What 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 outer self and knowing what clothes and accessories look best on you.
How do we learn this? Do fashion experts and magazines tell you? Not really, or at best, only partially. They share information here and there, but they fail to give you a complete overview.
What fashion experts and magazines don’t agree is that you need to understand 5 body elements to truly know what clothing styles, colors and accessories look best on you. These elements are:
1. Body shape
2. Face shape
3. Skin, hair and eye color
4. Body proportion
5. Chassis size
Understanding your body shape helps you determine your best dress silhouettes and where to place horizontal and vertical lines. Most clothes have two shapes: curved or angular. When you hold a blouse, jacket or dress, the silhouette reveals which of these two shapes it is.
Clothing with an angular silhouette tends not to show a waistline. The shape is often rectangular or square. Curved silhouettes curve at the waist. Typically, curvy silhouettes have darts and princess lines running through the waist. Princess lines are seams with vertical orientations, which help the fabric transition from a two-dimensional object to a three-dimensional object. So if your goal is to have a curvy figure, be sure to choose clothes with a defined waistline.
Knowing the shape of your face is an important piece of the puzzle in determining the interior lines of your clothes (collar, pocket and lapel shape, as well as the prints on the fabrics), as well as your accessories (jewelry, shoes, belts and glasses) and hairstyle.
Face shapes are classified as angular or curved. If you have an angular face, the interior lines of your clothes and accessories should be angular. If you have a curved face, the inner lining of your clothes and accessories should be curved.
Skin, hair and eye color
Another important element in creating your perfect personal image and personal brand, where you are the one who leaves a lasting impression rather than your clothes, is to understand and capitalize on your coloring – the coloring of your skin and the color your hair and your eyes.
Determining your color profile has three purposes:
1. Color Analysis – This determines which colors look best on you, including color hue, value, intensity and saturation.
2. Color Combinations – This identifies color combinations (complementary, analogous, triadic and monochromatic color schemes) that complement your skin, hair and eye color (more on this in sections following).
3. Scale – The color component of scale is one of three elements used in the application of proper scale, directing you to properly scaled prints and properly scaled accessories (this is i.e. the visual weight of scarves, jewelry and handbags).
Knowing your body proportions is as important as knowing your face and body shapes. Having a clear knowledge of these proportions will guide you to the most flattering placement of horizontal and/or vertical lines. It will also help you understand the second piece of the scale puzzle: selecting appropriately scaled prints and accessories.
Body frame size
Your frame is the width of your body relative to your height. Knowing your figure is the third piece of the puzzle in determining the best size prints and accessories for your body. If you have a small frame, your prints and props should be rather small. If you have a medium frame, your prints and props should scale similarly. And if you have a large frame, you should wear large scale prints and accessories.
Now you know the five body elements that give you clues about which clothing styles, colors and accessories look best on you. Study these elements in more depth so that you can create a flawless personal image and personal brand that will give you a competitive edge.