Dec 192005

…Phew! I’m back. I’ve been running my little fingers off, searching the blogosphere, indeed the entire world wide web, looking for a simple explanation and illustration of the Golden Mean. With about as much success as I generally have, and minus more minutes of my life than I would like to admit, I have this to offer you. Hopefully most of you already get it. The Golden Mean is the principle, originating in nature,which governs proportion and it has application in all areas of art and architecture. Unfortunately, it seems we have mostly missed it when it comes to getting dressed. But who among us wouldn’t like our daily appearance to be an artistic composition?

The easy way to apply the Golden Mean to getting dressed = imaginary Cuisennaire Rods! Cuisennaire Rods, for you non-homeschoolers/teachers, are math manipulatives for primary students.

How it works: for each composition you are given 8 total (imaginary) units. In order to create a pleasing and interesting balance, 3 to 5 is the ideal ratio. Previously I proposed using shoes the color of your hair. Worn with a just-below-the-knee dress (a look both contemporary and classic) and skin-tone stockings, the head and legs/shoes add up to the 3 units and the dress is the 5. Does that make sense?

I spent many hours in front of a full-length mirror with a tape measure and calculator before mastering this concept. Then I realized it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. Sometime soon I hope to explain how to use this concept to help you decide whether or not to tuck your shirt in.

  3 Responses to “Length Balancing: Cuisennaire Rods and the Golden Mean”

  1. […] a single color or pattern from shoulder to knee is always the simplest way to create a balanced look. Choose shoes in your […]

  2. […] I explained employing the Golden Mean principle of pleasing proportion when wearing a dress. After clarifying a point or two today, I hope to show […]

  3. the Golden Mean is ratio is: 1:2 2:3 3:5 5:13 etc. The exactness in dressing isn’t necessary, but what is important is to think in dressing in UNEVEN proportions. Even proportions 1:1 make you look boxy and larger. I like to think about wearing 2 rectangles, the rectangles need to be lengthwise on you, and 1 rectangle needs to be longer than the other.

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