Color and Fabric to Slenderize
There are three dimensions of color: hue, value and intensity. Each dimension is important when selecting clothes that are slenderizing.
HUE is the actual name of a color. Some colors, like red, yellow and orange, seem to project a feeling of warmth. Warm colors are advancing. They tend to make you appear closer and increase your apparent body size. Colors like blue, green and purple, seem to project a cool feeling. They tend to recede and decrease your apparent body size.
VALUE is the lightness or darkness of a color. Light attracts the eye, therefore, lighter colored garments will cause the wearer to appear larger than medium to dark shades of a color.
INTENSITY is the range of color from bright to dull. When wearing garments of intense colors the wearer will seem to appear larger.
The warmth or coolness of a color, its value and intensity all work together to produce an indefinite number of colors. With these facts in mind, you have a variety of choices to make yourself appear pounds thinner.
Color can be used to emphasize some features and draw attention away from others. Here are some suggestions to make color work for you.
- To appear smaller choose a cool color in a medium value and a less intense color for large areas of your clothing. However, if you want to use warm colors in your wardrobe, select shades of warm hues instead of intense values. (Example: Select rust instead of orange; maroon instead of pink.)
- If you like bright warm colors, use them as accents at the neckline or in your accessories. You might select a scarf or pin or collar which is emphasized because it contrasts with the different value and intensity of your outfit.
- Red may be your favorite color and it is becoming to you. Select a red blouse that will be worn under a gray or navy suit. The red around your face will keep the focus on your face rather than your not-so-perfect figure.
- One-color outfits are generally slimming. When wearing two shades in one outfit, select with care. Use the darker shade in the area you want to de-emphasize. The lighter shade can be used to balance the larger areas.
- An important factor to consider about color is to select colors that are becoming to you. People with warm personal coloring will be more flattered by colors with warm (orange or yellow) undertones. People with cool personal coloring will be more flattered by colors with cool (blue or red) undertones.
When selecting fabric consider texture, surface design as well as its hand or weight. This is important when selecting appropriate clothing to look pounds thinner.
TEXTURE is surface interest. The texture determines how the fabric feels, looks, and moves when it is worn. It may be seen, felt, and even heard at times. Textures have weight, size, bulk and light absorbing or reflecting properties.
To appear pounds thinner, look for fabrics that are medium to lightweight which are crisp, but not stiff. Very stiff fabrics appear to add weight to the body. Moderately stiff fabrics are becoming to almost all people. Examples include linen, twill, gabardine, most double knits and fine-wale corduroy.
Dull or matte finish textures absorb light and generally make the figure look smaller. Look for such fabrics as wool crepe, wool flannel, gingham, denim, wool jersey, sailcloth, broadcloth and chambray.
A smooth texture is slimming and tends to hide figure irregularities. These fabrics will not add apparent weight unless the fabric is thick. Fabric examples include flannel, percale, velveteen, crepe, linen, shantung, seersucker, wool challis, and lightweight tweed.
The effect of PATTERN DESIGNS on fabric depends on the size, how bold or quiet, and type of pattern. Small to medium patterns in subdued colors usually decrease the apparent size of the figure. Close, all over placement of design will also give the illusion of a decrease in size.
The important thing to remember when selecting prints, geometrics, and plaids is to keep them subdued. The size of the design should be in proportion to your height. A tall person can wear a larger print better than a shorter person.
Author: Rose Marie Tondl, Extension Clothing Specialist, Cooperative Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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