Posts tagged ‘Principle of Volume’

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.




How to Style Jeans for Work

ABC of Styling Jeans for Work


How to  Style Jeans for Work

Getting dressed for work can be frustrating and tricky especially if it is Casual / Dressed Down Friday. Remember when dressing for Casual Friday that you are still going to work and most work places have a dress code. It is important that you maintain a standard of dress that is appropriate for work and meets the dress code if there is one.  Dressing down or in a more casual manner for work is definitely not to be interpreted as casual weekend wear unless you work in a very relaxed work place. In some work places it seems as if some people interpret a casual/ dressed down look as anything goes. Casual Dress in the work place does not mean sloppy or inappropriate. Here is an ABC of How to Style your  Jeans for Work that outlines some guidelines to consider:-

A is for APPRORIATENESS and the look you are after is professional and stylish.

  • Ensure that the style and type of denim is suitable and of a good quality.
  • Avoid the too’s of denim – too baggy, too tight, too distressed, too holey and frayed, too much detailing, too low rise.
  • Dark denim without ornamentation or distressing presents are more relaxed business style.
  • Clarify whether jeans are an acceptable mode of dress for your workplace. All workplaces will differ in what they see as appropriate attire for their business.

B is for BALANCE

  • Your look needs to balance the work  dress code and your interpretation of casual.
  • Consider what activities you will be doing during the work day because this can impact on how professional you may need to look. If you have important meetings or presentations on Casual or Dress Down Friday it may not be appropriate to wear jeans.
  • Adding a more structured jacket to your jeans can lift the level of refinement.


  • Think about what messages the clothes you are wearing are giving out.
  • Look at your chosen outfit and consider the words that would describe how you look. Are those words related to a work look or a weekend, night out look?
How to Style Your Jeans for Work

When styling your jeans for work remember:-

  • Casual relaxed work attire is less structured and softer in appearance but needs to fit you well and be in good condition.
  • Darker denim is more work appropriate.
  • Adding a third piece such as a jacket, vest, shrug or cardigan (not bulky knits) can create a more work appropriate look.
  • A casual work look can incorporate more colour, patterns and brightness.
  • Small to medium sized jewellery is most appropriate for a work environment.
  • When deciding on what shoes to wear remember the more enclosed they are the more appropriate they will be. Occupational health and safety needs to be considered.

If you are wearing jeans to work you need to ensure that your look is work / office appropriate, friendly and professional. Relaxed, casual or dressed down does not mean sloppy and inappropriate.

How to Combine Voluminous Clothing

Principle of Volume

Have you heard of Principles of Volume? This can be an important element when styling your outfits.

Outfits need to look balanced. Trying to style an outfit with one fuller or more voluminous item can be difficult. To achieve a balanced, harmonious and flattering look you need to consider the Principles of Volume.

Principles of Volume relates to the overall silhouette / shape of the items combined as in tops and bottoms. Tops, skirts and pant shapes can be voluminous or slim.  For there to be balance and harmony in an outfit  you need to wear a voluminous top with slim line pants/skirts and vice versa – wear a slim top with a more voluminous skirt or pants. This guideline creates more shape and does not result in a boxy look.

As in most things there are always exceptions. Personality Styles play a major part in how we like to wear our clothing. If your Personality Style includes Dramatic, Creative or Rebellious as mine does you may not follow the Principles of Volume guideline because you feel most comfortable when stretching or breaking the rules and like to create a look that is different to everyone else.

The following is one of my favourite outfits that combines 2 voluminous items of clothing. When I wear this I always feel liberated, free and very comfortable.

Principle of Volume Outfit

How to Balance an Outfit


I unearthed this asymmetrical red Riding Hood jacket during my wardrobe reorganisation last week. This treasure was purchased 2 years ago and worn only twice. It was  hiding away in the spare room wardrobe. ( REMINDER TO SELF AND EVERYONE ELSE – What you can’t see and access easily you won’t wear). Not good cost per wear value . I have worn it twice in the last week and it is now hanging in my wardrobe where I can see it and wear it.


This jacket is not a fitted style and has a lot of volume. When a garment such as a top, jacket, skirt, pants  is more voluminous it needs to teamed with a slimmer shaped top or bottom. This follows the Principles of Volume guidelines and results in an outfit that is balanced and does not look too boxy and makes you look larger all over. As you can see from these examples.

Red Riding Hood Jacket 018

Red jacket with my favourite boyfriend jeans looks too boxy.

Red Riding Hood Jacket 013Red Riding Hood Jacket 020

Red jacket with skinny jeans(left) and teal skinny pants (right) looks more balanced and appealing.

PLEASE NOTE: The images I imported definitely had my head and feet in the picture but they have gone missing in action during the process. Apologies.


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