So my husband asks, “You’re short, why are all your clothes so long?”

Published September 13, 2013 7:17 PM
3 min read


So my husband asks, “You’re short, why are all your clothes so long?”

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

So my husband asks, “You’re short, why are all your clothes so long?”

True. Most of my clothes reach the closet floor. I can explain. I’ve got a little tromp l’oeil going on. I want to look taller than my five-foot-three reality. And since most people say, “I thought you were taller than that?” it must be working.
Not that taller is better. It’s just that a taller appearance can make you look thinner, help clothes fall in a different way, and add elegance. All good.

Fashion has a few tall-tailored tricks up its sleeve to help achieve a longer look. Here are a dozen do’s for the vertically challenged:


21. Flared jeans:
A fitted slim leg with a flare at the bottom can make your leg look longer. Choose a natural-waist fit, not a low-hip cut. Footnote: the hem should hit the top of your shoes, and the shoes should have a heel (no flats.) Wear a top you can tuck in or one that just hits your waist.


2. Maxi skirts/dresses:
Luckily, they are alive again. Choose a solid color that skims your body. Nothing too billowy, pleated, or layered. Pair a maxi skirt with a fitted, tucked-in top, T-shirt, or cropped jacket. Slip on wedges or heels so your eye travels from your waist down, and keeps going.


3. Low-vamp shoes:
The vamp is the cut of the shoe that goes across the bottom of your toes. A low vamp is close to the toes. A high vamp can come up to your instep or even as high as your ankle. A low-vamp adds extra length at the bottom of the leg. Tip: Wear shoes that match your skin tone to create an even longer-leg look.


44. Length alert:
Under five-foot-five fashionistas must go long or go short. No in-between lengths. Avoid knee-length or calf-length skirts and dresses and capris. Mini skirts show more skin so your leg looks longer. We already know what maxi skirts can do (see jumpsuit below).


5. Hair:
High ponytails, top-knots, and buns add the appearance of inches to your height. Even long hair with lots of volume and fluffy curls adds length to your overall look. Flat hair adds squat, literally. No flat irons for you. Shorter hair exposes your neck and shoulders, and you’ll look taller. Chin-length is a great choice for versatility.


16. Monochrome:
One-color looks — same color top and bottom or wearing tights/stockings and shoes that are the same color as your skirt or dress – create one, long vertical line. Nothing breaks up the view, and the eye just keeps going.


7. High waist:
Pants, shorts, skirts – but only if it works with your body type. A high waist can trick the eye into making your lower body look longer.


8. Pointy toe shoes:
Especially if you are wearing flats.


9. Vertical stripes.
Enough said.


310. Smartly scaled accessories:
Giant shoulder bags, bulky, layered scarves, multiple belts, and sashes bring focus to width, and that detracts from height. Tip: Crossbody bags, clutches, and smaller top-handle bags are better choices. And stick with skinny belts.


11. V-necks:
Tops and dresses with v-necks fake the eye into seeing a longer, leaner body.


12. Proportion:
Fit comes first, for everyone, any height, any size. But when you are focused on creating a taller, longer look, you definitely don’t want to get lost in your clothes. Avoid cropped/Capri pants. They make legs look shorter. Jackets shouldn’t swallow you. The jacket shoulder should sit atop your natural shoulder on the bony part. The sleeve should reach your wrist exactly.





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