Have you ever had this problem: you are either tring to get ready in the morning or about to embark another shopping adventure, but nothing seems to fit because of those nasty saddle bags, and no matter how many pieces of clothing surround you, you still feel like you have nothing to wear? Don't feel bad, most people have this problem (even celebrities), and there are tricks to hide it. Just like any other styling trick, the only way to create a slimmer shape is in the art of illusion, or in tricking the eyes to focus else where.
You want to emphasize the smallest part of your torso, which is your waist. So don't buy an Empire-waist dress (I know you have heard otherwise); empire-waist, brings the line up to your breast, and leaves everything else to fall on the bottom half, hugging the hips and making you look flat and wide. Try a dress with a defined waist and an A-line voluminous skirt, a V neck or a Sweetheart neck make you appear leaner.
A strapless dress which comes in at the waist and a full skirt works too, as it brings the attention to your upper half. Avoid at all cost, Tent dresses (and sweaters), which have no shape and don't hide anything, actually, they make you look wider all over. Let your beautiful curvy shape emerge from under your clothes.