While looking through illustrations I have collected on styles that suit every woman, I suddenly saw a pattern that had not occurred to me before. It was an Aha Moment.
Let me share the simple dressing tip that will make you shine, add variety to your wardrobe and always have you feeling good about yourself.
It is the magic of the Princess Line. This is the line that goes from your nipple to your knee and sometimes right down to your second toe.
Read on to discover modern dressing magic in interpreting this style to flatter every woman.
Why It Works
The princess line is magic because vertical lines are always slimming. Divide a top, jacket, dress or skirt into smaller vertical parts and you look slimmer that wearing a big solid block of colour with no divisions. Vertical sections are more slimming than wearing the solid all-black look.
These magic lines define your shape and suggest a curvy, attractive female body like McCall's shirt pattern 6035. Forget the tight-fitting princess styles of your youth. Today's relaxed styles are feminine and sensual and appeal to men of any age. They also boost your self-esteem because you are telling yourself and others that you are proud to show rather than hide your current shape. Even Queen Elizabeth wears this style quite often. Age is no barrier to flattering dressing.
Lastly these style features make clothes more interesting. This gives you a feeling of pleasure as your wardrobe is not full of the same boring styles and shapes.
How to Recognise It
In your youth, you probably wore this style beginning at the arm hole, curving over your nipple and flowing down towards your knee. Be careful of it today. If it curves above or below your nipple, put it back. These styles are depressing because they remind you that your bustline has gone south and you are not twenty anymore.
A better choice is when this style that starts at your shoulder or neckline and comes over your nipple and down in a straight line to your knee. Vogue shirt pattern 8322 is a good example of this style. Your breasts may go south but your nipples rarely move east or west. They may move minimally after breast cancer surgery but not enough to be as noticeable as the downward gravity of age and weight gain. The best modern choice is one starting from just outside your collar bone like Vogue shirt pattern 8322. The second best starts high on a rounded or U-shaped neckline like Vogue knit top pattern 8671.
These vertical seam lines are even more flattering when combined with gently shaped side seams. The goal is to skim and suggest rather than fit tightly and show every kilo gained on your tummy, hips or bottom.
Princess line skirts are usually called six-gore skirts. These can be straight skirts or A-line skirts. You will recognise them as the seam end at the centre of your knees like Simplicity skirt pattern 6079. The top of the seam would, if extended, go straight up to your nipple.
Modern Magical Variations
The basic style is flattering but the magic comes with its variations. These add variety to your wardrobe as well as being flattering to your figure.
Queen Elizabeth at her Jubilee Concert wore a golden gown with seams from the shoulder. On the top right of her dress was beautiful embroidery which tapered down below her hip. This made the seams less obvious and the style more attractive. Queen Elizabeth wears lots of variations of this style for both day and evening wear.
Above the bust a blouse or top may be any gathered or crossover style but below that there are vertical seams in line with your nipple such as McCall shirt pattern 5522. Crossover tops or dresses that end anywhere along either of these lines, such as Butterick top and dress pattern 5485, are much more flattering than crossovers that end at your side seam.
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Some styles also add extra vertical seams, fold, pleats, lace etc to the basic lines such as Vogue knit top pattern 8671. Another smart variation that I have seen is a Sara brand shirt with pintucks in the centre part only between these seam lines. The pintucks end at the waist to suggest a slim waist rather than show your actual waist with a belt or self-tie.
Another variation is to wear a waterfall jacket with its soft collars wide apart to fall open along these magical vertical lines. Simplicity jacket pattern 2150 shows how this gives you a flattering, slimming effect.