Archive for the ‘Body Shapes’ Category

How Can Horizontal Lines Impact on Your Look

How Can Horizontal Lines Impact on Your Look



Horizontal lines in clothing can impact on your overall look. Where you place horizontal lines on your body can be enhancing or distracting depending on your body shape.

Our eyes travel more slowly across a horizontal line. Horizontal lines can create a broader and widening effect depending on where they are placed on the body. Horizontal lines in clothing are noticed before vertical, curved or diagonal lines. This means they are noticed first and can create a focus on where they are placed on your body. Taking notice of where horizontal detailing is placed on your body can explain why an outfit may not be working for you.

Body Placement

The impact of horizontal lines in your clothing relates to your body shape and how you feel about certain areas of your body. The areas of the body to take notice of are shoulders, bust, waist, hips thighs, knees, calves and ankles. Horizontal lines can be used to create balance between the upper and lower body depending on your body shape.

Body shape is determined by your skeletal structure and relates to the shoulders, lower rib cage – waist, hips and thighs.

Horizontal lines can create body balance in the following ways.

  •  Placing horizontal detailing on the shoulders can create balance if your shoulders are narrower than your hips.
  • A small bust can look larger with the placement of horizontal detailing such as pockets, sleeve length, double breasted buttons and horizontal stripes.
  • A large bust will look larger when horizontal elements are placed in line with this area.
  • Placing seams, bands and belts on your waist will be enhancing if you have a defined waist and wish to showcase this area. If you have an undefined waist than avoid horizontal details in this area.
  • Placing horizontal detailing on your hips can create body balance if your hips are narrower than your shoulders.

Broken Horizontal Lines in Clothing

Sometimes horizontal lines are created by what we call broken horizontal lines. Broken horizontal lines can be created by  some hemlines and constructions details.

Broken Horizontal Lines

When selecting clothing take notice of the horizontal detailing that is present.  Let’s look at where we find horizontal lines / details in clothing:-

  • Straight hemlines in sleeves, tops, shirts, jackets, cardigans, pants and shorts create an invisible horizontal line across the body. It is important to take notice of where these hemlines are crossing your body. The areas of the body to take notice of are shoulders, bust, waist, hips thighs, knees, calves and ankles. A broken line across these areas can have a widening effect.
  • Double pockets can be widening. It is important to take note of their placement on your body. The caramel jacket above has pocket placements on the thigh area. These pockets are also in line with the sleeve cuffs and length. This would not be enhancing if you wanted to avoid focus on your thigh area.
  • Double breasted buttons can create a focus on the middle section of your body. These can work well if you are petite and want to create some more shaping.
  • Shoe details such as ankle and leg straps & boot height create unbroken lines. It is important to take notice as to where these are sitting on your leg. If the are finishing on a larger area then they will not look enhancing.
  • Horizontal distressing on jeans can create a widening effect.
  • Bands on jackets, tops, pants will creating a double horizontal line placement across your body.

Horizontal Stripes

Horizontal Stripes


Horizontal stripes can vary according to the width, colour, contrast and placement on the body.

  • Narrow stripes do not create as much widening as larger stripes.
  • The difference between the lightness and darkness of the stripes is called the value contrast. When the stripes are more different in value then the impact of the stripes is greater. The black and white striped dress above has a high value.
  • The navy dress would appear more slimming because it has narrower stripes and a lower value contrast.
  • Lighter and brighter colours in the stripes are more noticeable. The black and dark grey striped jumper will have less impact than the blue striped jumper because it is darker.


 Belts & Colour Blocking

Horizontal Lines Belts Colours


  • Belts are a great way to showcase a defined waist. A belt will always create a horizontal line across your body. The colour and size of the belt can make a difference when creating an enhancing look. Look at the three dresses above. Wearing a belt that blends in with the outfit will create less of a focus. The white belt above has the greatest difference in value contrast and stands out more and creates more focus on the waist.
  • When you combine colours that are similar the overall look will be more slimming. This is because the horizontal hemline is not as defined and noticeable. In the outfit images above the middle image has used two blocks of colour in the outfit. This results in a strong horizontal hemline defining her top and bottom half. The hemline on the right is less noticeable because the colour and value difference is minimal.

 Important considerations:-

Take notice of the horizontal details in your clothing and how it is relating to your body shape and overall look.

  1. If you do not want an area of your body to appear larger or wider avoid horizontal detailing in that area.
  2. Stopping a horizontal hemline above or below the widest part of the area will always be more flattering.
  3. Use horizontal lines in clothing to create balance and harmony with your upper and lower body shape.


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







Most Flattering Length – What About Pant Length?

What About Pant Length?


 Have you ever put on a pair of pants with a different pair of shoes and the outfit didn’t look right?

Finding the most flattering pant length can be difficult for a number of reasons:-
  • There are many different styles of pants.
  • We might want to wear our pants with different shoes.
  • Different shoes usually require different lengths.
  • Mass produced pants do not take into consideration that we all have different leg lengths.


  • Hem your pants according to the shoe you are going to wear most often.
  • If you love a pair of pants and know you want to wear them with both heels and flats then you may consider buying 2 pairs the same.
  • When trying on pants make sure the length is long enough because you can’t add length.
  • The most flattering pant length needs to follow the Goldilocks Principle and be “just right” for the style of pants and the shoes.
  • Taking your pants to a dress maker can make a difference.

Most Flattering Length – What About Pant Length?

The guide to pant length:-

  • Trousers / Straight Legs suit a hemline that sits on the top of the foot halfway between your toes and heel.
  • Wide Leg / Flared Pants should not cover the entire front of the foot or shoe. There needs to be some toe and heel showing. If you wear these pants too long you will risk damaging the bottom of the pants on the ground and the possibility of having your pants get caught in your shoes.
  • Skinny Pants will bunch over the top of your the foot if they are too long. The hem needs to sit on the top of the foot and bottom of the ankle.
  • Ankle Pants are usually tapered and are best with a hem that shows the entire top of the feet and the ankle.
  • Cropped or Cargo pants can be most unflattering if the length and width are not appropriate. These pants can make you look shorter or wider depending on where you place your hemline. If you have are short, have shorter legs or are petite then stopping your hemline under the knee will be the most flattering. For those who have are taller or have longer legs then mid calf can work well. However you need to ensure that the hemline stops above or below the widest part of your calf.

REMEMBER:  Your personality style and preferences will always be a determining factor in what and how you wear your clothing. These are guidelines that can assist in determining why something is or is not working for you.

How to Dress an Undefined Waist

How to Dress an Undefined Waist


Some people do not have a defined waist. Their body shape is straighter and this can make it difficult to wear a belt without creating a boxy look. If you have an undefined waist and want to wear a belt here are a few ideas.
  • Wearing a belt under a coat, jacket or vest gives some definition without making your waist look wider (not a look we want to create if we have an undefined waist).
  • Wearing a curved or hip belt takes the focus from your waist while providing some definition.
  • Wearing a contrasting belt colour will create a greater focus than wearing a belt colour that blends with your clothing.
  •  Whether you wear a narrow or wider belt depends on how much space you have between the top of you hip bone and the bottom of you rib cage. Less space means a narrower belt will be more comfortable and flattering.

Have fun experimenting with different belts to create a look that you like.


Styling with a Rubber Band

PURPLE DRESSdress pink 8


This is the dress that became the  inspiration for using a rubber band to restyle tops and dresses to create more shaping, visual interest or change in hemlines. This method saved a number of clothing items from the recycling bag.

After loosing some weight my favourite dress looked rather shapeless and unflattering. I started playing with the dress by pulling and moving it about and had a light bulb moment – ‘What if I tied it on the inside with a rubber band?’

The dress on the right shows the result of much experimenting. I loved the result and started to try it on a number of tops.

I am a H body shape and do not have a defined waist so my aim was to create the illusion of some definition of shape. My narrowest point is at the top of of my ribcage under my bust so that is approximately where I wanted the rubber band to sit and create the ruching effect.



navy top 1

Place a finger on an outside point where you think  tying  off might work. This is all about experimenting and redoing.



Keep the finger in position while bringing the bottom of the garment up towards your chest so you can expose from the reverse side where you finger is located.



Pinch and pull the piece of fabric where you are going to place the rubber band.





Wind the rubber band around the fabric. Make sure it is tight. I have found that you need to wind the rubber band at least a minimum distance of 2 – 3 mm from the end. This ensure the band will not come off. We don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions.



Check the end result to see if the look is right. Repeat the process if necessary. I sometimes need to do this a few times to find the right placement.




From these examples you can see that you can have the placement point of the band in different places.

                        IMG_0756neutral, hero, floral shoe 015neutral, hero, floral shoe 025





Dressing for Your Body Shape

Dressing for your body shape


Dressing for your body shape can make a difference to how you look and feel. There are many elements that come together to create a flattering and stylish outfit. This post looks at the importance of the silhouette – how the shape and fit of your clothing relates to your body.

Choosing clothing that fits and follows your body shape is important.  It is not the size on the label that counts. Clothing that clings tends to emphasize any lumps and bumps you may have. I call these bits my jobbly bits because they wobble and jiggle.

Clothing that is too tight and clingy is not enhancing your look. It creates a focal point by focusing attention on the areas you would rather others not notice. The look you want is one where your clothing drapes and skims  over your body but not clings to it.

Consider these points when deciding whether a piece of clothing is enhancing your shape.

  • Fabric impacts on the clinginess or draping effect of clothing. Just because a fabric has stretch in it doesn’t mean it is not going to cling. Ensure you look in a mirror taking in the view from front, back and sides – just like driving a car – look in all directions 
  • What you wear under your top or dress can make a difference. A good fitting bra is essential to ensuring  that you do not have overhang from the top or bottom of the back strap. This is definitely an area where you will get unsightly clinging if your bra does not fit properly.
  • Take notice of how any bra details such as lace and seams impact on your outfit. It is never a good look to see the seams or lacy pattern of your bra through your clothing.
  • Make sure your bra type suits the clothing you are wearing. There is not one bra that suits all tops or dresses. There are a variety of bras available so choose one that suits your the top or dress you are wearing. It is never flattering to see bra straps or backs exposed.
  • The colour of your bra also has an impact especially when wearing white. The best bra colour to wear under white or light clothing is nude – never white. Wearing a camisole  or slip dress under your t-shirts or  dresses can  be flattering by reducing the impact of possible clinginess.
  • Wearing a bra that supports and uplifts will always be the most flattering. When your bra lifts and supports your waist can appear more defined.
REMEMBER THE GOLDILOCK’S PRINCIPLE – Make sure the outfit you are wearing enhances how you look and feel by being ‘JUST RIGHT.’

Dress the body you have

Dress the body you have



Which Style of Coat is for You?

 whish Style of Coat is for You?


A coat is  an essential item of clothing if you live in a cold winter climate. It is an investment piece because it is an item of clothing that needs to be durable and you will probably have it for more than one season.

It is important to invest in a coat that is going to:-

  • fit well
  • be flattering to your body shape
  • suit your colouring whether it is neutral or coloured 
  • suit your style personality
  • have the Goldilock’s Principle – feel and look just right

Let’s look at the elements to consider when buying a coat.

Which Style of Coat is for You? - How to Chppse a Winter Coat

Consider whether your body is curvy and has a waist or straighter with little or no waist definition. Coats with shaping, waist detailing or that are meant to be belted are best suited to body shapes with a  waist.

For those of us who have little or no waist definition a coat without too much shaping and worn not belted would be more suited. If the coat has a belt it can be loosely tied at the back.


Look at the detailing on coats.Detailing might include pockets, lapels, buttons – single or double breasted.
These elements can create a focal point and draw attention to the area. Consider where the detailing is placed and decide whether you want attention to be focussed there.

For instance horizontal detailing such as pockets and double breasted buttons create a visual horizontal line across the body thus making this part of the body look wider – do you want this?

Lapels and shoulder detailing will draw attention and make this area look wider – great if you have narrow shoulders, are slim or petite.

3.  COLOURS:  

The best colour to choose is one that harmonies with your personal  colouring – is it warm or cool?
Choosing a colour that is similar to your hair or eye colour will always flatter and look great.

You can always choose a colour that compliments your hair or eye colour – (opposite colour on the colour wheel).

Complimentary colours for blue eyes = orange (warm),  reds, pinks (cool) / brown eyes = blue (warm or cool) / green eyes = reds & burgundy (warm), reds, violets (cool).

Complimentary colours for brown hair = blues (warm or cool) / blonde hair = purples (warm or cool) / red hair = greens (warm or cool).

It is always important to consider whether the colour is warm or cool so that it harmonises with your own colouring and ensures you look healthy, vibrant and younger.


 Your Style personality plays an important role in whether you are likely to choose a coat that is coloured or neutral or plain or patterned and how much detailing there is.



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