Wearing horizontal stripes really does make one look fatter, an amateur scientist has revealed.
Val Watham, 53, was unconvinced by research which claimed horizontal stripes flatter the figure.
She undertook her own research, dressing models in a variety of striped designs and asking members of the public to rate their appearance.
The findings demonstrated that horizontal stripes make people appear wider, while vertical stripes make people appear taller.
Watham’s experiment won the BBC’s Amateur Scientist of the Year award, beating over 1,000 other entrants, the Telegraph reported.
The judges described it as “a lovely idea which was well executed, had clear results and leads on to further research. You can’t ask more from a science experiment.”
The research which caught Watham’s attention was published in 2008 by Dr Peter Thompson, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of York.
He tested people’s perceptions by showing them 2D line drawings of identically-proportioned women wearing horizontal and vertical stripes. Those wearing horizontal designs were deemed to look thinner.
However, Watham suspected that the results might be different in 3D.
She enlisted the help of fashion students at the University of the Creative Arts to make and model the clothes.
Videos of the models wearing different outfits were shown to 500 people, who were asked to rate how tall and wide the models looked in each outfit.
The experiment also proved another fashion dictum: models who wore all black outfits were deemed to be the slimmest of all.
Watham, an organisational consultant from Berkshire, was one of four finalists in the competition, run by BBC Radio 4’s Material World programme.