Making Stripes Work for Your Body Shape

Pants: Winners, similar herehere & here & LOVE these yellow ones | Silk Tank Top: Club Monaco, similar here & here |Wedge Sandals: Michael Kors (On Sale, under $100), also like these Michael Kors Wedge Sandals (on sale too!) | Handbag: Michael Kors (unavailable), but similar here & here & also like this one !| Watch: Tag Hauer (I have had this watch for 8 years & wear it everyday, great investment)

Ever put on a horizontally striped garment and feel like you’ve gained weight? That’s because colour and pattern affect the eye’s perception of an object—a visual truth that can make or break how an ensemble flatters your over-all shape and figure. This obviously effects how you feel. We all want to feel confident and beautiful in our clothes, so understanding how to put this visual truth to work in your closet, so that it benefits you and you figure, is key.

No one body shape is the exact same, but all are created equally beautiful in their own way.  It’s important to not compare our body to others, but to embrace what we have been blessed with and focus on emphasizing the parts we love most. No matter your body shape or figure, our goal should always be to create balance. Playing with vertical and horizontal stripes are a great way to do this.

That said, all stripes are NOT created equal (literally), but regardless of width, colour, and direction, it’s totally possible to create a figure flattering look for everyone. It’s all about choosing what works best for your body. In other words, whatever your shape, there is a stripe for you! A good rule of thumb: Vertical stripes create length, whereas horizontal stripes create width. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key body shapes and quickly discuss how to make stripes work for each.

  1. Inverted Triangle: horizontal on bottom will balance out hips with shoulders.
  2. Pear: vertical strips on bottom with horizontal stripes on top will create balance in all the right places.
  3. Rectangle: use thick horizontal stripes in areas you want to create curves.
  4. Hourglass: either horizontal or vertical stripes working , but if you want to accentuate curves, recommend horizontal.
  5. Petite: Vertical stripes will work best to create allusion of height.

As you can see the vertical stripe I’m wearing on bottom helps elongate my legs making me appear taller. The paper-bag waist is great for my hourglass figure and just SO comfortable. You could choose almost any colour as a pop with this stripe, as the navy and white pairs well with so many colours, but I chose to do white to keep it crisp, clean, classics and a bit nautical. Also, white attracts attention, drawing the eye up, thus complementing the vertical stripe strategy really well, over-all, producing a look that is balanced and figure-flattering for my shape.

If you would like to learn more about how to make stripes work to your advantage or choosing figure flattering garments for your body shape, check out our services at Requisite Consulting to learn more. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

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