The two vertical lines are exactly the same length—measure them and see. Short lines turned back at either end make one seem short; extended lines make the other seem longer.
These two illusions are almost duplicated in the dresses above. As a result one woman looks shorter and heavier, the other taller and slenderer than she really is.
These unbroken parallel vertical lines give the definite impression of height. This principle, used in the design of the dress above, lends it a pleasing slender appearance because no other lines interfere with the straight line effect.
Here, also, are two vertical parallel lines. They are straight—test them—but the other lines radiating from the center, make them appear “bowed.” In the dress above a similar design makes the wearer appear stouter and heavier than she really is.
These two diamond-shaped figures are exactly the same size. The crosswise line makes one seem wider, the vertical line makes the other seem narrower.
Now note how these same principles used in the dresses above effect the apparent size and weight of those wearing them, making one seem much stouter than the other.
The middle lines in the two small diagrams are the same length. But on the left, shorter accompanying lines seem to shorten the one between. On the right longer accompanying lines seem to lengthen the one between.
Now see how the woman in the other picture has unknowingly emphasized her stoutness while the one in this picure has properly gained a slender effect by using trimming in accordance with the principles of these optical illusions.
The oblique line in the figure is made to seem longer and more graceful than the dress below by the parallel vertical lines of embroidery which intersect it and so emphasize its appearance of length and grace.
When styles call for plaits, plaits may be used, but not in widening flares as shown here, rather in slenderizing length lines as shown below
Hats and shoes in these two pictures also illustrate incorrect and correct choice. The wide hat and prominent straps below emphasize width and weight; the neat hat and cross-strap slippers here help to slenderize
These two pictures illustrate improper and proper choice of fabrics for a stout figure. Above, the large-figured material adds size, the fur trim shortens, the round beads shorten the neck. All conspire to emphasize weight.
Here a small all-over pattern minimizes size, the plaits and tassels lengthen, the necklace adds a slenderizing touch. The appearance as a whole is graceful and youthful.
Would you believe that the pattern of these two dresses is exactly the same? This illustrates how you can vary a dress once you find the foundation lines that are becoming to you. One pattern can suffice for both a tailored and an afternoon dress, as you see both effects are pleasing in their slenderness.
These two examples show how even a hat with drooping brim, if not too wide, can be worn by the stout person if trimming is adeptly used to direct the vision upward and lend an illusion of height.
Here trimming is used on two entirely different types of hats to give in each case added height to the figure and help in attaining a slenderizing appearance.
Left—Hats with medium brims and high trimming are often becoming, especially if wide enough to avoid the pyramid effect.
Right—High built trimming and delicate veils are advantageous where a double chin is the handicap.
Note the diagonal line in the small diagram of the figure below. It is actually straight, but the vertical lines which break it give it a “going-down-steps” appearance. This principle is used in the dress below—the two vertical panels of trimming break the line of the tunic and give the whole figure a more slender appearance than in the figure above.
Silk, trimmed with three ruffles. Above there, and extending up each gore, is a fancy silk braid to match color of dress.