How to Choose a Slimming Fabric


The fabric a garment is made in, can completely alter the way it sits and whether it is flattering or not for your body. If you’re a more cushioned type of person, be very aware of the fabrics you choose as they can make you appear to add or lose weight.
How to choose a flattering fabric - stiff vs fluid fabric
For example, this shirt (on the left) is made from a stiffer fabric which stands away from the body, visually adding bulk. It doesn’t fall smoothly over the body, but rather creates a tent effect.
Compare it to this shirt (on the right), whilst kind of similar in style, is made from a much more drapey fabric, thus makes the model (same gal) look slimmer.
There are a couple of other reasons that make the shirt on the left less flattering for this model – can you work out what they are?
Answer: The size or scale of the print and the gathered neckline.
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  • I think the problem is the bold print of the shirt as well as the full sleeve makes the torso area look larger then the shorter sleeve in the second photo.

  • The wider, open neckline of the blue shirt opens and lengthens (eyes up and down), while the red shirt takes your eyes horizontally (broadens). The length of the red shirt is not flattering at all (hips seems large), but the length of the blue shirt is, well, lengthening (does not notice hip size). Large print as oppose to single dark colour, and the width of the sleeves does not help the red shirt to be slimming. The red shirt sleeves end around her waist, and unconsciously create a horizontal line ( when eyes move horizontal – broadens). The blue shirt sleeves moves your eyes down an angle, and therefor lengthens. Red shirt looks square and boxy, blue shirt looks long and flowing… 🙂

    • Riette, you are right about all those other issues, but also, the fabric is stiffer. The red shirt could be exactly the same shape as the blue, and it would still look larger because of the stiffer fabric.

      • You asked the readers what was wrong besides fabric type. Riette was answering your question.

        Very interesting, informative blog you have here 🙂

  • I think the pattern with the bold horizontal stripes add girth. I am the same shape as that woman and I know if I put that on, it would be over the head, quick look and straight off. The fact that its slightly shorter also makes it look wider and a lower round neckline gives the impression of a slender neck too and this one is slightly higher and a smaller circle, making her neckline look shorter and her breasts more hefty…. plus the colours do nothing for her and its an ugly top!

  • The right picture has a deeper neckline and vertical pleating which elongate and slim the body. The neckline on the left is elongated horizontally making her look wider. The fabric is stiff on the left and visually adds weight to the person. The fabric on the right is soft, flowy and hugs to the body more. It clings at the waist making it appear smaller and floats over the hips. This creates a focus on the narrow waist. Big patterns can disguise a large frame by confusing the eye, however a smaller pattern should be used here. In contrast, the solid color is slimming by comparison. Finally, the sleeves on the right end right at the waist line creating a focal point on the narrow waist line. The sleeves on the left end at the broader hips putting focus there.

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