Principles of Coordination – Principle of Volume



In this video I talk about one of the Principles of Co-ordination – that of the Principle of Volume.  It’s an important principle to remember as too much fabric will swamp us and can make you look larger.  Being overwhelmed by fabric (this is particularly important if you are petite) will make you look tiny.

I remember once going through a client’s wardrobe and discovering that the reason she had so much trouble getting dressed and putting together outfits, was that all her clothes were voluminous and just didn’t work together.  We had to go shopping to find some slimmer/fitted tops to go with her more voluminous bottoms, and some slim fitting jeans and trousers to work with your baggier tops.

Here are some examples of this principle at work

principles of volume


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  • I have this trouble a bit as I am attracted to loose and flowing things but I am not a waif. I am also stuck in a mindset that is very outdated as my body has actually changed from being a bit pear shaped to being a bit top heavy. I used to dress to slim the bottom and enhance the top and I really need to be doing the other way round now. I also have short neck, generous bust syndrome. Awareness is half the battle.

  • Would you advise altering tops with volume or loose style to take in the bulk and go in slightly at the waist (for a curvy H shape)? Or just wear slimline trousers with the looser top.

    Also I’m avoiding stipes generallly across the bust line – but would it work by wearing a striped t/ vest top under a slimline v neck jumper or under a thin cardigan? Or is it better to have a long line sriped scarf to follow the principles of elongation? This could then be worn with a looser style trouser in a comlimentary colour – or denim jeans.

    • Just depends on how you feel. You can do both. As far as stripes go, they are fine if they are narrow and close together, particularly under a cardigan.

  • That was my mistake yesterday! Skinny pants and a tight-fitting top. Laughed when I realized it was the subject of your post. Skinny pants and a tight-fitting top and *cardigan* hanging loose today 🙂

  • Hi Imogen, would you consider bootleg pants voluminous or fitting? And what about straight leg pants? I am trying to balance tops with these pants.

    • These are more ‘in between’ so not overly voluminous tops, more fitted, but not necessarily tight. Some straight legs are slimmer than others – really depends on how they fit on you. The more fitted one garment, the looser or more voluminous you can go on the other.

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