Fashion Special Effects


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Special effects can be used in fashion to disguise features that you want to hide or accentuate the ones you want to show.  Using the right colors, cuts, and fabrics can give off optical illusions that flatter your appearance.  Here are some special effects that can be used in fashion:


Lines in fashion are important and can create tall and slim illusions.  Vertical lines that move the eye up without interruption will give off a more slender appearance.  Beware: Lines that stop the eyes from traveling will leave you with a short and heavy appearance.  When you wear a belt with the pretense of disguising a belly bulge you are actually drawing more attention to this problem area. Undergarments such as a waist-shapers, body-shapers, and form-fitting bras can facilitate the illusion that you are slimmer than you actually are.  If you have a large stomach put flattering accent on your hips by wearing a dress that has blousing over the waistband.


Black color is notorious for slimming effect, however other dark colors can work the same way to absorb light and give you a slimming look.  Dark grays, emeralds, and burgundy colors all work well to create a slimming illusion.  On the flip side, wearing bright colors around the areas that you want to show off enhances the illusion of fullness.  Two things to note about color: 1) Color should be picked based on one’s complexion.  For example, yellow tones should wear colors that bring out the red tones of the skin and red tones should avoid wearing colors that bring out redness. 2) A single color gives a vertical illusion of height and thinness. More than two or three colors in the top and bottom portion of your outfit will create a horizontal illusion and therefore can cut down on your figure.


Throw off the illusion that you are smaller than you really are by wearing a bag large enough to compliment your size.  The illusion doesn’t stop at the size; the length of the handbag is important in hiding or emphasizing features as well.  For example, you wouldn’t want the length of your handbag to hit right at your hips if your hips are the feature you are trying to hide.

To hide a small chest, wear bows at the neck to distract the eye.

To conceal a sway back try wearing belts that buckle in the back or a short jacket.

If you want to look smaller with jewelry avoid chunky necklaces and small pieces that will only make you look bigger.

Cuts & Fabrics

The effects of texture can enhance or distract from your figure and illusion of size.  For example, fabrics that are clingy to the body can show off your problem areas while heavy fabrics can add volume to a barely there bust or waistline. Silk, cotton, jersey, and linen are good optical illusion fabrics that work best in making you look slim.  Keep in mind that anything shiny, clingy, or bulky will only emphasis your problem areas so you should only wear these if you have regular portion sizes.  Cuts of fashion can provide optical illusion as well.  A skirt fitted at the hips that gradually widens as you go down will distract from big thighs.  Ruffles at the neckline can disguise big hips and bursting stomachs.

Perspective by Amanda Holst

Fashion 101

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