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How not to look fat

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Whether you're a size 6 or a size 16, everyone has fat days. Maybe you haven't exercised in years, or maybe you had too much salt for dinner last night. If you've ever woken up in the morning feeling the bloat (or the fat, as the case may be), this column is for you.

Starting today, follow me on my weekly quest to look as thin as possible - without breaking a sweat. Workouts take time and diets fail. Fact: the most reliable way to look thinner is illusion. Yup, smoke and mirrors.

Tune in every week as we unearth secrets on how to look svelte - from basic tips on which shoes are slimming to top tips on how to do your hair.

This week we're starting at square one: underwear. With fall clothes coming out of the closet, it's time to think about camouflaging that barbecue baby around your waist with this year's best granny panties: thigh-slimming, butt-containing underwear. I wriggled, measured and almost passed out from the circulation-stunting compression.

Here are my favorite products.

Rago High-Waist Long Leg Shaper, (Style 6207), $41,

Inches lost: waist: 1, hips: 1

Looks and feels: Super-smooth: creates an hourglass shape with light boning in key fatty areas. Great rear view: firm, tight, and uplifted.

Cons: May be too tight for all-day wear.

Rating: Four stars

Hanes Body Enhancers Maximum Control Seamless Mid-Thigh (Style 0J058), $13.50

Inches lost: waist: 1.5, hips: 1

Looks and feels: Smooth. Resembles thick pantyhose and it's comfy enough to wear all day. Features a no-roll waistband.

Cons: Doesn't cover the upper abdomen.

Rating: Four stars

JCPenney Firm Control Hi-Waist Thigh Slimmer, $26

Inches lost: waist: 1, hips: 1

Looks and feels: Like you have the best butt in town! From upper abdomen to mid-thigh, this shaper holds you in just right. The most comfortable pair we tried, unoppressive.

Cons: There was minor hip lumping.

Rating: Four stars

Barely There Firm Control Thigh Smoother (Style 4205), $20

Inches lost: waist: 1, hips: 1

Looks and feels: Like bicycle shorts. The fabric is thick and ultra-smooth. It pulls on super-easily and hardly feels like a control garment.

Cons: May be too tight at the waistband.

Rating: Three stars

Danica smooths two inches off her waist and hips with Rago's High-Waisted Long Leg Shapers.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.


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