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How do I look thinner in pictures?

How do I look thinner in pictures?

Looking thinner in pictures is a common desire for many people. With social media and cameras everywhere, photos of ourselves are constantly being taken. While there’s nothing wrong with how we look naturally, there are some simple tricks and tips that can help enhance your appearance in photos to look just a bit slimmer and more flattering.

Stand Tall and Confident

One of the easiest things you can do to immediately look thinner in pictures is to stand up tall with confidence. Slouching, hunching over, or caving your chest in does not do your physique any favors. Standing with strong, upright posture pulls your shoulders back, lifts your chin, and helps create separation between your waist and hips to give the illusion of a slimmer figure. Practice standing like this in the mirror before photos to train your muscles and get used to the optimal positioned stance.

Strategic Posing Angles

Being mindful of how you pose and the angle the photo is taken from can make a big difference in how slender you look. The most flattering angles are from above or straight on, rather than below which can foreshorten your body and widen your appearance. Position yourself at a slight angle or sideways to the camera rather than straight on which adds dimension. Popping out your leg in front of you a bit creates a longer line visually. Place arms on hips, bend one knee, tilt your chin down slightly, and you’ll look thinner in no time.

Wear Black or Vertical Stripes

What you wear for photos can enhance the look of a slimmer figure too. Solid darker colors like black, navy, or charcoal minimize shapes and camouflage problem areas. The slimming effect of vertical stripes has been proven, so look for tops, dresses or pairs of strappy heels with this elongating pattern. Monochromatic outfits in one tone help the eyes focus up and down rather than on wider horizontal lines. Darker shades on bottom and lighter on top works to balance and flatter proportions.

Fabrics with Stretch

Garments made of fabrics with some stretch or spandex create a smooth, sleek shape that often appears slimmer. Knits like jersey cotton, microfiber, and lightweight sweater knits conform to your body’s natural shape and skim over bumps and rolls. Stretch denim has a little elasticity to pull you in while retaining the structure of thick jeans. Even a woven shirt in a soft polyester or viscose blend will drape and cling rather than add volume. Stick to stretchy fabrics for a slender effect.

Layering Strategically

Thoughtful layering utilizing slimmer silhouettes and lightweight fabrics avoids bulk and contributes to looking thinner. Pairing a crisp button down over a form fitting tank underneath creates a streamlined shape. Topping a dress with an open cardigan slims the arms without adding extra fabric at the waist. A cropped jacket with a smooth pencil skirt minimizes the midsection. Outer layers should not be too oversized, boxy or thick. Keep shapes trim and fabrics fluid when layering for a trim overall look.

Emphasize Your Best Assets

Drawing attention to your best features naturally draws eyes away from any problem spots you’d rather downplay. Showcase gorgeous legs in a flirty skirt or short shorts. Display toned arms in a sleeveless or strapless top. Highlight your shapely shoulders in an off-the-shoulder dress. Accentuate your slim waistline by belting a dress or tucking in a silky cami. Play up your finest attributes and no one will notice the rest.

Position Yourself Higher Than the Camera

Most smartphones and cameras shoot straight ahead at eye level. But if you position the camera lower than your body, it will make your legs and torso appear longer and leaner in comparison. Prop your phone on a table or short bookshelf so the lens is aiming up. Ask your photographer to squat down a bit rather than stand at full height. The lower angle is one of the most effective and easy tricks for looking instantly thinner.

Keep Chin Down, Eyes Up

Tilting your chin down while lifting your eyes to look up at the camera is an age-old tactic that slims your face and neck in pictures. Avoid staring straight on with your face and chin held high, which exaggerates saggy jawlines and double chins. Drop your chin toward your chest, look up through your lashes, and your cheekbones become more prominent while your jaw and neck tighten up for a thinner profile view.

Correct Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference in how your body looks in photos. Softer diffused lighting is most flattering rather than harsh fluorescent or direct flash lighting. Outdoor shade creates a delicate glow perfect for silhouetting shapes. If indoors, position yourself facing large windows to utilize natural lighting. Reflectors and white umbrellas can mimic the softly diffused effect. Your best bet is natural light to gently slenderize your features.

Distance from Camera

How near or far you stand from the camera lens also impacts how you look. Being too close distorts proportions and exaggerates flaws. Standing too far removes your shape and features. Position yourself at a slight distance, about 10-15 feet from point of view, for the most accurate and proportional slimming effect. Also avoid using wide angle lenses that can foreshorten you from afar and stretch you from close up.

Focus on Midsection

Because the midsection and waistline placement are often problem spots we want to minimize, strategic posing focuses attention upwards. Lifting arms elongates the torso, while crossing them slims the waist. Bending one knee pops the hip for a thigh gap effect. Twisting at the waist trims the tummy. Sitting up straight or arching your back tightens abs. Raising arms overhead not only stretches you out but also shows confidence.

Wear Shapewear

For instant slimming of lumps and bulges, shapewear offers smooth control under clothes. From basic tummy taming briefs or shorts, to bodysuits and light control tanks, shapewear slims while looking invisible under clothing. Enhancing your curves into an hourglass gives a longer, leaner silhouette. Look for styles that won’t compress your chest or thighs too much. Use shapewear as a base for a slim baseline before dressing.

Take Photos from Above

As mentioned earlier, shooting downward at your body gives the appearance of longer legs and a smaller middle. Have the photographer stand on a step stool to photograph from above. If taking a selfie, hold your phone up high and angle it down. Position the camera so your legs are in the bottom third of the photo, not the middle or upper portion. The view from above is super slimming.

Wear Patterns Strategically

Prints and patterns can be used to create an illusion of a slimmer figure too. Large and bold prints hide flaws and skim over areas you want to downplay. Watercolor patterns blur shapes seamlessly. Florals and nature motifs dazzle the eye. Thin pinstripes and subtle tone-on-tone prints elongate. Pairing a pattern top with solid bottoms (or vice versa) streamlines proportions.

Emphasize Your Waist

Defining your natural waistline creates a nipped in effect for more impact. An untucked top that hangs loose can look boxy and shapeless. Take advantage of the slimmest part of your middle by belting dresses or cardigans to cinch at the narrowest point. Tuck shirts into skirt waistbands or into jeans. Wear an open vest or cropped jacket hitting just above the waist. Draw the eye and slim yourself instantly.

Photograph Your Reflection

An interesting camera angle for looking thinner is capturing your reflection rather than your head on. Have a mirror placed so you can photograph yourself indirectly. Water, windows, and polished metal work too. Appearing at an angle through a reflection gains a slimming effect. Just be sure the mirror or reflective surface is clean and positioned to show as much of your body as possible.

Wear Busy Tops and Simple Bottoms

A handy styling tip is to pair visually interesting tops with plain bottoms, which slims the lower half. Choose embellished blouses, pretty prints, or bold patterns up top to draw attention upwards. For bottoms opt for dark solid colors, clean tailored cuts, and minimal details. Busy tops and simple bottoms balance each other for a streamlined silhouette.

Minimize Accessories

Accessories like belts, scarves and statement jewelry add visual interest to your looks, but they can also add bulk. Skipping the belt and picking small delicate jewelry keeps emphasis on your shape rather than the styling extras. Thinner scarves woven into hairstyles look pretty without additional fabric at the neckline. Pare down accents to just key pieces for a cleaner, slimmer look.

Wear Heels

Adding height with heels, wedges or platforms not only elongates legs but makes you appear thinner overall. The vertical line they create keeps you proportional even if you are curvier. Look for cushioned insoles for comfort, and widths that support your foot. Ankle straps are helpful for keeping shoes in place. Even a slight boost of one to two inches makes a noticeable difference.

Camera Angle How it Slims
Above Lengthens legs and minimizes torso
Below Draws the eyes down for a streamlined effect
Side view Trims full front view shapes
Reflection Indirect view appears slimmer


Looking slimmer in photos is possible with some thoughtful techniques. Stand tall with good upright posture and position your body at flattering angles. Wear visually slimming clothing in dark, vertical patterns and stretchy fabrics. Accentuate your best assets to draw attention away from areas you’d prefer to downplay. Optimize lighting, camera angle, and your distance from the lens. With these tips and tricks, you’ll look thinner and feel more confident when photographs pop up on your social media feeds and camera rolls.