The #1 problem we run into as petites? Height! At 5’4” & under, it almost feels impossible to add a few inches with anything other than heels—*cue Kendall Jenner jealousy*. Want in on a secret? There are actually a few ways you can instantly achieve the illusion of a taller frame through the way you style your outfits! Here are a few tricks to keep in mind the next time you’re putting together your perfectly petite look.


Monochromatic Magic

You’ve heard of it, but have you tried it? While some prefer to stay away from anything “matchy-matchy,” monochromatic looks are perfect for us shorties and probably the easiest way to add a few inches to your petite stature using what you already have in your wardrobe! As petites, creating a continuous flow up and down the body is key.

When you have an outfit that’s one color, your proportions aren’t cut off where they normally would be, creating the appearance of a taller frame.

Don't have exact colors to match? Don't be afraid to experiment with slightly different shades of the same color—you can still achieve a similar effect!

photo: Medge Beauvoir-Yellowlees, 5'0" (my voguish diaries)

Victorious V-Necks

If necklines could talk, every petite gal would hear “Pick me! Pick me!” as they walked by a rack with a v-neck style! Not only does a v-neck open up the chest and elongate your neck, it brings the eye down and that’s exactly what we shorties need.

V-necks also help the eye narrow in towards your waist, helping to create the look of a cinched midsection that can add length to your bottom half.

If you prefer more coverage up top, you don’t have to skip this neckline altogether! Just layer any v-neck style over a cami that matches your skin tone to get the job done.

photo: Natalie Craig, 5'2" (NATALIE in the city)

Tone-on-Tone Heels

Heels will always be the best way to add actual inches to our petite statures, but did you know that your choice in style and color of heels can trick the eye into thinking that your legs are even longer? When showing off your legs with a pretty pair of heels, try a nude color that matches your skin tone!

This tone-on-tone styling trick causes the eye to continue all the way down to your pretty pedicured toes, further elongating your legs.

Not fond of nude shoes? Opt for a pair of pumps that don’t have an ankle strap. This keeps the eye flow downward and helps to lengthen those fabulous stems!

photo: Jean Wang, 5'0" (EXTRA PETITE)

Tights & Tall Boots

While some people think that tall boots might be overwhelming for shorter legs, they can actually add a few more inches if styled right! Bringing the eye both up and down, thigh-high boots paired with the same color tights, leggings or skinnies creates a seamless line from your waist to your toes.

You can skip the tights to show show off a little skin, but look for a pair of boots that come above your knees to maintain that long, height-boosting vertical line!
photo: Wendy Nguyen, 5'0" (Wendy's LOOKBOOK)

Sexy Subtle Slits

If it’s not quite the season or occasion to wear shorts, or if you simply prefer to be a bit more covered up, slits are the way to go! This subtle touch of skin will instantly give the illusion of added height as the vertical opening will bring the eye up and down while making your legs appear longer and leaner with its slim opening.

Mini skirts give us more height by showing off some skin and maxi skirts give us more height with the continuous flow of fabric.

Midi’s? They tend to cut us off at an awkward place, further shortening our petite frames. If you love midi skirts(like I do!), try one with a thigh-high slit to give your legs a bit more length rather than cutting you off at the shins.

photo: Sheryl Luke, 5'2" (WALK IN WONDERLAND)

Want us to help you style your way to a taller frame? Take the style quiz to get started.

Already took the style quiz and want to order a box? Shoot us a message at hey@shortstorybox.com. We can't wait to style you!