8 Lessons from My Wardrobe Part 3



This is the last post from the series  – 8 Lessons From my Wardrobe. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 you can read them here and here.


My wardrobe didn’t always have a cohesive colour palette. It was a mismatch of whatever took my fancy. The turning point for this was when I had my colours done. My colour swatch became my best friend. It provided me with:-

  • the direction to create a colour palette that made me look and feel great.
  • guidance when shopping. It was and still is my colour road map for shopping.
  • a coordinated wardrobe of clothes that easily mix and match. This gives me more choices in outfits to wear. I now have less clothing (not minimal clothing) and more outfits to wear.


The clothes in my wardrobe are now an asset because I wear them. Lessons 1 – 6 gave me the direction to create a wardrobe of clothes that supported me. I use too see the clothes in my wardrobe as individual items until I realised they were a collection of outfits.

Taking some time to explore how my clothing could mix and match opened my eyes to many more outfit possibilities than I thought were possible. I call this playing dress ups and shopping in my wardrobe. This is the approach I take when working with my clients – Find Your Style in Your Wardrobe & Make a Style Statement

My shop in your wardrobe approach involves selecting one item and then finding other pieces to work with it to create a new combination. I am looking at creating a total outfit. This includes tops, pants, dresses, shorts, jackets, scarves, accessories and shoes. I ensure I create at least one new outfit combination a week. Quite often i will say to myself – “Why haven’t I worn this with that before.” It never ceases to amaze me the endless outfit possibilities that I find.

Playing and shopping in my wardrobe has definitely taken the frustration out of getting dressed.


Wardrobe organisation plays an important part in having a wardrobe that allows you to see and reach what you have. I discovered that I needed to create a habit of ongoing maintenance. My ongoing maintenance involves steps that allow me to easily track and monitor what I am wearing. It helps me identify the clothes that I may be neglecting. These steps stop me from reaching for the same outfits and give me variety:-

  • I have a rubber band tied on the coat hanger hook that is first in each of the clothing categories- skirts, shirts, dresses, cardigans, tops etc. When I have worn and washed my clothing I replace it in front of the rubber band hanger. This clearly shows the clothes that I am wearing and those that I am not. It stops me from taking the easy approach and reaching the same clothes all the time.
  • When I buy a new item of clothing I plan what I can wear it with and try to wear it within a week. This ensures that it does not sit in my wardrobe and is not forgotten.


It is great to have a wardrobe that has become my daily shopping boutique and works for me.



8 Lessons from My wardrobe Part 2



This post follows on from my previous post which looked at Lesson 1 – Importance of Colour and Lesson 2 Who Am I? If you missed this post you can read it here.



Over the last six years my wardrobe has gone from absolute chaos to a much more organised system. I have less clothes in my wardrobe but do not feel like I have nothing to wear. I can clearly see, find and easily reach my clothing items because I have instilled order and organisation into my wardrobe. I do not have a large wardrobe. Setting up an organised space did not come naturally until I realised the positive impact it could have on my daily life.

When I was taking my wardrobe from chaos to calm I questioned why it had taken me so long to do this. (Confession – I do have to work at being organised). I had spent many years at war with my wardrobe. Now I realise the important role an organised wardrobe plays in starting my day in a positive way. I do not have to tread the minefield of utter chaos. It saves me time at the beginning of the day and also the end of the day. I use to come home and have to rehang the clothes that had been discarded onto the bed or floor because they were not right. The other positive impact is that I can easily locate what I am looking for. It is so easy to see and find what is in the wardrobe.

How to Have an Organised Wardrobe outlines the steps I took to create a wardrobe that makes it easy to shop in my wardrobe.



In the past there was a very important element missing from my wardrobe.  I had many items of clothing but many of them didn’t relate to me and I wasn’t wearing them. I came to realise that my clothes needed to relate to my:-

  •  personality – who I was and how I wanted to express myself to the world,
  •  physical shape and all it’s changes,
  •  lifestyle – what kind of clothes (Level of Refinement) do I need for work and play activities in my life.

My wardrobe now supports me because I know I am the essential ingredient in the wardrobe. The clothes that deserve a place in my wardrobe have to support my YOUNIQUENESS. My choices of what clothing items I purchase are considered carefully and not driven by what is in fashion. All the clothes in my wardrobe have a place because they fit and feel right and support my lifestyle.



My approach to shopping has changed dramatically. I had not really considered how my approach to shopping was not conducive to a positive outcome for my wardrobe. If I went shopping it was with the purpose of buying something and this resulted in many bad purchases. It was an external approach which was influenced by what was in ‘fashion’. My reason for shopping was usually related to rewarding myself or needing a pick me up. I expected to make a purchase every time I went to the shops otherwise it was a waste of time.

I discovered that successful shopping:-

  • doesn’t have to result in a purchase. I take myself on a Shop Safari where I go to explore what is out there.
  • is guided by my knowledge of myself.
  • involves buying something that will coordinate and complement what I already have in my wardrobe.
  • means buying clothes that are going to support me for longer than a season.

My wardrobe is unique to me and is bringing me much joy.


 Lessons from My Wardrobe – Part 3 coming soon.


8 Lessons From My Wardrobe Part 1



The inspiration for this post has come from realising how my wardrobe is now supporting and enhancing my life.  This has not always been the case.  My wardrobe use to be overcrowded, frustrating and challenging. Every morning I dreaded opening the wardrobe doors to find something to wear. Getting dressed each morning usually ended up with many clothes scattered on the floor and me running late. The reality was that I didn’t really know what was in my wardrobe and found it difficult to find anything. If you can relate to this keep reading.

My wardrobe was not supporting me or working for me. Finding clothes to create an outfit felt like fighting my way through vines in a jungle. It was a painful and frustrating process every day. Something was missing.

What was missing had nothing to do with not having enough clothes. I realised it was my lack of self knowledge, self acceptance and self confidence that needed to be addressed. What followed on from this has been life changing. I decided to take the big step and study Personal Styling and Colour. Little did I realise the positive impact this would have on my personal and professional life.

Over the last five years my wardrobe has evolved and changed into a place I enjoy visiting each day. These are the lessons that have changed my wardrobe into my daily shopping boutique.



When I look into my wardrobe I see a cohesive collection of colours not a mismatch of colours. These colours relate to me in terms of my personal colouring and my Colour Personality preferences. They make me look and feel alive, vibrant and healthier even on a bad day.

My wardrobe is no longer a sea of black and mismatch of colour. My colour swatch has been like a magic wand.  It has enabled me to now have a range of neutrals and colours that cohesively work together. These colours easily mix and match which means I can create more outfits from what I have. I now have value, versatility and variety in my wardrobe.

My colour swatch has become my best friend.

Colour Swatch Absolute Colour System



Discovering my Personality Style and how this related to my preferred clothing elements was very empowering. It gave me greater self confidence and understanding of how I wanted my clothes to express who I am.  It made me realise what clothing styles, colours, patterns, fabrics, textures, shapes, accessories felt  ‘just right’ for me. The clothes in my wardrobe needed to not just fit but also feel right.

This strongly impacted on my approach to shopping, increased confidence and self acceptance. My eyes were more open to my preferences and this saved much time and money when shopping – (more on this in Lesson 7). I now enjoy wearing all that I buy. I have no more unworn clothing in my wardrobe.

I now know what I want my clothes to do for me. This is my Style Personality statement – what I want my clothes to say about me:-

“Relaxed look with an artinistic edge, dash of colour and uniqueness.”

Personality Style


I now accept and relish these elements that make me individual and unique. You need to understand yourself to create a wardrobe that works and supports you.

These first two Lessons From My Wardrobe are both strongly related to my personal characteristics. They are not about fashion, following trends or shopping aimlessly. Knowing, understanding and accepting myself has been a major factor in creating a wardrobe that supports and works for me.


Look out for 8 Lessons From My Wardrobe Part 2.



A-Z of Styling C is for Colourr



What is a Column of Colour?

There are many ways to combine colour in an outfit for different effects. This post looks at the what, why and how of creating an outfit using tones of the same colour (neutrals & colours) which is called a monochromatic colour scheme. The colour wheel is great tool for exploring colour combinations. Each pie section of the colour wheel is an example of a monochromatic colour scheme. A column of colour is created when your outfit combines tones of the same colour top to toe.

Colour Wheel


What effect does a column of colour have for the wearer?

A column of colour is created when your outfit combines tones of the same colour top to toe. When you have an unbroken colour combination in your outfit there is no disruption or distraction. This creates a lengthening and slimming illusion for the wearer.

There a number of ways to create and wear a column of colour. Let’s look at some examples.


Column of Colour

In the above examples a column of colour has been created by using only one garment – long dress, jumpsuit and a short dress.   A column of colour has been created by colour matching the shoes with the outfit colour.  Wearing low vamp shoes that harmonise with your leg tone will create a column of colour. Low vamp shoes show the top of your feet. Wearing a nude toned shoe will create a continuous colour line up to the hem of the dress, skirt or shorts. Another way of creating a column of colour with a short dress is to tone hosiery / tights and shoes in a colour similar to the dress.


The examples above have created a column of colour on the outside of the body. An outside column of colour works well for those bodies with a defined waist. Attention is drawn away from hips, thighs and bottom area. Colour can be used to draw attention to the top half of the body. If you have a defined waist wearing a belt in a different colour can work. If you have an undefined waist toning belt colour with the internal colour will create less emphasis to the waist / tummy area. Note that shoe colour is toned to the outfit colour to create a continuous line of colour. If your legs are showing remember to tone low vamp shoes with leg colour to look taller.


Column of Colour Inner

The outfits above have been created with an inside column of colour. Wearing a column of colour works well if you have an undefined waist as it draws attention away from this area. If you have shorter legs wearing nude low vamp shoes will give the illusion of longer legs.


A column of colour works well for all body shapes, sizes and ages. This way of combining colours can be used with prints & patterns and plain colours. It can be used with light, medium and dark colours as well as muted and bright colours. The key to achieving this look is to make sure that there is little difference in lightness to darkness and colours are blended. The lengthening and slimming illusion of the column of colour is disrupted when there is a greater difference in colours and value.



The Way Ahead 2020 Create

The Way Ahead 2020 Create



Welcome to 2020 and all that it brings to you. The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflection and setting directions for the coming year. Many years ago I moved from making New Year Resolutions to choosing a Lighthouse Word which set the direction for my thinking, actions, behaviours and relationships in my family, social, personal and business life.

My Lighthouse Word changes the focus from what I haven’t achieved in the previous year to a focus on what I want my life to look like for the new year. It gives me the thoughts and directions to move forward and look at all aspects of my life.

These are the focus words that have provided me with a road map over a number of years:-

Each year is not a new beginning but an opportunity to be, experience, learn and grow from all that happens. Moving forward in a positive way is important. At the end of each year I reflect on the thinking, actions, happenings, behaviours throughout the year that have brought me joy and happiness or derailed me. This gives me directions for the  new year.  It is important to take the time to think of how I want the new year to be and how it would look and feel. As I work through this process I record the words that come to me and choose the one that resonates the most.

2020 is a year of 366 daily opportunities and I have chosen the word CREATE to inspire me to be and live the life I desire. Expressing my direction and a way forward in a collage helps me define what it is that I am wanting to be and do.


The Way Ahead 2020 Create


This is a small snapshot of how I see my year. In 2020 I want to CREATE:-

  • time for all that is important to me.
  • a plan each month that involves social interactions with friends and family.
  • wellness in how I feel physically, emotionally and mentally.
  • play time in my garden.
  • holiday and getaway times with my husband.
  • fibre art brooches.
  • a memory with my sister in law when we take that parachute jump we have been talking about.
  • a metal sculpture but first I need to learn how.
  • more opportunities to make a difference in women’s lives by writing new workshops, an online workshop and videos .
  • a more sustainable approach to my wardrobe.
  • more opportunities for music and art in my life.
  • times for playing, laughing, loving sharing, stepping out of my comfort zone and making memories.
  • greater awareness and acknowledgement to identify when I need help and support.
  • the desire and energy for all that comes may way.

At the end of this year I will share my reflections of what has been for me in 2020.

The Way Ahead 2020 Create




8 Prompts for Creating New Outfit Combinations



There are many  unworn outfit combinations in most people’s wardrobes. Let’s discover how to create more outfits with what you already have. Take some time to think about how you approach putting an outfit together. Your habits and routines when getting dressed can sometimes result in outfits being on repeat and many clothing items not being worn. When this happens you are missing out on many outfit possibilities that are hiding in your wardrobe.

The secret to creating more outfit possibilities is to explore and experiment. Wardrobes are much more than a storage space for clothing items and to wear more of your clothes most of the time you need to think outfits and not individual clothing items. Just by changing your getting dressed habits and routines you can put some spark and interest into what you wear.

Let’s look at some ways to explore and experiment to create more outfit possibilities by shopping in your wardrobe.

Try these starting prompts to assist in exploring and creating new outfit combinations and note the term clothing item refers to clothes, shoes, jewellery, scarves, bag, hats etc.

  • Choose an old favourite top / pants / shorts / skirt / dress to create an outfit. If you follow this prompt over a week you can potentially create 5 new combinations.
  • Take a favourite item of clothing and team it with something very rarely or not worn.
  • Select a coloured item of clothing first.
  • Find something that you haven’t worn since last season and create a different outfit.
  • Make your starting point a pair of shoes.
  • Choose a necklace, brooch, earrings, bangle as your starting piece.
  • Select a pattern piece of clothing and see what you can create.
  • Choose a favourite outfit and change one item to make it look and feel different.


When you are changing any habit or routine it takes time so it may be best to set aside time the night before or on the weekend to create some new outfits for the next week.

It is important to take notice of how you feel in different combinations and take photos of those outfits that worked for you. This is important because we can very easily forget what worked.



Examples of outfits that I created using the above outfit creating prompts.

Please note:- no photo of the last prompt because I forgot to take the photo. The outfit was the first one and I changed the shoes to a wedge black pair to wear out for dinner.


Outfit Combinations

What Went Wrong with My Shopping Experience



It has been quite some time since I have made a wrong purchase. However this is exactly what happened to me at the last Handmade Canberra Markets.

That shopping experiences did not go as planned. I reflected on the when, how and why of what happened during that shopping experience. These are the factors that contributed to my shopping misdemeanour:-


That particular day I was assisting my friend Josephene at her stall. On my way to start working my ‘that looks like me’ radar spotted a tunic style top at a stall.  With  five minutes to spare I quickly tried it on.  It felt good even before I looked in the mirror. After a quick glance in the mirror and a happy twirl I purchased this tunic.


At that particular time life had turned upside down with the recent passing of my dad. I had been wanting to buy something new to wear to his Life Celebration Service. My dad and I have had a long time love – hate relationship over my choice of clothing. He was very conservative and didn’t appreciate my less than conservative dressing style.

I really wanted to find something that was my style, appropriate for the occasion and something that was not over the top. The tunic I tried on ticked all these boxes.


There was a voice inside my head questioning whether the berry colour I had chosen was right for me. I wanted this outfit to work for me and I convinced myself that it was the light in the pavillion.


When I got home I tried the tunic on with the pants I planned to wear them with. I looked in the mirror and realised the:-

  •   top of this tunic was TOO big for me and
  •   colour was not going to work for me.

This story does have a happy ending. The next day I returned to see Alison Dominy.  I tried on a smaller size in a different colour and this tunic had the Goldilock’s Principle and was just right. My  dad would have approved of this outfit. When I wear this tunic I feel he is giving me a style hug. That makes me smile.

What went wrong with my shopping experience

REMEMBER – When you are shopping the WHEN, HOW and WHY can make a difference to the outcome of a shopping experience.


Three Top Styling Tips to Enhance Your Lookyour



Creating a stylish outfit that looks and feels great takes more than reaching into the wardrobe and selecting a number of clothing items and putting them on.  It is not only what you wear but how you wear your clothing that can make a difference to how you feel and look. Many times we love the individual items we have selected to wear but when we create an outfit and look in the mirror something is not right.

These three top styling tips can be a great starting point for examining why your outfit may not be working and creating a more stylish and enhancing outfit.

1.What is Underneath Your Clothing Makes a Difference.

Foundation garments can play an important part towards enhancing your look. I am not advocating wearing spanz or a girdle unless this works for you. I am however referring to your bra and how it is supporting you. Take a moment to think about how your bra is supporting you by answering these questions:-

  • When was the last time you adjusted your bra straps?
  • How much support and uplift is your bra cup and straps giving you?
  • How old is the bra you are wearing?
  • How comfortable is your bra?
  • Do you know your band and cup sizing?
  • Are your breasts supported enough that they your breast midpoint (nipples) is sitting in line with the midpoint between your elbow and shoulder?
  • Have you ever had a proper bra fitting?

A well fitted bra is like a magic wand as it can instantly change the fit and look of your outfit. When your bra supports and fits you properly you lengthen your torso space between the top of your ribcage and your pelvic bone. This creates a lengthening and slimming effect in this area and who doesn’t want this.

Read more about finding the right bra here. https://www.individuallyyou.com.au/style-2/what-is-your-bra-doing-for-you/

ACTION: Have a professional bra fitting with a reputable company and replace your old and worn bras. Also remember to adjust your bra straps over time.


2. Take Notice to Where Your Hemlines are Stopping.

This styling tip relates to where your hemlines are sitting on your body and the impact this may have on the width of that area. A straight hemline creates a horizontal line and has the potential to create a widening effect especially if placed on an area of the body that you would rather not be noticed.

Take a look in the mirror and observe where the hemlines of your sleeves, tops, skirts, dresses, shorts and pants are located. You want to avoid a hemline cutting across a wide part of your body. This is different for everybody and includes bustline, waist, hip, thighs, calves and ankles.

Let’s look at some examples.

A  straight hemline that ends in line with your bust, waist, hips or thighs can make that area look larger. If you don’t want an area of your body to appear larger then ensure that your hemlines don’t sit in line with an area you don’t want to widen or draw attention to.

If you are smaller in an area (such as breasts or hips) and want to create the illusion of more shape and balance between your upper and lower body a horizontal hem can create the illusion of more shape.

This also applies to pant lengths as well – shorts, crop pants, ¾ and full length pants. If the hemline is stopping at a point that is in line with the widest part of that area you may want to shorten or lengthen the hem if you are able.

For most women the most flattering length for skirts or dresses is just above the knee, midpoint of knee or just below the knee. If you prefer a longer calf length ensure that the hemline falls above or below the widest part of your calf.

Experiment with lengthening or shortening hemline lengths to create your most enhancing look.

ACTION: Place a horizontal hemline above or below the widest area for a more enhancing look. Consider altering hemlines if necessary.


3. How to Combine Clothing with More Volume.

This style guideline relates to the Principle of Volume and avoids creating a boxy look when wearing clothing with more volume.

The following clothing would be considered to be fuller and more voluminous.

  • flared, gathered and circular skirts / dresses
  • wide legged  pants
  • swing / boxy tops, cardigans or coats
  • bulky jumpers, tops
  • kaftans

When creating an outfit that combines a top and bottom it is important to consider the fullness and volume of the clothing. A top or bottom piece of clothing which has more volume or fullness will always look more enhancing and flattering when it is combined with a slimmer, more fitted item.



ACTION: Experiment with your top and bottom combinations. If one of the items is fuller or more voluminous then try pairing it with a more fitted top or bottom piece.


These three styling guidelines can elevate your look and create a more contemporary and enhancing look.




Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense


This Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense post has been incubating inside my head for months. Let’s start by identifying what I mean by ‘Style Sense.’ ‘Style Sense’ refers to how our five senses can support and guide us to understand the elements of our individual and unique dressing style or as I am calling it ‘Style Sense.’ It is all about identifying and choosing your personal preferences so that your clothes are supporting who you are as a person, your NOW body and your lifestyle requirements.

Let’s explore how your senses can contribute to your ‘Style Sense.’

STEP 1. SIGHT – What do You See? 

The sense of sight relates to understanding how to dress your body shape, proportions and variations in an enhancing way.

We use our sight to interpret what we see when we look in the mirror, wardrobe, shops, magazines and at others. Quite often this leads to thoughts of comparison which leads to undervaluing yourself.

Many women avoid looking in the mirror and when they do, they focus on what they see as perceived flaws and the lumps and bumps that may be covered by the clothes. When you do this you are missing a great opportunity to change your focus from  your body  to the clothes and observing how the clothes are working with or against you. It is worth noting that other people don’t notice your ‘perceived flaws.’

Sometimes shopping purchases are made on the premise that the clothing fits and looks okay – (a friend or shop assistant said so) and then the purchased item remains in the wardrobe not worn. Beware that clothing can fit the body and look good but still not appeal to the wearer. This is where your sense of taste becomes important.

STEP 2. TASTE – What are Your Personal Tastes?

You are probably thinking that the sense of taste has nothing to do with getting dressed and developing your style. Taste is the sense that traditionally relates to eating and enables us to distinguish between food items we like or don’t like.

I am going to stretch the interpretation of this sense to relate to recognising the elements in clothing that relate to  identifying your Style Personality.

The elements that make up your Style Personality include:-

  • colours,
  • patterns,
  • shapes,
  • fabric,
  • accessories,
  • patterns and prints,
  • hair style,
  • levels of detail,
  • comfort levels,
  • underwear style,
  • scale.

These elements become your unique style fingerprint and tell the story of how you wish to be perceived.

Your visual appearance and ‘Style Sense’ is not just based on your outward appearance but comes from the inside out through your personal preferences.

The chances are you have clothes in your wardrobe that fit you well, look good but you still do not wear. This is because there are aspects in these unworn clothing pieces that are not part of your Style Personality.

Understanding your Style Personality is an important element and influences 80% of your shopping choices. When you know your Style Personality elements you will save time and money when shopping. You will also have less unworn orphaned clothes hanging in your wardrobe.

Take notice of the elements listed above and identify which ones relate to you. Let these items guide and influence your future shopping choices. If you try something on and it fits and looks good but you just don’t feel right in it, it is because something in the clothing / outfit is not relating to your Style Personality elements.

STEP 3. TOUCH –  How does it feel?

The sense of touch also relates closely to your Style Personality. Wearing clothes is definitely a sensory experience. Everybody is different and unique in their preferences for what fabrics & materials they prefer to wear and have different comfort level requirements.

I have a very high comfort level requirement which has resulted in a wardrobe with mostly stretch fabrics and some linen. I cannot tolerate any shapewear / spanx garments as I feel like I have been put in goal. I do not buy online because I have a strong need to touch the fabric before I try it one. My tactile sense is high when it comes to the clothes I wear.

Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you are not wearing because they do not meet your comfort and tactile needs?

A very important question to ask yourself when shopping or creating outfits from your wardrobe is ‘How do I feel?’ I call this the ‘Goldilock’s Principle.’

Do not purchase any item that doesn’t feel just right. If it is not just right then you are wasting your money and it will take up valuable real estate space in your wardrobe.

STEP 4. HEARING  – What do You Hear?

The sense of hearing relates to the voice inside your head, what others are saying to you as well as your personal noise barometer. What are you saying to yourself? Start to listen to that voice inside your head and take notice to whether your thoughts and comments to yourself are being positive or negative.  This inner critic voice will always want to foster negative thoughts if you let it. 

It is time to start to reframe your thinking when looking at your body and outfits. The other day I tried on a jumpsuit that I didn’t buy because it was just a little firm around the hips. When I came out of the change room and the sales lady asked , ‘How did it go?‘ I replied ‘This jumpsuit wasn’t made for my hip area.’ My words were not focused on my body not being right but on this article of clothing not being the best choice for the look I wanted and needed. It is possible to change the focus of your inner critic from being negative to being supportive.

What do you do when someone pays you a compliment? Many of us usually argue against what was said. Take notice of compliments and be accepting of them with a thank you and a smile.

Some accessories and fabrics can be distracting for the wearer and others because they can be noisy. Do you have some accessories or clothing that you are not wearing because it makes a noise. I had a pair of shoes that I loved wearing but they were so distracting because they made a squeaky sound.

STEP 5. SMELL – What are your preferences?

This sense is not quite as significant as the others. If your sense of smell is strong then you may find that some fabrics may not appeal to you. The other area that this sense can impact on is our personal hygiene and perfume preferences. It is important to remember to not over or under do the amount of perfumed products you wear.

Take a look in your wardrobe and notice the clothing that you are not wearing. Create outfits with the unworn clothing and try to identify what is not working for you.

‘Style Sense’ needs to start with recognising the elements in the clothing  you wear that you love, bring you joy and confidence. When you recognise these elements then use this knowledge to inform the outfits you create and the clothing you buy. Become more aware of YOU.

A professional style consultation explores how you can combine these elements to create a harmonious, coordinated and balanced outfit that enhances who you are, your NOW body shape and supports your work and social lifestyle.


How Can vertical Lines Impact on Your Look?



Vertical lines can have a positive effect on your look and style as they have the power to create an optical illusion that can create a lengthening and slimming effect.  Our eyes travel more quickly up and down vertical lines and this means that the eye is drawn upward thus elongating your look. When you understand how to dress for your body shape and proportions you can use vertical detailing and lines to create an enhancing outfit.

1. Vertical Details in Construction

Next time you choose an item of clothing take notice to the vertical detailing that it has. There are many different ways vertical detailing can be expressed in clothing such as:-

  • seams
  • pleats
  • zips
  • single breasted buttoned fronts
  • vertical stripes (width and colour combination of the stripes can influence your look in different ways)
  • folds created by the way the fabric drapes and hangs
  • pintucks
  • trouser seams and creases
  • vertical panelling

2. Vertical Details in Your Outfit

Vertical details can be created by the way you put your outfit together.

  • Wearing a monochromatic colour scheme. A monochromatic colour scheme is one that consists of tones of the same colour. When you wear a monochromatic colour scheme you are creating a continuous line of colour with no colour breaks to interupt the eye . This creates a lengthening and slimming effect.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - Monochromatic Colour Schemes


  • Accessories such as scarves, earrings  and necklaces also can create a vertical line.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - necklaces, earrings, scarves


  • A handbag shoulder strap also can create the illusion of lengthening in the top half of the body. Be aware of where the bulk of your bag stops in terms of your body. You don’t want to add any bulk to an area of your body that you don’t want to draw attention to such as bust, tummy, hips or even thighs.

How Can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - Shoulder Strap


  • An open cardigan, jacket  or vest will break your body up into thirds and create two vertical lines. This will be more flattering if the opening is not too wide. I have tried on many cardigans that fall on the outside of my breasts and this tends to make me look and feel wider. A more flattering effect is when the body appears to be more evenly divided.

How can vertical Lines Impact on your Look - Open Cardiga


  • Toning your shoe colour with the colour of your pants or skintone (if wearing skirts or dresses) will also create a continuous line and draw the eye upward. (I do not own a pair of nude / skin colour shoes because I haven’t found any that matched my preferred shoe style).How can Vertical lines impact on Your Look - Tone Shoe Colour to outfit

3. Vertical Stripes – What to be Aware Of 

Not all vertical stripes are created equal. The colour combination and width of the stripes can impact differently.

  • Narrower stripes lengthen.
  • Larger stripes widen.
  • Low contrast colours – These are colours that sit close to each other in terms of their lightness or darkness and can be more slimming.
  • High Contrast colours – These are colours that are light and dark (eg:- black and white) will be more noticeable and attract more attention.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on your Look - vertical stripes


4. Vertical Details – Creating Body Balance

Dressing your body in a way that enhances your look is about balancing your body shape and body proportions. Using vertical details can support the creation of balance in the following way.

Most of us have an area of the body that tends to be the place where we experience more weight gain. The area/s of our body where we tend to experience weight gain is generally a proportionally shorter area on the body.

Your body proportions could be:-

  1. longer body, shorter legs
  2. shorter body, longer legs
  3. balanced top and bottom but proportionally shorter from the bust to knees (this is me)
  4. balanced top and bottom.
  • Vertical detailing placed on your shorter area/s  will create the illusion of lengthening and balance.
  • Using vertical detailing throughout your outfit is a way of appearing taller.
  • Low contrast, narrow stripes can be great for someone who wishes to appear slimmer.
  • High contrast, wider stripes  can give the illusion of more width and work well for petites or those that want a look that creates curves.

Vertical detailing in your clothing can be your best friend. Take notice of the vertical detailing in your clothing and notice what is doing for your look.

A professional consultation is a great way to understand how to dress your body shape and proportions to discover






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