Changing the proportions is one of the biggest differences you can make to an outfit.
There are certain proportions that look interesting or exciting and others that look boring or even chaotic. The principle of proportion is based on the Golden Mean (or golden ratio) and applies to art and design, nature and mathematics as well as other stuff.
But to simplify the proportions concept, think of your outfit as two building blocks, one placed above the other. The blocks can consist of the top and bottom parts of a dress, jeans and a top / jacket or a skirt and top / jacket.
Visually measure your first block from your top / jacket neckline down to where the garment meets your jeans or skirt. Next visually measure from the highest visible point of your jeans or skirt down to its lower hem. You can do the same thing with a dress by looking at where the most obvious horizontal seam is – it could be the waistline or under the bust.
If both your ‘blocks’ are very similar lengths, top to bottom, then your proportions are likely to look boring and well, blockish. Of course, some people like the blockish look but if it’s not for you there are ways to easily change the proportions of your outfit.
The quickest is to tuck in or untuck your top – this will have the effect of either shortening or lengthening your top ‘building block’ and make your proportions look more interesting.
Secondly, you can switch your top or jacket for a shorter or longer one so there is a more significant difference in length between it and your skirt or jeans.
Thirdly, you can alter the hem of your skirt or dress. By lengthening or shortening your garment, the proportions can be made to change dramatically.
Have a play and see what a difference it can make. You will probably find you gravitate towards particular proportions that visually balance your own.