For those of us that are “petite”, we know full well that we are more prone to look sloppy than our legs-up-to-the-armpits friends if our clothes don’t fit us properly. We always have to be extra careful how we dress our frame so that we look taller than we actually are. Here’s 10 styling tips I use when I want to look taller without reaching for that pair of stilettos.
1. Chop Your Hair
Long hair drags petite girls down, while shorter hair does the opposite. Most stylist recommend that a wavy longish bob is the best option as it shows off your shoulders and your neckline, which makes you look taller. Otherwise, be brave and go even shorter: a super-sleek chin-length bob or an elegant gamine pixie is always stylish and chic (think Audrey Hepburn).
2. Do A Top Knot
If chopping off your hair long hair is too extreme for your liking, try doing a top knot instead. Piling your hair right on top of your head adds at least 5cm to your height by creating a more vertical line. I love those messy buns with wispy ends framing the face, but you can go with a classic top knot for the same effect.
3. Wear V-Necks
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!
4. Make Sure Your Tops End At Your Hipbone
Keeping your proportions right for tops and blouses is extremely important when you are petite. Watch out for oversized fits unless you plan on tucking them in. The end of the hem should stop at your hip, not below your derriere. Try rolling up your sleeves, leaving a couple top buttons undone, or a half tuck will help break the focus of all that fabric engulfing your upper half, giving the eye more points of interest.
5. Wear Skinny Belts
When it comes to belts, petite girls should always opt for a skinny version. It will define your natural waist in the most flattering way possible, without cutting you in half the way a thick belt can, which will cause you to look shorter.
6. Try Monochrome Dressing
Using color to enhance the illusion of height is a highly effective strategy, as it helps create a vertical line. Of course wearing head-to-toe black is the simplest—and eternally chicest—option, but saturated hues work well. Try neutrals or jewel tone colours for a modern and chic look that is incredibly “in” now as well. The trick to monochrome dressing: Keep each silhouette crisp and tailored.
7. Say Yes To High-Waisted Bottoms!
High-waist bottoms 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.
8. Wear Long Skirts With Slits
Slit skirts are a great way to pretend you have mile-long legs. The slit gives the illusion of amazing long legs, creating the impression of creating height. Pair the skirt with platform wedges for the ultimate optical illusion for sexy long legs.
9. Hem Your Pants
Wide-leg trousers are often more than a petite frame can handle. Instead, try straight or skinny trousers and hem them right above the ankle, Audrey Hepburn-style. 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.
10. Choose Heels With A Low-Cut Vamp
Shoes that have a low-cut vamp instantly elongate your leg and make them look slimmer as well. A vamp is the portion of the shoew that cuts across your foot at the front. So, a low vamp cuts across the base of the toes, while high vamp can come up the foot and possibly up to the ankle.
Petite girls should avoid heels with thick ankle straps as these will chop inches off your legs. Pumps are the most flattering style, especially in nude. Another good alternative is to 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. Pointed toes lengthen your leg line and make you look taller than you are. Flats and strappy sandals, especially in light or nude colors, that show a lot of skin will help elongate your legs instead of just cutting them off at the ankles.
At the end of the day, its’ all about proportions. That said, if there is a gorgeous billowing long dress that takes your breath away, go ahead and wear it! Get caught up in the moment once in a while, swim in the layers and get lost in the folds. Do what makes you happy. I know, I would ;)