How to Use Hemlines to Create Optical Illusions

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Not too many years ago women were told what the length of their skirts should be for that particular year and…..drum roll…..we minded!  Now that the fashion runways show hemlines placed anywhere from the top of the shoe to the top of the thigh, we are free to choose the hemline that is most flattering for our figure.  Granted we may be limited somewhat by what is sold in stores but changing the hemline on dresses, skirts, slacks and jackets isn’t difficult.  Dry cleaning businesses often either do alterations in house or know of alteration shops.


Since we are now free to choose, consider the fact that clothing styles create optical illusions.  Remember the number of times we were told to never wear horizontal stripes if we wanted to look slimmer?  Instead we were told to wear vertical stripes if we wore stripes at all.  Placement of skirt hems is our chance to find a flattering line that gives our legs a shapely look.


Standing in front of a mirror wearing shorts just look at your legs.  Where is the smallest part of your leg at your ankle, knee, calf, or thigh?  Now, using a solid color skirt or dress, place the hem of the skirt/dress in the largest part of your calf, now raise the skirt hem up an inch, then 2 inches, then 3 inches.  Where is the most flattering part of your leg to place the hemline.  For many women, this would be just above the calf or knee, usually just when the curve just starts to go out again.


This same technique works for length of blouses or shirts.  I see many women whose shirt or jacket hem hits them in the largest part of their hips.  Or the largest part of the thigh.  If this is the case with your jacket, shirt or blouse length, stand in front of the mirror and place the hemline where it is most flattering to your figure.


How many women actually look good in the crop pant as it comes off the rack in the store?  Check where the crop pant hem hits on your leg and decide if you want to raise or lower the hem.  The same is true for shorts.  How many people actually look good in board shorts?


Next time you look in the mirror and think that something just isn’t quite right in the image you see, try looking at where the hem of your garments is placed.  Something as simple as changing the placement of the hems may be all that is needed to go from garments that aren’t quite right to perfect.



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