Look and Feel Great at Any Weight (cont.)

Style Tips From Emme

Supermodel, television host, best-selling author, lecturer, and clothing designer Emme leads the list of full-figured role models who know a thing or two about having a positive and strong body image.

"If you're under stress, exercise is even more important to do, to dilute it and put it into perspective."

She's been named as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in the world by People magazine -- twice. Ladies Home Journal chose her as one of the "Most Important Women in America" and one of the "Most Fascinating Women of the Year." Biography magazine honored her as one of the "25 Most Influential Women," and Glamour saluted her as "Woman of the Year."

Unlike most women we see in entertainment, she's not a size 2. And that's just fine with her.

How does Emme do it?

"The most important key I can give is to get interested in something outside of your home or apartment that gets your heart pumping, and you will see an incredible difference in your attitude and energy level," says Emme. "If you're under stress, exercise is even more important to do, to dilute it and put it into perspective."

And, of course, looking your best helps you feel great about yourself. That's where Emme's practical and easy style hints come in.

"These tips are not only for full-figured gals. All women can learn a thing or two about 'less is best,'" says Emme, who created the EMME Collection, a clothing line for women sizes 14-24.

Emme's advice:

  • First, clean out your closet. If you haven't worn something within the last year, give yourself the license to chuck it!
  • Don't deny your body shape. If you do, you'll get frustrated with dressing and not see the wonderful options that are now available for your body type and shape.
  • Follow only the trends that suit you. Avoid trends that don't work for your body type.
  • Don't wear too many accessories or mismatched prints.
  • Go for shapely, figure-skimming silhouettes, not boxy clothes that cover up your body.
  • If you're a pear shape (narrow shoulders and wide hips), buy pants and skirts that are 1-2 sizes larger than you normally wear and have a tailor take them in at the waist.
  • Always buy one size larger than you normally wear to have a jacket, dress, or suit tailored to fit you. If you buy too small a size, there won't be enough material to work with.
  • Find good undergarments that help eliminate panty lines, and find bras that fit (75% of women wear the wrong size bra). Also, pantyhose is making it back into wardrobes, so stock up on brands that make your legs feel great.
  • Dress for comfort and ease.

Look Good, Feel Better

But before you rush off to the mall for a chic new outfit, remember this: Feeling good about your body begins by working on the inside, then focusing on what's outside.

"Don't get hung up on pounds and what size dress you are wearing," says Magee. "Instead, focus on being healthy from the inside out, eat well, and exercise regularly. And remember that you can be sexy and look fabulous and feel fabulous and not be thin."

Originally published Dec. 19, 2003.
Medically updated Dec. 14, 2005.

SOURCES: Emme, model, author, clothing designer; chair ambassador, National Eating Disorders Association, New York. Kathy Kater, LSW, author, psychotherapist, St. Paul, Minn. Ruth Kava, PhD, RD, director of nutrition, American Council on Science and Health, New York. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, author; WebMD Weight Loss Clinic consultant.

©2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Last Editorial Review: 12/14/2005