What Is a Silhouette in Fashion?

A Silhouette is a two-dimensional representation of a person, animal, or object in the form of an outline. It is usually drawn in black ink on white paper or other background. Silhouettes have been used for centuries as a way to create an artistic representation of a person without having to draw every detail that goes into the image. In fashion, Silhouettes are used to create distinct styles, either for clothing or for accessories.

The most common type of Silhouette in fashion is the body shape. This can be anything from slim and streamlined to voluminous and full. It’s usually defined by the proportions of the shoulders and waist, along with the length of the arms and legs.

While it’s possible to create any shape with clothing and accessories, certain Silhouettes tend to be associated with certain eras or styles.

For example, during the 1950s, women typically wore hourglass Silhouettes that were emphasized by full skirts and cinched waists. During the 1960s and 70s, miniskirts were popularized and women began wearing more streamlined Silhouettes featuring A-line skirts and shift dresses. Today we are seeing more fluid Silhouettes that are both classic and modern.

In addition to body shapes, Silhouettes can also refer to specific types of clothing items such as dresses, tops, coats, trousers, skirts etc. Different Silhouettes can be used to create different looks – for example an empire line dress creates an elegant look while a shift dress gives off a more casual vibe.


In summary, a Silhouette in fashion is any two-dimensional representation of a person or object that focuses on body shape or specific types of clothing items. It can be used to create distinct styles associated with different eras or trends. Silhouettes remain an important part of fashion today as they allow designers to express their ideas through creative shapes and cuts.