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Wearing Horizontals, Diagonals, and Triangles

Ladies of all body types, shapes, sizes, and ages shop at our Boutique, and nearly every woman is afraid of stripes! In every designer’s collection, there is usually a top with horizontal stripes, meant to be worn as a dominant piece and it’s always gorgeous! Many women avoid horizontal patterns because they think they make them look bigger, but that’s not true. We often hear the comment: “I can’t wear stripes going this way,” but guess what? YOU CAN and you will look fabulous! Now let’s examine the truth about STRIPES.

Not all horizontals are the same. The key is to find the right type for your body shape and the look you want to create.

For women with pear-shaped bodies (larger hips and bottom, smaller on top), you can use stripes to balance your shape. An unbroken area looks narrower than an area divided by a horizontal line and a horizontal detail can make an area look larger in proportion to another area. To put this in practice, go for a top with wide, bold stripes in contrasting colours – such as rugby stripes. These big bold stripes will bring your top in balance with your bottom to flatter your wonderfully curvy shape.

For petite ladies or anyone looking to shed a few pounds instantly, a series of narrow, evenly-spaced horizontal lines create a slimming look. These stripes draw the eye in an upward direction like climbing a ladder; thus, making you look taller. A good example of this style is the classic nautical blue and white-striped tops.

For every woman, keep in mind that narrow horizontal lines and stripes with very little colour contrast have the same effect as a solid colour – they won’t do anything to change your shape, so wear these styles without a second thought!

Horizontals placed high and low on the body can also slenderize your overall look. The longer the eye moves up and down before the eye meets the horizontal, the taller and slimmer you’ll look. Variegated stripes are a perfect example as they actually lead the eye vertically to create a slenderizing effect.

If you are wearing a jacket, cardigan or vest, you need to pair it with a striped top for a slenderizing fashion statement! Try it and see how you instantly elevate your look.

Diagonals are another useful tool to divert attention past the bust, waist or hips, and they can be very flattering. Diagonal hemlines on skirts and dresses avoid a harsh, shortening horizontal break on your lower body. The asymmetrical look makes the lower body look longer and leaner. We often ask a petite woman to try uneven and diagonal hemlines to help them look taller. This advice applies to tops as well – a diagonal hemline can make you appear taller.

When diagonal and horizontal lines meet, they create a triangle.
The eye tends to follow the horizontal line and see the body dimension as wider. For example, a wide v-neck creates a triangle that widens the shoulders, which is a flattering styling tool for women with small shoulders. For women with smaller busts, a halter neckline forms a triangle that enhances this area – think of Marilyn Monroe!

Let us help you find the right choice for you. Come into the Boutique, play with these ideas, and see for yourself – you absolutely can wear these gorgeous styles!