How To Appear Taller (post 2)

Making yourself appear taller is advantageous for petites (women 5’4″ or 162.5cm and below) but also for other women too as styling yourself to appear taller is also more slimming as it brings the focus vertically (making you look slimmer), rather than horizontally (which can make you look wider). I actually started writing my style tips on this topic here but I had so much to say that I thought it would be easily to digest over two posts! But, if you haven’t already read the last post, please do that first. It covers what to look for in shoes, why cropped items work, what lengths are good in tops and skirts etc as well as other great styling tips. Anyway, continuing on from the last post, here are tips 6-10 to help you style to appear taller.

Tip 6: Tuck

The main aim to looking taller is to lengthen the legs, torso and arms. By tucking in your top, you are essentially bringing the waist line up which naturally lengthens the legs. This works for many different body shapes but is particularly good for petites as lengths of hems can be a problem for those of us who are shorter (read more about the challenges of getting the right fit for a petite here).


There are a few different ways to tuck in a top. The first (as above) is just simply to tuck it in, all the way around. Adding a belt is also great as it brings more attention to that waist height, lengthening the legs (more information about which horizontal lines to accentuate and which ones to avoid in the previous post). If there is too much fabric or you still enjoy the shirt untucked (especially if you are going for a more casual look or want to cover your seat!), you could try the “French Tuck”.ย  The French Tuck involves tucking your shirt at the front (or sometimes I like to tuck at the side) and then untucking a little so that the entire shirt is not tucked but you can still see the waist line where you have tucked, adding length to the legs. The French Tuck also creates a great diagonal with the asymmetry of the front being shorter than the back so it is really flattering and again brings the attention up and makes you appear taller.

Tip 7: Shop Petites

This does depend on your size and body shape but note again that petite does not mean small and petite clothes are simply made with proportions that work better for those that are shorter (generally under 5’5″). This means that shoulders may be more narrower, hems shorter, arm holes higher, etc. More about the advantages of petite clothes here. Some petite lines do stock bigger sizing and there are some labels that are designed for shorter plus sized ladies too (check out City Chic, Lane Bryant, or Taking Shape for example).

Tip 8: Try The Children’s Section

Childrenโ€™s sizing only really works if you are a smaller petite but donโ€™t write them off completely as you may get lucky! A size 8 ladies (Australian sizing) ends up being a size 14 in children’s though it depends on the brand. (I discuss sizing discrepancies more in this post).

Remember it is more flattering to wear jackets and tops that fit the shoulders so even if a children’s or petite size jacket doesn’t do up but fits well around the arms and shoulders (and doesn’t restrict any movement, haha), it can look really stylish undone particularly over a monochrome silhouette and having those shoulders fitting really brings in the overall look, helping to slim and elongate.

I have many children’s clothes including this vest which is a children’s size 12:

And this jacket which is a children’s size 10:

What I do love about children’s clothes is they are made for shorter people so the lengths in arms and hems seems to work much better and overall the proportions work better for shorties.

Tip 9: Learn To Sew Some Basics

You can pick up a sewing kit quite cheaply from a supermarket or a sewing shop like Spotlight for hand sewing alterations. It comes with different coloured cottons, sewing needles, hook and eyes, chalk, pins, scissors etc. I encourage you to invest in at least that though if you have some more money and will be doing a few alterations, I would encourage you to also purchase a sewing machine (or at least make sure you have access to one!). You may even like to try attending some sewing classes. Learning to sew a hem is paramount to a petite. I will share some how tos in later posts.

Tip 10: Invest In A Tailor

If you cannot learn the above, find a good tailor who can alter your clothes for you. Fit is important though this is usually a last resort for me as it can get costly though the difference in how you look can be worth it so that is something you need to weigh up in the moment. Simple adjustments like altering lengths is an easy fix but other alterations like changing the height of arm holes are a bit trickier! I went to Bali last year and got a bunch of my clothes re-made and a few of my existing clothes altered. This is another option if you already have a holiday planned and much cheaper than doing it in Australia!

The previous post covers a whole bunch of other tips including what shoes to wear, wearing cropped jackets, sleeves and pants as well as some tricks to layer if clothes are not fitting correctly so make sure you check that out. If you have any other tips, I would love to hear them! So please leave a comment below or get in touch using the contact form.

Thanks for reading,

8 thoughts on “How To Appear Taller (post 2)”

  1. Lots of really handy tips. Thank you Renae. I love the comparisons of each look, just with a few tweaks.
    Good point about checking out the kids section. I have a fake leather jacket that I brought from KMart for like $20 for my daughter who was a large 10 at the time. In desperation one night to dress up, I grabbed her jacket, and wore it, and though quite snug, looked fantastic. Mine now ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yay! Target for the win! My daughter is 8 but have been known to steal some of her cardigans here and there haha. They just become 3/4 sleeve and cropped when I wear them which is perfect as per post here! I will probably steal more of her clothes as she gets bigger and likely she will steal mine! Currently she loves wearing my scarves. I love having a daughter who I can share the love of style and design with ๐Ÿ™‚ I did the same with my petite mum too though she was never quite my size (she is a bigger build) so I would have to pin things or layer to make her clothes work for me! LOL

  2. Great tips you have here – as a woman of just 4’9″ it’s great to come across a website focused just on us petites :). Tucking is something that I never thought of for looking taller – will keep that on my list of tricks! Also, I 100% agree with your tailoring tip – I actually learned to tailor my own clothes so that I can save a few bucks.

    1. Hi Christen,
      Yes, I learnt a few sewing tricks very early thanks to having a petite mum who taught me a few essentials! And now upcycling is one of my favourite things (also ALLLLL about saving a few dollars here and there)! Glad you found something to try and hope the tucking works out for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I am always looking for ways to ‘look’ taller as I am definitely one for comfortable flats over heels. I tend to wear a lot of maxi skirts that sit higher up on my waist, with fitted tops. These support my style of the ‘feminine’ and give a slimmer look. In this case, would you recommend pattern for the top or the bottom?

    1. Hi Lorin ๐Ÿ™‚ I am also a fan of flats and comfortable shoes! Especially as I walk a lot (and run around after my kids too! haha). Comfort is important. Maxi skirts (and dresses) are a fab look for petites as they definitely make the legs look longer and wearing them high waisted will add to that too. You can wear patterns wherever you like but pay attention to your shape as you want to create balance. Also remember that patterns with smaller details rather than big bold patterns tends to work best though sometimes it’s fun to play with the proportions. As you are a bottom hourglass, I would encourage you to avoid bigger bold patterns on the bottom though smaller more dainty patterns work! If you have a patterned skirt and a plain top, add a necklace, a scarf or a cropped jacket as well so that the top is still a focus as this will create a more balanced look. If you’re going with this look, another tip I love is to match the colour of the shoes in with the colour of something in the top half like your scarf or jacket as this creates a vertical line by visually pairing the top with the bottom ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Renae

    The French Tuck is an awesome idea! I didn’t know it had a name!

    Also, do you have any tips for elongating whilst hiding a little potty tummy?

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. This is a great question Lyndal! Thank you for asking. So, A-Line dresses and tops are great. They are the ones that are more fitted around the bust and shoulders (if they have shoulders) but then flare out with more fabric from the bust down. Yes to a French tuck- so good for hiding the tummy and creates the same effect. Much better than an actual tuck. Wider belts and waistbands can hide a lot, avoid skinny belts and never wear a top that is short and brings attention to the very area you are trying to hide. Peplum is also a great option. Empire lines too. Maxi dresses!! Put boots and tights under when it’s cold or wear with sandals when it’s warmer. So comfy, so flattering. Never put a belt all the way around the widest part of your body. If you do wear a belt all the way around, cover some of that area with a vest, cardigan or the French Tuck. Longer tops, cropped jackets. I will definitely do a post about this and add visual examples and hopefully find some shops that sell items that are great for this. It would be great if I can find a petite model that is trying to hide a tummy so I can take some before and after photos like I have done here… I’ll see if I can find someone! Thanks for your comment! Hopefully that helps!

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