Clothing For The Thin Woman
( Originally Published 1924 )
The opposite of things true for the stout woman are usually true for the thin woman. The woman who is thin and angular must have an acquisitiveness for gracious curves and must shun all angles. The really lanky woman must conceal all joints ; these must be covered as were those of the divine Sarah Bernhardt in her days of thinness. Wrists, elbows, shoulder-blades, neck, thighs can thus be cleverly masked. This means no absence of sleeves and not elbow-length sleeves, no kimona blouses,
no "tailored" clothes. There are left, however, many things that can be worn, and the task of illusionment is more simple than that of the woman who must affect slenderness.
In recent styles, the thin woman played in luck, for the decree—thin chest, flat hips, slender arms—everything suggested slenderness. Sometimes it is true, however, that emaciation and boniness must be transformed by the use of yards and yards of curving materials into rounded slenderness.
We shall suggest those details which will help the too-thin woman to create the illusion of roundness, to disguise hollow cheeks, bony neck, sharp elbow, and angular knees.
The neck line for the thin woman influences the appearance of the countenance which is the center of attraction of the picture, altho some artists speak comfort to the plain faced woman by telling her that the face is not so important as the figure. The neck line which comes close to the neck at its base makes the face appear less pointed than the one which repeats the line of the chin and face. Repetition emphasizes; so the pointed face and chin should not be imitated by a pointed neck line. Emphasis comes also through direct contrast, so that a perfectly round neck line calls attention to the cuneiform shape of the face. The bateau or boat neck line, which has points extending toward the shoulders, does not cover the prominent collar-bone; but if beads are worn or the cord or ribbon to which the sautoir is attached, the thinness is somewhat disguised. In many period costumes we see collar effects, as the Marie de Medici, which are becoming to the thin woman. These can be adopted for occasions at which the more elaborate costume is appropriate. Always the nestling high collar, of soft fur or of the fabric of the dress, gives softness to the line from chin to ears—that line which so clearly sounds the first cry of Age.
Too narrow shoulders can be broadened by yoke effects which only the very slender woman dares to select. The peasant sleeve, shirred to the narrow round yoke and gathered at the wrist into a wide or narrow cuff, also has a broadening effect.
The waist-line can be enlarged by sashes of contrasting color, a band of embroidery at the bottom of a hip-length coat gives width of hip. Proportion, however, must be kept in mind. The hips must not be broadened out of symmetry with the size of the waist and shoulders.
There are pitfalls to be avoided on the costume path, such as perpendicular lines, tight sleeves, or angular lines in sleeves, waist, skirt, and. coat; narrow, clinging, close fitting dresses and coats and strictly tailored garments.
Those friends who pass while illusion awaits are horizontal lines, full sleeves, broken silhouettes, short skirts, broad hats, high crushed collars of fabric or fur, long-haired furs, chokers close about the throat, ruffles, flounces, round yokes, tucks, round or U neck lines, blouse effects, skirt and costume blouse, yards of billowy lace, draperies, sashes, tiered skirts, bouffant effects, Russian overblouse with bottom trimmed in embroidery or fur, materials with large figures placed closely together.