The Tall and the Short of it – Dressing for Your Height

by Karen

We have gone round and round with standard and not-so-standard body types and how to dress for your specific shape and size. Now let’s look at the tall and the short of it and dressing for your height. As you all know, none of us are exactly the same (except for twins, but that is not what I am talking about!). We are all shaped differently and all different sizes; we all have our own unique likes and dislikes when it comes to fashion. But, we all share a common want to look the best we can. So, let’s look at how to dress for your height and how to enhance your wardrobe with this subject in mind. 


What in the world does this word really mean? Short is relative, but for petite women, short means under 5’3.” Petite clothes come in all sizes, but they are specifically made for shorter ladies with shorter arms, legs, and torsos. If you are over 5’3” you will notice that the long sleeve blouse fits more like a three-quarter sleeve and the bottom of the shirt tends to rise above the navel. Don’t buy petite clothes unless you are shorted than 5’3”. This is not a good look for taller ladies. Petite ladies with a body type of an oval or even an hourglass, who might be on the heavy side of the scale may think that petite clothing is not for them. This is incorrect. Find the size that fits you properly around the waist in the petite section. You will be amazed at how much better you look in these clothing choices. A few tips for the petite woman:
  • Choose heels. Heels make a person taller and somehow taller equates to thinner. For a lot of women, thinner means more self-confidence. And we all know that more self-confidence leads to an empowering feeling of beauty inside and out.
  • Wear what you want. The cropped pants and maxi dresses are not just for the taller ladies. If you choose the cropped pants, pair them with cute wedge sandals for added height. For the fun maxi dress, choose a higher waistline and a bold pattern; it will make you appear taller and thinner.


Now, on the other side are the tall ladies. You tower over the petites and though most of us are envious of you, we realize the grass isn’t always greener on your side of the fence either. Tall people, especially tall and plus sized, find it quite difficult to locate clothes that don’t look like tents on their body. But, there are many ways to accentuate your height and the pluses of your plus sized body without looking frumpy. Start at the feet. While some taller women can pull it off and wear heels, many cannot without looking like a giant. Choose comfortable flats. Ones like ballerina slippers are both comfortable and stylish; they come in many colors, too. If you must have heels keep them to pumps. Moving up the body, choose dresses that fit your body type. One beautiful aspect of being taller is that you can wear almost any length of dress and look wonderful. As long as you think about the waist and neckline of your choice, the rack is your playground. So, whether you are tall or short, don’t let it bother you when you are choosing clothes. Use these tips to find the most flattering attire and fall in love with clothing all over again.

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