Style Secrets: How to Look Taller (Beyond Just Wearing Heels)
by Emily Cholakian
There’s nothing wrong with being petite, but there are a few tricks you can use to lengthen your frame and make you look leggier than you actually are. As a small-frame fashion-lover and blogger, I’ve tried ’em all, so here are my tips for how to look taller.
If the fashion industry is known for one thing, it’s leggy, statuesque models gliding down the runway. But like it or not, most of us are not endowed with the legs of Gisele Bundchen or, in fashion-blogger terms, Chiara Ferragni. I stand at a mere 5′ 1-3/4″ and have battled with my short-girl syndrome for a long time, wondering how to look taller. What I have come to realize is that with a few special wardrobe tricks I can take my 5′ 1″ frame to a 5′ 10″, and these tricks can work for you, too.
1. High-waisted cuts
High-waisted bottoms should dominate in a petite girl’s closet. From shorts to skirts to pants, high-waisted bottoms give the illusion of long lean legs and a shorter torso. Make sure to always wear high-waisted bottoms (especially pants) with a super-high heel! Enocha Tellus of Locks and Trinkets show us how to wear this tip in white high-waisted American Apparel pants.
2. Pointy toe pumps
A pointed-toe pump is the shoe of all shoes for petite girls—the pointier the better! Look for super sleek cuts that narrow out and arch the foot nicely; the trick here is to avoid anything too clunky. Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life wears Christian Louboutin heels with her everyday go-to pieces.
One-color looks are not only super-chic but also add a few extra inches to your frame. Try a long maxi dress in a solid color or mix separates of the same hue to create one fluid piece. Blair Eade of Atlantic Pacific makes her 5′ 7″ frame look even longer in this streamlined Marna Ro dress.
4. V-neck tops
V necks are the best neckline for petite gals. Remember it is all about creating an illusion, and the eyes are immediately drawn to the center of the V and then pulled upward toward your face. Cowl, square, and boat necks will leave you looking stout; the deeper the V, the taller you look! Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper dons the deepest of Vs in an Alice McCall jumpsuit that hits both the neckline and monochromatic notes.
5. Mini cuts
Mini lengths were made for the 5′ 4″ and under—mini skirts, mini dresses, even mini rompers. Avoid wearing anything that hits right above the knee; that length cuts your leg off right in the middle, making you look even shorter than you are. Minis elongate the leg by showing as much skin as possible while still being tasteful, of course. Melanee Shale wears a perfect-length mini romper in a soft mint hue and pairs it with some pointy-toe pumps (see how this is all coming together?).
For more style advice and inspiration from Emily, visit Stiletto Beats.