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It is a common misconception that petite/short girls should avoid wearing hemlines that are on the longer side. Most people would recommend shorter hemlines would showcase one’s legs and elongate one’s overall look and create a flattering and statuesque silhouette. However, there are ways for petite fashionistas to pull off this coveted and hot hemline, especially for this season. Maxi dresses and long skirts abound on the runways and on the street style scene, and there’s no reason that petite girls can’t get in on the fashion fun. Get with the trends with these styling tips and tricks to ensure that you look your absolute best.

Wear shoes with medium to high heels

This will give you some extra height to help carry off the long length. Nothing too extreme 3-5 cms (1-2”) will do the trick.

Add Heels

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Avoid Shoes with Blunt Toes and High Vamps

These are the quickest way to make legs look heavy and aged. Toes that have a slight to extreme point will slim and elongate your feet and ankles. High vamps (where you place you foot into the shoe) will make feet look broad, and very rounded toes will make ankles appear thicker and the legs shorter.

Heavy shoes

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Wear Boots

Wear boots that either reaches under the hemline to create a smooth line with the skirt and boot or wear opaque hosiery the same color as the boots. This tip works especially well with knee-grazing silhouettes. A great styling tip to add variety to your skirt rotation, there is no need to limit oneself to mini hemlines.

Pointed Heels

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Wear Straight or Tapered Styles

Straight and tapered skirts are by far the most slimming. Wide, flared styles will make you look shorter and heavier. Keep in mind that you will appear to be as wide as your widest hemline. Likewise ensure the fabric is not too heavy, nor should there be so much fabric that it will drag your apparent height down. Lighter fabrics that skim your figure are best.

Straight over wide

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Keep Your Hemline Understated

Avoid hemline borders or embellishment as well as too loud or bright footwear, as these lead the eye to the base of your body. Opt instead to add an item of interest above your bust line to encourage the impression of height and draw the eye upward. Nude heels for when you’re going bare legged or shoes that blend in color with your hemline are both excellent choices as they continue the elongation of the legs and silhouette. A statement necklace or a pair of eye-catching earrings is flattering accessories that a petite girl would do well to invest in.

When in Doubt, Go Monochromatic

Keep this fashion rule top of mind. Wearing one color from head to toe is the surest way to achieve a lengthening overall effect. It is also a chic, easy, and elegant way to get dressed.


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Show Off Your Shape

When accessorizing and/or styling yourself, never forget to accentuate your waist. Creating a flattering waist shape or showing off your hips and bottom is a great way to showcase your figure when wearing longer hemlines.


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Opt for Slits

Slits of all lengths and styles are now being spotted everywhere, most especially in long skirt or maxi dress silhouettes. These slits are a great way to break up the substantial clothing silhouette and add a subtle hint of sexy. Slits can be elegant and fashion forward when done right. When wearing something with a slit, keep the accessories minimal and let that feature be the focus of your ensemble.


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  • Karen Bayly says:

    What if you can’t wear high heels anymore? I find any heel higher than 3 or 4 cms to be pure agony, given osteoarthritis in my knees and big toes. I guess this applies not only to long skirts, but to a lot of other styles as well.

    • Ann Reinten says:

      Hi Karen,
      I hear you – my feet too do not appreciate high shoes like they used to.
      In your case I suggest:
      ~ Low to medium shoes with fine heels such as kitten,
      ~ Straight or subtle A line skirts and dresses only
      ~ Blend your hosiery with the hemline when possible and/or,
      ~ Ensure you have a strong focal point high on your body to attract attention and divert eyes away from your feet.

      • Karen Bayly says:

        Like the Cathy below, I also have a sturdy frame and legs and cannot wear fine heels such as kitten heels. What would be the alternative in a low to medium shoe?

  • Carol says:

    I love this one! Thank you for the useful tips :)

  • Diane Burton says:

    Thank you, Ann, for the great tips on wearing longer hemlines with my petit figure!
    I am especially happy with the info on the slits and how they impact the outfit!
    Happy Easter, to you as well!

  • Dana K says:

    What great examples, Ann! The monochromatic and accentuated waist photos really made your point. All good advice not only for petites, but all of us ladies who want to look long and lean. Thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for the wonderful tips for us vertically challenged gals! Love to see more advice for Petites!!!!
    Have a wonderful day!

  • Pat Smith says:

    Thanks for the info Ann. I prefer to wear long skirts in the summer instead of cropped pants or capris. i get a nice long line with a long skirt. I probably need to re-think my shoes though. I usually wear sandals with heels or wedges. I will look for a shoe with a slimmer heel now.

  • anna michelle greaves says:

    That is so good for us petite ladies its a fashion side tahts forgotton about so wonderful and thankyou for keeping me in the loop kind regards anna michelle

  • Cathy says:

    I am petite, but also a little on the chunky side. While I agree with most of your shoe advice, I have found that a very slender heel sometimes looks a little ridiculous under my sturdy leg. I think I look more balanced with a heel that is a little thicker around.

    • Ann Reinten says:

      Hi Cathy, If you have sturdy legs I suggest you go for heels such as classic, fine stacked or wedges over fine ones like stilettos or kitten heels – I would avoid chunky heels when possible.

  • Sandy says:

    Love, love, love this website, and I am excited and grateful to know that you provide so much valuable information and you offer a vast amount of variables for Petites. I have always found that the Petite Department stores cater to a fashion that is older than I want to feel and look, and have had to succumb to the teenage department to find snazzy colors and styles, and yet they are too immature for my age. I am thrilled to say the least, and thank you for sharing all your fashion knowledge Ann!

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