Scale isn’t a word I ever associated with personal style, until I trained in Image Consultancy.
You see, I just thought that a pretty necklace would always be a nice addition to an outfit.
Until it didn’t.
I’d put one on, look in the mirror, then take it off again. I just couldn’t put my finger on why it didn’t work, but I could see that I looked better without it.
The day I spent learning about personal scale was a game changer for me. And it made SUCH perfect sense! Since I’ve known it to be a ‘thing’, I’ve seen it being written about a fair bit – but in a different way to what I know now to be true. And as always, I’m very happy to share it with you!
What I know to be true about scale
Accessories might be a small part of an outfit but they can have a MAJOR influence on how you look and feel. For example, did you know that everything on this list below is affected by scale? This goes to show how easy it is to get wrong. When the scale of something you wear doesn’t match your own personal scale, your outfit might not flow. It might feel not-quite-right and you can unintentionally make yourself look bigger, or the piece that isn’t quite right for you can totally overwhelm you and the outfit.
Items that are affected by scale:
Embellishment on clothes, footwear and bags
Straps on tops
Straps on sandals and boots
Prints on anything
Belt (width and buckle)
Shoe heel and sole (width and depth)
Everything on this list will form a better part of your outfit if they fit your scale. When you understand this (along with the other elements of style) your outfit flows. It makes sense and it will flatter you more than you could ever imagine.
So, you’ll need to know how to work out your scale. It’s a bit tricky to explain in a blog (remember I spent a day learning about this!) but I’ll do my very best. Just know that you might need to do some trial and error playing afterwards to be sure.
Your scale is determined by 4 factors.
- Your height
- Your dress size
- Your bone structure
- Your clothing style
Again, to simplify this, let’s just think in terms of small, medium and large.
If you are tall, wear a size 18+, and have large bones (check your wrists), you are very likely to suit large scale accessories and prints (and everything else on the above list).
If you are shorter than 5ft 4, wear a size 8 or smaller and have a delicate bone structure, you are likely to suit very small scale pieces and details.
If, however you are fairly average in height and weight and have a medium sized bone structure you are likely to suit average sized prints and accessories.
BUT (and it’s a BIG one!)
What’s missing from the above description is the clothing style piece. Your clothing style has a bigger influence on your scale than anything else.
The effect of your clothing Style on your scale
I’m not going to attempt to cover how to know your clothing style in detail here because I’ve covered it before and you probably have a life to get on with (!) but you can read more here. And again here. Suffice to say, your style can push your scale up or down pretty significantly.
If your style is:
Mainly classic – your scale might be smaller than you expect
Mainly dramatic – Your scale might be much larger than you expect
Mainly girly – your scale will be smaller than you expect
Mainly natural – your scale will be bigger than you expect
If your clothing style is a good mix of the above (which applies to most women!) then I have a special algorithm that works EVERY time to work out your exact scale.
When you have this information, you can more easily shop for clothes, footwear and accessories and choose prints that work every time.
Scale in practice
If you discover that your scale is medium or large and you have lots of fine necklaces that you don’t wear, try layering them up for a stronger look.
If you think your scale is small and you have lots of chunky pieces, it might be time to let them go to a happier home.
Have a play this week with your jewellery and accessories and see how this works for you. As I said, it can change everything!
Let me know how you get on in the comments!