I believe that every one can look good in their shape right now, no crazy diets or exercise regimes needed. Why shouldn’t you feel great in what you wear and your own skin right now? My role of a stylist is exactly that, to enable you to see the beauty of your body and how we can highlight that with clothing. The best way to do this is through illusion dressing.
Illusion dressing creates the illusion and tricks the eye into seeing something completely different. It is the easiest way to create shape and/or to minimise bulk around the stomach, thighs and hips. So for those that would like to create the illusion of a slimmer or leaner figure how do you do that?
Vertical lines help draw the eye up and down which brings the lines of the body inwards therefore creating a slimmer physique. Using vertical lines is the most important illusion if you want to bring that extra bulk inwards or deflect the eye away from the parts of your body you would rather hide.
So how do you do this with vertical lines? Well there are some simple ways that you can do this.
The first off is to wear vertical lines itself. So how does wearing vertical lines work? Vertical lines in one garment like a dress or one piece like a skirt or shirt physically creates lines in a pattern that force the eye to follow in an up and down movement. It is this up and down movement (rather than moving in a horizontal plane) that tricks the eye into thinking your physique is slimmer and leaner than it is, it can even trick the eye into thinking you are taller too.
So, you can wear simple vertical lines in a pattern or vertical lines in a garments’ details. By garment details I mean pleats and folds which create vertical line/s within the texture of a garment. Simple details like this trick the eye just like vertical line prints.
Head to toe colour
Another easy way is to simply wear one head to toe colour. This creates one simplified vertical line which enables the eye to travel seamlessly up and down therefore tricking the eye into thinking the physique underneath is slimmer than it is.
For an added “slim bonus” this is best done with darker colours; we’ve all heard the saying “black is slimming” and there is some truth in that. Darker colours absorb light and don’t reflect light and therefore can be more slimming as they easily hide bumps, puckers and pulls and therefore hide width around the body (whether it be around the bust, stomach, hips or thighs).
Tip: bright prints and colours attract the eye to wherever they are worn so are best avoided in areas you want to minimise or added when you want to draw the eye to your best features.
If one colour head to toe feels too much or for some of you feel a little bit too heavy you can create a vertical line with panels instead.
To create a vertical panel wear the same colour or print in both a layering piece and a bottom. So, by bottoms this could be jeans, pants, shorts or skirts (whatever bottom you wish) and then the layering piece is a jacket of some sort, such as a blazer, denim jacket, blazer, undone shirt, vest or even a trench coat.
To create a panel then style a top underneath the jacket, such as a white top or shirt. This top creates a differentiation between the jacket and bottom allowing these pieces to create a panel of one colour on the outside of the body – the widest parts of the body. then creating a seamless panel of colour on the outside which creates a beautiful vertical, slimming line.
Suits and co-ordinated sets are perfect for creating a vertical panel. Otherwise choose similar colour shades or denim washes to create the same effect.
Play with Proportions
Lastly another way we can create a leaner figure is to play with proportions. Now these are simple tricks to enable your legs and your arms to appear longer than they are. By doing this we create the illusion of being taller and with a taller illusion a slimmer illusion is also created.
Simple things you can do is to wear high-waisted pants or skirt. By wearing a high waisted bottom this means you are bringing the waistline upwards which creates the illusion of longer legs. Essentially the brain thinks where the waist bands start is where your legs start so there for a higher rise waistband tricks the eye to travel downward for a longer time than normal, creating the illusion of longer legs and a leaner figure.
Other ways you can trick the mind into thinking you have longer limbs and creating the same effect is by simply cuffing your hem lines. This could be as simple as rolling your jeans or the the hems on your jackets/shirts. By cuffing it shows skin behind a hem line therefore giving the illusion of longer limbs. It also displays the slimmest part of the limb creating a slimmer overall effect.
The last way you can play with proportion and trick the mind is to wear nude or skin coloured shoes. By wearing skin colour shoes it blends in with your own skin tone and therefore tricks the eye into thinking the foot and therefore the leg is longer than it appears. Thus the illusion of a longer, leaner physique is created.
Another ways you can draw your eye up and down is through necklines.
A scoop neck draws across the body (in a horizontal plane therefore creating the illusion of width) So, if you want to reduce the width in your upper body or bust choose a neckline the draws the eye in a vertical plane – a V neckline is perfect for this.
It doesn’t need to be a deep V, you don’t need to show cleavage for those that don’t like to do that, but a simple V even in a polo top can draw the eye up and down creating a slimmer upper body.
Accessories & Details
Lastly, we can create vertical lines with details in our clothing. As I mentioned before details such as pleats and textures and seams in your pants create vertical lines but other details and accessories can have the same effect.
Choosing clothing with statement buttons running in vertical plain attract the eye forcing it do follow the line of the buttons up and down therefore bringing the silhouette inwards.
If you aren’t wearing a V neckline create a vertical V to draw the eye up and down with a long necklace or layered necklaces.
Tip: to make the most of this slimming illusion just don’t choose necklaces that finish at parts of your body you may want to minimise (such as your bust) as this is where the eye will be attracted to. Instead choose longer chain lengths or add on a longer chain to keep the vertical illusion travelling down.
The best news is these six different ways to create a slimmer, leaner and even taller physique through clothing give you lots of different options to play around with. You can implement the above illusion tricks today (no need to wait) with items you already have in your closet, helping you save money and build your wardrobe confidence with little extra effort.