Bring on the color-blocked dresses!
Ever have a day where you're just not feeling as amazing as usual in your skin? While we are all about loving our bodies—no matter what shape or size—most people occasionally have days when they just need a confidence boost. Well, a new study published in the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal found that wearing clothing with certain geometric patterns made women feel more positive about their own body. (Scope these women who will inspire you to love your body, STAT!)
So how exactly did researchers figure this out? First, they gathered a group of women with varying body types and used a high-tech body scanner to create digital avatars of them, which were directly proportional to their bodies in real life. The avatars even incorporated the subjects' facial features and other defining physical characteristics in order to make them feel like they were looking at images of themselves. Pretty cool, right? Then, they showed each woman a series of images of her avatar in different shift dresses with various optical illusion patterns, like horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, and color-blocked panels. The women were next asked a series of questions about their perceptions of their bodies and how they'd describe their body shape as they viewed each dress style.
While you definitely don't need a trick to love your body, clothes with these illusions can help highlight the things that you already love about how you look. Researchers found that the women's perceptions about themselves changed with the dresses, depending on how flattering they were to their particular body type. For example, women with narrower upper bodies, fuller lower bodies were more likely to like dresses that made their upper bodies look wider, and actually said they felt better about their body image overall when they saw their avatar wearing these garments. Women with a "rectangular" body shape felt better about themselves when they saw their avatars wearing dresses that emphasized their waist, like ones with color-blocked panels on the sides. Interestingly, women with "hourglass" shapes were the least affected by the optical illusions. (If you love the look of blocks of color, check out these flattering color-blocked workout clothes.)