For any petite gal, shoes play a major role in how the illusion of added height is accomplished. I think it’s safe to say that most shorties assume that throwing on a pair of high heels is the only way to go when wanting to look taller. Heels are definitely a sure way to get yourself those extra inches, but you can get an even better lengthening effect depending on the shoe style you choose to finish off your outfit with. The right design details can lengthen you, while others instantly cut you off, shortening already short legs. Here are five must-have shoe styles that will work wonders for your petite wardrobe. So, if you’ve never considered investing in any of these styles, think again!

Pointed Flats

If you’re like me, you don’t wear heels that often. They’re usually saved for more special occasions or a casual night out when you feel like getting dressed up a bit for fun. So when skipping heels, how can you still make yourself appear taller? It’s all in the details! Flats are perfect for day to day because they’re easy, comfortable, and still put-together & polished, making them a staple for most work wardrobes. The next time you’re deciding on a pair of flats to purchase or throw on with your outfit, pick out a pointed style. The eye will be tricked into seeing an extended leg just from the style alone. Adding one of our favorite petite-hacks—showing off skin—pointed flats with a low vamp, or any shoe for that matter, will show off more of the top of your feet, helping the to keep the eye flowing down your legs, straight to the pointed tip of your shoes.

photo credit: Pinteres

Tone-on-Tone Heels

What I love about the tone-on-tone shoe hack for petites is that it opens up the style options to just about anything. Since matching the color of your shoes to your skin already creates the illusion of more exposed skin, you can worry less about design details cutting off your legs and shortening the look of your stems, like thick ankle straps. The shoes will instead blend with your skin, helping the eye to see the length of your legs, no matter how short, without interruption. While you can totally go with tone-on-tone flats and still trick the eye into seeing longer legs, tone-on-tone heels are a wardrobe must-have. Your heels being pushed up provides an angle that eliminates darker shadows that can take away from this smooth, skin-blending hack.

photo credit: Pinterest

Over-the-Knee Boots

There are tons of fashion trends that petites tend to steer clear of out of fear that they’ll just be too overwhelming, over-the-knee (OTK) boots being one of them. Like the risk of too much fabric being too much for a petite stature or frame, it’s easy to assume that so much shoe will do the same. On the contrary, OTK boots can actually help you achieve a taller look! This bold choice in shoe styles creates a long vertical line up and down a petite stature rather than cutting the legs off at an awkward place, like boots that hit mid-calf can do. If wearing your OTK boots with tights or leggings, match the color to your boots so the eye sees an even longer vertical line.

photo credit: Pinterest

Thin Ankle Strap Heels

When it comes to shoe choices for us shorties, we’re always looking to lessen how cut-off our legs look, so avoiding styles with ankle straps is important to consider. But you don’t have to skip them altogether! When wearing heels, I like the stability I feel in a style with ankle straps. They just really help to make the shoe feel more secure and “one with my leg,” like an extension of it! Thin ankle straps are the way to go, especially when the shoes aren’t skin-tone, as they minimize the interruption of flow down your leg. As a staple in your wardrobe, I recommend investing in a black or navy pair as they’ll go with just about anything.

photo credit: Pinterest

Platform Sneakers

If you’re a sneaker gal like me, looking taller might not even be at the top of your wishlist. It’s all about comfort being key. Even though creating the illusion of a taller frame may not be a priority for you or even a concern, you can still boost your height without compromising your comfort. How? Platform sneakers or tennis shoes! These were huge in the 90’s and as fashion tends to repeat itself, they’ve made a big comeback in the last couple of years, with brands like Vans and even athletic brands like Nike, releasing designs of their own. Platform sneakers are a perfect grab & go style for your wardrobe. You can throw them on without feeling overdressed and instantly look taller without sacrificing your comfort. Sounds like a win-win to me!

photo credit: Pinterest

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*cover photo credit: Pinterest