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Fashion Tips and Tricks for Women Over 50: Line and Color

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Line and color can be important in creating the look you want. Based on your shape, determine if your line should be full or straight. Here’s what each kind of line does: Slim silhouettes create the illusion of height. Flared silhouettes soften the figure and are generally good for hiding figure faults. Full silhouettes shorten and broaden the body.

Keep in mind that details on an outfit can create a line — seams, stitching, buttons, rows of tucking, pockets, etc. They can work for you or against you. A line can call unwelcome attention to a figure fault. For instance, a jacket ending at the waist can make your hips look broader. One vertical line such as a row of buttons down a dress will slenderize, while several vertical lines (rows of tucking on a blouse) can add width. Back pockets on your jeans can add inches to your behind.

Color can help give the illusion of a better figure. A one-color outfit can make you look taller, while direct contrasting colors have a shortening effect (think black skirt, white blouse). Bright colors add inches. In general, dark colors decrease, and light colors increase the size of your figure. Dull colors in combination with dull fabrics diminish; bright colors and shiny fabrics expand.

To determine the best colors for you, hold scarves or pieces of material of different colors next to your face in a well-lighted room, and look in the mirror. The best test is to do this without make-up. Wear your best colors next to your face. If you really crave a color, but it doesn’t do anything for you, wear in skirt, pants, shoes or bag.

Clothes can either lift you up or let you down. You must analyze what yours do for you. We all have go-to outfits in our closets. Look at your favorites and determine what it is about that particular dress, pair of pants, jacket, etc. that you love. Then ask yourself why. That information will be of great help when you next go shopping.

About Judith Marshall