Let’s face it, the Coronavirus lockdown has not made weight maintenance easy. I finally put on a pair of pants that didn’t have an elastic waist and was depressed to find that they were a little snug. I don’t know why this should surprise me. Despite eating relatively healthy, my activity is at a 1/3 of what it usually is.

Once things resume to even a slight version of normal, the lbs. will most certainly fall away, but, for now, we need a stop-gap to at least not make it look like we’ve eaten our way through this lockdown. Here are my tips for hiding that quarantine 15.

Tips for Dressing Slim When You’re Not: Camouflaging the Quarantine 15

quarantine 15

A big mistake women make when they are feeling heavy is to hide their waists. This is particularly a no-no move for women who are curvy and just get curvier when you gain weight. Curvy women have a waist and bypassing it will just make a woman as wide as her bust and hips.

Cinching the waist softly, be in in a dress, a jumpsuit, a pair of pants and even a top will create a natural hourglass shape. Yes, your shape may be larger than it usually is, but by doing this your body will look more proportioned.

I styled this Universal standard dress, that my client Mrs. Luminescent recently purchased, with a pair of shell pink sandals from Sole Society and a pair of silver earrings from Faris.

Outfit #2

For all body shapes and sizes, monochromatic column dressing will create a longer, leaner, and taller appearance. You’re not beholden to black with this strategy. While the darker the shade the better, any singular color from top to bottom will have this effect.

I styled this complete outfit from Eileen fisher using these black cotton ankle pants, a black tunic shell, and linen cardigan. I finished the outfit with black flat sandals from Cole Haan and a wooden link necklace.

Outfit #3

Women who gain weight in the middle tend to want to avoid cinching the waist, and for good reason. However, big billowy tops and dresses aren’t always the answer either. The key is to find a middle ground with tops and dresses that gently skim the body. The best place to skim the body is a few inches above the waist at the bottom of the ribcage. Not only is this the thinnest part of the body when you have a tummy, by raising the waist ever so slightly it pulls the eye upward and lengthens the look of the torso.

I styled this Lafayette 148 shift dress with a pair of clay suede slingback flats and pearl drop earrings from Kate Spade.

Outfit #4

quarantine 15

Structure helps create the shape you want to create when you don’t have it. I call it the fat in a container vs. fat in a Ziploc bag. If you pour the fat into a container, it takes the shape of the container and if you put fat into a Ziploc bag, it’s left to wiggle and jiggle around.

An example of this approach would be a shaped blazer, like this one from Trina Turk which creates the shape of a waist. Under it, I put a less form-fitting top from Halogen that can help conceal weight gain. Between the shape of the jacket and the forgiving nature of the top, nobody will be able to tell what is going on underneath. I styled the look with ab-solution pull-on jeans from Wit & Wisdom and mules in almond from Everlane.

Outfit #5

The tip to graze the waist if you have a midsection and shaping the waist if you are curvy are just two options and it does not mean you have to give up boxier shapes for good. Typically, boxy tops look best when paired with lean pieces and the hem of the top doesn’t cut across the widest parts of the body.

What is also helpful to this look is the pants. They look like trousers but are pull on and have elastic comfort. You can’t ease yourself back into buttons, zippers, and firm waistbands by choosing pull-on pants that have more structure.

I styled this magenta Everlane top with Theory pull-on trousers and finished the look with grey loafers and colorful hoop earrings.

As they have been saying during this pandemic, we’re all in this together and while I sometimes find that sentiment eye-roll-worthy, in the case of the quarantine 15, in that, I find that statement to be quite true.

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