When you’re thinking about how to flatter your body and enhance it in a way that makes you happy, there are a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that make it easier to decide what to wear (and what to avoid when you’re shopping so you don’t keep making expensive mistakes).
How does the magician create magic? With the art of illusion.
When you think about what’s in your style illusion toolkit – think about the concepts you’ve learned here on Inside Out Style (or about to learn if you’re new!).
The Magical Art of Style Illusion
The magic of lines
- Horizontal lines broaden and balance
- Vertical lines lengthen and slim
- Curved lines add volume
- Diagonal lines create movement
And then there is magic in the fabrics you choose
- Matte fabrics are more receding
- Shiny fabrics are more advancing
- Smooth fabrics take up less space and so are more slimming
- Textured fabrics will add weight
Add colour into the mix
- Darker colours recede
- Lighter colours advance
- Smoky colours recede
- Bright colours advance
- Cool overtone colours recede
- Warm overtone colours advance
Include patterns too
- Busy and dense patterns are distracting and hard to focus on
- Sparse patterns draw attention
And don’t forget accessories
- Small-scale accessories will make whatever they are next to look larger (or balanced if the area is small)
- Large-scale accessories will make whatever they are next to look smaller (or balanced if the area is larger)
Body shape guidelines (such as my Body Shape Bibles) tell you where to use horizontals and verticals for each of the body shapes. Not sure of your shape? Then do my free quiz here – or if you’d like my professional opinion on your shape – you can get it as part of my 7 Steps to Style program.
How to Camouflage Body Assets You Don’t Want People To Notice
I think of everything that makes up you as an asset – without it, you just wouldn’t be you!
There is no such thing as a body flaw. Different cultures celebrate bodies in different ways – there is no one road to beauty and this is fabulous as we are all unique beings.
That said, depending on the culture we are in we may feel like we want to celebrate some assets and camouflage others. And if you want to camouflage or flaunt can also depend on the occasion too – at work you may want to cover up more as that’s appropriate for the workplace, but on date night you may want to flaunt your assets.
Camouflage Tricks for Figure Flattery
Take the list above and start applying to those bits and pieces you want to camouflage.
- Use vertical lines to slim.
- Find a busy, dense pattern to make it so the eye cannot focus and just keeps on moving.
- Use matte fabrics and cool overtone colours to make an area of your body recede and become less obvious.
And then the other genius trick that the magician does is create a distraction, so you don’t notice the mechanics of the illusion happening. It’s equally important and not to be ignored as so many of us just stop at the camouflage part.
Highlight Tricks for Figure Flattery
Now the magic only really happens when the magician distracts as well. Watch this short video and follow the instructions in it.
This is the best example of why distraction works – you’re so distracted concentrating on passing the basketball you don’t notice the gorilla.
Let’s apply this technique to putting outfits together to flatter your figure and distract from what you don’t want people to notice.
Use detail on a body part to distract there – you can highlight body parts you want people to notice, and also create a distraction away from body parts you want people to ignore (just like that gorilla).
- Highlight your face and features with accessories such as jewellery, glasses, scarves, hats, all worn close to your face.
- Shine draws attention – so use it only on parts of your body you want to draw attention to. Remember that you’ll often find sheen and shine in jewellery too – which is why it can be such a fabulous distraction tool.
- Textures in fabrics will also draw attention.
- Patterns can also be used – a more sparse pattern will focus the eyes on an area.
- Warmer overtone colours too, brighter colours and lighter colours all grab your attention.
So simple, but many of us just get dressed without the distraction.
Figure Flattery Techniques in Action
Here’s an example of using simple camouflage and adding a distraction makes a difference to what you notice.
So I’m wearing a darker bottom and lighter top so that my top is drawing attention (rather than my hips/thighs).
On the left where I’m in a plain top and jeans – what do you really notice? Boobs – yes that’s the bit that sticks out and is obvious. Not what I’m after as an everyday thing.
Pop on a necklace and suddenly there is a distraction away from my boobs. Winning!
Put on some eyeglasses with an obvious frame and create a focal point on my face – every bit of detail now is drawing you away from my boobs (and tummy, hips and thighs) up to my face.
Finally, I’ve added a hero third piece – a jacket with built-in detail down the sleeves. Now a jacket is a fine way to add vertical lines down your upper body (which slims and elongates too) And is fine on a cooler day (but not necessarily something I’d do on a hotter day) but if you don’t want to have to rely on a jacket or topper as your attention grabber, make sure you’ve added in some other distraction elements to your outfit so that you don’t lose the power of distraction as part of your illusion dressing.
There you have it – simple figure flattery techniques using the art of illusion and distraction – magic you can learn to apply to your own body and outfits really easily!
More Illusion Dressing Tips
The Slimming Effect of Verticals and How to Use Them in Your Outfit
Is that Stripe Slimming or Widening? Discover the Rules of Stripes
Linking up with Visible Monday, Style with a Smile, Not Dressed as Lamb, Shoe Nudge, Top of the World
a wealth of info. Thank you for posting this piece! I def. learned more how to camoflouge and enhance certain areas better and keep my wardrobe small and functional