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Photo: Michelle Holden

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SLIMMING STRATEGY #5: Mix Similar Patterns

Don't play it safe in boring, sloppy separates. A vibrant sweater and skirt can join forces to narrow a curvy shape.

Felicia Martin-Hill, 32, a marketing executive, admits to searching for the baggiest clothes on the rack: "Sometimes I don't even try things on—I just pick the biggest size." But this striking sweater (AK Anne Klein, $109) is the opposite of oversize and shapeless. It bisects her torso with a thick, black line, resulting in a leaner-looking upper body. The bold design, paired with a smaller version on the skirt (Calvin Klein, $69), creates a visual "funnel," making her seem even narrower. When combining patterns, Glassman says, one should always be bigger than the other so the prints don't compete. "Normally I would have thought this outfit was too busy," says Martin-Hill. "But I feel sexy in it. The bright colors really work."

Bangle, Maison Martin Margiela. Earrings, Joan RIvers for QVC. Ring, Marlyn Schiff. Shoes, Nine West.

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