shutterstock 201794201 CroppedWant to look ten pounds thinner just by optimizing your wardrobe? Of course  We should all eat right and exercise regularly. But sometimes you just want to look skinnier, right now. Here's a handy guide to the  fashion tricks that will make you look skinnier in clothes and at the beach this spring and summer - and whenever else! 

Rock The Stripes

Black and white stripes are super hot this summer -- and they're also a girl's best friend when it comes to dressing to look skinnier. Vertical stripes on clothing such as sundresses create long, lean lines that give the illusion of a skinnier body. A maxi dress in vertical stripes is also a must-have this summer. Layer on eye-catching necklaces to draw attention upward on your body, which delivers even more figure-flattering benefits.

Diagonal stripes are especially great for camouflaging trouble spots too, such as a poochy tummy. Choose a one-piece swimsuit in diagonal black-and-white stripes for trendy beach or poolside look that visually whittles your waistline. 

Define Your Waist With a Skinny Belt

Big and breezy tunics may sound appealing if you're heavier than you'd like to be. But too much volume can actually add pounds to your frame, unless you highlight your waist. Cinch loose tops or dresses with a skinny belt that won't add bulk. You'll highlight your torso's slimmest point, making you look skinnier overall.

Try a Structured Dress

Marilyn Monroe had this fashion trick down pat. A light-weight dress with an hourglass shape makes the most of a curvy figure. Skip the flowy bohemian maxis if you're generously shaped and look for a dress that has seaming and more structured fabric. The best silhouette fits you snugly to the waist and then flares out gently to end around knee-length.

Stick to Slim-Fitting Dark-Wash Jeans

We all need our go-to pair of perfect-fitting jeans to wear everywhere from shopping with friends, to date night out. Dress to look 10 pounds skinnier in jeans by choosing dark-wash jeans that fit you perfectly from waist to hems. Your body's best jean will hug your figure without squeezing, without any gapping at the waist. Avoid low waistlines like the plague -- you don't want a muffin top!

Slim bootcut jeans are fabulous for balancing wider hips and lengthening your legs. You can also try a slim, straight leg fit. Look for jeans with plenty of stretch in the fabric, to suck you in where you need shaping. You'll look even skinner when you top your perfect jeans with a longish tunic and a fitted, shorter jacket that nips in at the waist.

Wear Heels

Sure, flats are more comfortable, but high heels make you look thinner. Wearing heels changes the way you stand and walk in a flattering way (once you learn to walk in them -- practice at home). You'll get a more elongated look that's also more feminine.

Shapewear Is Your Friend

Even skinny celebrities wear shapewear. It's simply the easiest way to give you a streamlined shape in clothes. The right shapewear garment will smooth out lumps and bumps, and suck you in where you need it. There are so many shapewear options, from slenderizing separates to full-body pieces that make you look skinnier all over, so check out the options at your favorite department or lingerie store.

Support Your Girls

A schlumpy chest can instantly make you look heavier, so investing in a great bra is key. Even if you think you bought the right size, bra straps stretch out over time and weight fluctuations can affect your bustline. A proper bra fitting every two years is a smart way to make sure you're shaping "the girls" to look their best underneath clothes.

Be a Color Chamelion

When it comes to looking skinnier in clothes, understanding color is essential. You probably already know that wearing all-black is slimming, and that's correct. But any monotone outfit in a darker color, such as navy blue, will produce a similar, slimming effect. Choose long, light separates when layering and avoid pale shades like white, if you're trying to visually shed pounds.

What if you crave a more colorful outfit? No problem -- just place brighter colors where you want to attract attention. Not thrilled with your thighs, but love your chest? Play down your legs in a well-fitting black skirt or slim black pants, and bring in the fun with a brightly-colored top. Tuck in the top and cinch your waist with a belt for the most slimming effect.

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