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Short Girl Problems: How to Dress to Appear Taller

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average height of women in Australia is 162 cm - that's around 5 foot 4 inches. That means that quite a few of us are several inches off the height of the 5 foot 9 inch models we see strolling down the catwalk in our fashion must-haves. Now it makes sense when the clothes that you bought online, or saw on a mannequin in store, don?t look quite the same when you try them on at home.

Good news is at hand! Did you know that how you dress can make you appear taller (or smaller!)? That's right. So if you are a tad vertically challenged, try to avoid doing yourself the injustice of making yourself look even more petite. With some clever fashion tips and tricks, you can make yourself look taller with the clothing you are already likely to have in your closet. 


There's a very common misconception that maxi skirts only look great on girls that are really tall. A well-cut maxi skirt can actually make you look taller. Choose a solid colour or patterned maxi dress that will create the appearance of a long vertical line and ensure the hemline is as long as it can go. Team your maxi skirt with a tucked in t-shirt, cropped jacket and wedges for maximum vertical appeal. 


If you're going to wear a short dress or skirt, don't be afraid to go quite short! Doing so will really elongate the appearance of your legs. Knee length skirts will actually make you look shorter - so try to go above the knee. Of course, if you're going to don a mini skirt, keep it playful but still elegant. Pair your mini skirt with some open toe, ankle strap heels, espadrilles or a platform chunky sandal to really lengthen those pins! 


Dressing in all one colour, or shades of one colour, from head-to-toe might seem a little daunting. However, monochrome dressing is a very simple way to instantly make you look a lot taller. Wearing colours like black or red head-to-toe looks particularly chic.


If you're a little smaller than average, you may be a little hesitant to embrace stripes. However, vertical stripes are very much your friend and instantly make your body appear longer. Think about adding vertical striped short dresses, shirts and playsuits to your wardrobe. 


Oversized bags have been hugely popular over the last decade. However, they could be making you look a lot shorter than you are. As a general rule, keep accessories scaled to your body size. Clutches, cross-body bags and smaller totes will help you look taller. Why? The wider the bag, the greater the width you force the naked eye to take in, which reduces it ability to take in height. 


Just as oversized bags can make you look small, so too can big belts. If you want to look taller, you'll need to stick to skinny belts. Skinny belts are more flattering in how they define the waist while thicker belts appear to cut you in half. 


When shopping for tops and jumpers, add a couple of v-neck options to your shopping basket. V-neck tops and jumpers offer the illusion of a longer torso. You'll also look a lot leaner too, and that's always plus, right? Be bold and don a top with a plunging v-neckline for nights out to really amp up your vertical appeal. Of course, take heed when wearing a plunging v-neckline and consider the use of some double sided tape, J-Lo style! 


This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you want to appear taller, take a look at the type of vamp on the shoes you intend to wear. The vamp is the portion of your foot on show before the shoe cuts across your foot at the front. When teaming heels with skirts, shorts or dresses, the lower the vamp, the taller your legs will look. A low vamp shoe will cover the base of your toes only. 


Celebrities like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kim Kardashian, Natalie Portman, Anna Kendrick, Salma Hayek, and Mila Kunis are all believed to be less than 5 foot 3 in height. However, when they step out on the red carpet or the street, they always appear to look much taller. They are all lucky enough to have great stylists who know these tricks of the petite-girl trade!

Embrace these tried and tested clever fashion tips for smaller gals - if it works for world famous celebrities - why not give it a try yourself? The secret to appearing taller probably lies buried deep in your closet!


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