The Rule of Thirds in Fashion
Many of you know that my background is in mathematics and computer science. Since studying the world of style and fashion for the past 3 years, I am always delighted when I find a style connection with math or science. Last year I wrote about the Rule of Three and explained how a simple third piece added to your look can turn an outfit from plain to stylish. Now I’d like to describe another link called the Golden Ratio and how to use it to enhance the look of your outfit.
The Golden Ratio or the Rule of Thirds
First, a little background – the Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio, represented by the Greek letter phi, and is used in mathematics, architecture and art…and also fashion. The ancient Greeks claimed that a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing division of spaces. In fashion, this is often referred to as “the Rule of Thirds.”
An example of the Golden Ratio in architecture is the Eiffel Tower – see how it breaks visually into 2/3 on the top and 1/3 on the bottom?
Now how does the Golden Ratio or Rule of Thirds apply to the outfits you assemble in a way that is pleasing to the eye?
Applying the Rule of Thirds to Your Outfits
How many times do you have a top and bottom that you love and you think – now this will make a perfect outfit. However, when you put it on there is just something not right about it. The styles, colors, patterns look good but there is just something off. Sometimes I would play with the outfit and think – maybe if the top was shorter or the skirt was longer. I never could quite figure out the problem until I learned about the impact of proportion on my outfit and the Rule of Thirds.
Proportion is the framework with which we build our outfits, consciously or not. And the relative proportion of color or design elements can make or break a look.
Think about building separates like the Eiffel Tower is built. As you put your items together divide your overall look into thirds rather than half or quarters. A balanced one-to-one ratio can be dull or boring. Unbalanced proportions are much more interesting and pleasing to look at.
Here are some examples.
I may not have these measured perfectly but I think you can get the concept.
When you wear a high waisted skirt or pants, wear a short top or tuck in your shirt and your legs will take up 2/3 of your body, looking long and lean. When wearing a tunic, make sure the length hits lower on your thigh, to leave only 1/3 of your legs showing. It is just more aesthetically pleasing!
This is just another tip for you to consider when building your outfits. Remember – it is only a tip! There are no hard style rules except one – only wear what makes you feel good!
LOOK GREAT | FEEL GREAT | DO GREAT!