5 Principles of Fashion

5 principles of fashion
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Fashion has no rules, but when we want the perfect outfit, we should keep in mind a few basic principles. Whether you work in fashion design, as a stylist or simply want to always have impeccable outfits, there are 5 basic fashion principles to help you give that extra something to your outfit.



Proportions refer to the way clothes are placed on your body. The most important rule here is the 1/2 or 2/1 rule. This refers to the way we distribute clothes across our lower and upper body.When we visually divide our image exactly in half, it may no longer benefit our silhouette and get a boring, sloppy image. Instead, when we divide the silhouette into 1/2 we will look slimmer and taller. Let’s also remember to choose the right proportions according to our body type. Here more about each body type https://fashonation.com/silhouette-types-and-tips/


A little trick would be to choose the proportions and which area we want to accentuate on how we want to feel in our outfit. If we choose to mark our waists, we will feel more confident, sensual and full of attitude. The best example are high-waisted jeans worn with a top.

If we choose to visually elongate our upper body we will feel more relaxed and comfortable, for example a long sweater worn with a pair of leggings or a men’s shirt.
It is also important to keep the proportions of the accessories in relation to our silhouette. A very slim woman, for example, cannot wear a hat that is too big, and a woman with strong curves will look even bigger if she wears a bag that is too small.
Here a tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1ja2t5pv1Q


rhythm by radiation
The principle of Rhythm is the way we arrange the elements of our outfit to create dynamism. The eyes on our outfit will move from side to side depending on how we set the rhythm of our outfit.
This will give us, the viewers attention and energy. So, we can use this principle when we want a dynamic and energetic outfit that will give us motivation and an energetic mood.
Rhythm can be created can be created by repeating the same elements ( lines, colors, shapes, textures), by gradation of the textile material, by opposition, by transition and by radiation; when the lines emerge from a central area of your body.

Opposition comes when the lines form right angles. This can be found in checks, plaids, collars, pockets etc.
Rhythm by transition means a curves line, which makes the eye to change direction gradually. Good examples are puff sleeves, dropped shoulderns and scarfs.


Balance is the key to a outfit, which looks always put together and when we wear a balanced outfit we feel better, stable and confident, both in our clothes and in our body.
This principle involves the distribution of visual weight through the way details are grouped.

This can be achieved with the help of colors, prints and accessories.
Balance can be formal, when both sides are identical, and informal when the outfit is asymmetrical.



Harmony is the combination of unity and variety. We could use half the same elements and half elements in contrast.
Our outfits should be homogeneous but not boring.


Emphasis refers to the center of attention; the part of your outfit that you want to accentuate and that you want to stand out first.
More on how to build focus center into your image, in my post https://fashonation.com/the-centre-of-attention/.

Depending on what you want you can always choose to combine the fashion principles you need and then adapt the outfit to your personal style. This way your clothes can’t look anything but perfect.

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