Imagine looking into the mirror and you are transformed. You look taller, your hips minimized (without losing that fabulous butt, okay?) and your legs are a mile high. Or, you look like a coke bottle! Your legs, less like a chicken, and more like a sleek, chic pair of GAMS.
No, I’m not suggesting that you go out and get surgery. I’m talking about fashion MAGIC. Or, something close to it. With the right gear, you can play UP your assets, play DOWN your “flaws” and have eyes bugging out of their heads when you walk in the room. The haters will line up and the texts will fly.
I’ll tell you how to look taller by choosing clothing that elongates your frame instead of cutting it off. Or choose clothing that makes you look paradoxically shorter, so you don’t feel like you’re towering over everyone quite so much. I’ll also tell you what to choose to make yourself look thinner if you so choose. Don’t have a million bucks, but want to look like you do? Don’t worry, I got you–I’ll give you tips on how to look richer. I may not have a magic wand, but my dear, we don’t need one!
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How To Look Taller
Looking taller is about tricking the eye into seeing your body in as much of a continuous line as possible without breaking up its viewpoint. Imagine walking up to a tree and, starting at the roots, you look, following the trunk alllll the way up to the leaves, way up in the sky. You need to do this to your body or give the illusion of this. You will do this with both color and proportions of your clothing.
Obviously, these are going to be glances, or first impressions, because if someone examines you long enough, stands next to you, or generally rubs it in your face, they’ll eventually figure out you’re not barely skimming 6 feet tall.
Dress all in one color. A monochromatic color scheme doesn’t give the eyes a chance to stop on the natural break between your legs and your top half–your waist. Visually, you are just one long line.
Go for high-waisted everything! Fortunately, this is easy to find these days. This style is great because it gives the illusion that your torso is longer than it actually is. This is beneficial if you come across longer hemlines. While shorter ladies should avoid midi skirts, if you find one with a high-waist, you may be able to downplay the fact that midi skirts generally stop at an awkward place. For someone with shorter legs, this accentuates the fact that your legs are short, which is what you are trying to avoid.
On the other hand, cropped pants or ankle-length pants (not capris) that show just a little bit of ankle, actually make your legs look longer. It makes the eyes think that your legs are too long for these pants. Yes, OMG. When being “in the water” is chic and works for you! Amazing, isn’t it?
Before we leave the concept of wonderful high-waisted bottoms, if you wear wide-leg pants, make sure they go all the way to the floor. It looks amazing! Trust me. Your legs look like they go to infinity. You are free to wear heels as high as you can handle and no one will know. BUT–make sure they go straight down without buckling too much at the foot. This will make you look sloppy and undo all your work.
Have your clothes tailored. Clothing that is too baggy or ill-fitting makes you look like you’re being swallowed up by your clothing. This makes it more obvious that you’re on the short side. Nothing beats the feeling of a garment that fits exactly the way it should fit. A lot of times, it’s just a matter of shortening a hem, or maybe adding a dart, and doesn’t cost too much.
Shorter hemlines make your legs look longer! Have you ever noticed that shorter ladies can get away with wearing minis a lot easier? It makes them look like they have mile-high legs without making them look gangly.
Grab a crop top! Similarly, showing some skin in the midsection also makes you look taller, by increasing the illusion of a longer torso. There’s just something about seeing bits of skin in strategic places that draws the eye and makes it fill in the blanks to make you look a bit taller.
Wear a shirt with a polo neck. Polo shirts make your neck look longer, and by extension, the rest of your body.
Wear a nude shoe. Nude shoes–the color of your skin–lengthen your legs. Again, the uniformity in color leads your eye to see a continuous, long line. Stuart Weitzman and Christian Louboutin make nude shoes in several skin tones!
Thinking about changing or updating your style? Click through to this post on how to change your style, to learn how to revamp your style in the least painful, expensive way.
Pointed toe shoes make your feet look longer, which in turn make your legs look longer. Peep toe shoes do the same thing!
Carry a small bag. Huge bags just make it more apparent that you are on the smaller side. Sure, your Neverfull is convenient, but do you really want to look like a mini you?
Make sure you choose ankle boots! I know, sorry. Who doesn’t love a knee-high boot? But if you’re petite, all it does is cut your frame in half. Some average size women do look like they have longer legs when they wear knee-highs, but you just have to see what it looks like for you.
How to Look Shorter
I cannot imagine why you would want to look shorter!!! Actually, in all seriousness, I can imagine that you don’t mind being able to reach the top shelf, you just don’t want to look freakishly tall or like a bean pole. Trust me, I understand!
Balancing out your height requires that you slow the eyes down a bit. You do this by causing breaks in the imaginary line from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. This is the opposite of what you would do if you were petite. You can do this effectively with color and a little bit of geometry (don’t worry, though, there won’t be a test!).
Stand up straight! Yes, I know it sounds counterintuitive. I’m not going to say something like, other women would kill to have your height. That may be true, but that’s not the issue. Slouching, besides, being bad for your back (when you get older, the vertebrae in your back are going to collapse and make this permanent–who wants that?!). If you slouch, it doesn’t make you shorter. It just makes you look like you’re slouching, which makes everyone notice your height even more. Standing up straight makes you look more elegant and regal, and that’s a fabulous alternative, isn’t it?
Use stripes to your advantage. Horizontal stripes look fantastic on you. Horizontal stripes de-emphasize your height and make you look shorter, but not tiny.
Avoid wearing the same color from head to toe. It’s great for your petite friends, but using different colors on your bottoms and tops breaks up the visual line and is very complimentary to you.
Wide belts work in a similar way. Anyone shorter just ends up looking tiny. You, on the other hand, have height to spare and can work this accessory the way it should be worked!
Capri pants are a great choice for summer. They compliment your long legs and make the length of your wonderful stems less obvious.
Boot cuts and Flare legs are your friends! They’re a little out of favor at the moment, but they always make you look great. The wider hem at the bottom actually makes you look more curvy, which again slows the eyes down and makes you look more fabulous, less awkward.
Long sweaters, jackets, and tunics balance out your height. They bring the eyes downward, making your legs look a little bit shorter.
Wearing flats is an obvious choice as far as footwear. Fortunately, there are loads of wonderful styles out there to suit any style. You do have other options, though! A shoe with a round toe will make your feet look smaller and then your legs a bit shorter. An ankle strap or a strap over the instep also gives your legs a slightly shorter impression, and it’s still very chic!
Consider changing your hair. If your hair is long, straight, and one length, it will give you maximal bean pole vibes. Layered styles are better, and even shorter styles, both of which break up that visual line we’ve been talking about.
How to Look Thinner
Wear a V-neck. A v-neck top will draw the focal point upward and away from the torso/midsection. Wider hips can be balanced with a wider V-neck. If you want the attention up top, add a red lip and wear a deeper V-neck, and well, you just might have some people panting, my dear.
Wear shoes that have a pointed toe and a thinner heel (2 inches plus is a good measure). I know it’s in fashion now, but square toe shoes, especially with a chunky heel, will shorten and widen your legs.
It may not be obvious, but wearing the wrong size undergarments can make you look overweight. If bra bands and/or cups are the wrong size, they can’t do the lifting and shaping they’re designed to do! Make sure you know how to correctly measure your bra size. If your panties are too small or the wrong type, they can create lines, bumps, and bulges where you don’t want them!
Use accessories to your advantage–these seemingly minor details can play a major role! Long necklaces will make shorter necks look a bit longer and tend to pull the eye to the center and front of the body, away from the hips. Chandelier earrings, as well as bib-like statement necklaces, call attention to the face. Stacks of bangles, cuff bracelets, and interesting cocktail rings pull the eye down to the wrists and away from upper arms, where you might not want the focus.
Opt for simpler jeans. If it’s winter or you just like them, dark jeans are always a good choice. ReThenly thing to keep in mind with jeans is that any embellishments are going to draw the eye and could make your backside more bulky than you might want it to look.
Also along those lines, pay attention to fabrics in general. Fabrics like cotton, silk, wool gabardine, and denim will give the appearance of extra weight. Jerseys, fine cottons and cashmeres look good on you because they seem to drape and shape in all the right places!
Monochrome color palettes also look great on you. Just like for women with petite frames, the uniform color elongates your body, making you look taller and thinner. Remember that it also draws the eye away from the middle.
How to Look Rich
This section is a little tongue-in-cheek because I don’t think this holds for everyone. Sure, it gives the initial impression of wealth, but as you probably realize, the truly wealthy likely wear pretty much whatever they want to wear, just like everyone else. I think these are good guidelines for more of a classy, understated elegance. But let’s see what you think.
Wear clothing that has structure. My dear, just as you need structure in life, you need structure in your clothing. Pay attention to things like darts and waistlines. The clothing you wear should fit closer to your body, so save your sweats for the gym.
Everything you wear should fit correctly. Never buy anything that doesn’t fit or you don’t want to have tailored to fit. It will just make you look sloppy or make you look like you borrowed the clothes.
Go for understated pieces. They shouldn’t be too busy in pattern or adornment. You can dress these up or down, depending on the setting.
Be thoughtful and strategic about showing skin. If you want to show off your legs, consider covering up your cleavage. If you want to showcase killer cleavage, cover your legs. It keeps the focus where you want it, plus, everyone loves a little mystery.
If you have to choose, invest in your bags and shoes. You will use these items most, so they are worth splurging a little more on. Buying higher quality means they will last longer and you will get the most wear out of them, making the per wear price low over time.
Buy the best quality shoes your budget will allow. Start with a black pair and a nude pair if necessary. Your feet will thank you and you will have a shoe that looks good with everything.
Avoid huge logos. You’re not a billboard so don’t look like one.
Knock offs are a no-no. Anyone with the real thing can sniff you out from a mile away. You would be better off buying a nice quality, non-luxury brand that looks great with your outfit.
Keep your jewelry and accessories simple. Or if you choose to wear statement earrings, wear a simpler necklace or none at all, and vice versa. It’s easy to overdo it with accessories, so if you think you’re wearing too much, you probably are.
Pay attention to the small details. Iron or steam out wrinkles, cut off loose threads, polished shoes, and sew loose buttons back on. These little things can go a long way in making you look more put together.
Be on point all around. Put on makeup and make sure your hair is done. It ties your whole look together.
Step out with intention. Stand up straight. Walk like you have somewhere important to go, even if you don’t. Confidence looks good on anyone.
Final Thoughts on Looking Taller, Thinner, or Richer
So, with the right garments in the right proportions, you can draw attention to whatever you want. You can use color and pattern to balance out your height, making you either taller or a little shorter. Who knew accessories had the power to pull your eyes away from your problem areas?! My dear, with great knowledge, comes great responsibility. Don’t hurt too many people with your new-found fashion magic. I don’t know if they’re ready for you!