Many masterpiece paintings and fascinating designs throughout history have owed their visual appeal to something called the “golden ratio.”
Also called the divine proportion, the mathematical ratio of 1:1.618 contributes to beauty, balance, and harmony by arranging subjects along intersecting axes and by dividing lines and shapes aesthetically.
Aside from its widespread use in art, this mathematical concept is also prevalent in fashion. Known for her impeccable style and a keen eye for balance, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was credited with saying, “Fashion is architecture: It is a matter of proportions.”
Chanel’s sentiments have been echoed by many other fashion designers who adapt the golden ratio to balance proportions between garments, creating stunning symmetry within their collections.
The Rule Of Thirds
Following the exact golden ratio of 1:1.618 isn’t easy particularly when it comes to fashion. Thankfully, you can use the rule of thirds to achieve the same sense of balance and harmony. A ratio of 2:3 or 3:5, although not quite the divine proportion, is close enough for fashion designers.
Applying the rule of thirds to your everyday wardrobe makes any outfit appear cohesive and well-balanced. For example, a 2:3 ratio between the upper and lower body is a more natural visual division of space than a 1:1 ratio. The latter divides the body in half and results in a boxy, frumpy silhouette.
The simplest way to accomplish this is to divide your body into thirds and create a visual break along one of those lines. This might be where your top and bottom meet, where a layer ends, or where you place a belt.
A quick way to apply the rule of thirds is to tuck in the front of your shirt, a method known as the French tuck, which instantly splits your outfit into 1/3 on top and 2/3 on bottom. You can achieve a similar effect using a crop top paired with high-rise pants.
Always the classic style icon, Kate Middleton is a master of this concept. The incorporation of a belt was a subtle but effective visual break in her eye-catching teal midi dress designed by Edeline Lee. Not only does it cinch her in at the waist, but it helps to elongate her figure.
For an inverse example of this concept, see Sarah Jessica Parker’s look at the Hocus Pocus 2 world premiere. A pair of satin pink cropped pants (a style she is very fond of) helps balance the length of her long floral tunic.
To sum things up, incorporating the rule of thirds into your wardrobe can be a total style game changer. Prepare to reel in compliments like never before.