The October 2008 issue of Marie Claire magazine features a variety of the updated fall styles in pants. Some of the latest details are high waists, big cuffs, sailor buttons and pleats. These styles “assume mythic proportions,” says the magazine; clearly they are more pant than we’ve been used to seeing the last several years.
Three of the four styles of pant shown in the magazine, including both of the noticeably high-waisted styles, are accessorized with big, chunky, complex and very interesting statement necklaces worn over tight white tops. The necklaces add balance to the ensembles, so that the narrow, close to the body silhouette of the tops do not make the lower portions of the body look disproportionately large.
One noteworthy aspect of the Marie Claire fashion spread is the magazine stylists’ adherence to the principle of the first balance point. Notice how the necklace hits right at the top edge of the sleeveless shells worn by the first two models pictured below. The necklace and the neckline both are situated at the first balance point, a placement almost universally flattering. Determining this placement is a simple matter of measuring from the visible hairline to the chin, and dropping down an equal distance below the chin.
Notice something intriguing here. Both of the above models are also examples of repeating the measurement of the first balance point not once, but twice. That is to say, from the top to the bottom of the design of the necklace pictured on the blonde model is again approximately the length of the measurement used to determine the first balance point. That this second measurement stops so far above what appears to be her natural waist suggests that she is very long-waisted. Ideal proportions suggest that her waist would be approximately two head lengths below her chin. The longer length here is largely due to her long neck.
The repeat of the first balance point measurement also appears on the African-American model in that that is the placement of the top edge of the high-waisted pants is approximately one head-length below the first balance point.
A third model adorned with statement necklaces demonstrates the principle of dominance of a necklace over the neckline of her basic tee shirt. Again, the top of the necklace hits at the first balance point, and the bottom of the necklace – and the top edge of the high-waisted pants – is approximately one head-length below the first balance point.
The first balance point is specific to an individual. Remember that, worn with a simple tee shirt, a statement necklace is visually dominant over the upper edge of the tee, and can be chosen at a length flattering to the individual through application of the principle of the first balance point.