Short girls have it rough. We can’t reach the top shelves, we struggle to keep up with the strides of the longer-legged, and we fear looking stubby on a regular basis. Well, ladies, fear no more! If hopes of a future growth spurt have long been abandoned, we’re here to help. We’ve got the best tricks and tips to achieve longer legs without growing an inch—and even better, without heels. Because if Barbie doesn’t have time for them, neither do we!
Fit and Style
Shorter legs are made for minis
Looking for some extra leg? Crop that hemline! It makes sense that the more you show, the more it looks like you have. See those subtle slits? They also completely add to the lengthening effect. Just be wary of where you’re headed—save this look for weekends and date nights.
Asymmetrical hemlines are a fashion “do” when it comes to longer skirt lengths. The magic lies in how they cut your leg. Because the line isn’t sharp and blunt, the skirt doesn’t chop you off, which would instantly make you appear shorter—no thanks!
It’s all about the A-line
A-line styles far surpass something tight or poofy—they’re the perfect mesh of fit and flare. Something about the widening silhouette creates an optical illusion, making legs look lengthy. Pick a style like this one, which is high-waisted (making your legs look as though they go on forever), black (which is super slimming), and has vertical detail (another fantastic optical illusion). Pair your skirt with a matching crop top for even better results. Because the break of skin adds extra distance, you’ll appear taller overall.
Did we mention high-waisted?
This is so effective, we felt the need to mention it twice. High waist silhouettes aren’t just good for shorter pieces—try the style with jeans, pants, and maxi skirts. It’s a common myth (and fear) that long skirts and maxi dresses will swallow up a short girl. This is completely untrue! Because of their length, they can actually make you look longer, especially if you pick the right styles. Go for something that sits at your natural waist, and for maxi dresses, an empire waist works well. Anything that starts high and ends low will stretch you out, as long you go full out! It’s important to stick to above-the-knee styles or full-length skirts and nothing in between.
Don’t forget to point those toes
Pointed-toe shoes extend your foot, which in turn extends the whole leg. You’re just adding inches with your toes, rather than a heel!
Pattern and Color
Think in monochrome
Nothing’s chicer than an all-white ensemble. By dressing entirely in one color, it’ll be harder to tell where your legs start and end—making you one long line of style savviness.
It’s better in black
Think sheer black tights and matching black shoes. As we mentioned earlier, black’s slimming effect makes everything appear thinner and lengthier, rather than stocky or stubby. By matching your shoe color to your pants, you are again blurring the lines of where either begins or ends. This also works if you’re going bare-legged. In this case, opt for shoes that match your skin tone. Just try and make the look as seamless as possible—no gaps between your bottoms and your shoes (i.e. ankle jeans) and no boot socks peaking out!
Jealous of the athletes who look long and lanky? You can too! Vertical lines and side paneling can really lengthen a look, so it’s no wonder athletic stripes are so in! Grab some athlete-inspired joggers with a vertical stripe and you’ll be sporty-chic in no time.
Go for gold by going to the source
Get leggy before you get dressed with this quick tip. Take some self tanner or tinted moisturizer and contour those legs! It may sound crazy, but it actually works, as long as you do it discreetly. Highlight the outer lines of your legs with shimmers or bronzers. Your legs will be glowing and will have a more defined and lengthened shape.
While we can’t help you reach those shelves, we can make it look like you can reach them yourself—you’re welcome.