WORKING WITH LINES TO CREATE ILLUSION
The way others see us is an illusion created by the clothing we wear. Great dressers are master illusionists. Lines and the interaction of lines create optical illusions. The eye follows the line so why not take charge of where you want the eye to look.
Clothing has lines that can give balance to your body proportions. The lines can be structured or applied.
Structural lines are created by the way the garment is cut and sewn i.e. the garment's basic shape. Seams, darts, flares, tucks, gathers, etc. all contribute to the shape of the garment.
Applied design is added to make the garment more interesting. It could be the pattern of the fabric, the texture, smocking, pockets, etc. This type of design can add style and also help create the illusion of a well-proportioned body.
When the eye follows a
vertical line that line gives the illusion of height or length. When you wear clothing with vertical lines you will appear taller and thinner. An example might be a tunic or a coat dress with vertical buttons down the front of the garment. An unbroken area looks larger than the same area divided into segments by a vertical line. However not all verticals are created equal. A series of many vertical lines (like stripes or pleats) is more slenderizing if they are closer together and stitched down.When the verticals are farther apart, the eye jumps back and forth in a widening, horizontal direction thereby making you look wider.
When the eye follows a
horizontal line it adds width and shortens. Therefore when you wear clothing with horizontal lines you may appear shorter and wider. However if you think you are too thin ( and some are, believe it or not) this can provide the right illusion of proportion. If you think you are too tall, you can add a cuff to your trousers and you will appear shorter. Because a horizontal tends to hold attention, use one at a place you want to enlarge. Hemlines are horizontals that tend to stop the eye so be sure they fall at flattering points on your body. The most flattering hems align with your indentations and narrowing parts of your leg.
When the lines taper inward from shoulder to waist, the whole body appears taller and thinner. Contrarily, when the lines from shoulder to waist taper outward, the figure looks shorter and the waist fuller.
When your eye follows a
curved line, it adds roundness or fullness. Depending on the angle of the curve, it can lengthen or shorten. For instance a jacket that curves up at the hem or bottom gives the illusion of longer legs. If the arc of the curve goes down, it will shorten or widen. Be aware of this in patterns or prints.
Diagonal lines can widen or slim the body areas. Diagonal lines can be very flattering when they divert the direction of the eye past bust, waist, or hips without stopping.