How to make your short legs look longer

make your short legs look longer

Now that you’ve determined you have a long torso and short legs, I want to talk about how to look taller and slimmer. It’s all about creating optical illusions, the magic of fashion!

Although there are countless possibilities for flattering styles, I’ve had many clients and readers tell me that fewer options are easier to keep in mind when they’re out shopping.

So today I’m offering up 7 stylish solutions for balancing your figure vertically, so you can get dressed with ease. Here are styles to look for and avoid with tips for styling them. I’m also giving simple explanations so you can understand the “why’s” and feel confident you’re doing it right!

High waisted skirts:

By raising your waistline to a spot above your natural waist, your waist appears higher and your legs look longer.

High-rise/mid-rise pants and jeans-Avoid low-rise pants:

A similar concept…pants with a higher rise elongate your legs. Low-rise, or hip huggers, mimic your body proportions and emphasize your short legs.

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How To Make Your Short Legs Look Longer

Tuck whenever possible:

Tucking tops in (and wearing belts) creates a horizontal line across your torso, breaking it up, making your mid-section look shorter and your body as a whole appear more in balance.

Empire waist dresses:

Like high waisted skirt or pants, an empire waist dress allows the eye to bypass your natural waist, making your legs look a mile long!

Ankle length and longer pants:

Your legs only look as long as your pants. By wearing long pants, with heels if possible, your legs look much longer than they truly are. You can see in the photo above, her pants are almost touching the ground! We can’t see her feet at all, and her legs look a mile long!

Capris/crops aren’t great, but if they’re high-rise and you tuck your top, it’s doable in warm weather.

Low vamped shoes:

These are low cut, slip on styles without any type of strap on your ankle, making your leg look as long as possible. An ankle strap or high vamped shoe, i.e. covers most of your foot, cuts off your leg, right then and there…similar to a capri pant.

Pointed toe shoes: 

Pointed toe shoes extend your leg line. If you’re wearing pants, go for a similar color, like the shoes shown above. The entire clearly isn’t teal, but the toe is, so the eye will jump to it. While a solid color pump would pump up the optical illusion of lengthening your leg line, it’s also fun to mix it up from time to time!

Over to you…how do you like these styles? Will you wear them to help balance your figure?

How to Make Your Legs Look Longer


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10 comments on “How to make your short legs look longer

  1. That’s true about skirts. Above the knee is a good proportion, and midi skirts are very difficult to wear. The thing that’s a little difficult about skirts is that you can’t wear a longer top with them.

  2. I am muslim and cover, but what I found works so great for me is wearing a full floor length jean skirt that is tailored to the waist – with a petticoat underneath and a slim tunic. The petticoat adds body and flow to the base of the skirt while simultaneously slimming the waist, and also elongates the legs by creating a long “A” shape that goes from just above the hips all the way to 1″ above the floor, so the foot is pretty much included in the look of the leg length. I’ve always had short legs and this look is so flattering and underused!

  3. I like the long torso effect. It makes me look thinner and the higher belts just make my mid mid area so big that I look like I’m made of 3 tiers instead of two halves.

    My biggest issue in dressing is finding shirts long enough to cover my belly. Most shirts show skin every time I move… It’s crazy annoying in winter. I’m always cold and I spendy days pulling on shirts. Tunics are strange too .. they stop right under my butt.

    My best option so far… find tube dresses and wear them as shirts. They are usually tight enough to hold to any length you want. It’s been hard on budget though. Dresses are often 3 times the price of shirts. It also takes a long time to find something suitable… Plain dresses without decoration are hard to find.

    For sports shirts, I buy men extra small. Shirts in the men departments are longer for the same width.

    It doesn’t work for anything business though.

  4. My suggestion is to look for tops that are available in Tall lengths. Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic and White House Black Market all sell Talls. I imagine you’ll find a much better fit than with the men’s department.

  5. Im long torso, short legs and curvy… I love the ideas you mentioned. Will try the high waist tucked in shirt with capris!

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