Fashion tips to look taller: Style tips and tricks to add height

Apr 24, 2008 at 3:00 a.m. ET

Did you know that you are considered "petite" if you stack up 5 feet 4 inches or shorter? Many women enjoy being a little on the short side -- and some say it makes chasing the guys so much easier. But ask yourself this: Have you ever worn high heels and wound up with terrible foot pain within hours? If you've ever wished you could look taller, read on for tips to create an illusion of height!

Natasha Henstridge in long jeans

8 ways to reach new heights

Rock out with vertical stripes and lines

Whether you choose pleats, patterns or plain old stripes, you'll love the illusion of added height you get from fashions boasting vertical lines. They elongate your body while also giving you a slimmer, trimmer appearance.

Use vertical in a whole new way

Try button-down shirts and sweaters, zip-front apparel and racing stripes (especially vertical stripes). Get a little sexy with a slit in your skirt -- front, back or side will do just fine.

Pinstripes are trendy, but you can also sport beads, embroidery, pretty patterns, corduroy and any number of creative customizations in a vertical format. Ribbed patterns and pleats also add to the vertical aspect.

Wear a v-neck shirt or sweater for heightened appearance

While we all know that high heels are the only fashion accessories that physically do make us taller, the v-neck gives an illusion of a longer torso. Create a few true extra inches with platforms or high heels. Depending on the rest of your outfit, you can judge if the chunky heels, stilettos or platform sandals will work best

Don't forget about the timeless value of a nice pair of boots

Every gal's wardrobe should contain the essential shoes -- blacks and browns, summer and winter styles, open-toe, closed-toe and boots. If your feet become sensitive to pressure easily, consider wearing platforms instead of heels, insert some padded insoles or just skip the stylish shoes altogether and opt for flats.

As your mama always said: Stand up straight!

Use the natural height you do have to stand tall (well, as tall as you can). Not only will you look more confident, you will be keeping your back strong while toning your glutes.

Introduce accessories that will add height to your image

Silky scarves, dangling earrings and long pendants, pearls or necklaces should give a nice boost to your stature. Judicious use of accessories like sunglasses, hats, barrettes and shawls can also add to the height factor.

When selecting pants, choose the proper fit that brushes the tops of your shoes

Right now, longer is better -- longer as in nearly touching the ground even when you're in heels. (See actress Natasha Henstridge above right to check the jean length.) At the very least, your pants should definitely touch your shoes, which helps to create the appearance of longer legs. Some trendy pants (think capris) may not be the best for shorter women, especially if you are going for that illusion of height.

Worry less about the things you can't change, and focus on the things you can

Finally, when everything is said and done, the perfect dress or suit can really make the occasion. Put your main focus on coordinating the perfect outfit -- from the clothing itself to the best shoes, purse and accessories you can find!

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