time that a slit here and a plunge there can be done tastefully.

Jennifer Aniston Vanity Fair Oscars 2017

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