Other than simply looking in the ‘petite’ range when shopping, it’s hard to know how to dress when you’re short! Being 5’3 and under is both a blessing and a curse all at the same time. You have the ability to blend into the background in situations you don’t want to be in, you can buy a standard double bed but still feel like you’re star-fishing in a king size, or wear 6-inch killer heels and not run the risk of towering over your other half – unless like me, your husband is quite the short arse too! However, with being petite comes some disadvantages. Disadvantages in the form of not being able to reach the top shelf in supermarkets, sitting on a chair and your feet not touching the floor, having to stand on a chair to put the washing up back in the cupboards, putting on 3lbs and it looking like you’ve gained 10lbs, constantly being told you’re “cute”, and every pair of jeans IN THE WORLD being too long on your legs but too small on the waist.
I’ve found it a challenge over the years to wear certain clothes I like without running the risk of making myself look shorter or wider, being 5’2. So without further ado, here are my do’s and dont’s for dressing yourself to create a “leggy illusion”. As always, you can click on the pictures to shop! I hope you love them!
DO: Nude Heels
The beauty of nude shoes; they go with near enough everything and they ALWAYS look sophisticated. However, a hidden gem within nude heels is the ability to elongate short legs. Heels of any colour naturally make you look taller, however the nude shoe adds a more natural blend, creating an illusion of longer, toned legs that don’t look like they exist only because of the heel. They’re great for nights out but also day to day wear, styled with a sexy number or a pair of jeans, a nude heel is a winner 365 days a year.
Selfridges (KG Kurt Geiger) £59.00
DON’T: Ankle Straps
There are so many shoes I fall in love with on a regular basis that seem to love an ankle strap. Unless wearing a black pair of skinny jeans or a skirt/dress that covers the ankles, I recommend avoiding these like the plague. An ankle strap, despite being a lovely addition to a stylish pair of flats or heels, create a break in the leg which draws attention to where the leg stops and the foot begins. Unfortunately for us shorties, all that does is accentuates the tiny party sausage sized legs and makes the legs look cut off, shorter and often stumpy. It may be heartbreaking, but they are certainly not your friend when the goal is longer legs!
DO: High Waist
Short legs, big hips and an inward waist? Welcome to my world. I swear by high waisted clothing- skirts, jeans and dresses that cut at the waist. The high waisted garment again gives an optical illusion giving you longer looking legs, but also highlights the hourglass figure. The right outfit can provide a flatter stomach and an itsy bitsy waist, giving you the toned gym figure without the need to bust your back on a treadmill 3 times a week! An outfit that accentuates the figure is always a winner.
DON’T: Cross Body Bags
Convenient? Yes. Harder for a hooded ‘yout’ to grab your bag as they bike past? Yes. However, the cross body bag is the devil when it comes to making you look taller. The strap across the body with the bag on your hip draws attention to the torso and the pretty bag, which instantly makes the torso look longer and visually attracts eyes to look down. Drawing attention to your ‘middle’ only makes the legs look short; there’s no hiding your little legs if you’re drawing attention to them!
DO: A-Line Midi Skirts
A midi skirt is my FAVOURITE item of all. Perhaps because it covers the fact I have two tattoos on my legs I despise, but also because I feel feminine and taller whenever I wear them! They usually are high waisted (instant winner), but the wide flow and the cut mid calf adds so much length to your legs! You can’t see where the leg starts and so it’s easily a sneaky way to add length, especially with the calf being displayed slightly at the end. Slimming and lengthening, what more do you need?
DON’T: Long Coats
Especially in winter, I love a long coat. I have a River Island midi teddy bear coat that I adore; I will embrace the tiny height just to wear it. However, a coat that long only makes you look shorter – especially from behind. They make your torso look longer and can often look like they’re drowning you, so if you’re wanting to look “leggy” then I definitely recommend going for a cropped jacket over a long one day day of the week.
DO: Be Brave – LEGS OUT
My legs are one of my biggest insecurities; they’re not particularly toned and as I said, gross “quick I’m 18 let’s get any tattoo I can think of” on my thighs. However, for those who DON’T have ugly tatts and have bare legs or lovely tattoos, short skirts/dresses are the way to go. For me there’s a line – not too long they’re knee length, but not too short that an unsuspecting passerby can see what you had for dinner. A nice mini skirt can really add SO much length to your legs, especially when paired with a lush pair of heels (without ankle straps!). Mini skirts are usually high waisted so you kill two bird with one stone, adding a lovely leg to the outfit. Let’s be honest, we all feel a bit daring and sexy in a mini skirt!
I hope you’ve all loved my do’s and dont’s, you can see my updated outfit posts sporting my favourite ‘do’s’ on my Instagram! Keep your eyes peeled for more fashion tips for petite girls!
What are your top go to tips for short legs? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments!
Love, Amber x