Visual Play: How to Use Optical Illusion For Your Body Type

Did you think optical illusions just made for eye-churning gifs and puzzles? They can also do a mean job of camouflaging body variations make something look quite different than it really is. While celebrities like Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley have often been spotted in illusion ensembles, this isn’t just a red carpet trend. The right kind of illusions can enhance your figure to the optimum. Follow these tips to create illusions with lines, shapes, colours, fabrics and patterns.

Tips for Men


  • To add an illusion of weight to your upper torso, wear a rugby shirt with wide horizontal stripes.
  • To emphasise on the upper torso, pick narrow pinstripe shirts and accessorise with suspenders and ties to reinforce the lines.
  • Reduce the length of your torso with a short bomber jacket and trousers with visible vertical lines in corduroy or herringbone.


  • If you have an average height with medium build, enhance your presence with a mix of small patterns in the tie/pocket square with medium-sized patterns in shirt and jacket, in contrasting hues.
  • Asymmetry makes for a dramatic look. Choose suits and sports coats with hip pockets on both sides and a left chest pocket for asymmetrical balance.
  • Choose pure linen blazers over cotton, wool, flannel or velvet. As firmer and crisper fabrics, they offer a polished and self-confident appearance.

Tips for Women


  • Add inches to short legs, with a raised waistline and an empire-style dress.
  • Have a round frame? Swap rounded silhouettes with line designs.
  • Drape a scarf or shawl over low shoulders to lift and harmonize the look.
  • Flat pockets with inverted centre pleats (box pleats) help camouflage big busts.


  • Camouflage a prominent stomach with flared or loose fit, straight hanging gathers, or a large belt buckle or front embellishment.
  • Create the impression of a lower waistline with a belt matching your topwear. Similarly, raise your waistline with a belt matching the shade of your bottoms.
  • A patterned scarf or shirt yoke balances large hips and legs, while printed bottoms offset a large bust.

Design elements can be used in varied ways to emphasise the most attractive lines and shapes of the body and counter the ones you consider less attractive. Identify your body type and you will find that these tips can make magic!

Featured image: Christopher Kane & Noa Raviv. Images courtesy Alie Express, Dazed DigitalDesign Milk, Pinterest, PR Shots, The Ralph Nerd, Vogue Mexico.

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