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3 tips to elongate your silhouette, if you’re short

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It can be hard to find clothes in your size when you are 5″4 or shorter. We have all relied on heels, their added height often transforming dresses, shorts and cropped trousers. It is however possible to create the illusion of height, as we see can with our favourite miniature celebs, Eva Longoria, Shakira and Kylie Minogue. Follow our tips to help you elongate your silhouette. 

Look for the ‘petite’ section

Seeing as we don’t all have a celebrity’s budget for tailoring, the best approach is to buy clothes in the ‘petite’ section. Certain brands are becoming increasingly aware of the need, and have adapted their collections for shorter, more petite women. What a pleasure to try on a coat or a dress that doesn’t crease and gather, but that falls perfectly at the pelvis, and doesn’t need to be taken up. We can find petite collections in shops such as Debenhams or Dorothy Perkins. There are also websites specifically dedicated to petite collections, with a selection of brands that have adapted their classic lines. Say goodbye to taking up hems by 15cm, and altering all your jeans and t-shirts! These sites also have the more difficult to find articles like matching combos, or strapless dresses that won’t slide down the minute you move.

Show off your legs!

The Big Bang Theory’s Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz showed us how to do it with short dresses and skirts. Shorter women should show off their legs, to elongate their frame. Wear heels of 8cm or more, and pair them with skirts that stop above the knee. Longer skirts may crowd your frame. If you are petite overall like Bernadette, go for bright colours and prints, which will make you stand out in a crowd. If you are curvier, opt for plainer colours. But there’s nothing to stop you adding a touch of flashiness, like Rebel Wilson! Make friends with shorts in winter as well as in summer, paired with opaque tights.

Choose accessories to suit your size

Only Lady Gaga and Nicki Menage can get away with wearing enormous pieces of bling. For the rest of us mere mortals, we have to choose accessories to suit our shape and form. That means choosing accessories in proportion to our size. Shorter women should therefore go for delicate earrings and fine, mid-length necklaces, to give the illusion of height. We avoid mid-calf boots and ankle straps at all costs, as they shorten the length of the leg, and invest instead in high quality heels. We can opt for ballerina pumps, but choosing lighter, more delicate models that don’t look too ‘clunky’. If you are looking for high heels to wear all day, have a look at Chie Mihara‘s collection, which have the advantage of an orthopaedic insole and a specially designed shape that makes the shoes more comfortable. In terms of handbags, try to avoid styles that add too much ‘weight’ to your look.

Now you know what to accentuate, it’s time to hit the sales!