Use Dresses to Elongate Your Look This Summer

DSC_1183 primark maxi dressEmbracing your height as a petite woman is the first step to feeling great. If you’re trying to elongate your look, the next step is to follow a few suggestions on how to create the illusion of adding extra inches to your frame. And just in time for rocking the season’s hottest styles, this post focuses on how to make dresses and skirts work to your advantage for a fun and fashionable summer.

Lyst’s fashion team believes that finding the dress of your dreams is more of a reality than you might have originally thought. Being a woman under 5′ 4″ can be challenging when it comes to wearing dresses and skirts, long or short, but it’s definitely not impossible. When shopping for the perfect fit, always consider having the hem length shortened, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional (a great tailor is invaluable as a petite woman). Also, consider taking the Budget Fashionista’s advice when it comes to necklines, and opt for dresses and tops to pair with your skirts that have V-neck cuts, as opposed to boxy strapless cuts, in order to lengthen the look of your body.

A-line dresses and skirts are a great look for petite women, especially when choosing a high-low hem. The shorter length in the front makes your legs look especially long without sacrificing elegance or style. When accessorizing this type, avoid heels that have ankle straps in a color other than nudes or flesh tones because they create an abrupt end to the leg, appearing to shorten your stature. If you do choose a colorful shoe, pick a peep toe as opposed to a round toe, because the latter can make you appear shorter.

Another flattering style is the bodycon dress and skirt. It’s one of the sexier, more revealing types, as your frame is definitely hugged by the clingy material. However, it doesn’t hide your body under oversized pieces, which will help you appear taller, especially when styled accordingly. In this instance, avoid horizontal stripes, as they’ll make you appear wider and shorter, and opt for vertical stripes, if any, instead. When wearing a bodycon skirt, a loose, blouse-style top is an acceptable pairing, and be sure the hem hits at least a couple of inches above the knee.

When it comes to maxi dresses and skirts, remember that your body is not a hanger. Even when you’re full-figured, choose curve-hugging dresses and skirts as opposed to those that just seem to hang loosely over your tiny frame. And for two piece pairings, BuzzFeed’s fashion team suggests petite women wear fitted tops or tanks tucked into a long, flowing maxi skirt. This tip, along with picking a length that hits somewhere between your ankle and the top of your foot, is thought to add inches to your frame and balance things out.

Women under 5′ 4″ are not relegated to boring, uninspired outfits. In fact, adding inches to your frame while wearing your favorite dresses and skirts is easier than you may have thought, especially when following the simple and straightforward tips outlined above. These suggestions for the petite crowd are invaluable as part of choosing and styling your outfits this summer. With a few tweaks to your wardrobe, you’ll be looking taller in no time.

This is a guest post by Ronda Johnson, a blogger hailing from Wisconsin and living in New York. During her time away from her keyboard, she enjoys exploring the city and searching for her next favorite eatery.