The Slimming Effect of Black Clothing

Getting that slimmed down look is as easy as changing your wardrobe.

Forget Light ‘n Easy, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers – there’s an easier way to look and feel remarkably slimmer: just wear more black.

By wearing black, you are tricking the human eye into believing you’re smaller than you may look (and that sounds mighty fine to me!)

I’m not talking about wearing head-to-toe black every single day (that’s just uninteresting). I’m talking about strategically bringing elements of black into your look as a device for creating a slimmed down effect. It’s possible – and fashion professionals from catwalk to department store know just how to work it every single day.

Here’s how black clothing is slimming, and our best tips for how to get it working in your wardrobe.

Tip #1 - Black is light absorbing

Unlike white and paler colours, black absorbs (rather than reflects) light. In clothing, black’s light absorbing powers means it has a flattening effect, on your silhouette, and reduces the appearance of shadows and creases.

Get it working: Buy your wardrobe basics in black. Singlets and tees (such as this classic Zebra tee or this singlet) a plain black jacket, a black blouse and signature LBD form your wardrobe staples, from which your style can build.

Tip #2 - Black tricks the eye

The human eye tends to register anything dark as being on the small side, so wearing black can shrink the appearance of lumps and bumps, whilst accentuating all your curves. If you’re tall – go for it! Black’s reducing quality is your friend. If you’re on the short side, choose vertical stripes, to create an illusion of height.

Get it working: Invest in a quality pair of black jeans, simple black skirt (this is one of our fav’s) and black cardigan, and mix it up with clever vertical stripes to create the illusion of height.

Tip #3 - Black colour blocking

Dressing from head to toe in any flat colour will instantly make you look slimmer – especially if that colour is black. This is your LBD hard at work – the effect is of a two-dimensional straight line which doesn’t draw focus to any particular area. It’s a very flattering look! Work with this effect by breaking up colour blocks wherever you want to create emphasis (at the waist for example); you’ll look like you’ve shed those kg’s instantly.

Get it working: Mix up your classic LBD by breaking this up with a belt for a bright pop of colour, or go asymmetrical to slim down problem areas.

Tip #4 – Black shades push things away

In painting and drawing it’s a common technique to use dark colours to indicate a shadow – because it is further away. Layering it up works the same way! Start with dark or black basics underneath, then layer up with lighter garments on top. There’s no greater slimming effect, and it’s so easy to do!

Get it working: Try pairing your simple black tee with a white tailored blazer, or crop or long-line cardigan.

You don’t have to resort to an all-black look to enjoy black’s slimming effects. Greys and neutrals often work the same way and can be less harsh if your skin is very pale.

Inspired? Shop The Zebra Effect today, where all your black, white and neutrals are gathered into one easy-to-find place. Click to order and have your new piece ready to wear with free shipping, because delivery is on us!

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