Our brain loves to predict.
Which image do you think has slimmer legs?
In reality, it is the same character, but we perceive the legs as longer in the right picture, don’t we?
This is explained by amodal completion, where our mind mentally fills in missing parts of an object that we cannot see fully. We latch onto neighboring areas and try to guess what is hidden.
Show a narrow area
To create the illusion of narrower and elongated limbs, expose their slimmest parts. For example, 3/4 sleeves and cropped pants reveal the thinnest parts of the arms and legs, making them slimmer.
Make the visible area longer
If the visible part of the leg is long, then the hidden part is also perceived as long. Research shows that a skirt above the knee can make legs appear 5% longer.1
Similarly, short sleeve shirts elongate the arms.
Morikawa, Kazunori, ‘Geometric Illusions in the Human Face and Body’, in Arthur G. Shapiro, and Dejan Todorovic (eds), The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions (New York, 2017; online edn, Oxford Academic, 22 June 2017), https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794607.003.0026, accessed 19 July 2023. ↩
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