We are all unique in our own individualistic way and that applies to both physical appearances, as well as our basic characteristics. But, this write up is dedicated to our physical form and we all strive to look our best in terms of fashion and beauty. As far as our souls go, well we are all beautiful inside and although I would say that should be all that should count, but one can’t deny that we want our outer appearances to shine too.
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We all have different body types and sometimes they don’t all fall into the stereotype forms of apple, pear or hourglass shape, etc…. So, it’s not easy to categorize outfits for these typical body shapes as we come in a myriad of dimensions. For those of us who are let’s say tall and slim, well it’s not rocket science to find the right outfits to don and look stunning. But, what about if you are not so tall and are inclined towards the healthier side? Well, you can’t stretch yourselves or suddenly go on crash diets to attain size zero and trust me you shouldn’t either as you need to embrace what you have and make the most of it. If we all looked the same, we wouldn’t be unique would we? I’ve seen many girls who end up buying clothes that are a size smaller and keep them stashed away in the hope of wearing them one day when they lose weight. That’s not a good thing trust me as I too had fallen prey to such ridiculous idiosyncrasies once upon a time and then realized I had many clothes that I hadn’t worn just because I had bought them for a me who wasn’t me.
Also, you will come across many people claiming that anyone who is short and healthy should strictly stay away from this and that etc… and I know that sounds rather oppressive. As this article is aimed at short (i.e. less than average height) and healthy girls, let’s first appreciate the body type and then explore what clothing will best suit you. So, you can look fabulous in your shape as long as you carry the right outfits with the right attitude! There will be some girls who say they can carry off almost anything and why not, but it’s always best to determine what works best for you to your best advantage. All you need to bear in mind is that the proportions of what you wear should complement your build. Although, clothes don’t really make you thin or tall, they can deceive the eyes to your advantage. Here are a few tips I have compiled for you.
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1. Monochromatic colours
Single colours or wearing similar shades on the top and bottom half will give the illusion of height. Please note that the objective is not to look taller and be what you’re not, but to avoid looking shorter than you already are. So the longer the blocks of colour, the taller you will appear. For instance wear the same coloured blouse/shirt with same/similar coloured pants, so the eyes follow a long monochromatic line from top to bottom that has no obvious horizontal break between them. That will only slice your body into two making you look shorter. Don’t think you have to wear the same colour from head to toe always, but contrasting colours with a stark difference will make you look shorter as it will cut the visual flow from head to toe. Try to choose similar hues.
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So what can you wear? Try monochrome pant suits/jumpsuits, or a dark trouser with a dark coloured shirt that won’t be visibly cutting your body in half. You can also wear a blouse and skirt of similar shades and to add a pop of another colour, maybe wear something contrasting on the slimmest part of your body like a bright scarf around your neck, or a different coloured jacket if your torso is slimmer than the lower body etc…. Opt for single coloured maxi dresses too that will not add inches to your width and will not take away height either.
2. Vertical lines
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Vertical lines fool the eye by making one look slimmer and taller, as again the aim is to lengthen your body visually. Try and avoid horizontal lines as they will only slice the body and enlarge your width. However, if say, you have a small framed torso, then you could get away with wearing horizontals as they would definitely give you a larger bust if you like, but I’d say best to avoid as they will widen your frame no matter what, as they make the eyes scan from left to right. Hence, giving the illusion of more width and you do not want that. Maybe try a horizontal top (if your bust is small) with vertical stripes below if you may.
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Opt for trousers that flow a couple of inches past your actual length and pair them with a few inch heels. This will make your legs look longer as opposed to wearing cropped pants, which will surely cut off inches at the bottom. Avoid capris as they will make you look shorter no matter what. If you have slim legs you can go for slim cut jeans, but avoid them tapering at the bottom; so, best to go for straight cut ones. If your body is pear shaped, then avoid low cut pants as they will widen your hips more. Opt for a figure friendly trouser that starts at the widest part of the hip and flows down straight. Other good options are flowy palazzo pants or wide leg trousers. If wearing palazzos, do wear a fitted top rather than a baggy one.
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Who doesn’t love to wear skirts especially now that the weather is getting warmer? Well try to avoid skirts that are too short as they will only accentuate your lack of height by bisecting your leg where it’s the largest. Ideally one can wear skirts that are not too bulky and puffy, as they are bound to make your hips look big. So, unless you want to look voluptuous, avoid them. Instead opt for skirts in flowy fabrics that drape well or ones that flare out in an A line silhouette and should be just above or below the knee. Avoid skirts that end at mid-calf length. If you can, then do wear fitted skirts, but with the right length.
Unless you have a slim waistline, do avoid peplum tops and baby doll tops as they will make you look frumpy at the waist. Many people think peplum tops hide a big belly, but they don’t. Your belly (if you have one) will only puff up the top more and draw attention there. So, opt for tops that are fitted at the bust area and fall straight. Also, stay away from tunic tops and boxy tops because you don’t need extra inches around you. Having said that stay away from baggy tops too, as they will add inches rather than hide. If your top is not tucked in at the waist, then ensure they end either at the waist or midway down your bum. Covering your bum completely will draw attention to the larger area of the body. V-necks helps elongate your neckline so by all means do wear them. If you are large busted, avoid high necks/polo necks/turtle necks as again covering the large parts of your body will draw attention there. Also, avoid big square necklines as they will give you width, which you do not want.
As mentioned above you may wear maxi dresses, but make sure they touch the ground or half an inch off the ground, but I would say stick to darker shades as they will flatter your body type. For shorter dresses, do go for knee length ones, but not ones that end at your calves or above the ankles. You should ensure the dress is fitted and accentuates the slimmest part, which in most cases, is under the bust. Try dresses that are fitted, but have layering around the stomach area, which is a clever way to camouflage extra bulk by not being baggy. Go for A-line dresses, if you are not comfortable with fitted ones or wrap around dresses. If you have good legs, then you can even try dresses with a side slit, which gives a vertical line of skin… again works towards lengthening your height. Also, try colour blocking on your dress by having darker coloured blocks on the side panels to give a slimmer effect.
Try to avoid wearing shoes that are too chunky or have ankle straps as they will make you look shorter by cutting away inches, thus making your legs shorter and thicker. Showing off the ankle gives you a longer dimension. Same goes for boots, try and avoid ankle boots as they will decrease your height, so best to opt for knee length ones. If you have to wear ankle booties, then you can try neutral colours more close to your skin tone, as opposed to darker shades that will stunt your height. Go for thinner heels that will give you a streamlined look rather than flats or chunky heels. If you’re wearing a maxi dress and don’t want to wear heels then try platform shoes or wedges that are comfortable and add height.
If you like to wear belts, do wear them, but do so according to the outfit. Avoid belts in darker shades unless it’s over a dark coloured outfit. Avoid thick belts or ones that have too sparkly or bright buckles, as they will draw attention to your midriff. Opt for ones that fit snugly, not too tight and do not contrast sharply with your outfit, as that will cut your height. Colours of the belt should be similar if not the same to your outfit. Wearing a thin belt over a dress elongates your legs and accentuates your thinner waist.
Bolder larger patterns/prints will emphasize your short height and healthy build, so choose smaller subtle prints that will complement you. Larger prints can be carried off by taller people unless you effectively use larger prints that are vertically placed on your outfit instead of all over. Also, if you’re dying to don larger prints, ensure they are in subtle shades and not too bright and OTT.
If you are healthy, then I wouldn’t say avoid sleeveless completely as you can’t help it if you have wider arms, but do avoid sleeves that end in the thickest area of your arm like the bicep area. Opt for sleeves that are either sleeveless and show off your entire arm or ones that end at the wrist, ¾ in length or at the elbow, which is the slimmest part. Wrist long sleeves should not be baggy, but fitted, so if you’re wearing a long sleeved shirt which isn’t all that fitted, roll up your sleeves to break up the design.
Hope this helps girls and trust me many will say shorter height and curvy women should strictly steer away from certain things, but if you team the clothes well and ensure you camouflage what’s not required to be seen and highlight what is required to be seen, you’re a winner all the way!
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