Learning how to dress if you’re short is a life skill that takes a while to master. As someone who’s under 5’3″, height can be a bit of a fashion hurdle. Until science comes up with a way for short folks to add a few extra inches, there are clever fashion tips and tricks to fake it. Below, we outline how to look taller using the clothes you’ve got in your closet.
CINCH IN YOUR WAIST WHERE POSSIBLE
The first and foremost style to look longer is to highlight your waist by wearing waist fit dress or accessory like belt. The illusion makes the legs appear longer, and therefore gives added height. Either look for a cinched-in dress or just grab a belt and wrap around your favorite frock.
WEAR SHORT SKIRTS WITH POINTED-TOE SHOES OR BOOTS
The beauty about this look is it’s simplicity. It’s just a sleek piece of knitwear (in the always expensive-looking beige) with a black miniskirt, plus a matching pair of ankle boots and bag. There’s just something about a pointed-toe shoe or boot that draws the eye down.
OPT FOR CROPPED AND FITTED DENIM
While it might seem unreasonable to wear cropped items, the high-waisted, fitted cut and a clever flash of ankle (like, my legs are so long that these jeans are short!) gives the impression that the girl is taller than she is.
ANY KIND OF HIGH-WAIST TROUSERS
Anything high-waisted is a must when it comes to dressing if you’re short. Whether it’s a pair of red vinyl trousers, as seen here on blogger Aimee Song, or a pair of palazzo pants, ensure you give the illusion of longer legs by emphasizing your waist.
GOOD TAILORING IS SUPER IMPORTANT
Just because most suits for the vertically challenged end up being too long in the trousers and too big in the jacket doesn’t mean you can’t go for tailoring. The smart way to approach this is to get your pieces altered so they’re truly bespoke and fit you perfectly.
INVEST IN A LONG COAT
A streamlined silhouette, with the help of a long coat, is always going to make you appear taller. Bonus fashion points: It will instantly make any outfit look smarter. And even more bonus fashion points: You’ll find that many of the world’s midi coats will be long enough to do the trick, so you’ve got more options to play with.
IF YOU ARE GOING SHORT , THEN GO SHORT
When you’re petite, it’s just a fact that—when it comes to skirts and dresses—you should either go super-long, or super-short (translation: avoid calf-length and knee-lengths). Mini-skirts show more skin, which creates the illusion of a longer leg.
While ankle straps typically aren’t ideal for short ladies (they cut off your leg), they can work with super-short skirts since more skin is being shown. Of course, if you’re wearing a mini, make sure it’s not offensively short—let’s keep it chic, ladies.
Rock a top knot!
Obvious, yes, but piling your hair on top of your head really does gives a taller impression, again creating a more vertical line. Same goes for hair that’s simply voluminous—it adds inches! Time to put away that flatiron, friends.
Say yes to high-waist bottoms!
High-waist bottoms get a bad rap, possibly thanks to an unfortunate Jessica Simpson style mishap, but when worn correctly, they can trick the eye into thinking you’re taller by elongating your lower body. Whether you choose skirts, shorts or skinny jeans, be sure to make the elevated waist visible by tucking in a tailored blouse, or opting for a slightly cropped top.
Wear pointy flats.
Since nobody can be expected to wear sky-high heels every day, petite gals should invest in a pair of pointy flats. Why? Because it’s a known fact that shoes with pointed toes lengthen your leg line.
Rock out with vertical stripes.
It’s the oldest trick in the book for a reason: Vertical stripes create long lines, thus making you look, well, longer. Bonus: Stripes are one of spring’s biggest trends, so you’ll have absolutely no problem locating some cute striped options
Ditch the gigantic shoulder bag!
Keeping your accessories appropriately scaled to your body size is a smart move for petite girls, starting with that over-sized bag. Here’s why: Every time you cause the eye to take in width, you reduce the amount of height it takes in. That means smaller cross-body bags, clutches, and small top-handle totes are your best bet.
Chop your hair.
Long hair drags petite girls down, while shorter hair does the opposite. For the wary: A wavy lob (long bob) is the best option—it shows off your shoulders and your neckline, which makes you look taller (plus, it’s so chic!).
Daring gals should go even shorter: a super-sleek chin-length bob or an elegant pixie
Be mindful of proportion.
When you’re petite, it’s imperative to be sure all your clothes fit properly (a good tailor is key!). Wearing cropped skinny jeans? Make sure they’re not too cropped and that the hem hits the ankle area—small gals should avoid anything resembling capri pants, as they cut your leg awkwardly. With blazers and jackets, always make sure the seams sit perfectly at the bony tops of your shoulders and that the sleeves hit exactly at your wrist.
Tops with plunging V necklines give the illusion of a longer, leaner torso, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for new tops this season!
EVEN SMALL HEELS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Saving the most obvious for last. Of course wearing heels will make you look taller. And if you can’t bear a high heel? Fear not: kitten heels are in trend .
Team Pink Peacock