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Slimming Clothes: The 2 Tricks Big Men Can Use That Create The Art of Deception

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  • Post last modified:July 31, 2023

The Vertical Stripes Slimming Saga: Fatter or Flatter

Ever looked into the mirror, decked out in your freshest outfit with vertical stripes, feeling as dapper as James Bond with his martini “shaken, not stirred”? You’re not alone. We’ve all heard the age-old slimming clothes advice passed down from fashion gurus: “Vertical stripes make you look thinner!” And unfortunately, my friend, you and I bought into that belief like a seagull swooping for a potato chip on a beach. 

Now, don’t start torching your striped outfits just yet, but it turns out, the myth might not hold water.

According to Dr. Peter Thompson, PhD of University of York, who clearly didn’t have anything better to do like curing the common cold or inventing time travel, conducted an experiment focused on how stripes affect our visual perception. And guess what? Vertical stripes might not be our slimming allies after all. You might be surprised to learn that horizontal stripes are actually your friend.

The Stripes Strike Back: The Optical Illusion of Horizontal Stripes For Slimming Clothes

Lines Lines Lines

In a series of tests conducted by Thompson, subjects were shown pairs of pictures – one with a horizontally striped figure, the other with a vertically striped one. And they were asked the equivalent of “which of these is more Kardashian?”

Surprise, surprise. Contrary to the wise teachings of our dear mothers, tailors and fashion gurus, people perceived the horizontally striped figure to be slimmer! Now, isn’t that a kick in the pinstripes? In essence, this appears to be a result of the Helmholtz illusion.

What the Helmholtz Are You Talking About?

The Helmholtz illusion, a mind-boggling trick that our perception plays on us, is fascinating and definitely worthy of a deep dive. So, grab your scuba gear, and let’s plunge into this optical ocean.

Named after the German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, the Helmholtz illusion is an optical illusion that involves the misinterpretation of the size of a horizontally striped object as being larger than one with vertical stripes. It seems like Herrmann, besides having an impressive beard, had an eye for fashion tips way before they were in vogue.

Now, before you wonder if we’ve been living in a striped matrix, let’s understand the science behind this.

Imagine two identical rectangles, one covered in vertical stripes and the other in horizontal stripes. Now, if you’re like most people, you’d perceive the rectangle with horizontal stripes as being taller (if they’re stood upright) or longer (if laid flat), than the one with vertical stripes. Yet, they are the same size. This, my friends, is the Helmholtz illusion in all its glory.

Vertical Stripes
Horizontal Stripes

Notice how the vertical lines on the left look wider and the horizontal lines on the left look skinnier? Just don’t look at these too long or you might make yourself a little sick like I am feeling as I type this.

The theory behind this perceptual puzzle is that our brains, clever as they are, have evolved to interpret visual scenes in a way that makes sense in a 3D world. When we see objects in perspective, for instance, the horizontal dimensions appear to be larger than the vertical ones, simply due to distance and foreshortening.

Helmholtz believed that our brains apply this 3D logic even to 2D images. Therefore, when we see horizontal stripes, our minds interpret them as being further away (think looking at the horizon) and, as a result, perceive them as taller or longer than vertical stripes. This creates a sort of optical “stretching” effect.

Interestingly, the study conducted by our buddy Dr. Peter Thompson in 2008 proved that not only is the Helmholtz illusion a very real phenomenon, but it’s also quite potent. In his experiment, a vertically striped figure had to be approximately 7% slimmer than a horizontally striped figure to be perceived as the same size.

In conclusion, the Helmholtz illusion is a fascinating reminder that our perception of reality is not always accurate. So, next time you’re worried about those horizontal stripes adding a few imaginary pounds, remember Herrmann and his cheeky illusion. Embrace the stripes; they might make you look leaner than you think!

Black is the New…Black? The Art of Hiding Those Extra Pounds

Black Magic: The Shadows of Style

Black, the universal symbol of chic, sophistication, and the go-to color for aspiring goths, has always held a coveted spot in the fashion world for slimming clothes. Its popularity can be attributed to more than just its versatility or its ability to hide coffee stains. Believe it or not, there’s an element of science involved too – it’s like your physics class, but with more style and less confusing equations.

You see, black has an uncanny knack for creating a visual slimming clothes effect. It’s like an Instagram filter you can wear! And it’s all thanks to our eyes’ perception of color and light. Black absorbs all wavelengths of light, refracting none back to the viewer. This lack of light reduces contrast and lines, making our body’s outline less visible. It’s like being a shadow, but with more substance and less Peter Pan.

The Black Illusion: Dark Secrets

Now let’s dive into the specifics of this black illusion. You see, shadows and silhouettes play a vital role here. As black absorbs light, it creates a shade that reduces the distinction between different parts of the body. Your belly, waist, and chest become one fluid shape rather than distinct areas. The result? A silhouette that looks more streamlined and, therefore, slimmer. It’s like slimming clothes magic!

Also, the lack of contrast prevents our eyes from fully recognizing the depth and volume of the shape we’re looking at, resulting in an understated perception of size. So, when you’re decked out in black, you’re essentially fooling people’s eyes into seeing a sleeker, more slender version of you. Sneaky, right?

Slimming Clothes Black Shirt

But wait, there’s more

Not only does black help in shedding visual pounds, but it also contributes to a sense of elegance and formality. The color black has long been associated with seriousness, power, and sophistication, which can add to the perception of a strong, confident figure. So, by wearing black, you’re not just opting for a slimming effect, but also exuding a vibe of elegance and power. It’s like a superhero costume, but way more comfortable and socially acceptable in a formal setting.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t wear bright colors.  After all, we should own our style, not hide it.  But if the ultimate goal is to look your skinniest 4XL self possible, then Black is your slimming clothes buddy.

A Stylish Conclusion: Seeing is Not Always Believing

Fashion, my friends, is not only a world of glamor and style, but also one of deception and optical illusions. As it turns out, horizontal stripes might just be the diet plan you’ve been waiting for, and black is still the best friend you never knew you had. So the next time you’re standing in front of your wardrobe, remember: not everything you see is what it appears to be.

FAQs: Stripe Me Down, I’ve Got Questions

How do vertical stripes affect our appearance?

Contrary to popular belief, vertical stripes don’t make you look slimmer. Thanks to the Helmholtz illusion, they can actually make you look wider!

What was Dr. Peter Thompson’s experiment about?

Thompson’s experiment aimed to debunk the myth of vertical stripes. He showed subjects images of striped figures, and they perceived the horizontally striped figure as slimmer.

What did the subjects have to do in Thompson’s test?

The subjects had to compare two images and decide which figure appeared slimmer. And no, they weren’t rewarded with a piece of striped candy afterward.

How much slimmer did the vertically striped figure have to be to appear the same size as the horizontally striped figure?

The vertically striped figure had to be nearly 7% slimmer to be perceived as the same size as its horizontally striped counterpart.

Who discovered the Helmholtz illusion and what does it have to do with stripes?

The Helmholtz illusion was discovered by Herrmann von Helmholtz. It refers to the optical illusion that makes horizontal stripes appear to elongate a figure, unlike the commonly held belief that vertical stripes do the trick.

Is wearing black a good strategy to appear slimmer? Why?

Absolutely! Wearing black creates a slimming optical illusion by absorbing light and reducing contrast and lines. So go ahead, rock that black outfit like a shadow in the night!

What is the optical illusion related to black tuxedos?

The optical illusion is that black tuxedos (or any black attire) can make you look slimmer. This is because black absorbs light, reducing contrast and making our outlines less visible.

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