Needing a Little Post Holiday Camouflage?
Happy day, lovely reader!
I think the number one question I am asked is “How can I look more slender?” (Its corollary is “How can I look taller?”) The two are related; if you look taller, you look skinnier, and vice versa. Think about a stretchy doll… The longer you stretch it, the skinnier it becomes. We don’t need to climb on the rack for that effect, though! Creating the illusion of more height will help you look more slender. And no! You don’t need to dress in black to look taller. As a matter of fact, black can weigh you down! Close your eyes and imagine a black box and a white box… Which “feels” heavier?
The easiest way to get a little extra height is to pop on a pair of heels. I am not talking about stilettos here. Even a one inch heel will create a different proportion. The trick with heels is making sure that the shoe flatters your face and frame. I know we’ve all seen the little tiny woman in shorts or a dress and the huge dark platform shoes… Instead of making her look taller, they just look clunky. The human eye is meant to keep moving; when we get stuck on those big shoes, it holds our eye down, and that shortens the wearer. Those same shoes hidden under a straight legged trouser would give her the illusion of more leg length. A similar issue crops up with a very dainty stiletto sandal on a substantial woman. When the heel is out of proportion with the wearer’s frame and size, that contrast draws more attention to her size. A more substantial stacked heel and wider straps give height without creating the unflattering disconnect.
Vertical lines are not only stripes. Any vertical lines: trouser creases, lapels, seaming, jacket or cardigan openings, waterfall draping or a long necklace, create a line for the eye to follow up and down, rather than from side to side. This is especially helpful where your proportions are shortest. If you are short through the waist, and long legged, wearing vertical lines through the torso area will help balance your proportions. If your legs are short, look for pinstripes, creases, and seaming to create those vertical lines on your bottom half. If trousers are short or cropped, hose and shoes in the same shade with create that longer vertical look. Even a t-strap on your shoe will add length!
Column of Color
An easy way to create another vertical line is to wear a Column of Color. This creates an illusion of length. You can wear that column on the inside with a top and bottom of similar color and shading, or on the outside with a bottom and topper. You can get even more length by wearing long trousers and shoes that match. Unless wearing a matching bootie, avoid cropped trousers. They create a horizontal line across the calf, shortening, rather than lengthening the leg.
Good fit is the holy grail of dress, and worth paying for alterations to get! We are looking for the Goldilocks’ fit here: Not Too Tight, Not Too Loose! We want our clothes to skim the body smoothly. The eye fills in baggy clothes, making you look larger than you are. Too tight clothes that pull and buckle thwart looking more slender and are unflattering to boot. Tops should fit properly across the bust with no pulling. If they pull, go up a size and have the length and sleeves customized for you. Make sure to wear trousers long enough to cover your shoes, but not so long that they puddle on the ground. No break looks most sleek. Most trousers will need to be hemmed for a particular heel height.
Remember what I said about clunky shoes earlier? Let’s work with the eye’s natural tendency to move. Color naturally draws the eye. Wearing color near your face draws the eye up. Upward movement creates the illusion of height. Sparkle works too! A colored necklace, scarf, or statement earrings are a great way to pull the focus back upward towards your face.
How about you? Is looking more slender one of your wishes when you dress? Or do you feel the need to fill out? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below!