Optical illusions: Vertical and horizontal lines

With this post I want to open a series of posts about optical illusions and how to use them for body shape correction. 

Our eyes and brain are such good friends who both love to fool us. Just type “optical illusions” in Google Images and you will find plenty of examples. But if we know their tricks, we can use it for our own benefits. One of those guy’s tricks is that they often see vertical lines longer than horizontal, and that the vertical lines elongate while horizontal widen the object they are placed on. This illusion is commonly used when we want to make someone look slimmer or wider depending on the needs.

The horizontal and the vertical lines are the same here


This looks even more unbelivaible! The tabletops are the same size! Shepard’s tables (explanation is here)


Here is one more example of the effect of vertical and horizontal lines. The left rectangle looks taller and narrower than the right one. The trick is that the longer way our eyes can slide up and down before they meet an interruption (horizontal line in this case), the longer object seems to be.

What happens when eyes meet a horizontal line? They follow it and then continue the way up. An interruption can also be details, seams, hem, belts, pockets and some prints. When they are placed at a wider part of a body they draw attention and visually increase and widen this area.

stripes illusions

The previous illusion works when there are up to four vertical lines. Otherwise, if there are more lines the eyes begin using it like a ladder and the effect will be the opposite.


We shouldn’t forget about diagonal lines. But it’s simple here – the more a line aspires (?) to the vertical, the more slimming effect it has, and vice versa.

diagonal lines

How we can use this knowledge when getting dressed? I will use a gorgeous blogger Tanesha from Girlwithcurves.com as an example.

Horizontal lines:


Vertical lines:


Hope it makes a little bit of sence. If not, please let me know and I will try to express myself better.

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