The first point to be considered when designing a dress is the occasion for which the dress is planned, as this will dictate the kind of material of which the garment is to be constructed, the appropriate color, the form or design and the type and amount of ornamentation.
In regard to the material which is to be chosen, remember that stiff hard fabrics do not drape well and should be used where more tailored effects are desired. Also take the individual into consideration in the selection of materials, for the large person should avoid stiff, wiry, hard surfaced materials as they seem to make one look stouter.
Just as soft dull fabrics tend to reduce the appearance of size in a large person, so do the materials which do not cling to the figure tend to make the small, slender person appear larger.
All of the material used in a particular dress should be of approximately the same quality; that is, avoid using cheap cotton material on a dress largely composed of very fine voile. Some materials which are quite different, such as certain wool fabrics, may be used with satin, or frequently spring or summer suits of wool are ornamented with linen or pongee. Combinations of this kind lend variety to the dress or suit so that they are not too severely plain or monotonous.
The small person may look well in a dress made of such material, but even so it is desirable that the pattern or design of the goods is not too conspicuous. Large figured patterns in dress material just as in rugs, wall paper, etc., grow tiresome after a short time. Plain fabrics or materials having small figures giving a quiet effect can as a rule by safely worn by everyone.
We can create these lines by means of ruffles or tucks around the figure or by means of panels or plaits running up and down, and likewise by the use of the design in the material of which the dress is made, this same effect is produced. If the person had chosen stripes running the other way she would have been made to look taller and not nearly so stout.