More Ways to Create a Column of Colour to Lengthen and Slim


Yesterday’s post on using a column of colour had lots of comments and a few queries which I thought I’d answer today.

Pearlaceous said…


I understand the principle behind this, Imogen, and this is what I actually do when I wear black jeans or trousers, but how do I make it work with my blue jeans? I don’t have any denim coloured shoes, or dark blue tops either! Would black shoes/tops work the same way with blue denim in elongating the body line?


A top that has some depth, so grey, black, or charcoal would all work.

Always make shoes darker than your pants if you don’t have a colour that blends exactly – so black shoes work well with a darker blue denim.

Shiny here. I am 5’0″ and I have lately been wondering why strive to look taller? The reality is, everyone towers over me. I’m not fooling anyone. I am thinking maybe looking proportionate is more important?

There is no need to look taller, unless you want to, I’ve met many petite women who are happy with their height, but others who would like to look taller.  

Yes, proportion is probably the most important factor!  The column of colour helps to take away many proportion issues as you are not breaking up your body as much so proportions are less noticeable.

Anonymous said…


The illustrations are wonderful.


As a tall and thin person I would do the opposite, then, right? I’m thinking I should avoid having a single colour going all the way from the top to the bottom, outside or inside.

As someone with proportionally short legs I would still want to match shoes to trousers, however.

Yes – If your tall and slim you can wear more horizontals to shorten.  But use them on your longest proportion (sounds like it’s your body), and match shoes to trousers to balance.

Anonymous said…


Very interesting! My body shape benefits from that. Now,it brings back my difficulty of not wearing black. I have wide hips and can hardly wear something else than very dark colors in my bottom. Making a column means bringing the very dark color up to my face wich I dont want… Maybe dresses are natural columns?…Dresses with pants,long cardigans, light coats, long jackets, and short dresses with leggins are my ?
Yes – dresses create an easy column!
You can also add a scarf in a lighter colour near your face to take away depth, or a lower neckline to make the dark colour less harsh.
Also, very dark colours have a framing effect and are not necessarily the most slimming as we spend more of our time against light backgrounds – medium to dark value colours that are in harmony with your colouring will be the most slimming for your bottom half.
Leggings are a great way of elongating and continuing the line, just make sure they relate to the skirt or dress colours.





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  • Thank you, Imogen! I am relieved, since I have just bought two pairs of black ankle boots and black riding boots! And I love black and charcoal tops with something contrasting underneath! Not so keen on navy blue though since it always reminds me of bank managers!

  • Thanks to your generous illustrations, I'm realizing that the column lends elegance. The eye is pleased by the harmony and flow, rather than worked by reading chock-a-block colours. Elegance is not everyone's aspiration, and a chrome yellow tee and jeans can look fresh and fun, but when work or a social occasion demands a more soigneé look, the column is an easy way to remember how to do it.

  • Great series of illustrations!

    As I have very unbalanced proportions and do in fact like looking taller, I am very pro-column. In fact I usually regret doing other than monochromatic or tonal column dressing!

    For some reason people tend to think "dressing to look taller/leaner" means very boring looks; while that can be the case (god knows I've demonstrated it!), your examples are sure to convert at least a few.

    Thanks for giving me some fresh ideas.

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