The Height-related Fashion Dilemma: What works and what doesn’t


We often see glamorous models on the runway or in magazines strutting amazing outfits that we would like to one day wear ourselves.  But then we remember, we aren’t 5’10” or taller, nor a size 0, and quickly dismiss the possibility of ever wearing something like what we saw on Kendall, Gigi or Bella.  There is a silver lining though – once you know what works for your height, by either adding to it or detracting from it, you can build a closet of clothes that works for you and your style. First of all, let’s be honest, you can wear whatever you want as long as you feel comfortable and confident in your ensemble.  Technically there are no rules that dictate what you can or can’t wear, so always remember to dress in a way that makes you shine!

To our friends who are 5’4″ or shorter there are some tricks you can employ to help you appear taller, to help you create a flattering silhouette, and to help you from possibly appearing boxy.  For instance, instead of wearing horizontal stripes, try your hand at vertical stripes.  The direction of the line will add size to your petite frame.  Stay away from oversized dresses and accessories or purses as they will be disproportionate to your frame.  Instead, focus your time and effort on maxi dresses (altered if need be) and bags that are medium to small in size.   With wide leg trousers in full bloom, make sure you go for a more structured fitting fabric rather then a loose and flowy fabric like silk.  The structured pant leg will help create a longer line for the eye to see versus a flowing fabric that will eat even more at your size.  When shopping for jeans, try on some fitted or relaxed cuts versus the recently popular boyfriend (or baggy) jeans as they will help to accentuate your petite frame.  And with summer nearly upon us, when looking for shorts or skirts, steer away from Bermuda shorts or Midi skirts and instead try to purchase classic cut shorts and skirts that fall right above the knee.  Finally, when looking to buy shoes, and what woman doesn’t want great shoes, keep an eye out for ankle booties rather then mid-calf boots as these will make your legs appear shorter.  When it comes to heels, look for sleek pointy heels instead of round toe heels as they will also help your legs look longer.

To our friends who are 5’8″ and taller, unless your height bothers you and you would like to appear shorter, you have a wider range of possibilities on what you should and shouldn’t wear.  Your ability to wear nearly everything makes the rest of the world slightly annoyed and jealous! In the world of fashion, your figure is best friends with the following items of clothing: skinny jeans, maxi dresses, skirts that fall to right above the knee, over the knee boots, and waist cinching belts.  Oversized layering and wide leg trousers compliment your long legs and work well for you.  Have fun with printed jumpsuits and accessories as you have the ability to work these items in your favor.  If you’re looking to detract from your height, stay away from vertical stripes, capri pants and things with too many ruffles.  For shoe options, feel free to try your hand at wedges, gladiator sandals, kitten heels or flats.

In the end, remember to just have fun.  Your fashion sense should be an extension of who you are as individual and you should showcase that to the world. If you see something you’d love to try on, then do it.  And if it doesn’t work for your height then figure out a way to make it work by either altering it, cuffing it, you name it.  The fashion world is filled with so many options that there is always something that will flatter your figure, elongate your appearance, or highlight your curves.  Happy shopping!


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