Where to Place Border Prints


I’m a new follower to your blog and check it almost daily.  I love it!  It has so much information and for the first time I can relate to the types you suggest.  I had a question I posed on a sewing website as I’m considering making a dress using a fabric with a border print.  My question was how to use it the best way for your body type.
Me, personally, according to your types am an H, who borders the edge of an 8.  I’m short waisted and very large busted.  The fabric I am going to use is darker along the border edge but has bigger shapes, while the non-border portion is lighter but has smaller shapes.  I don’t know whether to use it on the bodice, the waistband or the hem.
Do you have any blog entries that address wearing clothing with border prints?  It seemed to be a question others on the sewing website were curious about as well.

Where to Place Border Prints to Flatter Your Figure

So where to place border prints?  It is of course, dependent on your body shape and proportions, where you want focus to be drawn, and what to distract from.

Where to place border prints to flatter your figure

Border prints draw attention, as you can see with these examples.  Notice where your gaze rests with each of these examples.

  • So for Kim, who has a less defined waist, has a large bust and probably doesn’t want to draw attention to her bottom either, may choose to put the border print at around the knees.
  • If she had a smaller bust, then she could put it both around the bust and knees.
  • If you have an X shape or A shape, put the border on your waist, and possibly your bust to draw attention upwards.
  • If you are a V shape, why not put a border around your hips, thighs or knee area.
  • An O shape might find that around the knees is also the best placement.
  • An H shape would find avoiding the waist (and often  hips too) and going for the lower thighs or knees their best option.
How to wear border prints
Here is a border print that sits above my bust and below my knees

Remember that border prints create horizontal lines – which broaden – but can also balance – and also focal points.  So put them where you want people to look, and not where you’re rather wasn’t an area of your body you’d rather camouflage.

Not sure of your body shape?  You can do my free body shape calculator quiz and download your body shape bible, or alternatively, if you’d like my professional opinion, I give this as part of my 7 Steps to Style program  – which you can find out more about here.


What Guidelines to Follow When Your Body Shape isn’t “Standard”

Horizontal Stripes – the rules



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  • Every day your blog makes me realize there are SO MANY aspects of flattering dressing that I'm not attuned to. Thanks for all you do, Imogen!

  • I love border prints but I swear they are usually interfering with what I'm trying to do with proportion!

    For the most part I avoid 'em (especially prints or solids at the knee…too enstumpening). But maybe someday I'll find the stars align with a dress that has a perfect everything along with an empire waist border print, or a "perfect" shirt that does the border along a V or hip level.

    Great info…I'm sure many women will be looking at borders with more skeptical eyes!

  • I second Sal's comment! This is a brilliant post! I often don't think about the border print! Makes me wish AGAIN you would do a distance learning training program. How I hate the distance…

  • Great tips again! For my "A" shape, I'd choose the bust and calves's dress and cut it just at/under the knee. Thank you!

  • Does the border have to be horizontal? I've seen some very interesting items where the border was used vertically, along the front placket for example. Or used along the neck edge of a wrap top or dress. It might not work with your current fabric or pattern, but it's worth considering for future projects.

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