If you are petite (under 5’4”), you may have been made fun of because of your height. I am 5’2”, so growing up I have experienced those moments when I wish I could have a few extra inches. I get it, not every petite girl cares about how to look taller- this post is for those who occasionally do want to appear taller, and those who want to have fun playing with fashion to create the illusion of height. These tips and tricks on how to look taller have proven to be very useful to myself. Some are backed by the stylist theory about how to use lines and proportion to trick the illusions of eyes, and other are simply practical tips shared by petite bloggers and petite celebrities.
There theoretical foundation on how to look taller is that vertical lines lengthen. Therefore, the key on how to look taller is to dress to create vertical lines in your body. This does not necessarily mean you should only wear prints of vertical lines all the time. Vertically lines can be created through the silhouette of a column of colors. Specifically, these tips will help you achieve that
#1 Wear monochromatic outfit
You may have noticed (maybe without fully understanding why) that if your top and bottom are from similar color hue, your outfit looks more pleasant to the eyes and this trick almost always works when you are debating what you should wear. That is the magic of monochromatic styling.
For those of you not familiar with the term “monochromatic color”, here is the definition. According to Wiki, Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue and extended using its shades, tones and tints. Tints are achieved by adding white and shades and tones are achieved by adding a darker color, grey or black. In fashion, monochromatic outfits are most flattering to short girls because they create a column of colors, i.e. the length much needed by short girls.
As seen in Kim Kardashian (5’3″), if you want to master the skills of how to look taller, then monochromatic outfit is a must. Using colors to enhance the illusion of height is a highly effective strategy, as it helps create a vertical line. While wearing head-to-toe black is the simples and eternally chic option preferred by many, we actually do not recommend it to petite girls. The reason is blacks shrink, and they may make petite girls smaller than they already are. Instead, opt for saturated hues such as red, blue or neutrals like beige. Lighter colors will add more presence to your outfit.
The trick to monochrome dressing is to keep each silhouette crisp and tailored. For petite girls, you should avoid any oversized items anyways and always go for a fitted look.
#2 If you are wearing pants, matching the color of your shoes with your pants will make your legs appear longer.
This applies to stockings in winter times. Wear stockings that match or are close to the color of your skirt or dress and wear shoes or boots of the same color will make you look instantly taller. If you are wearing a dress with bare legs, then nude heels does an amazing job to extend your legs. If a petite girls could only own one pair of shoes, it should be nude pumps! That is how important it is to wear nude shoes in how to look taller- they literally just look like an extension of your legs.
#3 Wearing mini skirts or dresses always makes your look taller
This is one of the oldest trick on how to look taller. People’s attention of focus is where your skirt and dress hem ends. Therefore, wearing shorter skirts or dresses will make your legs look longer. The most flattering length of skirts or dresses to petite girls is 10 inches above your knee.
#4 Wear a maxi dress or skirt in the summer
As mentioned above, while it is obvious that short skirts are flattering to short girls in general, it is also good to know that maxi dresses and maxi skirts actually can look very flattering to your petite frame. In winter times, long skirts are very practical and can keep you warmer than short skirts. Standing at 5’3”, Victoria Beckham sets perfect examples for short girls on how to make long skirts work (and another example of monochromatic dressing).
Pairing a long skirt with knee high boots is one of the best fashion choices for a short girl when the weather is cold. The key is the color of your skirt and that of your boots should be of similar tone, which will effectively elongate your legs and make you look tall.
SimiLar to wearing long skirt, wearing maxi dress the right way will actually make a short girl look taller. One of the key factors in styling short girls is to create a column of colors. Because of its continuous color and pattern, maxi dress can effectively elongate your body frame. For short girls, solid colors or small prints are your best choice. Be very careful with large prints on maxi dresses. Given the big area maxi dresses cover on your body, large prints may make too busy and overwhelm your small frame. If you are short, getting the right length for your maxi dress is critical. Fortunately, some brands offer petite sizes so that you do not have to pay for a tailor.
#5 Wear a solid long coat in the fall and winter
Some blogs have suggested that short girls should only wear coats no longer than their knees. I agree that is a good length for petite women, however, if you haven’t tried wearing long coat, i.e. coats that reach your mid calves or even ankles, then you are missing out. Long coat does the best job in creating a column of colors, and they are more practical than shorter coats as they keep you warmer in the winter if your area is freezing like New York city.
#6 Now, since you know the vertical lines strength, the opposite is also true, i.e. horizontal line shortens. Therefore, these are the things that will make you look shorter, and you should stay away from generally
Ankle straps make your legs look cut off. Wearing shoes without ankle straps will make you look taller. Many petite women have smaller feet, thus pumps without ankle stripes are not the most practical shoes for walking. In that case, opt for skinny ankle straps closer to the color of your skin, which will blend in and will not be as noticeable to look cutting off your legs.
Choker necklaces go across your neck, so they tend to make your neck look shorter. If you happen to have a short neck (most petite women do), then you should be careful about your choices of chokers. You could still wear them, but we suggest you opt for skinnier chokers, or chokers of beige or white colors which would blend with your skin and won’t make your neck look cut off.
You may already know that horizontal prints in general make you look shorter. That is not to say petite girls should avoid horizontal prints all together. However, opt for smaller scale proportional to your body frame, if you do want to try them out.
This post is honored to be featured in Links-a-la-Mode of Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB). Thank you, IFB for the featuring!
Links à la Mode, January 4th, 2017
- Adorned in Armor: 7 Lessons I Learned in 2017 & All My Favorite Looks
- Beyond Her Curls: The Perfect Red Lips
- Britt and Whit: Airport Style: What to Wear When You Travel
- Chicago Petite Blog: 5 Winter Essentials Every Petite Girl Needs
- Conversations Beyond: How to Make 2018 a Success
- Diary of a Toronto Girl: 10 Simple Steps To Boost Your Self-Confidence
- Girl in Betsey: Cozy & Chic Winter Sweaters
- Haley’s Dailies: Ringing in the New Year
- Just Missed the Runway: Tiered Frill Maxi Dress
- L Knits: 40 Blog Post Ideas for Pattern Designers
- Luna Vida: Makin’ Me Blush [Pink] | Cardigan + Peplum Top + Skinny Jeans + Ankle Boots
- Petite Dressing: 6 Best Fashion Tips on How to Look Taller
- Sifa’s Corner: Rose Gold Cutcrease Makeup for Hooded Eyes
- Simply Audree Kate: My Resolution for 2018
- Simply J&K: 10 Simple Steps To Boost Your Self-Confidence
- The Blonde Misfit: The 5 Best Moisturizers For Sensitive Skin