Posts tagged ‘Horizontal Lines’

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







Three Top Styling Tips to Enhance Your Look

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.

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.




The Most Flattering Length


The Most Flattering Length 


Finding the most flattering length for your hems is so important. This post looks at the elements to find the most flattering length for tops, shirts, jackets, dresses and skirts.

Hemlines on your clothing create a horizontal line across your body and can be flattering or unflattering to your shape. Where your sleeves, tops, jackets, skirts, dresses and pants end has an impact on your outfit and overall appearance. 

Your body shape and proportions play an important part when choosing the most flattering hemline. 

THE GOLDEN LINE RULE applies to arms, busts, waists, hips, thighs, calves.


Horizontal lines have the potential to widen.

  • If  you have a large bust it could be better to avoid stopping your sleeve length in line with your bust as this will only widen the look of this area. I
  • f you have a smaller bust than stopping your sleeve at your bust can have an enhancing effect.
  • Avoid stopping the hemline of a top at the fullest part of your arms. Make the length either above or below your widest part.
  • Diagonal hemlines for short sleeves can be more enhancing than straight hemlines as you they do not create a horizontal line.
  • Wearing 3/4 sleeves or pushing your long sleeves up your arms is most flattering as it can give the illusion of a longer and slimmer look.
  • Long sleeves are best hemmed at wrist level when your arms are at your side. Don’t forget to check where the hemline is sitting and if this is positioned at your narrowest or widest part of your hip / thigh area.
  • If you do not have a defined waist than stopping your top / jacket at this point will not be flattering. Experiment by trying just above or below the waist.
  • Experiment with the placement of the hemline of your tops / jackets around the hip area. Your narrowest point may be at the top, middle or bottom of the hip area. See which looks and feels best.
  • Asymmetrical and curved hemlines can be flattering
  • The most universally flattering length for all shapes, sizes & heights is just above, at or below the knee. 
  • Many people forget to consider what happens to their dress / skirt length when they sit down. For most situations, especially  for work,  the length needs to be no more than 2 cms above the knee.
  • Knee length can have the effect of elongating your legs especially if you wear shoes that tone with your legs or tights. This length suits most people but particularly those with shorter legs.
  • If you are wanting a longer length, midi / calf length then  make sure you hem above or below the widest part of your calf.
  • Longer lengths can sometimes create a more aging look  If you have shorter legs then a longer length will not be as flattering. 
  • Asymmetrical and curved hemlines can be flattering.

REMEMBER when thinking hemlines BEWARE OF YOUR WIDEST POINTS and take care to notice where your hemlines end.

Altering your hemlines to FIND THE MOST FLATTERING LENGTH can have a positive impact on how your outfit looks and feels.

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