If you want to look taller or slimmer, you need to use the unbroken line as your guide to dressing.
What is the unbroken line? Every time you end a garment, and the hem of each garment creates horizontal lines (which break up your body), you are shortening and widening yourself.
So creating an unbroken line by using a column of colour from shoulder to knee (or longer) will elongate your body.
Don’t forget to colour blend shoes to your bottom, or to your skin to create the longest, leanest lines.
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?
Fabulous post. Since we can't always be monochromatic, the column is a way to get a long line even within constraints. I always wondered why my blue jeans and blue tshirt looked so good with a khaki jacket.
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?
Great illustrations, Imogen! They really bring the point home.
A good post. I´m with anonymous. If you are short, you are short. I´m tall and I´m learning to accept that. These tips are great though and especially for those, who wish to create a taller and slimmer look.
Great examples! I think people often forget that there are many ways to create that unbroken line.
I rely on the column, though find it harder in summer as I dislike pastels, and a column of white isn't great on me either. So then I usually resort to say a mid-blue blouse with a blue and white print skirt; even a little co-ordination is better than blocking the colours.
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.
I´d like to comment to the other anonymous if I may. Don´t hide your tallness and thinness, they are your assets. We tall people may enjoy up to down the same color too. I would play with textures of a certain color. On the other hand, everything is possible.
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 allies?
I use this trick all the time, but haven't heard many people talk about it! I'm also experimenting with outfits that use different colors in such similar values that they nearly blend together. It gives a similar effect as wearing the same color, but adds a bit more interest.
Thanks for the illustration! You always put together such good examples, especially the "up the middle" reminders. I sometimes find myself always going with the outside body line and have plenty of items to make the "up the middle" line look good too.
I like this. I started experimenting with monochromatic dressing this summer, and I have been using your rule-of-thumb for several months now, without really knowing what I was doing, except it looks good on me!
Also, I've found that when wearing denim, certain shades of gray work well to make that "column of color."
Would this work by wearing a long scarf / stole the same colour as the trousers/skirt ?
Eternal Voyager – it would need to be a long and wideish scarf so that there was enough fabric to create the column.