This is a great visual example of how a print can create the optical illusion that an area of your body is larger. Even if the color is right, the print scale or design can be unflattering.
One of my clients sent me these pictures asking which outfit works best for her. I consider both the client’s shape and color as well as the outfit color and design when evaluating if an outfit is flattering.
As a CLEAR color code, with very dark hair, dark eyes but very fair skin, she has high contrast. Therefore the colors in her outfit should be in high contrast colors to be in harmony with her coloring. So the colors in both outfits are beautiful for her.
The outfit on the left has a high contrast top with black, white and red. The outfit on the right has an overall high contrast with black and white. The black top is a great color for her as a Clear. However, compared to the outfit on the right, she looks thinner in the black top.
Let’s consider the top on the left. There are several elements in the design which create the illusion that she is larger on top than on the bottom. She appears to be a V body shape with shoulders wider than her hips. Actually her hips are the same width as her shoulders. She has a little bit of belly fluff. She is my client so I know for a fact that she is not as round above her belly as this top makes her look. Here’s what’s going on:
The print is a little too small and busy for her frame making her look bigger above her belly.
The red V-line draws attention to her challenge area – the belly.
Her hips are even with her shoulders, however the wide set straps with the reverse triangle print creates the perception that her shoulders are wider than her hips, resulting in a top-heavy effect.
She ended up opting for a simple, solid black top (right) with a higher neckline. It’s actually the fact that this is a solid darker color that makes it work. The top just skims over her belly and hips, which is a very flattering option for her body shape. You can see that the higher neckline on the right is actually more flattering than the lower neckline on the left.
Caution on long necklaces: try to avoid the necklace length ending at your challenge area, calling attention to the precise area you want to camouflage. This necklace works for her because she doesn’t have a belly that sticks out where that necklace ends.
The outfit on the right is a much better option for her.