- Wear a nude shoe – yes I’ve gone on about this illusion trick before, but it’s worth repeating – a nude shoe, one that blends with the colour of your skin on your foot, will make your legs look longer by creating a seamless transition from skin to shoe.
- Wear a low vamp shoe – and yes I’ve posted about this before too. The vamp is the top of the shoe, the bit that goes over the top of your foot. A low vamp shoe (like the shoes pictured above) will further elongate your leg by making your legs appear to start from the toes, rather than the ankle.
- Keep your skirt or dress hem no longer than knee length – this allows us to see more of your legs, thus making them appear longer. Hems that cut you off at the mid or low calf will visually shorten your legs. You may wish to wear a skirt that sits above the knee, but be careful as you age not to look like MDAL when doing this, hem them just above the knee, not mid-thigh!
- Wear a skirt rather than trousers – we can’t see where your legs start in a skirt, so we may assume they are longer than they are.
- Colour blend your shoes to your trousers – and preferably keep your trousers darker than or not as bright as your top, to draw attention up to your face. Generally, I’d advise to keep trousers to neutral colours.
- Keep bottoms free of detail – this means avoiding pockets on the thighs of your trousers, cuffs on trousers and patterned trousers.
- Avoid cropped pants – cropped pants shorten your legs. Keep your trousers as long as possible to create the longest unbroken line which will elongate your pins.
- Wear a heel – yes it’s obvious, it does actually add some extra inches to your height and the length of your legs.
Sound advice which I shall try to follow!
So nice to read your blog in the morning ( the time zones). Could you possibly do a post for those with long and skinny legs +calves? How to make the most of it? I´m 5 and 10, I wish to wear heels, don´t have a complex about my hight, but I´m of this certain age.
Jane – thanks!
Metscan – I will do something for you and your skinny legs.
I love to start my day with you. I'm writing from the Netherlands, from a place called Maastricht.
(Andre Rieu is my neighbour, perhaps you've heard of him)
Anyway you are a great help!
As you may notice, english is not my native language, please accept my apology.
@ Metscan, I have skinny legs too. looking forward to some advise
For some reason I always see well fitted (not too tight)cargo pants with pockets on the thighs and a bootleg, not tapered) as slimming on the thigh. The attention is given to the pocket as opposed to the thigh. Am I somewhat correct in assuming this?
Anna – thanks so much for reading and commenting! I have heard of Andre Rieu – he really lives next door to you?!
I will do a post on slim legs.
Mervat – pockets tend to draw attention, they can work on a slimmer thigh but really don't work on a very curvy thigh or one with saddlebags.
I'd be interested in your opinion on higher waisted pants (the sort that is well tailored and seems to be coming back into style) — how do they affect leg length perception?
I've also noticed that pants with a seam down the front (wierd, but the pair I have really works) elongates my visual line…
I love my heels because the lengthen my legs, but I can't wear them every day anymore. It seems I had been doing most of the good things for a long time. I like low vamp shoes also because I have high arches and a high bone at the top of my foot, but I have also fallen in love with some of the high vamp shoes lately. They work best with pants, especially if coordinated in color, as they continue that line directly to the floor.
I am I the only one who occasionally intentionally wears things that are the opposite of what I "should" wear, just because I want to? Or is that just some kind of stupid orneryness?
great advice!!!I hate that I am so drawn to cargo pants (probably b/c of the models wearing them)
True, true, all true!
Really like the "bad" skirt, so much more graceful that the "good" one. I wear only below-knee to calf-length skirts b/c I have the height and long legs to do so. And I have no ankles (what used to be known as 'piano legs') so this fullish flare longer skirt is a godsend to me.
Those of us in the short-legged and long-waisted camp thank you.
Do I need to look for a low vamp if I'm buying a nude shoe ?
Love those simple tips. I'm still talking about the low vamp, high vamp shoe though, that one I'd never heard before and made so much sense! I love your blog!
Sara – higher waists will make your legs look longer, as will a seam or crease down the centre (along with pin stripes or any vertical pattern).
Mardel – yes high vamp work with pants well.
Christina – it's very hard to compare yourself to a size 0 model when you are not a size 0 – thus the clothes won't look the same!
Duchesse – you are tall – these are not recommendations for you! Of course the 'bad' skirt will work on someone with longer legs!
LPC – Thanks! Enjoy your long waist – I wish I had one.
Eternal Voyager – a low vamp will always elongate more than a high vamp, but on a nude shoe it's less important when wearing a skirt or dress than wearing a more coloured shoe.
Maria – yes – so simple, yet makes such a difference. When we see models in magazines with high vamp shoes on with skirts we don't think about how that skirt is up to their thigh and that they already have super long legs, which is why they can get away with it (unlike many mere mortals).
Excellent advice as usual, Imogen 🙂
Actually, I think most of your recommendations would probably flatter most women -short legged or not!
My legs are longish and fairly well proportioned -but I have heavy(ish) thighs (I'm an X) – what would you recommend I do to play them down?
Jamtart – look for a-line or slightly flared skirts and dresses. Wrap dresses will be great on you. Also avoid any sort of distressing on denim, keep jeans dark and plain through the thighs. Basically don't put detail around your thighs – draw attention up by wearing detail above your waist.
Everything here makes perfect sense but can I please please wear capri-length pants a la Audrey in summer? I am short (5"4), skinny (49kg) and have no hips to speak of (or waist either) so is wearing them a totally bad idea?
Great! I'm now perpetually on the lookout for low vamp shoes, thanks to your earlier post on this.
First of all, I LOVE that blue top in the Polyvore you have here. It's not something I could wear – too much detail around the bust area – but I love the bright blue color.
These are great tips, and I'm just now discovering the joy of nude shoes – nothing that I've worn before. The heels on my shoes are really not very high, but every time I wear them with a skirt, I receive comments about how long my legs look. It's nice to be able to trick they eye like this.
What are your thoughts on trousers with a subtle pattern – small-scale, not large-scale, such as a small/fine microcheck or herringbone print? I don't think that they make me look any shorter than solid-colored trousers, but maybe I'm not seeing things as you do.
I'm 5'4 and wear gaucho pants. They are fitted and hit right below the knee…are those ok? Also. I have a pair of croc pumps that are pointy toed with a strap across the top of my foot (not ankle straps)…are those ok?
This is why I need you to move to the USA or me to Australia! I’m so confused because I’m a V body shape with shortish legs. Do I follow these tips or v tips? V’s should have lighter pants and can add details like pockets. The vamp of shoes and nude color are absolutely true. I am so glad I found your blog.
The V tips will balance your shoulders – but also follow some of these tips if you want to make your legs look longer. Think about dressing in a column of colour which helps to elongate you throughout.