Rachel Riley’s fashion formula

Posing in a shimmering silver gown with a neckline so plunging it was hard to know where to look, Rachel Riley was the belle of the ball at a charity gala last week.

Despite the distinctly chilly December weather, the Countdown presenter’s skimpy outfit was bra-less, sleeveless and had a daring thigh-high split.

Later the same evening, she slipped into a sizzling coral dress with crossover glittery straps. This, too, drew attention to her cleavage and, like the first, a risqué slit which bared plenty of toned thigh.

In fact, take a closer look at Rachel’s many red carpet appearances and you’ll notice a pattern: thigh splits, daringly low-cut dresses and sheer panels.

Is this mere fashion fluke or something more mathematical? Is Oxford-educated Rachel, 31, using her knowledge of numbers to work out just what flatters her figure? Here, we reveal maths whizz Rachel’s formula for flawless fashion …

Isosceles triangles come in all sizes, but Rachel’s favourite seems to be the skinny triangle, whose height is much greater than its base

ISOSCELES TRIANGLE MINI-DRESSES

Isosceles triangles come in all sizes, but Rachel’s favourite seems to be the skinny triangle, whose height is much greater than its base.

It’s the ideal shape for her vast collection of mini dresses, all of which are narrow at the top (and either sleeveless or strapless) and then flare out at the bottom.

In fact, she likes her skirts to fit a specific angle: from 70 to 80 degrees between the sides of her hips and the hem. It’s the ideal angle to give the perfect flirty finish.

Rachel knows that the triangle makes her shoulders look tiny, emphasises her slim legs and gives a feminine silhouette. She’s worn it on the red carpet, for daytime engagements and even on Countdown (centre), when she topped an isosceles-shaped dress with a bow at the bust, neatly accentuating her assets.

THE SHORTER THE SKIRT, THE TINIER THE BAG

Every woman knows the importance of matching her bag to her outfit — but Rachel takes accessorising to a whole new scientific level.

According to the Countdown star’s dress rules, it seems that the shorter the skirt, the smaller the bag.

If she’s wearing a sleek and skimpy number — such as this cut-out black geometric dress (far right) for the Player of the Year awards in Manchester last year — she opts for a teensy-tiny clutch.

Every woman knows the importance of matching her bag to her outfit — but Rachel takes accessorising to a whole new scientific level

In March, while attending an awards ceremony and wearing a knee-length blue lace dress — uncharacteristically long for mini skirt-loving Rachel — she chose a clutch bag so large it resembled a holdall.

By keeping the two neatly in proportion, the star ensures her bottom half doesn’t look bulky.

While a big bag balances out the fabric in a longer skirt, a palm-sized purse keeps her silhouette looking neat and chic in clingier attire. Simple, when you know how.

JEWELLERY COUNT: ALWAYS A PRIME NUMBER

Prime numbers — those which can only be divided evenly by 1 and themselves — feature prominently in Rachel’s jewellery collection.

She only ever wears jewellery in prime number combinations: 2, 3, 5 and 7. So whether it’s a pair of earrings and a statement ring, or earrings, two rings and a bracelet, she sticks with the sequence.

And if it’s a choice between one piece of bling (not a prime number) or nothing, then Rachel goes without.

CALCULATED CURVES

Unlike many women, Rachel has no fear of being caught in an unflattering stripe. Using her maths skills, she has come up with a fail-safe solution.

She wears dresses with vertical, mirror-image stripes that are curved slightly inwards to show off her enviable hourglass figure.

Rachel wears dresses with vertical, mirror-image stripes that are curved slightly inwards to show off her enviable hourglass figure

Rachel wears dresses with vertical, mirror-image stripes that are curved slightly inwards to show off her enviable hourglass figure

Not only do the stripes lengthen her torso, but they’ve got just the right degree of curvature (70 degrees) to create the illusion of a nipped-in waist and womanly hips.

It’s no wonder she owns several stripey dresses, from hot pink to chic black — the latter with vertical stripes on the top and horizontal below. It all adds up to something that looks both striking and flirty.

Rachel always follows a golden ratio when it comes to slits in her dresses

Rachel always follows a golden ratio when it comes to slits in her dresses

GOLDEN RATIO OF SKIRT SLIT

Long known to be the key to pleasing and beautiful shapes, the ‘golden ratio’ is a mathematical formula found by dividing a line in two parts — roughly two-thirds and one-third — so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is equal to the whole length divided by the longer part.

In other words, if ‘a’ is the longer section and ‘b’ is the shorter one, ‘a’ divided by ‘b’ is the same as ‘a plus b’ divided by ‘a’.

Sounds like gobbledegook, right? Well, not to brainbox Rachel, who’s put the divine proportion to subtle but strategic use when it comes to choosing her dresses for A-list events.

The distance from her feet to the top of the split in her skirt and the distance from the split to her waistband always follow the golden ratio.

The silver dress Rachel wore for the World Aids Day event last week fulfilled the ratio, as did the scarlet satin gown she wore to a Unicef gala last month .

Note how she favours a slightly higher-than-usual waistband to get the proportions just right.

Rachel’s not the only one to understand the power of the golden ratio. Architects and artists — both ancient and modern — use the same eye-pleasing formula. Most famously, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was painted using these proportions.

PERFECT PLUNGE PROPORTION

She was nicknamed ‘Racy Rachel’ back in 2012, thanks to her penchant for wearing low-cut dresses. And it seems Rachel has devised the perfect plunge proportion: 21cm downwards from the base of her neck (or 12.5 per cent of her total height).

This apparently arbitrary figure is nothing of the sort. By stopping two-thirds down her bosom, it makes her bust appear bigger and shows just the right amount of skin to look sexy but never cheap.

The angle of the ‘V’ is sometimes as wide as 90 degrees — calculated as ideal for displaying her toned chest.

RATIO OF FLESH TO MATERIAL

They may look like random swatches of transparent fabric, but those sheer panels are to Rachel’s carefully worked-out formula.

Of the total material covering her upper torso, 46 per cent is either sheer or cut out entirely, giving even high-necked, floor-length dresses a sexy edge.

They may look like random swatches of transparent fabric, but those sheer panels are to Rachel’s carefully worked-out formula

The percentage is very specific — just on the right side of half, so she doesn’t reveal too much.

Rachel likes her gym-toned arms to be on display, so if she wears sleeves they’re almost always see-through. Additionally, she keeps her bandeau in proportion to skirt length: the shorter the skirt, the smaller the band across her bust.

HEELS 12CM PRECISELY

With such intricate calculations behind every outfit, Rachel leaves nothing to chance when it comes to footwear. She’s found a style she likes and she sticks to it: dozens of pairs of £495 Louboutins.

Rachel likes their highest heel, the 12cm, as these elongate her legs, push her hips and bust forward and make her look statuesque.

With her stilettos on, she’s almost 6ft tall and towers over her dancer boyfriend Pasha Kovalev, whom she met when they were partnered on Strictly in 2013. Pasha’s 5ft 8in — an inch taller than Rachel when she takes off her shoes.

A few years ago, he bought her a pair of sparkly Louboutins for Christmas. ‘For a boy to buy footwear that fits was a very nice surprise present,’ she cooed.

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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