But now designers have come up with the ultimate slimming dress.
So forget magic diets and uncomfortable body sculpting underwear to achieve a slender figure.
Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, amongst others, have created a dress that literally redraws the silhouette - the optical illusion dress.
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL GALLERY
The garment manages to do two things at the same time – enhance curves and take off inches.
Kate Winslet tried the 'miracle dress' at the Venice Film Festival.
And Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Hudson and Liv Tyler looked gorgeous in theirs.