Clothing, Fit, Style & Proportion
The truth is that just because something looks great, doesn’t mean it will look great on you. Instead of trying to recreate the latest style trend, the key to unlocking sensational style is understanding your body shape proportions and what fits on your body.
How do you take the elements of a style you like, and incorporate it into something that works for your body shape, fit and proportion? When you know what it is specifically that you like about the style (fabric, colors, silhouette, neckline), you can then work that into the perfect cuts, colors, patterns, and lengths. The best part? You’ll feel and look great, confident, and you’ll save time and money! Major perks, all worth stocking up on.
In this post, we’ll look at the basic rules of creating the perfect style based on exact fit and proportion. So, let’s get into it!
#1. Balance Length and Width
By balancing length and width, and going for long and short pairings you will create an image that is slimming rather than frumpy. For example, avoid long over long. Especially if you’re tall, you don’t want to wear a long blouse and long skirt. Better balance can be created by wearing a long shirt with a below the knee skirt or a shorter top with longer skirt.
Width should also be balanced. To avoid looking baggy, opt out of wearing wide with wide. In other words, don’t go for a flared shirt or full top with a full skirt which will just give the image of one big shape. If you want to go with a wide or flowy blouse, then opt for a tight and narrow skirt, or vise versa. This gives the appearance of more shape and movement.
Essentially, the rule of thumb is that you need contrast, so that garment pieces can play off of one another.
Next, keep your body shape in mind. Decide where you want more fullness and create contrast accordingly. Add fullness to a straight and thin figure, or add softness if you have curves. If you have a large bust and hips, wrapping at the waist will help give the appearance of a waist. If you want more fullness, look for a dress that’s not tight, but instead skims the body.
Remember, big clothes tend to create unflattering and oversized fits – only use “drippy” garments if you’re trying to create more fullness. Also, use sleeves to your advantage. Want to enhance your collarbone and shoulders? Wear a drop shoulder or a neckline that enhances the chest.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Be honest, ask yourself: does this garment actually fit me? Do I have contrast among my pieces?
Look into your closet. What feels great when you wear it? What looks fabulous on you? What doesn’t look so good? How do you feel in certain pieces? Take note. What commonalities do you notice in the garments that feel good: lengths, shapes, fabrics, patterns?
#2 Segment Your Body into Regions
Leverage Horizontal Lines
You can create a flattering effect by creating horizontal segmentation. This segmentation can come from changes in an item, in fabric, or proportion. Changes in an item are the easiest to do. Ensure a top and a bottom has a seamless transition. For example, tuck a shirt into the hemline of a skirt. This sections the body off into regions that ensure one item is not too loose or too tight.
Loose or Tight?
Horizontal lines that flatter the body can also be created by wearing loose or large clothing items with slim and fitted pieces. You can try a large blazer with a tight dress. Tightness creates the impression of slenderness and width, while volume and looseness create the impression of small or large. For example, a voluptuous skirt can make the waist and legs look slimmer.
Color & Texture Blocking
Color blocking or texture blocking are another way to create change in fabric. A division can be created by wearing different textures like a knit item with a textured or smooth item. Another great transition is to wear colors that are opposites and pair them together. Just be sure your colors are in line with your color analysis. (Click here to learn more!)
#3 Avoid Visual Complexity
It’s important to note how visually heavy or complex a piece of clothing is. When you have too much visual detail, you naturally draw the eye. Complex patterns need to be broken down in order to be synthesized. Patterns, textures, and color palettes that clash or are visually complex create a heavy impression. Using a muted and harmonious color palette to create more harmony.
Visual complexity is also about the dominance of color. A visually dominant piece, like an orange coat should dictate the rest of the outfit. Multiple dominant pieces will be imposing and will compete for attention. The goal is to find one focal point and stick to it. One attention grabbing piece should lead to more subtle items.
Consider the volume of your clothing items. Heavy clothing items like a thick, heavy knitted top will draw the eye to the bulk. Remember to avoid pairing items that compete in heaviness factor. For example, try combining bulky or heavy sneakers with slim, tight-fitting leather pants to get the right balance.
Good Style Comes Down To Your Body
Last but not least, when it comes to style it’s important to determine what you want to enhance and what you’re looking to detract from. Remember to dress according to your body type. Do you need to appear slimmer, deemphasize a large bust, create a waist, lengthen your legs, or shorten your legs, emphasize hips etc.?
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