I’m sure youve heard this one before – horizontal stripes can make you look fat! While this statement is somewhat true, there is a lot more to it than just wearing a striped top and it making you look wider than usual. In fact, horizontals of any kind play a huge part in how you look because as it turns out, our eyes are drawn to horizontal lines. This is why you should probably pay attention to any horizontals, if you want to look your best.

So is it just stripes that we need to worry about?
Actually no, there’s a few others that require some thought, but let’s start with one that you might never have thought to consider – hemlines. Hemlines are often horizontal as well. If you take the time to think about where a hemline sits on your body, you are well on your way to creating a more flattering outfit. Diagonal or asymmetric hemlines are probably the most flattering but if you’ve got a horizontal hemline, try and make sure it sits at the thinnest/ smallest part of your body. As a guide, most women can’t go wrong with a skirt that finishes just above or just below the knee but above the calf muscle (the calf muscle if the widest part of the lower leg). Tops & jackets are more slimming if they finish at either waist height (cropped), high hip-bone or at finger-tip length when your arms are placed by the sides of your body (this is just below the widest part of the thighs).

Unfortunately, hemlines aren’t the only culprit here. Sleeve length can also make us look a little chub too because essentially the end of a sleeve is another small horizontal line that likes to grab people’s attention. Unless your goal is to show off that fabulous booty of yours, long sleeves should probably be avoided. Long sleeves sit beside common problem areas such as the hips & butt, therefore all eyes will be drawn there. Instead, try rolling sleeves to half or ¾ length. This will highlight that knock-out waist. Try it with shirts, sweaters, blazers, knits and so on. Here are a few examples if you don’t trust me 100% just yet –

Hemlines on Tops 


Example 1 – If you tuck in your top, this draws the eye to either waist or high hip level which is a lot more flattering.

Example 2 – Hemlines that finish on the hips or thighs will draw attention here and make your butt and the top of your legs look more wide.

Sleeve Length 


Example 1 – ¾ length sleeves highlight the waist and can make your legs look lean & long. Wearing a thin belt on the waist will triple this effect.

Example 2 – Long sleeves highlight the hips & butt so avoid this if you don’t want attention here.

Ankle Straps on Heels 


Example 1 – Love heels with ankle straps but don’t want to look short & stumpy? Choose thin straps in a solid colour as opposed to thick or wide straps.

Example 2 – Thick or wide ankle straps can shorten and widen the look of the legs/ lower body by visually breaking the leg into sections.

A Few Others …

  • Stripes (try wearing stripes on areas of the body that you love. if you don’t absolutely love your hips/ butt & legs, avoid striped skirts, shorts or trousers)
  • Belts
  • Waistbands
  • Thick Bangles & Watches (just like long sleeves, they sit right beside the hips/ bottom)

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