I’ve always admired tall women; there’s something regal and elegant about being statuesque, just look at Taylor Swift (5’11”), Nicole Kidman (5’11”) and Jordin Sparks (6′) to name a few. For those of us nearer 5′ who like the idea of adding a little extra height to their appearance I thought I’d share a few clever styling tricks with you.
Draw attention to the top half of your body
Looking taller is all about drawing the eye upward and, the higher, the better. Use eye-catching statement accessories, bold colors, high-shine textures, and finishes, and/or interesting and detailed necklines and collars to draw attention to the area above your bust line.
Wear a solid color or go monochrome
A monochromatic with your outfit will instantly makes you look taller since it does not break up your silhouette at any point. Wearing one color creates one long fluid line from top to bottom that is very flattering and makes for an impressive statement that tricks the eye into one continuous visual.
Avoid too many horizontal blocks of color
A favorite technique of many stylists is managing color blocking within an outfit. The more horizontal blocks of colors within an outfit the shorter and heavier you will appear. In the photos below the number shown is how many blocks of color within each outfit, clearly demonstrating this effect.
Wear a light/bright color above your waist
Wearing a lighter color above the waist; again draws the eye upward. To increase the effect make your bottom garment a dark color.
Keep clothes close to your body
If you wish to look taller, highlighting your frame will serve you better than hiding it in baggy clothes. Loose clothing actually makes you look shorter than you are since it doesn’t show off the shape and it tends. Today’s stretchy fabrics are a far cry from those of even 5 years ago, with many having superior stretch within firm fabrics. These qualities provide larger girls with the perfect balance of slim fit and a flattering silhouette.
Wear V necklines and open shirt collars
These slimming and height enhancing necklines draw the up and out, making you look taller. The wider the V, the broader your shoulder will look.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to color contrast and so, by wearing a V-neck top in a contrasting color to your skin, it further enhances the look.
Wear high hip or shorter tops
Not for everyone, Hip length or shorter tops create the illusion of a longer torso. These are best worn by women who have a long torso. The more youthful and slimmer you are the shorter the top can be and look good. However, be mindful not to drown your torso; shaped tops or cinching the waist will work best when an illusion of extra height is desired.
Wear heels the higher, the better
This one is a no-brainer. Is there a better way to look taller than slipping into a pair of high heels? If you want to create the illusion of even longer legs, opt for nude or skin tone heels that’ll blend into your coloring like a second skin.
Wear platform shoes – but not chunky styles
If you’re uncomfortable with stilettos or high heels, platform shoes are a great option to get that height you’re coveting. Be wary of chunky styles though since they add bulk to your ankles, therefore shortening your legs and consequently, your overall frame.
Add height to your hair or style it short
Adding height to the top of your head via full hair is a great way to look taller since it forces the focus to the top of your head. You can even magnify the effect of your short hair and emphasize your face even more with bold makeup looks like a bright lip or smoky eyes. When you chose to wear your hair up you will create not only extra visual height but you will also elongate your face, neck and slim your upper torso. Try a topknot for casual events, or add height with a front pouf for that undone glam look.
Wear an upturned hat or hair accessories
The main aim of looking taller is to make the viewer’s eyes move upward and focus there. Hats and hair accessories are helpful for this purpose. These outfit accouterments are also a great way to give your look a dash of the current trends. In addition, wearing hats that are wider than your shoulder width will also make you appear shorter.
Wear medium-small to small to small prints
Oversized prints can overwhelm your body and make you look shorter (easily seen with the dress on Keira Knightly below), especially if you are petite. Medium-small to small prints are the best in lengthening. Medium to small prints don’t scatter the eye, and it’ll keep the eye focused on the overall silhouette.
Match the color of your belt to your outfit and keep them medium to narrow
Wearing a belt can break up your body length (see the first image below), so when added height is your goal, it’s best to blend the color of your belt with your garment/outfit to not to disturb the continuity of your outfit. Lastly, when choosing belts keep it medium to narrow.
Wear full-length pants, short shorts or knee length and higher hemlines
To begin, long, slim to straight leg pants will always trump skirts (even long ones) when it come to creating an illusion of greater height.
In between silhouettes, like midi skirts or culottes, can confuse the eye and cut up body length as evident with the pants below (same wearer). Full-length pants and/or skirts and short shorts or dresses will give you a solid silhouette and create the illusion of longer legs. Anything in between can be tricky and may make you look shorter.
Wear high waists; dresses, skirts, and pants
Applying the same principle as wearing hip length tops, wearing high waist dresses, skirts, and pants will lengthen the torso producing an overall slimming and elongating effect.
What better way to look longer and taller than using vertical patterns? Don’t limit yourself to stripes. Use button front garments, pleating, and slits, open front jackets to create a singular line that effectively makes you look tall and sleek.
Keep your breasts high
Making sure that your girls are properly supported is more than just an issue of comfort. Saggy and ill-fitting bras will destroy even the most flattering streamlined silhouettes. Keep your breasts high and upright. Invest in great underwear, and believe me, this will help in your posture as well.
Stand up straight, with your chin up
Even if you follow all these tips to the letter, faltering on this last tip may be your downfall. Posture is everything. Standing straight with your chin up and shoulders back is the quickest and easiest way to look instantly taller. Slouching does no one good. Standing upright lets you avoid back problems, all while radiating confidence and giving you a taller and more elegant appearance.
Apply these tips, and put on your widest smile. You’ll be the center of attention. Are there any tips I missed? If I have, feel free to add your own in the comments below.