Bring Out the Princess in You

When looking at a few possibilities of what to write for this article, I suddenly saw a pattern that had not occurred to me before. It was an ‘Aha’ moment.

Let me share this simple dressing tip that will make you shine, add variety to your wardrobe and always have you feeling good about yourself.

It is the magic of the Princess Line. This is the line that goes from your nipple to your knee and sometimes right down to your second toe.

Read on to discover modern princess magic in style interpretations that flatter every woman.

Why It Works

The princess line is magic because vertical lines are always slimming like this McCalls 6035. Divide a top, jacket, dress or skirt into smaller vertical parts and you look slimmer that wearing a big solid block of colour with no divisions. It is more slimming than wearing the all-black look.

Vertical lines define your female shape and suggest a curvy, attractive female body. Forget the tight-fitting princess lines of your youth. Relaxed princess lines are feminine and sensual and appeal to men of any age. It also boosts your self-esteem because you are telling yourself and others that you are proud to show rather than hide your current shape.

Lastly it makes clothes more interesting. This gives you a feeling of pleasure as your wardrobe is not full of the same boring styles and shapes.

How to Recognise a Princess Line

In your youth, princess lines began at the arm hole and curved over your nipple and flowed down towards your knee. Be careful of this style today. If it curves above or below your nipple, put it back. These are depressing because they remind you that your busts have gone south and you are not twenty anymore.

A better choice is the princess line that starts at your shoulder or neckline and comes over your nipple and down in a straight line to your knee (as in this Vogue 8322 on the left). Your bust may go south but your nipples rarely move east or west. They may move minimally after breast cancer surgery but not enough to be as noticeable as the downward gravity of age and weight gain. The best shoulder-starting princess line comes from just outside your collar bone. The second best starts high on a rounded or U-shaped neckline.

The princess line is best when combined with gently shaped side seams. The goal is to skim and suggest rather than fit tightly and show every kilo gained on your tummy, hips or bottom.

Princess line skirts are called six-gore skirts. These can be straight or A-line skirts like this Simplicity 6079. You will recognise them as the seam lines end at the centre of your knees. The top of the seam would, if extended, go straight up to your nipple.

 Modern Princess Magic

A plain princess line is flattering but the magic comes with its variations. These add variety to your wardrobe as well as being flattering to your figure.

Above the bust a blouse or top may be any style but below that there are vertical seams in line with your nipple such as McCall 5522 shirt pattern on the left.

Crossover tops or dresses that end anywhere along the princess line such as Butterick 5485 are much more flattering than crossovers that end at your side seam.

Some styles also add extra vertical seams, fold, pleats, lace etc to the basic princess lines such as Vogue 8671.

Another smart variation is this Sara 2011 shirt with pintucks in the centre part only between the princess lines. It ends at the waist to suggest a slim waist rather than show your actual waist with a belt or self-tie.

Wear a waterfall jacket with its soft collars wide apart to fall along the princess line like Simplicity 2150 and you get the same flattering, slimming effect.




Instead of a plain six-gore skirts look for one that is trimmed along the seams, has pleats on the seam line front or back or has pleated or fishtail inserts at the back (like McCall 5523 on the left).


Another variation is the skirt with one wide side piece and one narrow one on the princess line. Some like Butterick 5574 adds another very narrow piece to the right of the princess line. These unequal pieces are more flattering than two equal pieces from a centre front seam.


The same principle works for jackets with unequal front pieces like Butterick 5689 on the left.






Use the same principle for accessories like brooches and scarves. Pin a brooch on the imaginary princess line from collarbone to nipple. Wear a scarf so that one or both ends are along the princess line.



Last Words

Now you have the secrets and versatility of the Princess Line, go and play. Make the princess line your new best dressing friend.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 14 June  2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)


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