Wearing black, applying fake tan and carrying an oversized handbag are among the tricks women use to look thin, a study has revealed.
Researchers who carried out a detailed study among 2000 women found wearing control underwear was the most popular cheat, with long tops which cover rolls also becoming common place.
Other tricks include donning stilettos to add height and wearing big sunglasses to make the face look smaller, as well as wearing big belts and high-waisted trousers.
Nearly 90 percent of the ladies who took part in the study said they use the trickeries to appear thinner.
More unconventional tricks included wearing a padded bra to give the illusion of a big bust and a small waist, constantly breathing in and trying to continually stand up straight to perfect your posture.
The study, carried out by online retailer Marisota, revealed that one in 10 women regularly break out the big sunglasses to give the impression their face is smaller, and 11 percent apply lots of makeup to draw attention away from their body.
"All women seem to have certain ways to dress and style themselves to make them look slimmer," Coleen Nolan, brand ambassador for Marisota said.
"And it's only natural that we want to accentuate our good bits and try to disguise the parts of our body we are not entirely happy with.
"Most women know what suits them and can dress accordingly to their shape and size, but a few of the tricks in this poll are bound to help."
Shockingly, the results showed that more than a third of women said they like socialising with friends that are bigger than them so they feel better about themselves.
The poll also found one in five women said certain techniques in the way they dressed enabled them not to have to worry about dieting.
Two thirds felt they could do with losing a few pounds but don’t have the time or the inclination to diet.
Therefore 84 percent felt that dressing in a way that flattered their shape and using a few diet cheats like wearing black and adding a big belt could instantly take the pounds off.
And 38 percent added they would rather use clever makeup and fashion techniques than invest their precious time in the latest fad diet.
Of the women polled, 39 percent said they like to wear form-fitting clothes that highlight their curves, but a more reserved 31 percent said they tended to opt for baggy clothes to hide their shape.
Just under 30 percent said they have bought dresses that are too small just so they could say they fitted in a certain size, although a more logical two-thirds said it would make no sense to invest in clothes that were too tight.
Four in 10 ladies said they own shape-wear underwear that holds you in and flatters your shape.
But a crafty 22 percent of those said they keep schtum about wearing it to give the impression they are slimmer than they actually are. Just under 20 percent said the underwear works so well they don't bother dieting anymore.
When asked if they look their slimmest naked or dressed, 44 percent of females said it was when they were dressed up in all their finery.
"Whether you pile your hair-up to feel thinner or lather on fake tan to slim down, everyone has tricks up their sleeve to look good, but clever underwear is making it easier than ever for ladies to feel instantly slimmer," Nolan added.