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How to look taller: Tricks to make yourself look taller

Updated on December 11, 2012
Heels, v-necks, skinny jeans
Heels, v-necks, skinny jeans

How to look taller? The answers range from wearing heels to using padded insoles for shoes, wearing skinny jeans to avoiding empire line dresses and choosing the right hairstyles to picking the correct patterns in clothes. Stylists have forever played with little tricks to create the illusion of increased height by making subtle yet defining changes to the wardrobes of men and women with short body frames. Here's all there is to know on how you can make yourself look taller and more slender.

1) Make heels a part of your daily footwear

It is virtually undeniable that you will have to make heels a part of your daily footwear if you are serious about making yourself look taller. Don't associate the notion of strutting around in heels with wearing painful stilettos and shoes that are a pain to walk in.

No matter what style of shoes you buy, there's almost always the option of buying one that has a subtle heel. From sandals to slip-ons and from booties to dress shoes, always look for a pair that has a heel. Even an inch can make the world of a difference in making you feel more sexy, confident and taller.

2) Avoid mismatching your top and bottom: Wear matching colors

Are you a fan of mismatching your top and bottom and experimenting with bright colors in your outfit? You may need to tone that down if you want to avoid deliberately drawing attention to your smaller frame. Even stylish combinations like a bright blue top and white skinny jeans should be toned down because distinctively different colors tend to divide your body frame into half.

Most style blogs and fashion experts talk about sticking to monochrome outfits if you want to deter your short frame from being highlighted. However this may not be possible for the everyday girl who does not have a closet like models and celebrities.

From a practical perspective, try to wear colors that have matching tones and complement each other well. The key is to stop your top and bottom from visually splitting your body frame.

3) Embrace hair styles that are voluminous at the top

Hair styles that leave a lot of volume on the top of your head are likely to suit women with shorter frames more than straight hair which fall right down.

Loosely pinning the hair back, sporting side swept hair with a slight bump at the top, pulling off a stylish updo, leaving the hair slightly tousled, having loose curls or even leaving your hair scruffy for a grunge look is fine, as long as your hairstyle sports volume at the top.

4) Wear fitting clothes: Avoid baggy tops, tunics, shorts and pants

Baggy tops and bottoms and lose clothes are likely to make your short body frame apparent. These clothes add width to your figure and are not the preferred option if you want to highlight your curves.

It may be impractical to ask any woman to wear fitting clothes all the time. But the key to creating the illusion of height is to pick clothes that highlight your body frame. Keep this in mind even when you are buying something as fun and casual as a lose tunic.

5) Skinny jeans can make your legs look longer

Skinny jeans can be a woman's best friend and a worst enemy. In attempts to look taller, it is the former. Skinny jeans can instantly make your legs look slimmer and longer. The visual impact created by skinny jeans is undeniable.

A situation in which skinny jeans should be avoided to create the illusion of height is when people are overweight. The skinnies can turn into your worst nightmare if your legs are going to look plump when you put them on.

6) Avoid wearing empire line dresses and belts at bust

Empire line dresses form a visual divide just below the bust which can make the upper part of a short person's body look compact. These dresses are known to suit tall women. This is the reason why tall models can carry off those flowing empire line dresses with ease.

Broad belts which are worn at the bust line over a top or on a dress are also a complete no-no for shorter women for the same reason.

7) V-neck tops can make your body frame look slender

Blogs and magazines have forever said that v-necks can make women look taller but few have elaborated into why v-necks create the false perception of height. That's because v-necks don't create that perception in the first place.

However, v-necks crucially reveal your vital body lines including the shoulder line and the tapering line from your neck to your bust. This creates a vertical emphasis and only aids in giving your look a slender touch. Think of a v-neck as a tiny finish touch to your attempts to look taller after all the other tricks have been put into place.

8) Don't wear full length skirts

Full length skirts and sarongs have the tendency to look unflattering on shorter bodied women. The potent combination of a lack of visibility of body lines and the invisibility of legs will possibly make a short body look shorter.

Skirt hemlines should typically end slightly above the knee for maximum impact of the legs creating a visual illusion of height.

At 1.63 mts, this celebrity isn't the tallest woman in Hollywood. Yet her good looks have got her voted as one of the most beautiful woman in the world. This time she makes a faux pas with low rise and baggy jeans that emphasize her petite frame
At 1.63 mts, this celebrity isn't the tallest woman in Hollywood. Yet her good looks have got her voted as one of the most beautiful woman in the world. This time she makes a faux pas with low rise and baggy jeans that emphasize her petite frame

9) Don't wear extra low-rise trousers

There is little denying that low-rise bottoms are hot, stylish and trendy. However women with shorter bodies should be careful in not going overboard when it comes to low-rise trousers as they can make legs look shorter.

While buying a low-rise denim or any other pant, look at yourself in the mirror and ask the fundamental question to yourself 'Are these making my legs look shorter?' If the answer is yes, you may want to look at other styles.

10) Thick belts and large buckles should be avoided

Stay away from thick belts and large buckles if you want to look taller. Thick belts will invariably divide your body, disrupting uniformity in body shape.

Opt for thin belts and subtle buckles for a slender look.

11) Don't accessorize with a shoulder bag with long straps

If you a complete girly girl who can't leave the house without a handbag or a shoulder bag, you may want to watch out for ones with long straps. Opt for shoulder bags with short straps or better yet, carry a clutch.

12) Increasing height with elevated insoles and shoe inserts

Adding an inch or two to your height even after picking shoes with a heel is possible by using elevated insoles or shoe inserts that are designed specifically to increase the wearer's height. All you need to do is insert the insoles in your shoe and then wear it as normal.

Shoe inserts come in a variety of materials and you may have to experiment by wearing different types of insoles for at least a few days or a week. Experimenting will set you back a few dollars but it is essential because an insert that fits incorrectly can cause damage.

13) Have a straight posture all the time

A straight posture is essentially keeping a straight back and not letting your shoulders slouch. Even the slightest of stoops can take away the vital inch or two from your height. People who are habitual offenders will need to put conscious efforts in keeping a straight back while standing or sitting on a chair.

Avoid leaning on desks and walls while standing. An easy way to remind yourself to keep a straight posture is to leave a tiny sticky note on your office desk or your study table. You could also leave reminders on your iPhone or use the reminder system of your email service.


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