There's nothing wrong with being short — you usually look young for your age, never run out of legroom, and can save money by shopping in the pre-teen section — but even short girls who embrace their height can sometimes wish they looked taller. Luckily, it's surprisingly easy! It's all about proportion; people judge height based on the proportions of your body, which means you don't need to rely on a late (and highly unlikely) growth spurt to fool people into thinking you've got a few more inches to your name.
The most important thing you can do to make yourself look taller is to make sure your clothes fit properly. Good tailoring makes more of a difference than you think: small changes, like having your pants hemmed at the correct height or a jacket taken in at the waist so you don't look like you're swimming in it, don't have to be expensive but can be big improvements. Good fit doesn't always have to mean professional tailoring, though — something as simple as tucking in your shirt instead of leaving it hanging loose can make you look instantly taller.
Sticking to shorter hemlines keeps things in proportion, giving you the illusion of height. Crop tops are a great example; just like tucking in a shirt, visually raising your waist makes the middle of your body look longer, and by extension, makes you look taller. And don't be afraid of miniskirts — the same rule holds true, here. Shorter skirts make your legs look longer, and are usually more flattering than ones that cut you off at or below the knee.
If you want to double down on this effect, embrace the high-waist trend. High-waist jeans, skirts, and pants all elevate your natural waistline and elongate your legs, which — you guessed it — makes you look taller. High-waist doesn't have to mean mom jeans, either — they're actually quite flattering and hopefully back to stay. So leave the low riders in the 90s where they belong, and embrace the high waistline.
The length of your hem isn't the only thing that can affect your perceived height. Your neckline plays a big part, too. Specifically, v-necks can make you look taller by creating a vertical line, elongating the neck and adding height. Though it may seem counterintuitive, mock turtlenecks and polo necks similarly make your neck look longer, which has the overall effect of making you look taller.
The cardinal rule of trying to look taller is to avoid breaking up your body as much as possible. The best way to do this is with color — sticking to a monochrome palette makes your body look long instead of being composed of a bunch of obviously shorter sections. This doesn't mean you need to dress head to toe in a single color; different shades of the same color work just as well. Dark colors can also help streamline the body, but if you're sick of black, colors like navy, charcoal, and forest green work too.
Column dressing is about both shape and color. It creates a vertical line, fooling the eye into thinking you look much taller than you really are. Creating a column effect is all about layering. Long lines and similar colors create levels without cutting up your body — think long cardigans or coats layered over short tops, maxi skirts or dresses with long boots. Then, pair the outfit with belts and shoes that match your pants.
If you're short, you're probably sick of hearing that you should stick to vertical stripes, but it's true. Vertical stripes have a lengthening — and often slimming — effect, so they really do make you look taller. The trick is to choose the thickness of the stripes in a way that matches your natural body shape. If you're slim, narrow pinstripes are best, and if you're curvier, opt for a thicker line.
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Busy prints tend to draw the eye across the body, which emphasizes width. Big prints can also swamp a smaller frame, which isn't great if you're naturally petite. In contrast, sticking with smaller micro prints keeps things balanced: small prints + small frame = well-proportioned. Think tight paisley patterns or small animal prints rather than bold florals.
This might seem like cheating, but it works, so why not? Obviously, if you're trying to look taller, heels are your best friend. Not only do they add height, but they can also change the shape of your legs, making them look longer and more toned. Even if you're not into heels, a pointed toe can work wonders; they make your feet, and by extension your legs, look longer. The same is true for nude shoes; by avoiding breaking up your legs into different color blocks, they appear longer and you appear taller.
Now that you know what you should do, how about what you shouldn't? Avoid cropped pants like capris — these usually cut you off at a weird height, making your legs look shorter. Horizontal stripes are also not your friend if you're trying to look taller: just as vertical stripes can emphasize your height, horizontal lines emphasize width, making you look shorter and wider than you really are. And go easy on oversized anything — instead of looking casual and chic like some of those willowy 5'11 models, you run the risk of looking like a kid who raided their mom's wardrobe, instead.