What Is Meant by "Good Line"? - When one goes to a shop and tries on ready-made dresses, the saleswoman is likely to say, "Here is a dress that has good lines." Do you know what she means when she says, "good lines"? It may mean several things. The lines of a garment are formed by the edges of the collar, cuffs, skirt hem, waist line and general shape or cut of the garment. For example, the neck line of a dress may be round, V-shaped or square and the dress may be cut as a straight one-piece dress or made with a bloused waist. These are the things which make the "lines" in a garment and to have a good looking dress all these lines must be in harmony with each other.
Harmony of Line. - The lines in a dress should seem to agree with each other. In Fig. 65 the first picture shows a dress that has a combination of straight lines, the general outline of the dress, the collar, the sleeves and other parts of the garment all being constructed with straight lines. This, of course, helps to make the lines harmonious. In the second dress it is easy to find the curved line harmony in the neck line, the bottom of the skirt and the blouse of the sleeves at the cuff. Even the loop of the beads seems to belong to the general effect of curved lines. When the same kind of line is repeated in different parts of a design, the effect is sometimes called rhythmic line. If you were asked how the rhythm of line differs in these two dresses what would you answer? Good lines in a dress mean that all the lines seem to belong together or that they are harmonious. This does not mean that straight lines and curved lines are never to be used together. Sometimes very harmonious combinations of straight and curved lines are used.
When a dress is decorated with trimming, such as lace, braid or embroidery, the lines made by the trimming should harmonize with the lines of the dress. In Fig. 66 you will see the same dress decorated with embroidery in two different ways. In which one are the lines of the embroidery in harmony with the bottom of the dress? What is wrong with the lines in the embroidery on the second dress?
Something to Do. -
1. Find a dress design in a fashion book which you think has good line harmony.
Cut it out or trace it and mount it.
Write an explanation of why you think it a good harmony on back of your paper.
2. Find a design which you think is poor in line and show the class how you would improve it.
3. Find a dress that is good in line harmony, and explain why it is good. Line Should Be in Harmony with the Line of the Body. - Artists say that the lines of the human body make a most beautiful harmony and everyone who has learned to appreciate beautiful lines agrees that this is true. Can you see the beautiful lines in the body of the champion swimmer shown in Fig. 41? This is the natural and normal figure for a girl who has always taken plenty of exercise and participated in outdoor games. Since the lines of the normal figure are beautiful does it not seem wrong to put clothing upon it which changes its outline completely? In Fig. 67 you will find two dresses, one a modern sport dress and the other a dress worn many years ago. Which one seems to emphasize the natural outline of the figure and which one distorts it? In one the waist line is squeezed in so that the body is distorted entirely out of its natural shape. What other line seems to distort the natural line of the figure?
Line in Relation to Different Figures. - The meaning of "good line" includes the relation of lines in the dress to the type of figure that wears it. Because of the variation in different types of figures, the same dress may be good line for some figures and not good for other figures. The stout figure should not wear a dress with lines that tend to emphasize its stoutness. In the first picture of Fig. 68 the horizontal lines and the short skirt make the figure look shorter than it really is. In the second picture the same figure does not look so stout because of the long, straight vertical lines. What other things make the second figure look more slender"? Measure the figures to see if they are the same size. In the case of a very tall figure that is painfully thin the opposite use of lines is helpful. Fortunately, most girls of your age have fairly normal figures. If you have a very stout or a very thin figure it is more important for you to learn how to eat and to exercise properly in order to correct your figure than to learn how to dress in order to conceal it.
Neck Lines. - An important line is the neck line because of its effect on the face. Faces are generally classified as being round, oval, square, or long and pointed. The oval face is least affected by different shaped neck lines. Which neck line in Fig. 69 is more becoming to each of the three types of faces? Anyone of these shaped faces may be very attractive and it is important to know the best kind of neck line.
1. Classify the faces of the girls in your class according to shape.
2. What shaped neck line do you think most becoming to yourself? Ask the other girls in the class if they agree with you.
3. Study the hairdresses in Fig. 69 and be prepared to tell which style is most becoming to each type of face.
4. Discuss the collars that the girls are wearing. Which are most becoming?