Body Type

9 Dos and Don’ts to Make You Look Taller

Think you might be shrinking? You are. As we age, everything decreases from our hair to our hearing, memory, muscles, and even our height. In fact, after 40, we lose half an inch every decade and even more after 70. If you’ve always been on the petite side, that can add up. So how can you dress to get back that extra half-inch or more?

Here are 9 Fashion Do’s and Dont’s to Make you Look Taller.

1. Do Match Tones or Go for a Monochromatic Look

Wearing different colors divides your body up, making you look shorter and wider. Dress in one color family from head to toe, and you’ll instantly appear taller. For example, an ivory top with ivory pants and ivory shoes will keep you looking long and lean.  Worried, all one color might look too bland? Be sure to mix up the same color pieces in different textures to keep things interesting.

2. Do Wear Vertical Lines

Clothing with vertical lines that draw the eye up and down and makes you look taller. For example, wearing vertical stripes elongates you. So does clothing with a long row of buttons,  a zipper that runs top to bottom, a long scarf, or anything with a ribbed pattern. Even an unbuttoned jacket with a solid color underneath allows the eye to flow from top to bottom.

3. Do Wear Heels

This is an obvious one that many women avoid because they are concerned about comfort, but remember that you don’t have to wear stilettos to get some height.  Even an inch helps.

A pointy toe will make you look taller than a rounded toe, and a shoe that is cut low ( low vamp) exposes more skin and make you look taller.

Other shoe tips- a nude shoe will also lengthen the leg. Be sure to pick a nude color close to your skin tone for this to work, or if you are wearing a colored shoe, an open-toe shoe can elongate the leg.

4. Do Put Your Hair Up

Sweeping your hair up and off your shoulders elongates your neck and makes you look taller and thinner.  Keep your updo slim at the sides and high on top. A wide hairstyle takes away from your height.

Short hair also makes you look taller, or hair with some teasing or layers at the top gives you that extra needed height.

5. Don’t wear Pants with a Cuff or Capris

Cuffs on pants break the line of the pant and make you look shorter. Long flowing pants that touch the top of your foot, elongate your legs, and make you look more statuesque. As for capris…Why cut yourself off at mid-calf when you want your legs to look long and lean? Stay away from these.

6. Do wear V-necks

V-necklines open up the chest, make your neck look longer, and your whole body taller. On the other hand, Crew necklines focus the eye from side to side, making you look wider.

7. Do wear Tailored Clothing

Big baggy clothing makes you look boxy and short. Tailored clothing is more slimming. For example, a simple sheath dress with clean lines is going to make you look taller than a loose, billowy blouse and tiered peasant skirt. Always keep the word streamlined in mind when choosing clothes like this tailored trench that will make you look a few inches above the crowd.

8. Don’t Wear Wide Belts

A belt divides the body, so no belt, and you look taller. If you do want to wear a belt, choose one that does not overpower. Go for a narrower vs. very wide belt. If you still think you look cut off at the waist, choose a belt in the same color as your outfit, so there is very little contrast.

9. Don’t Wear Heavy, Bulky Fabrics, and Chunky Knits

Thick, heavy textured fabrics like tweed and boucle, as well as chunky knits, create width and make you look shorter and heavy. Instead, opt for smooth med-fine materials to create the illusion you are slimmer and taller.

Every woman I know would love to look a little taller, especially after 40 when we start to shrink in height. In episode 7 of The Fabulous After 40 Podcast, I give you tips on How to Dress to Look Taller. You’ll learn:

  • how to use clothing to create a long, lean line
  • the power of color to make you look tall
  • fascinating ways shoes make you look tall that go beyond high heels
  • pants that make you look short and pants that make you look tall
  • which neckline elongates your body
  • the fabrics you should stay away from if you want to look tall
  • hairstyles that add height

Let me know if these tips work for you or if you have others to add.

Also, please visit us to Review & Rate the ‘Fabulous After 40 Podcast’ on iTunes! I value every review I receive and often read them out on the show. If you take the time to leave one, THANK YOU – You’re Fabulous!

Here’s the podcast: How to Dress to Look Taller.

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