Our love for towering heels seems to stem from our desire to be taller. And our perseverance in sweating it out in the gym? All for our desire to be slimmer, right?
Height certainly draws a lot of attention, so it’s no wonder almost everyone would love to grow an inch or more. Couple that with a slim physique and you’ve got the makings of what a stereotypical model looks like--what a lot of women, it seems, aspire to look like.
Though I don't have miracles up my sleeve, I can definitely share some tips for creating the optical illusion of a taller and leaner-looking you.
1. Straight Up!
Straightening your spine pulls in your gut, broadens your shoulders, tightens your butt, and instantly does two things: helps you appear like you lost 10 lbs. and lengthens your body up to five inches, depending on how bad your posture was before.
2. Turtle Neck
Your neck is almost like a spring that can be stretched or shortened. Stretching could help you lose a double or sagging chin and add inches to your straightened posture. This also emphasizes the jaw line, which could help those with round faces look more angular and leaner.
3. The Mane Event
Hair can do wonders for one’s appearance. Try these tricks:
- Adding bangs to your haircut conceals more of your face.
- Avoid tucking your hair behind your ears to make your face look leaner and longer.
- Short people should sport shorter to medium length hairstyles. Long hair only weighs down one’s appearance.
- If you must keep your long hair, opt for up-dos for dressier events to reveal your neck, giving the illusion of a longer upper body.
- Layers are flattering for longer hair lengths, as they give hair movement and less weight. The layers can also frame round faces perfectly.
- Round faces should have side parts to offset the circular shape. Angular faces should have center parts to balance the hard angles, a la Demi Moore.
- Big waves and curls certainly add volume to one’s hair but also to one’s appearance. Straightened vertical styles are best in giving length to one’s hefty frame.
4. Clever Clothing Choices
Dressing is an artistic science for achieving certain looks. Dressing for your body type should come before following the hottest trend:
- Capri pants should remain in Capri! They only shorten your leg and make your calves look stubbier!
- Unless you have no hips and a flat butt, avoid hipster jeans at all costs! Mid-rise jeans are most flattering for most body types as they sit perfectly below the navel and above the first hip.
- No matter how amazing your outfit is, if it doesn’t fit right, you’re only drawing in negative attention. Too tight makes you look like an overstuffed sausage and too loose or long make you look shorter and sloppy.
- Shorter people should either wear really long or really short skirts or pants. Short styles reveal more of your leg while longer styles conceal the whole leg. Both give the illusion of length.
- Tapered pants or skinny jeans only bring the eye up and make one’s thighs and hips look bigger. Avoid looking like a chicken drumstick! Opt for straight leg or boot leg styles for a leaner look.
5. Go Mono
Contrary to popular belief, wearing light colors can help you look taller and leaner--for as long as you wear a monochromatic outfit (that is, in similar shades of one color). Wearing an all white, perfect fitting ensemble can be just as flattering as an all-black one. Obviously darker colors recede one’s appearance but like I said, if the fit is off, it’s no use.
6. Vertical vs. Horizontal
Stripes can be your best friend or worst enemy. They need to be strategically placed on body parts you want to emphasize. Horizontal stripes add width while vertical stripes add length. Horizontal stripes worn around the bust area are flattering if you have a flat chest, but they are deadly if you wear them on the hip area if you are pear-framed! Hence…
7. Placement Is Key
Just like real estate, location is everything when trying to look taller and slimmer or whatever your objective is when dressing up:
- Cinching the waist with a belt makes the waist look smaller and gives the illusion of an hourglass figure. This is best for square body frames.
- If you have an inverted triangle frame, opt for prints, richer fabrics, and the like on the lower part of your body.
- Those with pear frames should avoid having too much details in their outfits and wearing belts at the hip.
- Diamond-framed bodies can conceal larger waists with shirt dresses, for example.
8. Less Is More
Accessories, beading, ruffles, and the like can make or break your appearance!
- Beading reflects light which makes an area appear larger.
- Embroidery and prints draw attention, so opt for small prints to add less bulk to your physique.
- Ruffles, pleats, and layering only add more volume to one’s frame, so avoid these if possible. If you must wear them, only to a bare minimum please.
- Ruffled necklines shorten one’s neck so opt for V-neck, off-shoulder, or asymmetrical necklines to reveal more skin and lengthen one’s neck.
- Flat front styles are best on pants as pleats only add volume to the hip area.
- Choker and chunky neckpieces shorten one’s neck. Longer chains elongate one’s torso. Too long chains, though, draw eyes downward, making shorter people look shorter. Necklaces shouldn’t go longer than the bust area on shorter builds.
- Ladies’ evening watch styles are thinner, which may make your arm look thicker.
9. Steppin’ Out
Heels may add height but keep these factors in mind as well:
- Ankle straps cut off the leg.
- Nude colored heels elongate the leg even more.
- Chunky platforms add bulk to one’s lower leg. Concealed platforms are best for achieving flattering height.
- Bigger framed women should avoid kitten heels as these only emphasize one’s larger physique. Opt for chunky, stacked heels instead.
- Shorter or smaller framed women look best in stilettos rather than in thick, chunky heels which weigh down their meek appearance.
- Strappy styles on thin to medium sized feet make legs look longer, which in turn make wider and stubbier feet look even fatter. Closed shoe styles are best for concealing this in a stylish way.
The list goes on, and I could go for days dishing tips, but let me ask: Have you guys got some tips and tricks of your own? By all means, do share when you comment!