I want to say upfront that this post isn't about how to achieve the fake, unattainable, body ideal created by media. This post is about deciding where you want the horizontal lines to bring focus on your body. You choose where you want the focus.
Look at the very simple rectangles above. Cover one with your hand and then switch. Which rectangle looks taller?
Right, the one on the left. If this were a woman wearing a dress, the one on the left would be wearing a dress with a empire horizontal line and the one on the right would be wearing a dress with a dropped waist horizontal line. Is one better than the other? Maybe you like the empire horizontal line better because you want to look taller, but maybe that horizontal line drew focus on your upper arms or bust.
Now look at these simple rectangles above. Cover one with your hand and then switch. Which rectangle looks taller?
The one on the left looks slightly shorter because the horizontal line is lower than half. This is about wear my white tee hits on my body. The one on the right looks taller and your eye doesn't linger on the horizontal line. Your eye rests on the point (because there's nothing else to look at in the rectangle). Here's a picture with the rectangles over pictures of me.
In these photos below my tee is half-tucked every time. It creates nice diagonal lines instead of focusing horizontal lines. I actually only tuck my tees when I'm wearing a looser shirt. When it's fitted the hem usually hits at my high hip (between my hips and waist), and I like the horizontal line there.
There are times when you can't or don't want to half-tuck your tee. A way to combat this is to wear a long layer. The parallel lines running up your body draw the eyes to the face. They don't linger at the horizontal line created by the tee. The picture on the left is the same white tee and shorts I was wearing as the first pictures, but the parallel lines created by the kimono don't let your eyes linger. In the picture in the middle I'm wearing a tee that has a horizontal line at my waist and at the hem, but your eyes follow the vertical lines up. The picture on the right is another example of a tee with a lower hem, and a cardigan that draws your eyes up even if the cardigan is buttoned and doesn't create parallel lines.
1. loose tee, kimono (still available), shorts, sandals 2. Ikat jacket, navy tee (thredUp), pants (altered), flats (thredUp)
As I said before these are the guidelines I use when I'm wearing looser fitting or longer tops. When it's fitted the hem usually hits at my high hip (between my hips and waist), and I like the horizontal line there. What did you learn about lines today? Anything that you've never thought about?