Skip Nav
Street Style
100 Creative Ways to Style Your Jeans So You Can Wear Them on Repeat
These Wedding Guest Dresses Are Chic — and They're All on Sale
10 Pieces of Clothing to Ditch Now

Fab Body Guide: Elongate Yourself

You've all heard that black makes you look slimmer and taller. While that's true, it's not the only trick in the book. There are a dozen other ways to elongate yourself without having to look goth. Take a look at the real-life examples below. For The Spirit LA premiere, Eva Mendes chose a Bill Blass maxi that, because it grazed the carpet, made her appear taller. Vertical stripes, as shown in the center editorial, and long cardigans, like on Katie Holmes, can also do the trick. Proceed for more tips.

  • Maxi Dresses: Like in Eva's case, maxi dresses give the illusion of tallness because they provide one straight line from top to bottom, without any interruptions.
  • Long Cardigans: It's a misconception that everything long makes you look tall. But a long cardigan, past your waist, is one casual way to do it. The darker the color the better.
  • Long, Wide-Leg Trousers: Be sure to find a style that grazes the floor, and preferably covers your shoes. They're never to be worn with flats, only high heels!
  • Platforms: It's no secret that platform shoes can literally add inches to your height. For a more subtle approach, choose a shoe with a hidden platform.
  • Vertical Stripes: Unlike horizontal stripes, which cut you off, vertical stripes keep going and going.

To see more tips, and to shop a widget of elongating pieces,


  • Trench Coats: A thigh-length trench coat is a slick, sophisticated way to appear tall, especially when worn with over-the-knee boots. Avoid anything longer than the knee, please.
  • Over-the-Knee Boots: Speaking of over-the-knee boots, ones with high heels will give you an extra boost. Just be sure to wear them with demure clothing; you don't want to look sketchy.
  • Dark Colors: Black, dark brown, navy, dark gray — these moody hues and others like them are right for looking slim and tall.
  • Long, Skinny Scarves: Throw on an extra long, extra skinny scarf to take the focus away from your outfit.
  • Turtlenecks: These give the illusion of a long neck, so they're perfect for those who have a short one.
  • High-Waist Styles: Whether its skirts, shorts, or pants, if you have a flat tummy, high-waisted styles can make your torso appear inches longer.
  • Opera Gloves: Unlike cropped gloves, opera styles go past your elbow and make your arms appear super slender.

Source and Source

Join The Conversation
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
I would think that high waisted pants and skirts have different effects on your silhouette depending on your chest size. Particularly on more well-endowed girls like myself, high waists do make you like you're all boobs and legs. I think Jessica Simpson has this problem A LOT.
rebecca-xoxo276629 rebecca-xoxo276629 8 years
i agree with most of these rules, however on the contrary maxi dresses actually shorten your frame, and make you seem wider
lattegoodness lattegoodness 8 years
Yeah, I agree with a lot of ya'll: high waisted styles make your torso look smaller and make your legs look longer. You can just look at people wearing such styles to see it. But yeah, the long, wide legged pant thing is definitely true, I always wear them and it makes me look average height (I'm 4'10"!) Every little bit helps lol
brunchattopshop brunchattopshop 8 years
It's actually my first time to hear that high-waisted styles give the illusion of a longer torso... All the while I thought they elongate the legs, instead. Which is why I rarely wear high-waisted, because my legs are long and my torso is disproportionately short. Anyone care to fill me in? :)
xs xs 8 years
one of my top pet peeves is when pants cover up the whole shoe. so i'm in agreement with the other suggestions but not the above. why would you want to look like you don't have feet?
nourhayaty nourhayaty 8 years
defiantly i will use many of those tips
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
I'm on the petite side as well :) Actually, I disagree with the "high-waisted styles can make your torso appear inches longer" tip. It's taken me forever to find a perfect high-waisted pencil skirt because they tend to make me look like I'm all boobs and legs and nothing in-between! Another tip I would add to that list is avoiding sandals that have a strap that goes across your ankles horizontally because they also make you look more short and squat.
girlgreen girlgreen 8 years
i'm 5'3" and will be using a lot of these tips!! :)
totygoliguez totygoliguez 8 years
Great tips,I always tough that maxi dress and knee hight boot made you looks shorter I guess I was mistaken. Thank you so much, I'm putting all this into practice ;)
eyesthatlie eyesthatlie 8 years
great tips! i'm 5'11, but i really love appearing taller.
austerity austerity 8 years
My problem is actually that I need to shorten myself! Well, not really, but on the days I don't want to stick out (I'm 6ft tall). Any tips on that?
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
That middle picture is insane!
Eva Mendes on Shape Magazine April 2017 Issue
Eva Mendes on Motherhood and the Name Esmeralda
Long Dresses
Eva Mendes at New York & Company Miami Event March 2017
From Our Partners
Latest Fashion
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds