There are three groups of women who should be more mindful of the length of their legs – 1) the petite, 2) the longer torso and shorter legs, and 3) the narrow half top and thick half bottom (women with thick thighs and calves). At 5´2”, I belong to the first group. I´m always particular with the appearance of my legs.
That´s the reason there are several pairs of shoes in my closet that were never or rarely worn. When I bought them, I had no idea. But when I brought them home, quickly I noticed that somehow they made my legs look weird. As I learned more about how to dress my body type and height, I realized that those shoes should never have been in my shoe wardrobe in the first place.
Here are six fashion faux pas that many of us, even popular fashion bloggers or famous celebrities, commit which make our legs look shorter than they already are.
1. Wearing Cuffed Boyfriend Jeans with Strappy Heels
For petite women, tight jeans are more flattering than boyfriend jeans. To date, I´m yet to find a pair of boyfriends that will flatter my height. The reason for this are the thick cuffs of the bf jeans, they cut the length of your legs. In fact, any cropped pants will have the same effect. Teaming them with ankle strap sandals just makes it a double jeopardy.
The Fix: If you´re really into boyfriend jeans, look for a pair that hugs around the thighs and team them with pointed-toe dO´rsay pumps in color which makes for a tonal or monochromatic outfit. You may also avoid ankle straps altogether.
2. Teaming Contrasting Colors, Jeans and Ankle Boots
Colorblocking your jeans and ankle boots is a surefire way to make your legs look shorter. In this outfit, the wearer teamed purple skinny jeans with light gray ankle boots which emphasized her short legs.
The Fix: Create a tonal combination. In the case of this outfit, the wearer should have opted for black, dark purple or navy ankle boots instead, preferably with fitted high top ankle boots which she could tuck under the jeans.
3. Wearing Mini Skirts with Rounded Toe Ankle Boots
The reason why miniskirts make your legs look shorter is they hit on the thickest part of your thighs. Wearing a mini with rounded toe ankle boots is just a complete no-no. The ankles of your boots cut the length of your legs and the rounded-toe shortens your vertical line.
The Fix: Go for skirts with hem that hits around your knee or one to two inches above or below your knee. Go for low vamp pointed toe pumps to wear with the skirt. If you can´t help but wear miniskirts, make sure that its length is proportionate to your height. While standing tall, the tip of your middle finger should touch the hem of your skirt.
Are you telling us to never wear ankle boots just because we have short legs? Of course you can still wear ankle boots, but you have to be choosy of its shape. Avoid boots with wide opening and rounded toe. And if you´re to style a pair of ankle boots, make sure it´s tonal. For example, if the wearer above opted for a nude dress, she would have looked taller than she appeared in the photo.
4. Wearing Ankle Length Skirts
Long ankle length skirts will make you appear shorter if you´re petite. Although it doesn´t seem to be in this photo, remember that it´s a photoshoot. The photographer must be lying down the floor in order to capture the wearer´s longest angle. But it´s entirely a different story when you´re strutting the skirt down the street in 3D.
The Fix: Go for long skirts that just clear your calf but still reveal about three inches of legs. Let the skirt drape and complete it with sleek shoes or sandals.
5. Wearing Very Low Rise Pants if You Have Long Torso
If you have a longer torso and shorter legs, very low rise jeans that fall at your lower hip will emphasize your short legs. They will also create a horizontal line across your hips widening the appearance of your body.
The Fix: Go for high waist jeans with hems that are designed to wear with high heels in order to lengthen your legs. Make use of wide belts as well. But if you have a rounded tummy, opt for jeans with waist an inch below your navel.
6. Wearing the Wrong Heel Height
This is me in 2011, when I was a new migrant in Europe, wearing the then trendy colorblocked pumps. Although the shoes are adorable, their heel height is too high and disproportionate to my petite frame. I ended up wearing the pumps only once, in that fur vest outfit post. Also, my attempt to transition the colorblocked heels to fall has clearly failed. It´s not a flattering look because it cuts the length of my legs. But I did learn.
The Fix: For petite frames, two to three inches sculpted heels are ideal.