Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

The Golden Rule of Proportions

Threads magazine - 141 – Feb./Mar. 2009
Article Image

Many of us think that it takes innate talent to design a beautiful object. Talent does help, but great design really comes from a combination of design elements that anyone can master. One of the most important is proportion, and in clothing design, proportion is essential to a successful garment. Luckily, getting proportions “just right” isn’t difficult; all it takes is an understanding of a formula that designers have used for ages: the “golden ratio”.

Artists and scientists have observed this proportional ratio reflected in plant and animal morphology, including our own bodies. It appears in the spiral of a nautilus shell, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and in the size of our teeth. Surrounded by this common structural pattern, we take comfort and pleasure in its familiar rhythm and balance. Indeed, what is technically no more than a mathematical description of relative sizes has become a guiding aesthetic principle — a simple yet powerful one.

The golden ratio not only helps you recognize why an object looks beautiful but also provides a method for creating harmonious designs. For clothing design, you can use the ratio in two important ways: First, you can analyze your own body proportions and learn where your figure differs from the ideal. Then, you can work with the golden ratio to correct those proportions through the design of your clothes. It isn’t complicated, and the knowledge you gain from trying the techniques shown on the following pages is priceless. Sandra Ericson shares how working with the golden ratio, you’ll be able to make garments that look great on the hanger and, best of all, flatter your particular figure.

From Threads #141

Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.

Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.

Start Your Free Trial

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 42% and get a free gift


Log in or become a member to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Shop the Store

View All
View More