Thursday, 2 April 2020

COLOR THEORY BASICS

I found this Youtube-video extremely helpful with determining the most flattering clothing and make-up colors.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Clothing Sizing

I've learnt a lot about sizing during my internship, as many high-end brands use rarer European sizing charts - mostly Italian or French. International sizes are easily convertible, but the real problem lays within the lack of any regulations - brands have the freedom to decide how big or small their sizes are, despite the times of online shopping. This has led to a problem of roughly 40% return rate, a huge expense for any online sales, on top of many selling platforms making the winning marginal thinner as well. 

People are getting bigger, and the sizes "smaller". Why? The very reason for sizing varying from brand to brand even has a name - vanity sizing - as the customers are more likely to purchase garments that fit in smaller sizes. The modern US size 8 is the equivalent of size 16 in the 50s!
International size conversion for women. Source: Temporary Showroom

International size conversion for men. Source: Temporary Showroom

International conversion for shoe sizes. Source: Temporary Showroom

Dressing for Your Body Type: Main Body Types

The main body shapes
My previous post was all about the reasons behind the science of dressing up, and this one will focus on the characteristics and main goals of each of the main body shapes. Often times people have a secondary body shape: take that into consideration, if feeling something won't exactly match. The better you can determine yourself, the more attractive you can look applying the right dressing rules.

I'm starting with the hourglass body shape, as it's seen as the ideal, which other body shapes are working to create.

The Hourglass
The hourglass body shape: embrace the silhouette

Characteristics

- Equal top and bottom
- Significantly smaller waist
- Defined bust
- Curved bottom
- Even weight gains throughout the body

Do
- Embrace silhouette: simple, fitted garments and monochromatic looks work very well on this body type
- Make sure the top and bottom are always balanced with equal colour and detail choices
- Anything bringing focus on the waist looks impressive (think belts, short tops, detailed or nipped fits)
- High-waisted bottoms work best, because horizontal lines should always be placed on the thinnest parts of the body
- Slightly flared pants and bootcut styles make thighs appear smaller
- Elastic fabrics suit this body type very well

Avoid
- Never hide your waist: boxy style and loose tops could make you appear a lot heavier
- Low-rise bottoms make your hips appear wider
- Light or bright coloured bottoms could make the bottom look larger than it actually is
- High necklines could make the bust look too large (unproportional)

Horizontal line on the hips makes them appear wider

Hiding the waist makes the hourglass appear heavier

The wrap dress might be the single most flattering garment for the hourglass

The sub-categories of the hourglass shape are neat, curvy, and petite. The neat one could highlight the curves with attention-grabbing details on bust and hips, the curvy one downplay them with minimalism and dark colour choices, and the petite one focus on creating an illusion of height.

The Pear

The pear body shape: balance focusing on the upper body
Characteristics
- Prominent hips and thighs: shoulders narrower than hips, larger size in bottoms than tops
- Defined waist
- Small bust, with possibly round shoulders
- Weight gains mostly in the bottom half

Do
- Wear colour, patterns, ruffles on your top to balance out larger bottom - shoulder details and horizontal stripes can work well on you
- High-waisted bottoms and heels add length and balance to your bottom
- Keep the bottoms simple and dark, flared leg styles balance prominent thighs
- Emphasise the narrow waist: think belts, short tops, detailed or nipped fits

Avoid
- Light or bright colours, patterns, pockets or anything adding volume to the bottom half
- Too tight bottoms, such as skinny jeans and pencil skirts
- Low rise bottoms or mini skirts or dresses that end on the largest part of the thigh (avoid horizontal lines on the wider parts you want to draw attention away from)
- Baggy bottoms, such as boyfriend jeans, could make you look heavier
- Bags that sit on your hips
- Any shoes ending at the ankle would add bulk and shorten the leg

The importance of dressing according to your body type. Skinny jeans have became a wardrobe staple, but actually don't flatter most body types!

The pear body shape is very feminine, and looks gorgeous with the right styling choices

Any tops that end before or after the hips work for this body type


The Inverted Triangle

The inverted triangle body shape
Pretty much the opposite of a pear, the inverted triangle is a rarer body shape with prominent shoulders, often seen on athletes. 

Characteristics
- Shoulders wider than hips: larger size in top than bottoms
- Little definition between waist and hips
- Straight ribcage
- Straight and squared shoulder line
- This body type often comes with great legs

Do
- Add volume to your bottom half: feel free to wear light or colourful and detailed bottoms
- Skirts can be either very short or flowing and long
- Straight, baggy and flared pants help balance the top
- Deep necklines or sleeveless top styles look the best on you
- Hip details, weather they're pockets on pants or an attention-drawing top hemline
- Create an illusion of a waist (wide belts work wonders)
- Bags sitting on hips or thighs

Avoid
- Avoid adding any bulk to your upper body by wearing light, colourful or detailed tops, shoulder pads and big collars being the biggest mistake possible
- Wide necklines (such as boat), think straps, halterneck tops
- Scarves around your neck or shoulders
- Styles that hide your silhouette
- Tight-fitting skirts and bottoms

Tight bottoms highlight wider shoulders - not optimal!

Avoid adding volume to the top


The Rectangle 



Perhaps the easiest body type to dress, the naturally lean rectangle body shape is often seen on catwalk models. This body type can pull off many different styles, and let any garment totally speak for itself. Modern androgynous looks are great on this body type.

Characteristics
- Equal bust, waist and hip measurements: undefined waist and lack of curves
- Straight shoulder line and ribcage
- Straight hips and bottom
- Usually tall and lean, with weight gains throughout the body

Do
- As your top and bottom are already balanced, you can focus on creating curves to break the straight silhouette: bring focus on the waist, and wear fitted clothing
- Basically any pants, apart from extreme flares, look great on you - including skinny jeans. Mid-waisted bottoms work the best on you
 - High, low and round necklines suit you well as they create curves
- Structured materials in tops and bottoms help to create curves

Avoid
- High waisted bottoms could emphasise the lack of waist
- Boxy tops can make you look shapeless

Focus on the waist helps to create shape
Creating  curves is the most flattering way to dress this body type

The Apple
The apple body shape
Highlight your best features, the bust and legs, and draw attention away from the midsection by keeping it simple. 


Characteristics 
- Rounded shoulders
- Medium to full bust
- Narrow hips
- Nice legs
- Fullness around the middle

Do
- Keep focus on the top and bottom thirds, avoiding any attention around the midsection and hips
- Keep the clothing line from straight to slightly fitted
- Stick with tops longer than hip-length
- Wide and low necklines suit you well, V-neckline being the best of all
- Long cardigans and jackets look great open, creating length. Choose simple, single-breasted styles
- Wider leg pants or boot cut styles balance out the torso

Avoid
- Belts
- Clothing ending on your widest points
- Excessive fabric around midsection
- Skirts above knee length 

Choosing the right kind of sleeves works wonders

Keep the midsection free from any details

For the one last time: horizontal lines should be avoided at the fullest parts of the body!

Dressing for Your Body Type: What is Proportion?

Female body shapes
Dressing right for your body shape is simply flattering: it's all about creating balance. The main goal of dressing right for your body shape is to appear proportional, like the hourglass body shape: small waist and equal bust and bottom. It happens to be the universal beauty ideal that has barely ever changed throughout the history, because small waistline indicates good physical health and fertility, and the golden ratio applies to human beauty as well. Any body shape can look amazing, when the best features are complimented, and "problem areas" camouflaged. Make the most out of your assets!

The science behind the appeal of the hourglass figure
Another thing about looking proportional is the rule of thirds, which explains our love for long legs. Adding height is especially balancing for petite body types.

Short body + long legs is visually the most appealing (rule of thirds)

Rule of thirds in clothing

Proportions in fashion designs

- Details, light and bright colours add size
- Dark colour and simplicity appears smaller
- Uneven bust and bottom? Add bulk to the smaller body part and draw attention away from the larger body part

- Vertical lines (such as continuing column of colour) lengthen. Therefore monochromatic outfits make you look taller and slimmer
- Horizontal lines widen - make sure your skirt or dress never end on the largest part of you calves, for example. Choker necklaces can create an illusion of a shorter neck, and ankle straps shorter legs

- Other ways to create an illusion of longer legs are tucking in a shirt or wearing a cropped top together with a high-waisted bottom, and wearing heels that match the colour of the bottom (with bare legs, nude heels work amazing). Straight lines in bottoms create height, and therefore maxi skirts or dresses suit the petite body types as well.
Rule of thirds in everyday outfits: like Coco Chanel said, fashion is architecture and a matter of proportions. Source: Ada




Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Clothing Design: Pants & Skirts

Most common pant styles

Harem pants from 132. 5 Issey Miyake. Harem pants are often times called drop crotch pants.
Each body shape has their own best suitable pant and skirt styles. The rectangle, inverted triangle and apple body shape scan basically pull any of them, whereas pear shaped women should stick to dark colours and looser fits, loose and bootcut styles being the most flattering. Flared pants suit the hourglass shape the best.

Some of the most common skirt styles

As a general rule of thumb: the body shapes that have a defined waist (hourglass and pear body shapes), should embrace it, and the body shapes lacking it (rectangular, pear and inverted triangle) should draw attention to the long, sleek lines - their arms and legs. They can also wear skirt and pant styles that have details on the hips, as those add volume, whereas the body types that already have full hips should focus on sleeker styles.

Drawstring hem midi skirt from Henrik Vibskov
Asymmetric draper skirt from 132. 5 Issey Miyake

Pleated origami-inspired mini skirt from 132. 5 Issey Miyake.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Clothing Design: Sleeves

Short sleeve styles
The most flattering sleeve length depends on your the weight and height. To appear slimmer, it's favourable to choose short wide sleeves, a sleeve that ends just below your elbow, or just reveals the wrists.

Long sleeve styles

Sleeves

Loose-sleeved cold shoulder dress from Henrik Vibskov

Loose and short sleeved dress from Henrik Vibskov

3/4 sleeves flatter petite women

Bell-sleeved top from the Danish designer Stine Goya



AIDA

Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. A successful commercial combines the four in seconds. After all, the attention span of the millennials is notoriously short.

Awareness - Attract
Are you mass advertising, or targeting a niche group? Delivery of message, frequency, tone and content should be all aligned with the promotional goal.

Interest - Create
To be successful on this step, you need to understand your audience very well, and give a solution to their needs. Appealing personally, psychologically and/or socially creates a strong impact.

Desire - Develop
Focusing on the benefits of purchasing a product or service: think of the Maslow's hierarchy again: people want to be happy, have status and security. Demonstrating how role models or ego ideals, such as attractive or famous people, who also seemingly believing in the brand, is a powerful tool, and shows in a form of social media influencer industry as well.

Action - Prompt
People are lazy, and advertisers are everywhere. After waking up the desire, it's importat to have straight-forward, simple steps to the purchase. A slow-downloading or unprofessional-looking web page can be turn offs for potential customers, as well as not having any links, phone numbers or cash desks nearby. Encouraging to immediate action is the safest way of selling. Limited-time offers and instant promotions help to turn intentions into confirmed sales.


Sources: