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Look thinner in 'no-fat' clothing

By Linda Petty, CNN
  • Charla Krupp's newest book explains "How to Never Look Fat Again"
  • She breaks clothing choices down into high-fat and low-fat options
  • Ten chapters are devoted to body issues and how to cover them
  • LIsts include butt-friendly guide to skirts, shoes and boots to avoid

(CNN) -- Mirror, mirror on the wall -- tell me my body faults, one and all. That's what a lot of women ask their mirrors to tell them, at least until they get a boyfriend or a husband they can torture with the dreaded question, "Does this dress (or blouse, pair of pants, skirt, etc.) make me look fat?"

But even when women get the answer to that no-win question, what can they do? How do you disguise those thunder-thighs or flappy arms or muffin-top middles?

You might want to choose between high-fat and no-fat clothes.

That's right -- no-fat clothes. They're the outfits that can take 10 pounds off your problem area, according to Charla Krupp, who wrote "How to Never Look Fat Again." Her mantra is: "It's not you, it's your clothes."

"All women know the language of food," says Krupp, so she describes how to look your best in food terms. But not the old-fashioned terms of body shapes being either apple or pear, because women's "body issues can range from a wide face all the way down to cankles."

It's not just a matter of vanity; the author cites research finding that fat can keep people from getting hired.

The ingredients to her "never looking fat system" are: fabric, fit, styles and colors. High-fat clothes come in shiny metallic or sequin outfits in bright or neon colors that either fit too loose or too tight. Low-fat clothes come in darker hues of silk or cotton or wool gabardine and fit perfectly.

"I didn't want to sugar-coat anything," says Krupp. She doesn't. She gives information not even your most blunt best friend would tell you about what will make you look your best or your worst. There also is a Don't You Dare section in every chapter.

Krupp goes so far as to tell how the part in your hair or your eyewear choice can help you see a beautiful woman or Humpty-Dumpty in the mirror.

But there is hope. She says even women size 16 or 18 can look their best if they make the right choices. Those begin with what's under the outfits.

"You need good supportive shapewear. It will slim you down," she says, adding a good one will have a high waist, right under the bra band, and will go down to whatever your problem area is. To smooth out the dreaded back fat that can ruin your appearance, she suggests wearing a control camisole over your bra to "compress and flatten" the roll that could follow you everywhere.

She also advises to not fall head over heels in love with a trend that is bad for you.

"I do see a lot of women walking around and I wonder, how did she go out of the house in the morning looking at that?" says Krupp. "They fall in love with a fashion trend even if it doesn't work for them. ... 'I know this is going to make me look fat, but I don't care.' "

Krupp says the wrong trend can be brutal for a woman. "Transparency is big now, but if you have fat, you don't want the world to see that -- you want to cover it up."

She says the celebrities that always look good in their clothes are Sandra Bullock and Demi Moore.

But she notes that even if you're rich and famous and in great shape, you don't always make the best choices, even if you have a paid stylist to help.

She noted two such fashion mistakes from the recent Academy Awards. Jennifer Lopez's gown with a big bustle and train was a bad, or "high-fat," choice for a woman with a wide backside. And she said Charlize Theron's Dior Haute Couture dress of amethyst and lilac with rosettes on her bust was just a "really bad choice."

"They really should sue their stylists for malpractice," says Krupp.

Or they could trade the stylist for Krupp's book.

Charla Krupp is married to Richard Zoglin, assistant managing editor of TIME, which, like CNN, is a division of Time Warner.