Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The wrong stripes

Science has now vindicated what we always knew: vertical stripes make you look fatter. But note the final sentence.

. . . women’s bodies are, by their very nature, curvy things. Stripes are straight. If you put a straight vertical stripe on a curvy bottom, the line of the stripe will be distorted by the body beneath – which will serve only to accentuate the bulge.

The same is not nearly so true of horizontal stripes, which is why hooped tights occasionally make a comeback, whereas vertically striped ones, as favoured by Mary Quant in the Sixties, are consigned to the history books.

In truth, stripes in general are not particularly flattering to the fuller figure. Geometric patterns and organic shapes, on the other hand, work very well, breaking up the surface area covered and confusing the eye into believing it smaller. But the awful truth remains: being fat makes you look fat, and no amount of fabric, can ever truly conceal it.


gp said...

Style is not a science, it is an art.

Deja Pseu said...

But the awful truth remains: being fat makes you look fat, and no amount of fabric, can ever truly conceal it.

So "curvy" = "fat" = "awful"? Geez, has that author seen Joan on Mad Men? She's a goddess!

madame suggia said...

...and I suppose being 'fat' is the worst thing in the world to be?
Personally I can think of many things worse than being fat, like being bad tempered, ill mannered, thoughless, selfish and self centered (to name a few)... but then what do I know, I'm just a fat girl? But I *do* know how to rock a horizontal striped T-shirt...

phyllis said...

Hey wait a minute - the photo didn't even use the same pattern! The outfit on the left: A top and skirt (more bulk) with only bust darts for shaping, on the right: there is considerable shaping through the waist via the vertical darts below the bust (I'm quite sure there are matching vertical seams on the back too). The "slimming" effect of the garment on the right has more to do with how it's designed than it does the fabric it's made from.

California Dreamer said...

We all try to flatter ourselves when we dress, and sometimes we flatter ourselves into self-deception. The truth, awful or otherwise, is that clever cuts and fabric choices will make us look our best, but will not make us look thin if we are not. And I believe that we must acknowledge the truth in order to make real choices.

I try to look my best, but I have had to face an awful truth of my own--that my mother's health foreshadows my own in 30 years, if I don't change my exercise and eating habits. I am making serious changes, and all the stripes, solids, and prints in the world will not conceal the need to do so.

But judiciously chosen, they can help me look better on the way.

bonnie-ann black said...

i say, read the *first* sentence in that section:

" . . women’s bodies are, by their very nature, curvy things."