A very brief formula: If you make the eye sight move flawlessly in one direction, an elongated perception is obtained.. As you make the eye stop for a moment, you give the eye a boundary. Contrasts are boundaries, the bottom of a bag is a boundary... As you attract the eye for a few more seconds with a pop of color, you accentuate that area. 

The longer the eye follows a line horizontally, we perceive the width wider. The longer the eye follows a line vertically we perceive the length longer. And vice versa. Whenever we make a contrasting choice, instead of wandering, the eye stops and focuses on the contrasting area.

The trick to use a handbag as an illusionary item, depends on four factors: The size, the form, the color of the handbag and where it is located. And good news: the only thing you need to observe is how the eye follows the silhouette. 

  • Usually same colored objects form a combined structure for the eye to follow. Whenever you locate a handbag next to a similar colored apparel, it is going to add volume to that area, will widen your body’s contours at that level. This may be a desirable or non-desirable effect. Each body is unique.


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    • The form of the bag also has the potential to draw the eye along the silhouette. Tapered forms like trapezoids, give the vision a longer line to follow. Depending on the positioning, longer legs or longer torso can be achieved by this trick.


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      • The warm colors (red, orange, yellow) have more potential to attract attention than cool colors (green, aqua, blue, purple, pink) when combined. So choose the costume & handbag combination and the location of the handbag accordingly.


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        • The arm and a bag in hand, usually make a long path for the eye to follow. This is a wise illusion for an elongated silhouette, unless you are a petite. Petite figures better not let the handbag's position very low, drawing attention to upper body would be more suitable. Adjustable straps are therefore more practical than chain straps for petite women.


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        • So let’s say you are fond of crossbody bags. See how the strap angles as a diagonal line. Does your eye follow the strap vertically or horizontally? Having a strap across the body would accentuate the real size of the breasts, especially for busty women. So consider your situation. Adjust your strap parallel to your proportional needs. An angle smaller than 45 degrees would widen and  an angle larger than 45 degrees would lengthen your torso.


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          • If you have tapered shoulders, it is possible that you might want to avoid double strapped bags in order not to let the outer one fall.

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