We’re forever reminded of the importance of a #summerbod. As if billboards and instafeeds chock full of slicked-up six packs weren’t shaming enough, every inch of public greenbelt is awash with bodies that are better than yours come summer.
And it’s hardly surprising many of us are miles from beach body-ready when we couldn’t be bothered to pay for gym membership, let alone spend hours getting to grips with the ‘4 core-building sets crucial for awesome obliques’ (whatever that means).
But there’s a big difference between not bothering and not caring. We’ve got nothing but praise for the man who’s cool with de-shirting regardless of present company – but, for the rest of us, how we look both in and out of our threads is still a top concern.
While we can’t compete with a Groupon voucher for liposuction, we can share the wardrobe tricks to trim the fat. Here’s the skinny.
Back To Black
Black is slimming. You’ve heard it a million times before, and that’s because it’s true.
Yes, believe it or not, your girlfriend’s latest issue of Cosmo wasn’t wrong: all-black ensembles zap the fat. But why is that exactly? Because it hides all the shadows cast by your wobbly bits – if there’s no colour, there’s no contrast.
Just make sure your get-up is all the same saturated shade of black throughout: dull, washed out jeans aren’t only scruffy, they won’t hide that spare tyre either.
Vertical lines are the best way to combat the pounds. Stripes, zips and pockets that run vertically draw the eye up and down, helping to create an optical illusion that makes the body appear elongated – and instantly lowers your BMI.
By the same token, steer clear of horizontal lines, which not only make you look larger, but stump your height too. (Otherwise known as the Danny DeVito effect.)
Trim The Fat
The garms hanging in your wardrobe aren’t the only fat-shedding weapons at your disposal; there’s another blubber-melting tool in your bathroom cabinet.
By using your clippers to carefully angle your hairline and beard, you can create a jawline you never thought existed. To slim your mug down, leave hair around the chin longer, clippering hair around the cheekbones and close to the ear shorter.
Exercise caution though: one fell swoop and you’re deep in Eurovision entry territory. So if you’re not totally confident in your clippering skills, bow out and head to your barber.
Take The Plunge
V-neck jumpers may not be the coolest move, but they boast some benefits: they’re classic, versatile and, most importantly, slimming.
Unlike a crew neck, which has a round shape that only exacerbates roundness of face, a mid-plunge V-neck jumper offers diagonal lines that help lengthen your face and upper body when layered with wardrobe basics.
But there are rules to follow. Make sure you wear a comfortable yet roomy fit that allows your body to breathe, and never, ever tuck your jumper into your jeans – outlining your belly will only enlarge it.
Pro Tip: The same slimming/elongating effect can also be achieved with V-neck tees (obviously), as well as polo shirts and Henley tops with a couple of buttons left undone.
Ditch Prints, Shed Pounds
Vibrant prints and patterns add volume to a body. Which is fine if you’re a runway model, less so if you’re fresh from a Spanish all-inclusive.
Instead, opt for block-colour pieces in neutral shades like black, grey, khaki green and navy. A murdered-out look might feel boring when it’s bright, but you’ll be thankful when scrolling through the endless summer photos.
Why is it that some men, despite being a healthy size, still look plump in their outfits?
The answer is that many don’t understand the clothes that work for them. What complements a 215-pound rugby prop won’t be the same as what’s best suited to a guy with a frame made for shooting hoops.
By identifying your natural build and learning what does and doesn’t work, you can quickly dress your way to a more flattering silhouette. (Related: How to dress for your body shape)
Way, Shape And Form
The Kardashians popularised the waist trainer for women, and the male counterpart is on the rise. Yes, it may seem drastic, but shapewear is making big moves.
The shapewear range from German brand Item M6 is designed to sit underneath shirts to create the illusion of a toned six pack. All without the expense of a personal trainer. It’s still quite a niche move but if you truly care about your silhouette yet remain gymphobic, this could help in instantly shedding inches.