by Joanna Davis
OK, we’ve all heard that black is slimming. But does that mean that we can wear any old thing, as long as its black, and it will do the trick? Well, not exactly. The trick to wearing black effectively is to combine it with other style tips so that you don’t look like a theatre stage hand.
“Black is the most slimming of all colours. It is the most flattering. You can wear black at any time. You can wear it at any age. You can wear it for almost any occasion. I could write a book about black” - Christian Dior
If you're left wondering why black clothing does wonders for your shape and figure... the simple reason is that it disguises the shadows from lumps and bumps. The slimming effect of black might be the very best excuse to buy that signature black dress you've been dreaming about for the last couple of months. Wearing black might not make those extra pounds disappear, but you can trick the eye into believing that they have.
This week we explain the secrets of wearing black, alerting you to some of the best new black designs in our collection which will not only compliment your waistline, but will will have people complimenting your sense of fashion and style as well.
In general, dressing in no more than one colour will have an immediate slimming effect. Wearing only one colour draws attention away from particular areas of the body and emphasises the verticality of your figure. Wearing an outfit that combines three or four different colours will make the eye attracted to the break, which usually occurs around the waist.
Combine this trick with the ever-flattering power of black, and ta-dah! Your outfit will have a doubly slimming effect. Because black doesn't reflect any light, it increases the slimming effect created by wearing only one colour. Lighter colours such as greys and creams reflect light and cast shadows precisely where your body curves or bulges are. Black, however, disguises these “imperfections” like no other colour – bulges remain invisible and under your control. White, conversely, has an effect which is exactly the opposite: it highlights all shadows, making lumps and bumps more visible.
The slimming effect of black can be compromised by certain fabrics, particularly shiny or stretchy ones like faux leather, lycra or sequins. Velvet, to an extent, can have the same undesired glare. This shine can create reflections and shadows that again, will draw attention to imperfections. Finally, don't forget that the slimming power of black doesn't hold true if you stand sideways – the shape of your body is emphasised when you're seen from one side.
Wearing black without an awareness or an eye for style is not enough. Black should be combined with a series of other techniques to emphasise its slim-look effects. A good selection of beautiful black garments in your wardrobe is all you need to start the new season in style. Here are some highlights from our collection – surely you will want to show off your gorgeous curves in one of these!
The Q’neel long black dress with open shoulders is one of our classics. Practical and versatile, it is designed to flatter the fuller figure with a fabric that flows effortlessly along the shape of your body. Its cut-out sleeves add a touch of style and quirkiness that won't go unnoticed, while drawing the eye upwards to the shoulders. The extra length creates a unifying form and emphasises the verticality of your body. Its matt black colour wraps your body gently and eliminates any bunching.
The cute Chianti black chiffon shrug is the perfect accessory for the warmer weather – don't forget, summer is just around the corner! It's light enough to be worn outdoors or indoors, and it accentuates and reinforces the hourglass figure, as the eye is drawn to the inner profile. Its slightly translucent fabric will still allow you to show off the details of your dress underneath without creating a sense of wearing a heavy coat.
What to say about our Q'neel yellow party dress, an all-time favourite! It draws attention to the narrowest part of the waist, and it expresses your bust like no other. The clever and stylish cut adds verticality thanks to the vertical black band – the eye is drawn to the profile of the lighter areas, and their visual impact is minimised. What's more, this very clever vertical black band allows the slimming effect to also work when you're standing sideways, as the width of the body seems to be divided into two – just take a look at the photograph on your right.
The Black Lace Tiered Tunic is both feminine and elegant, and is best worn with black trousers or leggings. The lacy detail of the arms draws the eye away from the body towards the arms, while the horizontal banding covers up the shadows and folds caused by bumps in the body. It is made from a lush fabric that flows very beautifully along the figure, accentuating curves and reinforcing the hourglass body type. Also, it is an ideal garment to wear alongside shapewear. Finally, the lovely scoop neckline also frames the neck and face and draws attention towards the face and away from the waistline.
It is worth mentioning that dark colours such as navy, dark grey or brown can have a similar effect to black. For example, our Brown crushed velvet tunic with chiffon sleeves, though not technically black, is dark enough to have a slimming effect but is also elegantly designed, featuring a shimmering fabric which catches the light beautifully. The chiffon sleeves draw the eye to the texture of the fabric and away from the body. This elegant material creates, in turn, a perfect backdrop for an elegant necklace which can keep the eye entertained, thereby minimising the visual impact of the body.