How to Dress to Look Tall: 9 Fashion Tips for Petite Ladies

If you are petite like me, you may want to choose clothes and styles that make you look taller Follow along with this tutorial to learn nine tips that will help you get that effect.

It’s really about how to make the brain interpret what your eye is seeing, and that can be achieved through some strategic clothing choices.

Wearing a belt to cinch in the waist

1. Consider the volume of your clothing

When you wear voluminous clothing, you draw eyes to not just the vertical direction of your clothing but also to the horizontal. That distraction will trick someone’s brain into thinking that you are wider than you really are.

You don’t need to get rid of your voluminous pieces, but if you cinch the waist on them with a belt or a tie, the balloon shape of your clothes transforms to an hourglass shape, which will draw attention back to your waist.

If you don’t like belts, then you can still wear flowy clothing. Just choose pieces that don’t have puffy sleeves and are more tailored.

Dresses with slits can make your look taller

Additional tip: dresses with slit details always help elongate the appearance of your legs and make you look taller.

How to look taller

2. Raise your waistline

Wearing clothing that doesn’t draw attention to your waistline automatically makes your torso look longer, and that actually makes you appear shorter, not taller. The easiest way to fix that when you are wearing two pieces is to tuck in your top.

Tucking a top into your bra

Additional tip: if you tuck your top under your bra for a crop-top look, the bare skin between your bottom and top pieces of clothing visually raises your waistline and makes you look taller.

Vertical stripes can make you look taller

3. Choose patterns carefully

Vertical patterns elongate your appearance, while horizontal patterns make you look wider. So, if you choose vertical pants and tuck in your top, your clothes will be doing double-duty to make you look taller!

Also, think about the size of the pattern on the clothes. Some patterns, like big florals, visually add volume to your clothing and we know from Trick 1 that voluminous clothing makes you look wider.

Petite style guide

4. Shoes make a difference

Have you heard that pointy-toed shoes make you look taller? It’s true! Pointy shoes visually elongate your leg, which in turn makes you look taller, regardless of the height of your heels.

You can emphasize the elongation even more by choosing shoes in a neutral color that blends in with your legs.

Fashion tips for petite ladies

5. The long or short rule

When considering your bottom piece of clothing, choose either very long, ideally something that even covers your shoe, or something very short that shows most of your leg.

Midi lengths tend to cut your appearance visually and make you look shorter, and, as you’ve probably noticed by now, looking taller is all about elongating your appearance.

Changing your hairstyle to look taller

6. Your hairstyle matters

The smaller your head looks, the longer your body appears. Obviously, you can’t change the size of your head, but you can change the appearance by playing with your hairstyle.

When you have a very large heavy hairstyle, it appears to weigh you down, which makes you look shorter.

Try to keep your hair from sitting around your neck. A sleek bun will automatically make you look taller.

Monochrome outfits can make you look taller

7. Color choice is important

Contrasting top and bottom colors visually cut your body and make you look shorter. But if you go monochromatic head to toe, that seamless look almost hides the definition of where your waist ends and your legs start, and that, once again, makes you look taller!

Petite style tips

8. Create movement in your outfit

If you look at two similarly patterned floral skirts made of different materials, you might notice that the skirt made of fabric that is lighter and flowier actually makes your own eyes move around rather than fixate on the skirt.

That movement results in tricking your brain into seeing someone as taller.

Accessorizing with a small vs large bag

9. Accessorize strategically

Just like voluminous clothing, voluminous accessories will shorten your appearance.

So, if you keep accessories, especially handbags, small, they won’t take over your appearance and will help your body look taller. 

How to dress to look tall

How to dress to look tall

I hope you learned some useful tips from this tutorial for making yourself look taller. It’s really just about the choices you make and how they impact visual cues.

So now you can use this information to your advantage! Leave a comment for me to let me know which of these tricks for looking taller worked best for you.

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation