Notes First:  I will clean this up for the book, when I get there… but I want to get feedback.  So feedback.  Also, I found that there is an online photo editor that does layers, like a baby version of photoshop.  Hallelujah!  Free.  The picture I snagged online – it was labelled free for reuse and is found here:

Style lines make or break your proportions… a visual explanation  The eye will follow the style line, even if it’s just a line of stitching.:

If you cut anyone in half, the two sides look bigger than they did before.  This can be a good line when you want a strong vertical to emphasize length or strength.

Dress- horizontal midline

However, if you cut the same object in thirds, either 1-2 or 1-1-1, the object will look smaller.  The eye grabs whatever is in the front/middle and makes it the truth.

Dress- one-thirdDress and proportions

These cuts have different flattery levels, but are more slimming than a line straight down the middle.   This is (very roughly) where princess seams hit, which is why princess seamed clothing is so recommended for those who wish to visually slim themselves.  (Princess seamed clothing is also usually more fitted, which is also slimming).

Same goes for the horizontal – a small line changes the proportions of this outfit completely.   The model, who is slightly pear-shaped, looks best with the line cutting her just above her widest part rather than at the waist.

Dress- waistDress- hip line

Diagonal lines are useful and – at the moment – quite uncommon.  They move the eye more strongly than other directions, as the eye tends to want to move in a triangle.  Soften them and you can produce some lovely curves.

Dress- diagonal

This is an easy experiment to do with your own picture – the software is free here:   I’ve done this with hemlines and necklines as well.  Get a picture of yourself in a one-tone outfit with a neutral background and start playing.  You’ll learn more than perhaps you’d like.  Use the layer function so you don’t go erasing the base picture.


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