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1 Invest in a wrap dress. Universally flattering, asymmetrical cuts "whittle down" your waist and hide trouble spots. Designer Diane von Furstenberg, who popularized the look, explains: "A wrap dress does exactly what it claims: It wraps you. And because it's typically made of jersey fabric, it molds to your body, helping to sculpt it."

2 Sport a V-neck top. The neckline narrows as it plunges--the lower, the better--emphasizing the length of your neck and upper body and giving the illusion of a leaner line, says Ann Taylor creative director Michael Smaldone.

3 Avoid pleats. Whether they're on the waist, hips, or neckline, extra fabric and fussy details like ruffles and gathers can make you look bulky. Stick with simple shapes.

4 Dress in all one color. You've probably heard that wearing all black makes you seem more slender, but--surprise!--going head to toe in any dark hue like chocolate, navy, or charcoal achieves the same streamlined effect.

5 Keep pant hems long. Tailor your trousers so they're no shorter than half an inch from the floor. A straight-leg cut gives the appearance of a lean, never-ending leg, says designer Elie Tahari.

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