By Real Simple
January 15, 2015

Maura Pagano

Maura Pagano
Joao Canziani

Age: 24
Occupation: Recruiter
Home: New York City

Maura’s hang-up: “My calves and ankles have never been proportionate to the rest of my body. I always used to hide them under long, black pants.”

What helps her let it go: “As I get older, I’m learning that what’s more important than covering up my imperfections is how confident I am. In this dress, I feel sexy—it shows off my chest and my shoulders and highlights my waist. If every other part of me looks this good, no one will stare at my calves.”


Rosalie Khan

Rosalie Khan
Joao Canziani

Age: 41
Occupation: Senior digital associate
Home: Jersey City

Rosalie’s hang-up: “I’m self-conscious about my body, especially my stomach, so I don’t normally wear anything clingy. Because I know they’ll fit me, I stick to baggy clothes. That also means I won’t have to drag out the try-on process.”

What helps her let it go: “Pulling on skinny pants was a revelation. They actually made me feel slimmer. The fabric of this pair is stretchy and thick, and there’s a panel to hold in my tummy, creating a nice, smooth line. I feel comfortable—and even trendy.”


Danielle Hamblin

Danielle Hamblin
Joao Canziani

Age: 43
Occupation: Adjunct professor
Home: White Township, New Jersey

Danielle’s hang-up: “I have never been thin. While I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to be so, I sometimes think it’s just not meant to be.”

What helps her let it go: “In comparison to the more serious challenges faced by other people, I’ll take this one. Besides, I have an air of fun about me, and I like that to show in what I wear. This sheath’s mix of prints offers that, yet the shape is professional and flattering. It plays up my waist and hits right at the knee.”


Rushmi Mehan Soni

Rushmi Mehan Soni
Joao Canziani

Age: 25
Occupation: Senior marketing manager
Home: New York City

Rushmi’s hang-up: “I used to love my lean waist. Then I got pregnant, and I was all belly. After I had the baby, I still had a belly. I struggled with that for a while because the weight fell off so easily everywhere else.”

What helps her let it go: “Now I laugh at how much I talked about bikinis in my 20s. I created my son—of course my body is different these days. I remain somewhat self-conscious, but there are clothes to address the issue. This draped top gave me a trim-looking waist again.”


Arielle Devay

Arielle DeVay
Joao Canziani

Age: 35
Occupation: Sales-development executive
Home: Astoria, New York

Arielle’s hang-up: “I’m very curvy above and below the waist. When I wear something loose, I look bigger than I am. And when I wear something formfitting, I can end up looking like a floozy. Neither is a great option.”

What helps her let it go: “I’ve found it’s important for me to choose silhouettes that accentuate my waistline, such as a fit-and-flare dress. This provides a nice balance between showing off my waist and being work-appropriate.”


Kate Snyder

Kate Snyder
Joao Canziani

Age: 37
Occupation: Account executive
Home: Brooklyn

Kate’s hang-up: “A lack of curves. I used to feel awkward in my body—I was all legs and didn’t have much of a bust.”

What helps her let it go: “I have grown into my body, though it hasn’t changed much. I usually dress very understated, but this style is very ‘look at me.’ The cut is fitted through the torso, so my behind seems curvier, and the hem adds visual interest. I like that I look shapelier—not so straight up and down.”

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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