Dressing Your Body Type Part One: The Fundamentals

April came in with a bang here in Wyoming. We had a record breaking snow storm to top off our record breaking winter!! With 27 inches of snow on the ground and piled up in the middle of the streets, it is hard to think about Spring and Summer, but I know in just a few days the sun will be shining again.

Dressing your body type is important year round, but I think we give it more credence in the summer months when more of our bodies are exposed. Winter allows us to hide, after all, sweaters are just blankets you wear to work. But when the summer months come, hiding in our clothing is not an option. So, for this month’s Wednesday Wardrobing Videos and Blog Posts, I am going to do a four part Dressing Your Body Type series. You can watch my live videos in our Facebook VIP Group at 6 p.m. MST. I will post this blog first, so it will give you a chance to read the blog and then watch the video. If you miss the live video, you can also check it out on my YouTube page.

Part I: April 5th at 6 p.m.: The Fundamentals

Part II: April 12th at 6 p.m.: Pear, Diamond and Round

Part III: April 19th at 6 p.m.: Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, and Straight/Rectangle

Part IV: April 26th at 6 p.m.: Dealing With Problem Areas

Tonight, we will be talking about the fundamentals of color value, optical illusions and fabrics and how they relate to making the most slimming clothing choices.

The first of these is Color Value. If you watched my March Wednesday Wardrobing Series on Determining Your Color Palate or followed my blog posts, you will know that value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color When you are considering value in determining your best color palate, you consider your skin tone, hair tone and eye color. Value can be simplified into light and dark or looked at more completely as on a scale from one to five, with one being the lightest and five being the darkest. When you are considering value in clothing, you are focused on the lightness or darkness of a clothing item. This is important because lighter values will draw your attention while darker values will recede. Thus, when you are dressing your body, you want to put lighter color values on parts you want to draw attention to and darker color values on parts you want to draw less attention to.

Second, we need to consider Visual Illusions.

Vertical Lines: As you have probably been told, vertical lines tend to lengthen. They are best for a shorter figure or to slim a wider figure. This truth has been misunderstood by many to lead them to always avoid horizontal stripes. That is a shame because regularly spaced horizontal lines that are narrow also have a slimming effect. What you want to avoid are large, thick horizontal stripes.

Diagonal Lines. The steeper a diagonal line is, the more slimming it will be. A deep v neckline, then, will be more slimming than a shallow v neck. Also, a deeper curved crew neck will be more slimming than a shallow curve.

Horizontal Divisions. You have probably heard that monochromatic outfits (all the same color) are the most slimming for any body type. When you start combining colors, there are few concepts to consider. Uneven horizontal divisions are more slimming than a horizontal division in the middle. Thus, it is more slimming to divide your body with an empire waist or wear a long jacket over a mini skirt,than it is to divide your body at the waist, placing one color on top and one on the bottom.

Background Colors: If you place a light white dot on a black circle and compare it to a black dot on a white circle, you will notice that the darker dot will recede and look smaller than the white dot. This is important when considering prints. A dark background with a light print will draw more attention and seem bigger than a light background with a dark print.

Third, we need to consider Fabric Textures.

Fabric is everything when you are looking for a flattering fit. The weight and drape of the fabric is what will make or break the shape of a garment on your body. Light fabrics tend to show your figure flaws, while heavy fabrics do a better job of draping instead of clinging. Also important is the stiffness of a fabric. Softer fabrics will lay against the body while stiffer fabrics will stand out from the body. The stiffer fabrics tend to add extra visual weight. Some things to consider in choosing fabrics:

  1. You get what you pay for. Better quality fabrics hold their shape longer.
  2. When you layer two different fabrics with two different weights, put the heavier fabric on top
  3. You can jazz up a monochromatic outfit by combining textures: smooth and rough, matte and shiny
  4. Shiny fabrics will add weight
  5. Loose looks work best with a draped fabric while tailored styles work better with thicker fabric
  6. If going for an oversized trend, choose soft and drapy fabrics over heavy fabrics.
  7. Accentuate your curves and hide your budges.

These concepts will build the foundation of the rest of our discussions about dressing your body type! See you next Wednesday at 6 p.m. MST.

2 thoughts on “Dressing Your Body Type Part One: The Fundamentals

  1. Pingback: Dressing Your Body Type Part II: Pear, Diamond and Round | Talking Trends

  2. Pingback: Dressing Your Body Type Part III: Hourglass, Inverted Triangle and Rectangle | Talking Trends

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