I was doing some research for myself a few weekends ago – and wanted to share with you what I found! I keep these tips in mind when I’m going through my closet to do some spring cleaning, and when I’m shopping for new items. Please note that I was also searching specifically for petite frames – so if you’re already taller or have a different body shape some of these tips may not work for you. Not everything here is universally flattering, especially if you’re much larger through the hips and thighs.
Here are the top tips I saw over & over again from experts on how to dress to look slim, tall, and more mature!
How to Dress to Look Slimmer & Taller (and More Sophisticated!)
In general, you want to limit any horizontal lines on your body – this includes changing colors on your top & your bottom – which would create a line in the center of your body. If you want, look for vertical stripes.
Dress in Monochrome – so the same color on your top & bottom. This elongates your frame.
Colors next to each other on the color wheel also make hemlines less obvious
White blouses are always a classic choice
Micro prints are best for smaller frames (vs larger prints)
Shirts & Tops
Button down shirts & blouses are an easy way to look more sophisticated but regardless of your bra size, make sure they fit well and aren’t pulling open at the buttons
Silk blouses also make an outfit look more mature and professional
Small collars are better for petite frames than larger collars – they’re less overwhelming of your frame
Tuck in your shirt to appear more professional
V-necks and deep-Vs help give petite girls more length; but also turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks elongate the upper body
Crop tops + high waisted bottoms lengthen legs
3/4 length sleeves elongate the arms
Off the shoulder tops that draw attention and show off your neck and shoulders are great for looking taller. If you also pull your hair back (e.g. in a low bun) when wearing this type of top, it adds to the illusion of creating a longer neck.
Any jacket will make you appear more sophisticated – this can be referred to as “the power of the third piece”
Long coats make you appear longer
Blazers and jackets should be smaller in volume / cropped – It’s advised to fit them to the waist or slightly below
High waisted jeans make your legs look longer
If you’re going to wear a cropped pant, choose a high rise, straight-legged pair that cuts off at the ankle. Bonus: wear the same color ankle boot to make this one continuous line
Choose boot cut pants that go to the floor – that’s the most elongating fit
Make sure your bottoms are tailored and without holes
Stick with simple, waist-fitted shift dress fits – this helps with stretching the silhouette
Keep dresses to knee length or maxi
Always: make sure you don’t have too much fabric/ too many layers which will overwhelm your frame – you want a lean fluid line
Pointed-toe shoes make your legs look longer – stick with pointy ones incl. when choosing flats
Choose “low vamp” shoes to elongate your legs (the vamp of your shoe is where the shoe ends at the top or front of your foot! Low cut/vamp shoes end or cut across the top of your foot near the toes.)
Choose shoe colors that either blend with your pants, tights, or legs
Neutral or dark color footwear is often a safe choice
Try to never choose bulky shoes
Platform shoes (obvi) make you taller
If you prefer wearing flats, pick pointy toes ones
Super tall or super short boots are best. Wear knee-high boots during colder seasons.
For ankle boots, choose one that cuts just below your ankle. If it goes above your ankle, it cuts you off.
If possible, choose boots that are skin tight
Long necklaces lengthen your frame
Match your shoes, handbag, and any other accessories in color or material
(Vegan) Leather shoes & accessories are timeless
If you have a round face, choose a frame with angled corners like cat eye
If you have a square face, choose round or curved frames
I love wearing skirts and dresses!
Skirts should be mini or a maxi. Try to avoid any mid-length skirts. Skirts that hit between the knee and the ankle will cut you off before you get to the floor.
Slim-fit pencil skirts, as long as they’re above the knee, can work.
Long hair makes you look smaller – so, it’s better to have shorter hair
If you love long hair, try a top knot to elongate you
Pull your hair back & keep it off your neck for a timeless look
Horizontal stripes (go for vertical lines if you want stripes)
Anything too tight (looks cheap)
Capris (see ankle pants note above)
Keep garments simple and uncluttered
Avoid too much fabric and volume (e.g. waterfall cardigans) which will overwhelm small frames.
Choose slim, formfitting lines
Wrinkled clothes scream immaturity! Iron your clothes before you wear them. I have this $19 hand-held steamer
If you’re choosing a belt, do NOT choose a wide belt, choose a thin one
Petite girls look best with smaller bags rather than totes
Check out these articles & videos for more tips! They have great picture & video guides.