Oprah dress thin

The Right Clothes Make You Look Thinner Instantly

As we always tell our clients, a v-neck is a curvy gal’s best friend. The high neckline, in the dress on the left, fills in Oprah’s upper body -making her look round and top heavy. However, the v-neck on the right instantly breaks up the bubble shape and replaces it with a sexy silhouette.

Another slimming feature is the placement of the belt. Never wear a belt at your true waist (left photo). It visually slices your body in half, creating a clunky look. Instead, empire belts on dresses are always most flattering. As you can see on the dress to the right; an empire waist nips you in at the smallest part of your torso (just below the breastbone) and instantly eliminates girth through the middle.

Lastly, remember our mantra… Extra Fabric = Extra Girth! Notice all that extra pleating around the waistline?  This is a no-no for anyone trying to look slimmer.  Extra fabric looks like extra you; causing you to inadvertently look sizes larger when you wear bulky clothing.

One of our very perceptive readers, Maren, put it perfectly, “it’s so annoying because extra fabric seems so safe and hidden – but it really isn’t doing you any favors.” So true!! We think we’re hiding our figure with extra fabric but we’re really only adding to it.  Fitted clothing (not tight!) is always the most flattering option.

Notice that the pleating on the dress to the right doesn’t add bulk because it’s super light and sheer fabric -which is fitted to her body.

We feel for Oprah and know what it is to struggle with looking good sporting a fuller figure. But many times our clothing is the real problem – not the scale! With the Secrets of The Fashion Code any woman – at ANY size – can learn how to dress herself slim – and sexy!

Thanks for reading!


Rebel Wilson Rocks LBD

Which LBD does Rebel Wilson rock?

The dress on the right is of course the most flattering. Why? Because any woman who is not model thin looks best in a V-neck; it creates a flattering hourglass figure, vs. a boxy, blocky shape (left photo).

Also, wearing clothing that is too tight (left photo) grabs areas you’re trying to hide and actually makes you look heavier, instead slim and sleek (right photo).

Finally, if your knees aren’t you best asset, bring dress lengths down to the mid knee- it still gives you a sexy look, while camouflaging a problem area.

Rebel shows us that women in Hollywood (and everywhere!)  can look sexy at any shape or size if they simply know the secrets of dressing slim.

xoxo  Ruth

This week’s secret to dressing like a European is something you notice on both men and women as soon as you step off the plane in Paris, Zurich or Rome ……and that is….. THE FIT OF THEIR CLOTHING. You may have observed on a trip to Europe- or just on a tourist you’ve seen here in the States, that European clothing fits differently. So what is the difference between the fit of American and European clothing? Are the clothes made differently over there? Are all Europeans dishing out the big bucks on tailored designer garments? Or is this secret to style classified information that one must be geographically destined to understand?

It’s none of the above. In fact, this “fit” secret is quite simple once you know it, and it is….“EXTRA FABRIC = EXTRA GIRTH” – ALWAYS!

For those of you who follow the Fashion Code or have heard us speak, you know that our mantra…“extra fabric = extra girth” is not only a secret to dressing like a European, it is a secret to creating the perfect outfit as well. With good reason. It is virtually impossible to look svelte and chic if you’ve got extra fabric hanging from your body and your clothes aren’t properly fitted. The ONE exception to this Secret is people who are rail thin and tall (think six foot tall anorexic runway model). They actually need a little bulk in their fashion diet. However, less than 1% of the population has this skyscraper-like body architecture.

In fact, the average American woman is now 5′ 4″ and a size 14, so we’re going to assume that more of our readers are closer to this American”norm” than the model’s norm of 6 feet tall and a size 0.  Interestingly enough, most European women are not very tall themselves (barring some Northern countries like Sweden and Norway). The French and Italians are especially small, so they work with this rule of “extra fabric = extra girth” almost religiously. And we don’t know about you, but when a stylish French or Italian woman is reverently following a fashion rule- we ‘re going to add it to our own fashion bible!

To illustrate our point, we’ve taken the SAME OUTFIT on our model below and put it on a “fabric diet”.  As you can see, by simply getting rid of the extra bulk in her shirt, sweater and accessories, she looks atleast 15 pounds thinner and incredibly more stylish.

So what does “EXTRA FABRIC EQUALS EXTRA GIRTH ” mean exactly – and more importantly how can we emulate this important style secret stateside? It simply means your clothing should always fit your body; never being too big or too tight. Clothing should skim your body- no matter what your size or shape.  Also, avoid wearing thick, bulky fabrics like the oversized, cable-knit wool sweater pictured on the left.  As you can see, it makes her look frumpy as well as two sizes larger than the thin, well tailored cardigan on the right.

We know…we know…many of us get embarrassed when we’ve put on a few pounds. The obvious solution (we think) is to hide it with larger clothing like a bigger shirt or wide leg pants. Unfortunately this solution can backfire in a sizable (pun intended) way. You see, no one knows if it’s air underneath all that extra fabric or if it’s you – and unfortunately they just assume it’s you. What does this do to your look? Well, not only does all that extra fabric end up making you look sizes larger, but it makes you look miles less stylish as well. Well dressed European women seem to know this intuitively. In fact, you rarely see the well heeled in anything oversized or bulky. Even full-figured European gals wear clothing which fits well and they never try to hide their curves beneath mounds of fabric.

The secret “EXTRA FABRIC = EXTRA GIRTH “ applies not only to clothing, but to shoes and accessories as well. For example, you won’t see our stylin’ continental cousins in chunky white tennis shoes or Uggs. If they are wearing tennis shoes, they are most often streamlined to the foot (and worn in dark tones). They understand that a clunky white “block” at the end of their leg makes them look shorter and loses them points in the style department. We, of course, can do this on our end of the fashion pond by choosing sleek, uncluttered footwear in deeper tones which recede…Also, if its elegance and sophistication you’re going for, stay clear of Uggs. They will shorten and widen your legs quicker than you can say garden gnome.

Now lets come full circle with last week’s European Style Secret – “Less is more”.  Not only is less clutter in your closet a huge help in finding a stylish outfit every morning, but in addition – paring down all the extra, over-sized, bulky American clothing will leave you looking sizes smaller and much more stylish as well.   So make sure any new additions to your closet are a perfect fit and you’ll leave women of all nations wondering what’s your secret to looking so stylish.

until next week…..



Ruffles are everywhere this season, but if you don’t know how to wear them correctly this seemingly harmless trend can easily add 10-20 pounds to your figure (and that’s before indulging in a single slice of pumpkin pie!)

However, if you do know how to wear ruffles to your advantage, they can add a fun kick to any outfit and set you apart from the pack.  The main thing to remember about this trendy trimming is that ruffles will ALWAYS add bulk anywhere you place them on your body.  So if you’re one of those lucky and rare souls who needs to pack some pounds around your hips, wearing anything ruffly around your derriere is the way to go.  However, if you’re just a regular gal like most of us – trying to enjoy life and forget about the leftover Halloween candy you ate when you thought no one was looking, you’ve come to the right blog.  Here’s how to have your cake (or Snickers bar) and eat it too- when it comes to adding ruffles to your wardrobe…

Location, location, location!  Location is key when employing this frilly, girth-giving embellishment.  As you can see in the before photo of Ruth below, ruffles placed across her stomach and hips make her look sizes bigger – not to mention years older and “style-challenged” to boot. (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister).  In the “after” photo she’s simply moved those ruffles up to less-problematic area of the body and voila – she’s looking like the new spokesmodel for Jenny Craig!   Not to mention she’s got her style back and has just subtracted 10 years off her birth certificate.

Before The Fashion Code

Before The Fashion Code

After The Fashion Code

After The Fashion Code

Note that the “before” outfit cost a whopping $1200 – which goes to show that spending a lot of money on your clothes does not always guarantee style.  However, knowing how to wear the latest styles and trends is … priceless.

6 Fall Trends That Pack on The Pounds…

Maybe you saw The Fashion Code on NBC this month helping our client shed 20 virtual pounds – in a matter of minutes and without leaving her closet… (If not, check out this video below)…

The Fashion Code on NBC
Check out The Fashion Code on NBC!

Of course, everyone wants to know what the secret is behind looking like they subsist on celery sticks and they go to the gym 3 hours a day  – even if  in reality the most exercise they get is going through the McDonalds drive-thru. Surprisingly, A HUGE  part of looking thin has as much to do with what you put ON your body as what you put in it. Unfortunately, there is a whole lot of misinformation as to which clothing makes us look our best and which clothing makes us look “fat”. Through no fault of our own, a lot of us are still living in the dark ages when it comes to something as simple as knowing which clothes make us look sleek and stylish and which clothes make us look corn-fed.  Its enough to make a grown woman lose all reason and consult the fashion magazines for help  – which is where things can really go amiss…

Don’t get us wrong, magazines can be fun to look at.  Yeah…sure, its all fun and games until someone innocently starts following the trends and comes out of their closet looking like a super-sized version of themselves. But seriously,  WHY DO SOME CLOTHES MAKE US LOOK SIZES BIGGER AND ANYTHING BUT STYLISH – even though the models wearing these styles look like new and improved versions of Kate Moss?

This may come as a surprise to many women, but unless you are 6 feet tall and a poster child for anorexia you should avoid most trends like non-sale days at Bloomies.

Those of you who follow us might say,  “Hey, the twins are all about proportion and style, not trend-bashing”. But unless you share a model’s figure, many trends can skew your proportions so badly – the end result is a virtual weight gain to make even those who know and love you wonder where you’ve been hiding the Oreos.

Case in point, our client, who is an interior designer, wanted to “update her look” so she embraced six of the hottest trends this Fall. As you can see in the “Before” photo below, her outfit didn’t exactly sizzle. Her basic look wasn’t bad, and we understood what she was going for.  So we simply showed her the error of her trendy ways and how she could save herself a trip to the store (and the subsequent bill) and instead look like she spent a month at the spa.

The Fashion Code



 A cowl is not just a turtle neck style reject from the 80’s. It was originally associated with the large loose hood of a monk’s habit or a cloak worn by members of Benedictine orders. Now, while we’re sure that the monks were some happening dudes back in their day, they probably weren’t known for their fashion savvy. But interestingly, whether they were worn in the middle ages, the 1980’s, or in the new millenium, one thing remains the same – cowl necks have the almost magical ability to swallow the wearer’s neck and make their upper bodies look positively box-like. Great look for a chaste monk, but definitely not a sexy look for the modern day woman. Notice instead how the deeper cut neckline in the “After” photo turns our client’s body from a beer can (or a mug of ale-for the monks) into a shapely wine glass? A woman needs to have an uber-long neck and body as well as a chest as flat as a board (like the figure you’d find on say – a model) to pull off this over-sized medieval neckline gone wrong.


Chunky jewelry has the same neck-swallowing upper body box-making qualities of a cowl neck. Instead, wearing a beautiful pendant necklace in proportion to both you and your outfit, V’s in the upper body – creating the same flattering effect as a deep neckline.


 OVERSIZED ANYTHING = OVERSIZED YOU. Covering up in oversized garments is probably one of the biggest mistakes women make in an attempt to look thinner or more chic. The eye registers all that extra fabric as a lot of extra you – and not simply as an innocuous “boyfriend” or “box” jacket. The models who make these styles look great are extremely thin and actually need that extra fabric to look curvy and proportionate. (Hmmm, anyone noticing a pattern here?….)


 Last we checked looking like a hobo wasn’t a real stylish thing. What’s next? Hobo perfume inspired by the enticing smell of unwashed clothes and half empty whiskey bottles? Hobo bags give added girth thru the middle of the body– filling in whatever waistline you have. Then again, if you are extremely thin a hobo bag could be a great look to get grandma off your back to eat more.


As with oversized jackets, oversized pants = oversized legs. ALWAYS.


The name alone brings to mind one of Santa’s helper’s. Believe us when we say- they will make your legs look like you’ve got something in common with his elves when you team them up with skirts or capris.  Notice how their high vamp gobbles up any spare skin and gives our client cankles (a deadly fashion condition where calves and ankles merge …) Low vamp shoes, as shown in the “After” photo, are always the way to go when wearing capris, skirts or dresses as they draw the eye down the full length of the leg. This elongates the leg – and a long leg is always a thinner, more stylish leg.)

Remember, styles and trends aren’t created in a designer’s atelier anymore. They are created in the boardroom. And the guy standing at the head of that boardroom table has to sell more clothing this season than he did the season before or he’s destined for Wallstreet’s version of Fashion Hell.  That’s not bad news, its just a heads up for the smart new fashionista on the block – YOU.  So, the next time you are perusing the fashion magazines and they tell you about the next must have trend, be sure to use your new-found fashion savvy before heading to the store. Your reflection in the mirror – and your pocketbook will thank you.


Before the Fashion Code

Itʼs really no wonder that most of our closets are stuffed with a whole lot of “nothing to wear” when we realize that weʼve been basing our fashion purchases on what models are wearing in the magazines, store catalogs, and on TV. Consider this – the average American woman is a size 14 and only 5ʼ4”, and the average model is a size O and 6 feet tall!!

Thatʼs right, the average model is 7 sizes smaller and 8 inches taller than the average American gal….Yet we see things on a model and think it will look the same on us…but it just isnʼt so.

That doesn’t mean tall skinny girls get to have all the fashion fun.   The Fashion Code has cracked the code to looking sleek and chic for any woman – regardless of her size, shape or age.  Itʼs all about knowing how to play up your assets and camouflaging the rest using fashionʼs best kept secret.

What makes us different than every other fashion blog out there is that weʼre the first to use an actual “science” for beauty thatʼs been around since fig leaves were in fashion. In fact, itʼs been used by everyone from Da Vinci to Valentino and for good reason – Thereʼs an actual science behind what our minds recognize as “beautiful” – who knew?

If you’re starting to have flashbacks to your high school science class, don’t worry. This is not a blog about relativity. Itʼs all about making your butt look smaller – and thatʼs a class I definitely donʼt want to skip.

To show you how all this works check out the following photos…

Before and After The Fashion Code

Notice how just a few simple changes in our modelʼs accessories and the length of her cardigan make her look like sheʼs spent a month with her own private coach from “The Born Loser”? She also looks just as stylish as the model wearing the exact same outfit as her (in the photo at the beginning of this blog).  See, didnʼt we tell you there was light at the end of the tunnel? (and not that horrible fluorescent fitting room light either).

Sheʼs dropped 15 pounds and 15 years off her look by simply knowing the secret to dressing for her body and not a modelʼs in a magazine. Itʼs amazing how something as simple as an Ug-ly boot can really turn your legs into tree stumps or a family sized purse can make your thighs look like theyʼve doubled in size.

Everyday, millions of American women  fall prey to these unflattering trends when they head to the mall. They figure if its the latest, it must be the greatest. Hundreds or thousands of dollars later they still have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear!  So, we think itʼs high time to share some style tools and rules that allow us to look great regardless of what we ate last night or which gene pool we were born into.

We aren’t anti-fashion. In fact, weʼre the biggest fashionistas youʼll meet and we wonʼt hesitate to wrestle you to the floor for those sample sale Jimmy Choos to prove it. But as fashion stylists weʼve found that the biggest style killer is not dressing in your bodyʼs own unique proportions – so knowing which trends and styles to avoid is key to looking like the style maven we know you are.

Think of us as your own personal stylists who are here to help you start shopping smart and learn the simple science of style. Donʼt worry. No pen-pack required. Weʼve figured it all out so you donʼt have to. Which will leave you more time to ponder the more liberating “problem” of deciding which great outfit to choose from in your closet full of everything you love to wear.

We look forward to adding you to our exceptional group of “friends and fashionistas” at The Fashion Code blog – where youʼll discover whatʼs real in the world of fashion and how to make it all work for you.

xo, Ruth