Picks and Pans Review: Does This Make Me Look Fat?

updated 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/31/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Definitive Rules for Dressing Thin for Every Height, Size, and Shape
by Leah Feldon

Anyone who has asked the question that forms this book's title probably knows that if an outfit has horizontal stripes, could double as a pup tent or shows how much your midsection resembles Santa's, the answer is yes. But this chatty, entertaining illustrated volume by fashion guru Feldon, author of three previous how-to-dress books, offers up some useful skinny on looking svelte—and shunning spandex is just the beginning. Do you like bright colors? Sorry: Dark neutrals, preferably a single shade worn head to toe, are the most slimming. Favor short sleeves? Get over it: Only a "total twig" can carry them off.

Feldon counters the bad news with some useful tips on achieving "camouflage chic." If you're long-waisted, for instance, wearing belts the same color as the lower half of your outfit will help you look lean and leggy. Short-waisted types of all heights will get a better (read slimmer-looking) fit in the petites department. Not riveting reading, perhaps—Fat is a book to be, er, skimmed. But consider this: "Smiling crotches," Feldon writes (referring to "those dreaded horizontal lines that you get across the front" of too-tight pants), "are not happy crotches." Words to live by. (Villard, $24.95)

Bottom Line: Solid advice on looking anything but

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