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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Five Tips To Look Taller

A reader recently emailed me to ask for tips on how she could appear taller. Being petite myself, I can certainly relate, and I thought I'd share a few tricks that I've learned.

Go nude. Flesh-toned pumps are the quickest way to make your legs appear longer. Go for the highest heel that you can tolerate and comfortably walk in. Be sure to avoid ankle straps (unless they're flesh-toned as well), as the horizontal lines of the straps visually cuts off the legs, making them look shorter. This season, height-boosting platforms and wedges are widely available, and their chunkiness offers extra height with less discomfort.

Make it monochromatic. Although it may be boring, wearing one color from head to toe can give the illusion of height. It elongates the body and will also give you a streamlined look.

Don't be a slouch. Remember when your mom (or teacher) told you to stand or sit up straight? Well it's not only good for your posture, it can make you appear instantly taller, too. Not to mention that you'll also look more confident.

The right length. Although hemline lengths vary by season and often reflect current trends, finding the most flattering length for you can do wonders. High waisted styles and empire waistlines can visually elongate the body, as can shorter hemlines for those with shorter legs who don't mind showing some skin. I personally tend to avoid anything that hits at mid calf or slightly below the knee, as I do not want to draw attention to the widest part of my calves. When it comes to trousers and wide leg jeans, my favorite length is about 1/4" above the ground, so it skims the back of my shoes and makes my legs appear longer, especially if I'm wearing heels.

Invest in vertiginous heels. Not only are they de rigueur this season, they can make you as much as 6" taller. Slip on a pair of heels and they instantly change your posture and body language. After some experimenting, I've generally found that heels over 4.5" are difficult for me to comfortably walk in. However, if a shoe has a 4" heel with a 1" platform, it's equal to a 3" heel, which makes a difference in the comfort factor and might be more practical for days when I'm on my feet. When it comes to heel height, it's always a personal preference, but my general opinion is to go as high as you can, knowing your limits and taking practicality and comfort into consideration.