Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

The truths behind the myths in fashion

By Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre, The Philippine STAR Published Jul 28, 2023 5:00 am

As something that we have to deal with every day, fashion, through the years, has acquired many guidelines to live by. Many of these tenets that we have just accepted as fact may have been just myths after all. Others may have been true at one time, but as times have changed, they are no longer acceptable.

Even on a personal level, what was appropriate for us at a certain age will certainly not be something we would wear today. In any case, sticking to certain principles, upon closer investigation, may just be hindering us from enjoying the joys of dressing up and it may be about time that we started doing otherwise.

MYTH: White makes you look bigger

Girls have always been taught that white makes them look fat, and magazines as well as peer discussions reinforce this with the notion that white has the optical illusion of having no clear boundaries and just expands to infinity.

TRUTH: Stylists point out that cool shades of white, with blue, green or purple undertones do not add volume and are suitable for bigger figures, especially if you complement them with bright or dark colors. Asymmetric cuts, slashes and perforations can also distract from the fullness of a figure in white.

MYTH: Black makes you look slimmer

On the other side of the spectrum is the belief that black is the default color since it’s always flattering and can conceal all your sins from feasting.

TRUTH: The effect of black on the body depends on many factors: the cut, fabric, and style of the outfit. Just like any other color, an LBD with a flared and loose skirt can have a slimming effect, while a tight one in knit would emphasize all the extra bulges.

MYTH: Horizontal stripes make you look fat

Many of us have been led to believe that a horizontal line will draw the eye across the body, making you appear wider.

TRUTH: A 2009 study conducted by British psychologists discovered that people actually saw horizontal lines as more slimming than an identical model wearing vertical lines. Even a century earlier, the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz already concluded that a square composed of horizontal lines appears taller and narrower than an identical square made of vertical lines. Ultimately, different stripes in different combinations have different effects, so play around with them and experiment with what fits your body and highlights your assets. Narrower stripes may be easier to work with, styled with high-rise skirts or shorts to accentuate the waist.

MYTH: You can’t mix prints

Many have grown up with the warning of “stick to one print” to stay on the safe side because, chances are, prints will clash and you will look like a mess.

TRUTH: Mixing prints, when done properly, can be one of the most creative and inspiring looks. The trick is to find prints in complementary colors so that they don’t clash and to play with the scale of the prints so that they work well together. You can choose one print that’s bigger than the other to draw the eye to both patterns. A possible mix is florals with stripes, for example, or plaid with stripes, but pay attention to the colors and proportions.

MYTH: You can’t combine more than 3 colors in one look

Just like prints, too many colors will be a disaster, is the other common warning, because there’s too much going on.

TRUTH: You can use as many colors as you want, as long as you do it right. As with prints, they should complement and not give you a headache when you look at the whole ensemble. An easy way is to go monochrome and to mix neutral and complementary colors. If you have two contrasting colors in your clothes, for example, the shoes and bag can be in lighter or darker shades.

MYTH: Gold and silver cannot be worn together

Another old-fashioned dictum was to keep all your jewelry either all in gold or all in silver, since mixing them was a sign of poor taste.

TRUTH: You can wear different metals in one look so long as the styles work together harmoniously and complement your total look.

MYTH: Cropped tops are only for flat stomachs

Those with fuller figures have always been told that a bare midriff or cropped top is something they should stay away from.

Ana Cruz Kayne wears a Dennis Lustico cropped terno top at the London movie premiere of Barbie

TRUTH: In this age of body positivity and inclusivity, this no longer holds true. Even hearty eaters can adopt this fashion by using high-waisted trousers or skirts to go with the top.

MYTH: Short girls can’t wear maxi skirts

The petite were always told to stay away from long skirts because they would make them look shorter.

TRUTH: Again, in this day and age, anyone can wear a maxi skirt if it feels good and if you find a way to make it look right. You can elongate the figure by raising the waistline instead of letting the maxi skirt rest on the hips and you can always wear heels!