All Short Women Must Own These 11 Types of Clothing

Sometimes it feels like the fashion industry designs clothing specifically for tall women. After all, they’re modeled by women averaging a height of 5-foot-10 and above. Fortunately, there are strategic ways to shop for clothing that lengthens you so that you never have to feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing. By knowing which areas to highlight and downplay, you can boost your confidence and stop worrying that you appear extra small.

1. Black skinny jeans

ankle boots on bench

Black skinny jeans are a good look. |

Black skinny jeans are an essential item of clothing for all women, but they’re especially great for women who fall on the shorter side. Both the color black and the elastic in the jeans work together to shrink your legs. Paired with heels, your legs will look incredibly long.

2. Skater dress

Girl trying a dress in the mirror looking cheerful and happy

A red skater dress is playful and flattering. |

Short women should fill their closets with items of clothing that highlight their assets, and one great area to draw attention to is your naturally shrunken waist. Skater dresses do an excellent job of cinching at the waist, then flaring out toward the bottom hem, making you look noticeably leaner. Opt for a short, colorful skater dress for the best results.

3. Short, flared skirt

woman wearing a polka dot skirt

A flared skirt shows off your legs. |

Flowing maxi skirts have the ability to drown short women, making them look particularly stout and stubby. Instead, every short woman should look for the exact opposite style: a flattering, short skirt that flares out from top to bottom. By starting at your small waist and falling wide above the knee, this style of skirt will make your legs appear extra lanky. The more your skirt resembles a tulip, the more your legs will look like long stems beneath it.

4. Spaghetti-strap top

smilng happy multi-racial Asian Chinese

Spaghetti-strapped tops are great for short women. |

Petite women may hate having short legs, but they should be overjoyed about their thin arms, feminine neckline, and pronounced collarbones. To show off this lovely area, all shorter women should own a spaghetti-strap top. It doesn’t have to be as form-fitting as an undershirt, but shouldn’t resemble a pajama top. The thinner your straps, the more attention you’ll draw to your dainty upper body.

5. Fitted turtleneck

woman posing with red lipstick

A fitted turtleneck will add length to your body. | iconogenic

An easy way to add length to your body is to bring the focus to your neckline. By wearing a fitted turtleneck, you can give yourself the appearance of having a much longer neck than you really do. However, stay away from brown turtlenecks, which can look a tad frumpy. A black, form-fitting turtleneck is the way to go.

6. Classy, short dress

Lady in a black dress with a lace back

A classic black dress is always perfect. |

One benefit of being small is being able to wear shorter clothing without appearing too revealing. Since you can get away with a shorter hem, it’s always a good idea to own a classy and professional-looking dress that hits mid-thigh. Though this sounds a few inches shorter than you’d normally feel comfortable wearing to the office, you’ll find it makes you look much taller without looking too suggestive.

7. Pencil skirt

A man's hand writing on white paper

Pencil skirts are great on a short frame. |

Pencil skirts are a necessity for all short women. They have the ability to make you look much narrower and taller while showing off your small waist. Pencil skirts should be part of a short woman’s go-to professional outfit — perfect for looking formal and put together without looking too conservative. 

8. Cropped blouse

woman in stylish vintage white blouse with denim jacket

A stylish cropped blouse is a good look. |

When you think of a crop top, your mind might immediately turn to a rebellious teenager. However, cropped blouses are also perfect pieces for short, mature women. Instead of wearing them to show off your midriff (which will only shorten your torso), it’s great to pair them with high-waist bottoms. Whether you style your cropped blouse with a high-waist skirt, shorts, or trousers, you’ll look incredibly chic and elongated.

9. Vertically-striped shirt

blonde caucasian woman

Stripes make you look long and lean. |

When it comes to changing your appearance, using a pattern as an optical illusion is one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you want to look wider, wear thick, horizontal stripes. If you want to look taller, vertical strips are the way to go. This pattern (particularly on a button-up shirt) is a wardrobe staple for all short women who want to appear a bit longer.

10. High-waist shorts

young woman in trendy clothes talks on a smart phone

High-waist shorts make your legs appear longer. |

One of the easiest ways to add inches to your body is to create the illusion of having longer legs than you really do. Instead of opting for low-rise jeans and shorts (which will only make you look stumpy), short women can make themselves look much taller by wearing high-waist shorts. Your hips will appear taller than they are and your legs will be miraculously lengthened.

11. Short, flared blazer

Business lady texting and using laptop

Opt for a short blazer. |

Short women often find it difficult to dress for the workplace, where being tall is a powerful asset . To make yourself seem larger than you are, it’s helpful to own a short, flared blazer. They’re not only stylish, but they also give you a structured upper body that conveys strength. Once you find one you like, you’ll never go back to a dainty cardigan again.