What Does It Mean to Be a Short Woman in a Tall Woman’s World?

I am 5’2” inches tall. I have spent my “best” years in 4” heels giving the illusion I was 5’6.” Why? Because society has drilled into our heads, if we aren’t thin and tall, like the models we have all grown up seeing (GenX, at least) then you aren’t worthy.

When you are short, you learn how to make “make do” with your clothes. Either you spend $$ altering them or you get yourself a hot iron and a roll of Stitch Witchery and pray for the best (my hems were never straight)!

The reality is, I never gave any consideration to how my choice of clothing or styling those clothes, could contribute to me feeling taller and more confident. 

Instead of wanting to wear pieces that may not be suited for your stature or wearing them in a particularly unflattering way, I want to share 10 styling tips for us short girls that hopefully will take the focus off of the uncomfortable heels (to look taller) and put it back on the clothing.

Show some ankle. Showing a hint of skin or a peek at that hot ankle boot you are wearing, gives just enough illusion to trick the eye into thinking you are taller than you really are. Skip the bunched up skinny jeans by cuffing them to the ankle and do not go near jeans that drag ground!

Skip the straight leg. Opt for wearing jeans/pants with a side split hem or even a pair with a tiny bit of flare. At the right length, these can be flattering to us shorties as well. Just make sure if your favorite pair of flared Judy Blues Jeans are too long, you find a good tailor who can alter them to the right length. It’s an investment as jeans can last a lifetime.

Vertical stripes ONLY. Petite frames rejoice! Stripes extending from head-to-toe elongate your body. These stripes make you look taller versus horizontal which make you look wider.

Crop that top. We aren’t talking belly baring here. A cropped top can simply mean a shirt that hits just at and no lower than your hip bone. This style tends to give an even amount of space between your torso and your legs. If you are like me, my body shape is like a block of cheese. No curves. Having a top that flares at the hips can create a bit of shape where there otherwise wouldn’t be any. Pair this crop with a cute skirt that’s cut a little higher on the waist or some high-waisted jeans/pants.

Cuff the Sleeves. Again, similar to showing your ankles, showing the slightest bit of skin really places the focus on the variance between skin and clothing, giving the look of length. Whether you roll up your sleeves or scrunch them, this keeps you from looking sloppy with sleeves that are too long.

No shape, pass on it. Avoid the potato sack type dresses. As cute and comfy as they may seem, these aren’t for us. Go with an A-line or fit & flare shape. These styles keep you from looking like you are drowning in unnecessary fabric.

Embrace the jumpsuit. Contrary to popular belief, you can feel cool and confident in a jump suit eve if you are short. This one-piece tends to give proportionate shape to even us vertically challenged.

Just cinch-it. A wrap dress, a belt, a blazer buttoned up, even a top that is more fitted around the waist all draw attention to the smallest part of your body. Creating shape and curves attract the eye in all the right places and pulls the focus off of your stature.

V-neck vs. square neck. Going for a square neckline can seem like a good idea but those harsh lines actually make your torso look shorter. A v-neck creates a juxtaposition between skin and fabric allowing the eye to move vertically along your body.

Rock that mini. No one has to go with the micro-mini but choose skirts at least 3 inches above the knee. Pair it with your favorite pair of high boots if you feel like you are showing too much. Not only will you feel more confident, you will also be embracing a trend that has turned into a very classic style.

Remember, I love to tell the real stories of women doing life on their terms so if you would like me to share your story, send me an email. I believe we all have a unique story to tell that can impact the lives of others.

God Bless,

Meredeth, Southern Soul Collectives 

To shop effortless style for women of ALL ages, shapes & sizes, visit us at Southern Soul Collectives.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.