Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Lesson in Silhouette for Men and Women

Very recently here at The Very Small Closet, I shared with you how silhouettes in fashion tend to change slowly, but once they've changed, the new look becomes pervasive.

At first, a new trend sticks out. It might look really odd, and often it has the effect of making someone look disproportionate. This is because our eye is accustomed to traveling over the lines of an outfit in a certain way. (This is true for anything, by the way: cars, buildings, even people's faces.) Introduce a new silhouette, and our eye gets "stuck" on the differences. A great example of this is the low-rise jean. High-rise pants were supposed to give you the illusion of longer legs. The lower rise, when introduced, had the effect of making everyone's legs look shorter. At first. As the trend took over and the silhouette changed, it was the new look which had figure-enhancing benefits. Essentially, the focal point of the silhouette shifted from waist to hips. For women, an hourglass figure has always been the goal: but now instead of defining a small waist, the lower rise defined the hips...which then made the waist look smaller by comparison.

Even though a new trend may have completely taken over, it still can take some time before the older look becomes "dated." But once it is, you can absolutely see how silhouette defines an era in fashion.

Check out this video for a good example of what I am talking about. See if you can spot the changes in silhouette...among other things....:

Next time I will talk a bit about how to recognize a quality garment. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

For more adventures in Wardrobe Planning, join me at my website!


Lisa M. McLellan said...

I hated the low rise jeans when they first came into style. Now that's all I wear. So i think you're right, only I must take longer to adjust to the new silhouetts than most people. Great information, thanks Jenn.

Yann Vernier said...

Brilliant information, I had never thought of this evolution.
I liked the video - fun to watch! You would only see these types of outfits in fancy dress parties nowadays, yet they were the norm at the time. Cool post Jenn.

All the best

Yann Vernier - Personal Coach

Scott Bel said...

Great concept, fashion Silhouette.
Video was entertaining having been a child during that era.

Scott A Bell

The Road Warrior

RobFromGa said...


I hope you are well.

I am in the process of culling my closet. I make myself put two things in the Goodwill basket every time I choose something to wear. This way I am in the process of activley deciding why I am NOT choosing certain garments and it is easier for me to cull. After another week, I'll make another trip to donate...

Rob Northrup

Tim Birch said...

Then it comes back! I am so ready for my toga. It is a kilt, not a skirt!

'TimBirch –Can it be better?

April Braswell said...

ahhhhhhhhh polyester leisure suits!

and notice how much more covered up Today's Junior was back then.

Not to mention the haunch to waist area.

Great post!

April Braswell - Online Dating Coach, Romance Coach

Matthew Shields said...

I've not thought of the silhouette theory before. Personally I've never had a problem with the low rise jeans
Focus Your Energy
Matthew Shields

drpeter said...

What about the kids who wear their pants so low they cannot walk?

Dr Helton, making your skin beautiful without surgery, nationally renowned Cosmetic Dermatologist

S Chambers said...

Change is always unsettling and noticeable. After awhile its the status quo.

Steve Chambers, Sales Training Expert