Hands up if you’ve heard this one before – horizontal stripes will make you look fat! While this statement is slightly 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. I’d love to say we as humans were born this way but really I have no idea how or why it happens but trust me, it happens. This is why you should probably pay attention to any horizontals, if you want to look your best.

So am I just talking about horizontal stripes? Well no, there’s a few others if you really dig deep and give it some thought, but let’s start with one that you might not give 2 hoots about (you should though because this one is probably the best at making you look like you really over-indulged during the Christmas break) – hemlines. Correct me if I’m wrong but hemlines are often horizontal (am I right or am I right?!). If you take the time to think about where hemlines sit on your body, you are well on your way (99.9%) to creating a shit hot 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 (there’s a few more boxes to tick before dashing out that door). The length of our sleeves can make us look a little chub too because they’re another horizontal line that likes to scream out and grab everyone’s attention. Unless your lifelong goal is to show off that fabulous booty of yours, long sleeves should really be left in the sale pile (unless you know my next little trick which you will in about 3 seconds). Long sleeves sit beside common pain in the ass areas such as the hips & you guessed it – our ass, therefore all eyes will be looking right there! You may as well wear a sign across your butt that says ‘check out this ass’. 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 catwalk worthy! Wearing a thin belt on the waist will double the effect and you may actually turn into Naomi Campbell.

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? Then choose thin straps in a solid colour. It’s not as great as wearing heels with no ankle straps but it’s better than the next example.

Example 2 – Thick or wide ankle straps can shorten and widen the look of the legs/ lower body. Eeeeeeeek! (Not that Sara above looks anything but incredible but you get my point)

Some More Horizontals …

  • Stripes (wear stripes on areas of the body that you love. if you don’t constantly check out your hips/ butt & legs in windows as you walk by, than avoid striped skirts, shorts or trousers)
  • Belts
  • Waistbands (do yourself a favour right now and remove any tops or cardigans with a tight waistband, then come back and thank me in the comments)
  • Thick Bangles & Watches (just like long sleeves, they sit right beside the hips/ bottom)

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