Friday, March 30, 2012

What the Fashion Experts and Magazines Don't Tell You?

There are many levels to creating your impeccable personal image and personal brand, one of which is understanding your external self and knowing what clothes and accessories look best on your body.

How does one go about learning this? Do the fashion experts and magazines tell you? Not really, or at best, only partially. They share tidbits here and there, but they fail to give you a comprehensive overview.

What the fashion experts and magazines don't share is that you have to understand 5 body elements to really know what clothes styles, colors and accessories look best on your body. These elements are:

1. Body Shape

2. Face Shape

3. Color of Skin, Hair and Eyes

4. Body Proportion

5. Body Frame Size

Body Shape

Understanding your body shape helps you determine your best clothing silhouettes, and know where to place horizontal and vertical lines. Most clothing has two shapes: curved or angular. When you hold up a blouse, jacket or dress, the silhouette will reveal which of these two shapes it is.

Angular silhouetted clothes tend not to show a waistline. The shape is often rectangular or square. Curved silhouettes curve in at the waist. Typically, curved silhouettes have darts and princess lines going through the waist. Princess lines are seams with vertical orientations, which help the fabric translate from a two dimensional object to a three-dimensional one. So, if your goal is to have a curved silhouette, make sure you select clothing with a defined waist.

Face Shape

Knowing your face shape is an important piece of the puzzle for determining the inside lines of your clothing (collar-, pocket- and lapel-shape, plus prints on fabrics), as well as your accessories (jewelry, shoes, belts and glasses) and hair style.

Face shapes are categorized as either Angular or Curved. If you have an angular shaped face then the inside lines of your clothing and accessories should be angular. If you have a curved shaped face then the inside lined of your clothing and accessories should be curved.

Color of Skin, Hair and Eye

Another important component in creating your perfect personal image and personal brand, where you are the one leaving a lasting impression rather than your clothing, is to understand and capitalize on your coloring -- your skin coloring, and the color of your hair and eyes.

Determining your coloring profile serves three purposes:

1. Color Analyses - This determines which colors look best on you, including color hue, value, intensity and saturation.

2. Color Combinations - This identifies color combinations (Complimentary, Analogous, and Triadic, and Mono-Chromatic color schemes) that compliment your skin, hair and eye color (more on this in the following sections).

3. Scale - The color component of scale is one of three elements used in the application of proper scale, steering you towards appropriately scaled prints, and suitably scaled accessories (i.e., the visual weight of scarves, jewelry and purses).

Body Proportion

Knowing your body proportions is as important as knowing your face and body shapes. Having a clear knowledge of these proportions will guide you toward the most flattering placement of horizontal and/or vertical lines. It will also help you in understanding the second piece of the Scale Puzzle: selecting appropriately scaled prints and accessories.

Body Frame Size

Your body frame is the width of your body compared to your height. Knowing your body frame is the third puzzle piece in determining the best sized prints and accessories for your body. If you have a small frame, your prints and accessories should be on the small side. If you have a medium frame, then your prints and accessories should be scaled similarly. And if you have a large frame, you should wear large scaled prints and accessories.

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