Analyze Design Lines - Karl Lagerfeld Jacket

Analyze Design Lines — Jacket, Pants, Blouse and Sweater

Alice is learning how to analyze design lines and colors in outfits on mannequin. She’s inspired by this outfit she found at Macy’s in Roseville, California. You met Alice is the last post, Analyze Design Lines — Meet Alice.

Analyze Design Lines - Karl Lagerfeld Jacket

Alice loves to wear jackets because she finds that this clothing style de-emphasizes her shoulders. She also loves wearing them because she can dress them up for work and down to go out to dinner with her family. However red isn’t her color. Normally she would just walk past this mannequin. But Alice wants to learn how to analyze design lines and colors so she can create the illusive closet full of clothes she loves to wear.

In this post I will help Alice analyze the design lines and colors of this outfit and when necessary adjust the pieces to reflect her body elements.

This mannequin is wearing a Karl Lagerfeld jacket with Not Your Daughter white jeans, Calvin Klein shirt and Charter Club cashmere sweater. ( Karl Lagerfeld jacket, not available online but is in the store; Calvin Klein Shirt, Web ID: 2035429; Not Your Daughter Jeans, Web ID: Web ID: 5535302; Charter Club Cashmere Sweater, Web ID: 8697856)

This post is divided into the five different Body Elements plus Scale Strategy:

  • Body Shape
  • Face Shape
  • Color Skin, Hair and Eyes
  • Body Proportion
  • Body Frame Size

Analyze Design Lines -- Body Shape

Body Shape gives you clues to the silhouette of the clothes and placement of horizontal and vertical lines. To review the different Body Shapes and the clues they give, go to What Are Your Body Shape Clues.

In the last post you learned that Alice has a V Body Shape. Her shoulders are wider than both her waist and hips.


Having a V Body Shape, Alice should look for clothes with angular silhouettes. She is in luck because most clothes in the ready-to-wear market have an angular silhouette. This is true for the above outfit that she’s inspired by.

The one problem she might encounter is fit around the waist and hips. For the jacket and blouse, they might be big in these areas because of her wider shoulders. To fit her shoulders, tops, dresses and jackets will most likely be big at her waist and hips. In most cases they can easily be taken in to better fit her waist and hips.

When it comes to pants Alice has a hard time finding ones that fit because she has no butt. This is normal for a lot of V Body Shape women. The key is to find the manufacturer that fits her body the best. Think about all the curves a pair of pants has and then think about all the different curves women have. Not Your Daughter Jeans can be a great fit for Alice.

Horizontal Lines

The one place where Alice needs to avoid horizontal lines is at her shoulders. This jacket is perfect for her because there are no horizontal lines in this area.

You might wonder about the plaid. Yes the plaid has horizontal lines in this area; however, there are horizontal lines throughout the jacket so not one area is emphasized over another.

The jacket has flap pockets at the waist. This creates a horizontal line in this area which is perfect for Alice.

The hem of the jacket, blouse and sweater are all around the hip area. This is perfect for Alice because this is a great area to emphasize for her.

The Calvin Klein shirt doesn’t have any horizontal lines created by pockets or plackets at the shoulder and bust areas. This style of shirt is perfect for Alice. It’s something she can wear without a jacket or sweater. It’s a great overall basic shirt for Alice.

Analyze Design Lines - Calvin Klein Button Shirt

Vertical Lines

The main vertical line is the jacket’s center front opening. It starts at the shoulders and ends at the hem, mid-hip. This line moves the eye away from the shoulders down to her hips which she likes to emphasize.

The Not Your Daughter Jean white straight leg jeans also create vertical lines. They create the illusion that her legs are a little wider than they are. As a result, the shoulders and hip/leg disparity isn’t as obvious, creating more balance.

The silhouette and placement of horizontal and vertical lines in this outfit are perfect for Alice’s V Body Shape.

Analyze Design Lines -- Face Shape

Face Shape gives you clues as to the shape of:

  • Inside design line details
  • Prints
  • Accessories

To review the different Face Shapes and the clues they give, go to How To Keep Your Feet From Resembling Olive Oyl’s Feet.

Alice has a rectangle Face Shape. This means her best design line shape is angular, so collar, pockets, cuffs and prints should all be angular.

Analyze Design Lines

This outfit has angular design lines. The transition between the neckline and center front opening and then to the hem on the jacket are both angular. There are also angular flap pockets at the waist. The shirt collar and the sweater neckline are both angular.

Analyze Design Lines -- Color Skin, Hair And Eyes

The color of your skin, hair and eyes give you clues to:

  • Colors
  • Color combinations
  • The scale of prints and accessories

Alice has blonde hair, light skin and hazel green eyes. Her favorite colors are olive green, coral and violet. Of these colors olive green is her power color. Every time she wears it she feels like she can conquer her world.

Alice’s Color Contrast Profile is low.

Favorite Colors

This is the area where this outfit does not work for Alice. This is true for most women. Each manufacturer/designer picks colors for the season and then designs around those colors. It’s not possible under the current model to manufacture clothes of every color. As a result, you just have to keep a lookout for your colors when they are in season.

Because of Alice’s coloring, this outfit doesn’t work for her on several different levels:

  • Red vs olive green, coral, violet
  • High color contrast vs low color contrast

What should Alice do? I suggest she start looking for jackets that are green, coral or violet. She can also look for ones in her neutral colors of a warm grey and tan.

Analyze Design Detail - Alice Favorite Colors
Analyze Color - Best Neutrals

A few suggestions are:

  • Bar III
  • DKNY
  • Calvin Klein

These are a few suggestions:

Analyze Design Lines - Alternative Jackets

None of these jackets perfectly reflect Alice’s body clues. So she’ll need to try them on to figure out which one is the best. Unfortunately the easiest way to achieve a perfect fit is by having a jacket custom made. This is the second reason why I create most of my clothes. The first is fit.

The deciding factor is which jacket makes Alice feel the most confidence and helps her tap into her personal power.

Once Alice figures out the jacket, she can look for a shirt, sweater and pants that reflect her favorite colors and best color combinations.

Color Combinations

Alice’s Color Contrast Profile is low. This means too much contrast can over power her coloring.

For color combinations, monochromatic and analogous are best for her. However she can be gregarious so she can handle triadic color combinations as long as the colors are on the same rung of the color wheel.

These are a few options:

Analyze Design Lines - Alternative Outfits


Alice’s Color Contrast Profile is low, which translates into a small scale clue. To discuss the scale of the jacket plaid, go to the Scale Strategy section below.

What To Wear -- Body Proportion

The clues Body Proportion give you are:

  • Placement of horizontal and vertical lines
  • The second clue to scale of prints and accessories

To review Body Proportion and the clues it gives you, go to Body Proportions — Out Of Balance?

Alice’s Body Proportions are:

  • Chin to bust — Long
  • Bust to waist — Same
  • Waist to crotch — Short
  • Crotch to Knees — Same
  • Knees to floor — Same
  • Torso to legs — Same

Horizontal Lines

Theoretically speaking Alice is long between her chin and bust so a horizontal line in this area would be perfect for her. But because she has a V Body Shape it isn’t.

On the other hand she is short between her waist and hips. For body proportion, this isn’t a great area for her to place horizontal lines. Because of her V Body Shape it’s hard to determine exactly where her waist is. As a result horizontal lines in this area don’t affect balance.

Finally since Alice’s torso and legs are the same, she can put horizontal lines almost anywhere, except her shoulder.

This allows Alice to wear jackets above or below her hips. She has choices. This is great because she can concentrate on color.

Vertical Lines

Because Alice’s torso and legs are the same placement of vertical lines isn’t an issue when it comes to Body Proportion. However, the jacket’s center front opening creates a vertical line that takes the eye away from her shoulders and long upper body proportion.


The scale clues from Alice’s Body Proportions are:

  • Chin to Bust — Increase
  • Bust to Waist — Same
  • Waist to Crotch — Decrease
  • Crotch to Knees — Same
  • Knees to Floor — Same
  • Torso — Same
  • Legs — Same

To discuss the scale of the jacket plaid, go to the Scale Strategy section below.

Analyze Design Lines -- Body Frame Size

Body Frame Size gives you the third clue for scale of prints and accessories. To review this Body Element and the clues it gives you, go to Body Frame Size — Bone Size Clue.

Alice’s Body Frame Size is medium resulting with a scale clue of medium.

To learn how the scale of the jacket plaid is right for Alice, go to the section below.

Analyze Design Lines -- Scale Strategy

Scale Strategy is determined by bringing together the scale clues from:

  • Color Skin, Hair and Eyes
  • Body Proportion
  • Body Frame Size

To review or determine your Scale Strategy, go to Scale Strategy — Bringing It Together.

The scale of the jacket plaid is medium.

Alice’s overall Scale Strategy is small/medium: 

  • Small — Color of Skin, Hair and Eyes
  • Medium — Body Frame Size

With respect to her body proportions, this overall Scale Strategy is adjusted:

  • Chin to Bust — Increase
  • Bust to Waist — Same
  • Waist to Crotch — Decrease
  • Crotch to Knees — Same
  • Knees to Floor — Same
  • Torso — Same
  • Legs — Same

Because Alice is long between her chin and bust, the scale for this area increases. As a result she can wear medium scale prints and accessories in this area. The scale of the plaid is perfect for her.


The color and color combinations of this outfit are all wrong for Alice. However, the silhouette, placement of horizontal and vertical lines, and scale of the plaid all work perfectly for her.

Since the jacket was what she loved most about the outfit, she should look for a jacket that reflects most of her Body Elements. The silhouette, horizontal line placement, color and color combinations being the most important.

When I purchase clothing I always make sure the:

  • Silhouette matches mine
  • Horizontal lines are in the right spots for both my Body Shape and Body Proportion
  • Color and color combinations are right for me

If the design line shape isn’t perfect for me, I make sure every vertical line placement is perfect for me. Or if the vertical line placement isn’t perfect for me, then I make sure the design line shape is perfect.

If Alice wants to wear a jacket to an important event and needs to tap into her confidence and personal power, she should consider getting it custom made so it reflects all her body elements and fits her body perfectly. Then she can purchase the pants, shirt and sweater that match the jacket.

Alice needs to wear a dress to a small formal gathering. Next week’s post is about her finding a dress. It’s called Analyze Design Lines — Formal Dress.

Wear Your Greatness!!

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