Jennifer is petite and she loves to experiment on clothing by matching different colors and styles. She likes fashion and shopping.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good. Women generally feel good about themselves if they look good and that's fine. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves, after all. However, this article is not about emphasizing that women SHOULD dress up to look tall or young. No.
This article is primarily for women who are vertically-challenged or petite like me. I am 5'1 and I often find it a bit challenging to find clothes that will give me an illusion of height so I don't look like a teenager trying to dress up like an adult all the time. Not that it matters but sometimes, there are occasions where you'd want to dress up and look your age like when you are going out on a date or attending a social gathering.
This is also for other women out there who would want to experiment on their looks on any particular day. We all have days when we don't really care about how we look but we also have days when we just want to accentuate a part of our self or highlight our waist or neckline or whatever. There are times when we want to look young or tall (or taller for already tall women) and there is nothing wrong with that...you are a woman after all, so feel free to dress up any way you like.
Now, if it's one of those days when you want to look tall or young, this article will guide you.
1. Heels for looking taller and slimmer: Wearing heels is definitely an obvious trick to add height to your frame. It doesn't have to be really high just a couple of inches taller is enough to do the trick. Heels are amazing. They improve your posture and they make you look slimmer. Pumps or stilettos are sexy but they can be uncomfortable so stick to what's comfortable for you.
- Wear heels that are neutral or nude in color. Choose the color that is closer to your skin tone or to the color of your trousers/pants/jeans. This way, you give an illusion of a longer leg line. I personally love wearing my kitten heels because they are stylish, comfy, and they come in nude colors plus they are pointy so they really make me look younger and taller.
- Choose heels or any shoes that are pointed so they add length to your feet and give off an illusion of longer legs.
- Choose heels that have a low vamp which means you are showing more skin (from the base of your toes up to your legs).
Don't: Avoid wearing heels or shoes that are colorful and busy with intricate accessories or laces. The straps or contrasting colors interrupt the illusion of length and will definitely make your leg look shorter.
2. Wedges and kitten heels for looking younger: They add height to your frame, they are comfortable and they make you look younger. If you are 40 something and above, kitten heels and wedges are perfect and they are definitely age-appropriate and classy.
3. Experiment with sneakers or platform shoes: If your age is 30 something, it doesn't hurt to experiment with sneakers to pair with your maxi-dress or skirt. Avoid colorful and printed. Stick to neutral tones and you'll be feeling good and looking young (without looking like a teenager) in no time.
- Tucking in your shirt or blouse makes your torso area look shorter and your legs longer giving you the illusion of height.
- Wear tops with slimmer sleeves: Avoid tops with bell sleeves and those that are bulky because they attract attention to your torso and it makes your body wider, not longer.
- Fitted tops and three-quarter length sleeves also work well in adding length to your frame. If you wear loose tops, tuck them in and you are good to go.
- Wear V-neck tops as they elongate your neckline and your torso area adding more length to your frame. If you are wearing buttoned shirt, leave a couple of buttons open and you'll get the same effect as a V-neck.
- Wear polished looking pieces which are not too body-hugging and not loose either. Tops that fall a bit off your shoulder are good. Don't be afraid to show off your shoulders or your arms. If you are confident about your neck and chest area, go for tops that expose your neck area (like square, sweetheart and scoop necklines), otherwise, you can cover with a turtle neck and you'll still be fine.
- Wear blazers that give you a streamlined silhouette. Blazers with a subtle nipped in waist, longer line and kick pleat at the back are perfect for any occasion.
3. Bottoms (Trousers (pants), shorts, skirts)
- Flared jeans: For a taller and slimmer look, avoid cropped jeans. They make you appear shorter when you show your calves or ankles. Instead, go for fitted jeans with a flared hem or boot cut and choose one in which the hem is touching your shoes.
- High Waist: This is again applying the principle of short torso and longer legs. High-waisted jeans/trousers or shorts make your legs look longer and you, taller. It creates an illusion of a long leg line by making your waist appear seemingly higher. If you cannot wear high waist comfortably, opt to wear high waist trousers with a lace that you can tie around your waist to hide your belly.
- Maxi skirts: Contrary to popular belief, maxi skirts are also ideal for petite women. Choose one that will create a long vertical line and streamline your silhouette. High-waisted maxi skirts are perfect especially when they are long enough to cover your ankles.
- Short shorts and skirts: If you don't mind showing off some skin, wearing short skirts and shorts are actually going to give your legs a longer look. Do not, however, wear something that is offensively too short like when your butt cheeks are already showing or bending over is already going to expose your "soul". Not cool. Wear something that is 4-6 inches above your knee.
- Slightly cropped: It may not make you look taller but if you want to look younger, definitely go for that slightly cropped jeans or trousers. Show your ankles because it is one of the very few parts of your body that doesn't seem to age. One trick if you don't have a slightly cropped jeans is to fold the hem a little bit just above your ankle and show off your favorite shoes be it a wedge or a pair of pointy kitten heels.
- Wear bottoms without a zipper: Zippers or fly tend to squeeze in some bulge and it makes it more uncomfortable so opt for a pair of trousers or culottes without zippers and just tight enough to let everything be in place (no holding of breaths or no squeezing in necessary).
4. Dresses and jumpsuits
- Choose a fitted dress with a defined waist: Form-fitting dresses with a defined waistline are flattering as they make you look slimmer. The defined waistline also helps create an illusion of a shorter torso and longer leg line.
- Use shape wear underneath a dress for a more defined curvature: Shape wear companies employ women to design better-fitting underwear for women of all shapes and sizes. A perfect fit underwear is a good first step to that streamlined and slimmer look.
- Pick a dress with vertical details: It applies to everything from tops to bottoms to dresses and jumpsuits. If you want to look taller and slimmer, always go for vertical stripes as they draw the attention lengthwise and makes you look taller and slimmer. Choose clothes with vertical lines, vertical pleats, long prints and seams. It doesn't have to be busy a simple 2 tone hourglass cutout on a dress or a tuxedo stripe is enough to do the trick.
- Maxi dresses with high waistline: Don't be afraid to wear a maxi-dress even if you are petite. There is a certain style that is especially designed for petite women - maxi dress with high waistline. High waistline shortens the torso and lengthens the leg line which will give you a taller look. Pair it with high heels and a hat and you are good to go.
- Ditch the loose dress and tops: Go for a more confident look by slimming down your waistline. You can do it picking out a dress with defined waist so it pulls your waist in giving you that more curved and streamlined look.
- Go for above the knee: Wear dresses and skirts above the knee and show a bit of skin. Don't be afraid to experiment on length just avoid the maxi dresses because they will add more years to your look.
- Wear a good bra: Picking out a very good underwear improves your posture and gives you that more defined curve. Choose a bra that perfectly fits and uplifts your breasts so you get a bit of a more upright posture. This will not only help you look more confident and youthful but it also adds a bit of height to your posture.
5. Colors, prints and patterns
- Wear all one color: Dress up in a monochromatic way which means wearing tops and bottoms that are the same color or shade. Keep it tailored and crisp. If you wear all red or all black, it makes you look taller and slimmer. If you want to wear a belt that doesn't match the color, put it on high waist to not interrupt the illusion of a longer leg and shorter torso.
- Darker shades for slimmer look: We already know that black is slimming but you don't have to stick with black all the time. Try other darker shades like navy, maroon, oxblood, charcoal grey, indigo, burgundy, merlot or emerald green. As long as they are in one color or shade, they will give you that tall and slim look.
- Smaller prints/patterns: If you want to look tall and slim, go for smaller prints and patterns. Big prints draw attention crosswise so they will make you look shorter and wider.
- Vertical lines: Vertical stripes, seams and pleats are all perfect for a slimmer and taller look.
- Go for bold colors and soft prints: If your aim is to look younger, never ever wear black. Black is slimming yes but it also makes you look older. What you can do instead is to go for brighter colors because they give off that fun and youthful vibe making you look and feel younger.
- Instead of wearing zigzag, stripes, geometric and 2-tone patterns, wear something with curved patterns with bright colors.
- Avoid darker shades because they make you look unapproachable and conservative. Shades of grey and brown can be a very good alternative to dark colors because they are neutral yet still very slimming.
- Tie your hair in a knot above your head for it adds height to your overall frame.
- If your hair is not long enough or you don't want to tie it in a bun, wear a hat instead.
- Avoid oversized bags as they tend to eat your size up. Use bags that are appropriate for your size like hand bags, medium sized shoulder bags or just a plain purse will do.
- A simple trick to elongate your torso is to wear a long necklace.
- Ditch the pearls. They make you look old-fashioned.
- Be minimalist in terms of jewelry and accessories. DO not wear 5 bracelets or 5 necklaces in one go. Choose one that accentuates your clothes and remove the others. Younger people tend to go for minimalistic and simplistic look.
- Choose a flattering hairstyle that is both modern and chic. Long bob, bangs, funky short hair cut, pixie or just part your hair in the middle will definitely make you look 10 years younger.
© 2019 Jennifer Gonzales