7 Style Tips for Large Men: The Big Man’s Guide to Sharp Dressing

Fashion, like any industry, has its share of quackery, and no one gets treated to more “miracle products” or “life-changing purchases” than a man with some meat on his bones.

You can forget most of that stuff.

It’s not effective, and it’s creating a problem where there isn’t one.

Dressing well is about presenting your body in the best and most flattering way possible — without trying to distort or alter the body itself. Anything else is just costuming.

To that end, we’ve put together our best advice for the big men of the world.

Whether you’re round-bellied, broad-shouldered, big-bottomed, or all three at once, you can look comfortable, stylish, and suave with a little savvy dressing.

The Importance of Style for Large Men

You don’t really need me to tell you what the general (and unfounded) assumptions are about overweight men: fat, sloppy, lazy, greedy, etc. As unfair as these judgements may be, they’re the reality in our society. But if your weight isn’t there for a specific purpose (like you’re an NFL linebacker), you owe it to yourself to work to shed those pounds — not fundamentally to impress other people, but because of the benefits to your physical and mental health that will accrue as you get fit. Yet even if you’re already in the midst of a weight loss journey, you still need to dress the body you have right now; you shouldn’t wait until you’ve reached your ultimate goal to start trying to look your best.

The reason style takes on such importance — and the reason we’re writing about it — is that bad or careless style on a person of average or slender build just makes them forgettable. On a large man, it’s taken as proof of the negative assumptions mentioned above: obviously the fat man is indeed a lazy slob, or he’d have taken time to dress himself better.

As frustrating as that is, it’s a pretty compelling argument for looking your best. And happily, that’s just as easy to do for a heavyset man as it is for anyone else.

Priorities: What a Big Man Wants from His Clothing

We’ll get into specific styles and outfits in a bit, but there are a few things that should always be on your mind if you’re purchasing clothing for a bigger body:

1. Fit

Bad fit to the left, good fit to the right. ALWAYS use a tailor.

It’s true for any man, and doubly so for large men: the fit of your clothing is its most important quality.

If you’ve got bulges, wrinkles, or sagging cloth, it’s going to make your outline look sloppy. On a large man, the effect gets amplified, and it looks even worse. Many large men dress in clothes that are several sizes too big, thinking they are disguising their physique. But baggy clothes don’t fool anyone and in fact draw more attention to your weight while downgrading your overall appearance and the impression you make.

There’s also a simple comfort issue here: the better the fit, the more comfortable your clothes feel, which is good for your mood and for your appearance.

So your first consideration with any garment should always be the fit. You want the cloth to rest lightly on your body — not hugging it tight and not hanging off your skin with visible folds of extra cloth.

The odds of finding something with a perfect fit off the rack are pretty low, so get to know a good tailor. Simple adjustments like hemming trousers or taking a shirt in at the waist are cheap fixes — usually $10-20 — that can make generically-sized department store clothes into well-fitted garments.

2. Simplicity

Keep it simple: for a large man, a well-fitted, solid, dark colored, full-length overcoat is perfect.

If you’ve got a big frame, you’ve also already got an imposing presence. Dress simple, so that it doesn’t become an overwhelming effect.

Good clothes for large men keep the patterns to a minimum. Broad, solid spaces help complement your shape — be thinking solid-color jackets, lightly striped shirts, and so on, rather than anything with busy graphics or patterns.

3. Lightweight

Thick, heavy cloth accentuates your size and makes you look bulky.

Heavier clothing can also hold heat in, and contribute to excessive sweating, which is something that many big men need to be cautious of. Even if you don’t have sweat issues, you still want to keep your clothing light.

The difference between fine wool trousers and a pair of thick denim jeans doesn’t sound like much, but when you try the pants on you realize just how significant the upgrade can be. A smooth, light fabric that drapes in clean lines is always going to make a large man look (and feel) better than something chunky.

What the Right Clothes Can (and Can’t) Do for You

Reality check: you’re not going to find clothes that dramatically alter the shape of your body.

You might find something so immensely loose that, like a burqa, it hides the shape completely, but that’s not a look most guys are going for. It often ends up looking more like a parachute than a nice garment.

Good clothing doesn’t change the shape of your body. It makes everything look proportional, balanced, and neatly framed.

Anything that’s sold with the premise of making you thinner (compression girdles and so on) is likely to have a passing effect at best, and probably at the expense of your comfort. That’s a losing proposition in the long run, since an uncomfortable man tends to also be one who fidgets, shifts, and otherwise looks nervous and unappealing.

The best effect of good clothing is to change people’s automatic first impression from “a fat man” to “a big man.”

On paper, that looks like a meaningless distinction, but in people’s minds it becomes the difference between “lazy, soft, and weak” and “powerful, imposing, and confident.”

If you’ll pardon the pun, that’s a big difference.

Clothing for Large Men: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Now that you know what you’re looking for in general, we can talk about a few specific styles.

Keep in mind that there will always be some exceptions to these guidelines. But for the most part, there are certain kinds of clothing that we can describe as being “good” or “bad” for large men.

And yes, there are one or two styles that are just plain disastrous. Stay away from the “uglies” unless you have a very compelling reason to wear them!

Good Clothes for Large Men

The best clothes are ones that give a clear, clean, defined shape to the body. That puts suits, blazers, and sports coats right at the top of the list: these are going to “frame” the body and make it look neatly self-contained.

In addition to jackets, smooth slacks (as opposed to jeans) give a nice, clean front, and in colder weather a long overcoat is a great way to make a solid impression with your whole body.

For an excellent summary of how large men can wear suits well, click here to visit our friends over at the Gentleman’s Gazette.

Bad Clothes for Large Men

Things get more problematic when clothes become softer and the outlines less defined.

That means that large men want to use some caution when they’re buying things like sweatshirts and sweaters. They can work — the flat front over the belly can be advantageous, as can something that covers the waistline of the trouser — but you need a nice, close fit and no wrinkles or bulges.

Athletic wear is a similar mixed bag: it obviously makes sense if you’re working out, but in other settings it looks a little too shapeless. It’s also very low formality, which can play into “lazy slob” stereotypes. Try to avoid leaving the house in sweatpants or athletic T-shirts unless it’s to hit the gym or go for a jog.

Ugly Clothes for Large Men

The worst of all possible worlds is anything that combines a saggy fit, low formality, and lots of bare flesh. (The latter has less to do with flesh looking unattractive, and more to do with the contrast it sets up: if your legs and arms are bare, it draws all the attention to your center, which emphasizes your belly and crotch/butt region.)

So steer clear of loose T-shirts, tank-tops, and baggy shorts. Those don’t look great on anyone, and on a heavyset man they’re especially unflattering. Shorts in general are worth avoiding, but if you do wear them, resist the temptation to go with long, baggy ones — your lower legs will look like skinny pegs in comparison, giving you a massively top-heavy appearance.

In general, larger men will look best if they stick to long sleeves and trousers, and select dressier styles that add a little class to their overall appearance.

7 Easy Style Upgrades for Large Men

If you’re a big guy who’s looking to dress a little sharper without breaking the bank on an entirely new wardrobe, we have some tips for you. These are all basic upgrades within your wardrobe — just swapping one item or particular style for another. Put together, they can add up to a big improvement.

1. Switch from Belts to Suspenders

Belts aren’t much use to men with large, round stomachs. Because the shape of the stomach tapers, a circular band around it is just going to slip right off — it’s like trying to fasten a collar around the lower third of a basketball.

Suspenders avoid the issue entirely, and let the trouser front fall in a smooth drape instead of bunching it up at the top.

A habit of wearing suspenders also helps keep the quality of your pant purchasing habits up — most cheap trousers don’t come with the internal anchors for suspenders. You can have a tailor add them for a couple bucks, or use metal clamp-style suspenders, but ideally you should build a collection of nice slacks that can take button-style suspenders.

2. Buy Dress Shirts with Spread Collars

If you’ve got a broad face, get a broad collar to go with it.

Most brands designate anything with a separation of greater than 90 degrees between the collar points as a “spread.” Some will be more extreme than others, so find a brand and a style you like.

Spread collars help keep your face looking proportional, and they give you room to tie a nice big necktie knot as well (try the Full Windsor). You’ll want to do that when you’re wearing a tie — a big guy with a thin tie and a tiny knot looks clownish.

3. Wear a Hat

A hat is one of those great style tools that make almost anything into an “outfit.”

By throwing a stylish hat on, you’re demonstrating that you went to more than the minimum effort when you got dressed. That automatically dispels any “fat = lazy” assumptions.

You also gain a little more vertical space with a hat, which can be nice for guys who are both solidly-built and short. The crown of the hat stretches your overall height a bit further, which helps “spread” your weight a little further.

To learn the basics of wearing a hat, visit these classic AoM articles on “Bringing Back the Hat” and “Finding the Perfect Hat for Your Ugly Mug.”

4. Wear Overalls for Manual Labor

Rather than jeans and a T-shirt, which are prone to hiking up/down to expose your belly and plumber’s crack, go with a pair of overalls for any serious manual labor.

It’s a classic manly style; the bib front helps smooth out the appearance of your belly, and as an added bonus they’re practical protection from spills and minor abrasions.

You’re not limited to blue denim here — brands like Carhartt and Dickies make good workwear in brown, navy blue, black, and other straightforward colors. Just steer clear of the blaze orange unless you’re actually going hunting.

For more information on blue collar style, click here for a classic AoM article.

5. Sport Well-Groomed Facial Hair

Don’t go all department store Santa here or anything, but a neatly-trimmed beard around the chin and jawline can really help firm up a soft-faced man’s features.

You do need to be good about maintenance here — a big guy with a neat beard is going to be seen as stylish; a big guy with stubble everywhere or a curly neckbeard is going to be taken for a slob. You can’t get away with messy facial hair if you want people to take you seriously.

But if you can keep it trim, a neat little goatee can sharpen up your chin, while whiskers on the jawline help put a more squared-off frame around your cheeks.

Don’t know where to start with your beard-growing? We’ve got you covered.

6. Wear Large Accessories

Proportion is very important for a big man. The bigger you are, the bigger you want your accessories to be, too — upgrade a flimsy plastic ballpoint for a fountain pen with some real heft, for example, and always keep your watch faces on the larger side.

As an added bonus, people tend to think of large, thick accessories (especially watches and neckties) as “power” items, conveying the strength and presence of the wearer, which is exactly what you want associated with your size.

7. Wear Tailored Shirts Untucked

A single flat plane of fabric over the stomach draws less attention than a waistband contrasting with a shirt. As a result, shirts that can be worn untucked tend to de-emphasize the waistline.

Shirts with round, even hems (rather than “ducktail” styles, which are longer in the front and back) are made to drape over the trouser waist. Polos are often worn this way, as are button-fronted summer shirts. However, be careful with these styles as if you’re sporting a large midsection they do not flatter unless the fit is perfect. Instead look to try a guayabera.

Long-sleeved collared shirts are less likely to be worn untucked, but light sweaters can go over them to fill the same role. In strict business-dress situations there’s not much you can do — anything but a tucked-in dress shirt is too informal — but your social wardrobe should have some good round-hem options for wearing untucked.


Dressing well as a large man isn’t all that different from dressing well with any other body type. More than anything, it relies on honesty about your figure, and the patience to get clothes that actually fit.

If you’re willing to pick the styles that flatter your body type and get them adjusted to fit properly, you’ll look neat, stylish, and well-built no matter what you weigh.

Watch the Video


Are you a large man and want more style help?

Check out my book: Large Man’s Guide to Style: Fashion Tips for Big Men.

Written By Antonio Centeno

For Men’s Style Fashion Tips – Click Here

Research-Backed Tips on What to Wear on a First Date

As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to first dates, you want to be sure you get it right.

Though first impressions are not only about looks, appearance does play a key role in how others perceive us. As many single people can attest, deciding what to wear on a first date can easily feel as daunting as the actual date itself. By understanding what to wear on a first date, you can increase your chances of hitting it off and, hopefully, scoring a second date— especially when your outfit is backed by science.

Using research from behavioral scientists and psychological studies on attraction, we are breaking down what to wear and— just as importantly— what not to wear on a first date. Though the best outfit for a first date depends largely on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, these tips should help you put your best-dressed foot forward.

According to Experts, Here’s What to Wear on a First Date to Increase Your Chances of Success. According to Experts, Here’s What to Wear on a First Date to Increase Your Chances of Success.

Wear Something That Makes You Feel Confident

The best outfit to wear on a first date is one that makes you feel like your best self. Though it sounds cliché, behavioral research proves that when you look good, you feel good. This link between what we wear and how we feel is known as the theory of enclothed cognition.

In a 2012 study, researchers at Northwestern University found that clothing can alter a wearer’s psychological state and improve performance. One test group was instructed to wear white lab coats worn by doctors (a garment associated with intelligence and carefulness), while the other group wore plain clothes while performing a series of attention-related tasks. Those who wore lab coats performed better on the tests, making fewer errors and exhibiting an improved attention span.

By applying this theory to your date night outfits, you could potentially influence both your date’s subconscious and your own. Wearing items symbolically associated with success and sex appeal— such as a little black dress or a well-tailored suit jacket— may help you feel more confident while you flirt.

When in Doubt, Wear Red or Black

According to color psychologists, the best colors to wear on a first date are red & black. Wearing the two romantic colors, especially if you’re a woman, can make you appear more attractive and more desirable to your date. While there are obvious subconscious ties to red roses, lacy lingerie, and romantic occasions like Valentine’s Day, scientists found the connection rubs deeper than these cultural contexts.

In 2008, two University of Rochester psychologists stated, “the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women. And men are unaware of the role the color plays in their attraction.” An even more fascinating discovery was that men are willing to spend more on a date if the woman is wearing red.

Similarly, a 2018 study of over 600 participants of a British reality dating show called, “First Dates” found that black is the most popular color for a first date regardless of gender or sexual preference. Though perceived as a “safer” color choice than red, it still helped wearers appear more fashionable and attractive.

Avoid Wearing Orange and Brown

Understanding what to wear on a first date is certainly helpful but knowing what not to wear on a first date is equally as important—if not more. According to color psychologists, it’s best to steer clear of orange and brown for first date outfits and interviews.

In a survey of 1000 people conducted by the British wholesale company Buy T-Shirts Online, participants were asked to match colors with corresponding personality traits of the wearer. Orange and brown received the least associations with confidence, intelligence, and sexiness— three of the highly sought-after qualities in a first date. Unsurprisingly, black and red received the highest number of associations with these positive traits.

In the same color association study, only 2% of women and 8% of men said they would wear brown on a first date, and only 2% of women and 6% of men thought orange was an okay color to wear on a first date. So why were orange and brown the most unpopular for first date outfits?

Once again, it comes down to color psychology. Orange is a color used to get people’s attention. It’s used for caution signs, construction cones, and safety gear, so wearing orange on a first date can send subconscious signals that you’re superficial, attention-seeking, and even arrogant. Brown has the opposite effect. While it’s totally okay to sport brown accessories (preferably a pair of sleek leather oxfords or your favorite handbag), wearing too much brown can make you appear boring and overly serious.

Wear Something Comfortable and Practical

Body language is another key part of making a good first impression on a date. Small cues like subtly leaning in or making prolonged eye contact communicate your attraction without needing to say a word. Similarly, negative body language sends nonverbal cues to your date that you aren’t interested.

According to body language research, one of the biggest turn-offs on a date is appearing physically closed-off. Crossing your arms, clutching an object to your chest or stomach, or keeping your hands tucked in your pockets make you appear closed off and unavailable.

Wearing an uncomfortable outfit is a surefire way to send nonverbal signals that you aren’t having a good time. While you may be crossing your arms to keep warm because you didn’t bring a coat or holding your purse over your stomach because your dress feels too tight, it’s easy for your date to interpret your body language to mean something else.

Plus, wearing a first date outfit that’s comfortable and practical allows you to stay fully engaged in the conversation. Instead of thinking about how your shoes are rubbing or your shirt keeps riding up, you can focus on creating a deeper connection with the person across the table.

Show Off Your Neck Instead of Your Chest

Showing a bit of cleavage on a first date may help catch your partner’s attention, but showing too much may actually hurt your chances of finding love. Women who wear overly revealing outfits on a first date are often perceived as being superficial and promiscuous instead of demure and seductively sexy. Avoid wearing super low-cut tops and dresses that make you appear less like wife material and more like a one-night stand.

Instead of drawing attention to your chest, focus on your neck and shoulder area instead. The neck is one of the most vital areas of the body, both when it comes to survival and romantic attraction. This is especially important if your first date is virtual, as you’ll only be seen from the chest up on camera. Try sweeping your hair to one side or wearing a top with an open neckline.

Think of yourself as a turtle in its shell: Exposing your neck sends signals that you’re relaxed and comfortable in your surroundings, while hiding your neck shows you’re nervous, threatened, and on alert. Plus, your neck contains a large collection of pheromones that can increase your partner’s attraction towards you.

Avoid Looking Overly Trendy or Unapproachable

When it comes to first dates, it’s best to stick to simple outfits using classic styles. Clothing that’s super trendy or fashion-forward can make you appear materialistic and unapproachable. The goal is for your first date outfit to seem effortless— even if it took hours of careful planning and multiple group FaceTime calls with your friends to create.

For men, try a basic t-shirt or button-up with jeans or chinos styled with a belt, dressy shoes, and a nice watch. For women, go with a little black dress or a casual blouse and jeans finished with feminine accessories and a natural makeup look. Stick to solid colors or small-scale prints and avoid anything with loud patterns and obnoxious colors that may distract your date.

Opt for a Natural Makeup Look

Wearing makeup on a date is a great way to boost your confidence, but a 2011 study funded by Procter & Gamble found that a full face of heavy makeup may negatively impact how you’re perceived. It’s best to stick with a moderate amount of makeup and steer clear from looks with heavy contrast, such as a berry red lip or smoky eye.

In the cosmetics study, participants were shown photos of women wearing four makeup looks ranging from barefaced to full beat and asked to rate things like likeability, trust, attractiveness, and competence. The results found that viewers gave more attention to women wearing makeup and perceived them as more competent.

“If you wear a glam look, you should know you look very attractive,” at least at first, said Harvard psychology professor Nancy Etcoff, one of the lead researchers on the study. But as time passes, “there may be a lowering of trust, so if you are in a situation where you need to be a trusted source, perhaps you should choose a different look.”

Be Yourself

Our final piece of advice on what to wear on a first date is simple. Be yourself. Cheesy as it sounds, the most important thing you can do on a date is to look and act like your authentic self. And what you wear can be a big part of that.

Clothes don’t have much meaning by themselves, but they take on a whole new significance once they’re put into context. Your outfit should reflect your personal style and provide your date with a snapshot of your personality. Wear something that makes you feel like you, whether that be your favorite color, your go-to cologne, or your lucky pair of shoes.

30 Best Ways to Dress if you are Short (Comprehensive guide)

I am 5’2″. If you are short like me, styling can be a challenge. Not only it is generally harder for you to find clothing that fits you, but also you need to be more selective with what you wear.

Whether you are petite and skinny, or short and chubby, what we all have in common is the petite body frame.

Here’s 30 best ways to dress if you are short like me-trust me, I figured these out after decades of trial and error, and they REALLY work!

Avoid Shapeless, Boxy Silhouettes

One common struggle for petite women is that clothing can overwhelm your frame which, in turn, causes you to appear shorter and much bulkier.

This is why it’s crucial to avoid clothing that’s boxy and shapeless in any way.

Always air on the side of wearing clothes that offer some flow and natural shape to them so your body can be seen!

This doesn’t mean you have to wear skin tight clothing, just clothing that fits close enough to the body so you’re not getting lost or hidden beneath anything.

In addition to clothes with shapeless silhouettes, this rule also applies to ill-fitting clothes. Even if a garment has shape to it, if it doesn’t fit your body properly it will add bulk. Have a trusty tailor to lean on and don’t be afraid to get your clothes tailored. And YES, any type of garment can be tailored – just ask and make sure you have a skilled tailor.

Wear Flare Leg Jeans

Of all the jeans styles, flare leg jeans are one of the best jeans for short women.

The flare leg jeans are well fitted through the knee, and flare out under the knee. Such leg shape is extremely flattering for women with shorter legs. Not only they can make your legs look longer, but also they can make you look leaner.

The best way to wear flare leg jeans is to wear it with heels.

Since flare jeans is wider at the bottom, they are the perfect choice to wear with thicker heels (such as the wedges) without looking bottom heavy. Ideally, you want the flare jeans to be a bit longer, so that it can cover some of the heels, thus elongating your legs to the maximum.

Even though flare leg is one of the best jeans to make you look taller, you do want to be selective and go with a modest flare. If the flare is too exaggerated, it will on work the opposite way, make you look shorter.

Eliminate Horizontal Lines in Layering

If you are short, layering can be tricky.

The wrong way of layering can totally make your body cut off and make you look even shorter than you are. The right way of layering can serve the purpose of elongating your frame and make you appear longer and leaner.

The key to flatter a short girl with layering is to eliminate any unnecessary horizontal lines.

By doing so, your layers will form one vertical line that goes from top to bottom, therefore flattering your short frame.

The best way to dress a short woman is to create an unbroken vertical line with what you wear, thus elongating your petite frame and make your look taller.

Wear Full Length Pants

If you are short, the best pants for petite women should have longer length. The reason is quite obvious. Your legs are only as long as the pants inseam. So, when you go with long pants, they will automatically make your legs look longer.

Since not all pants are created equal, you need to choose the best inseam for each type of pants and jeans. With wide leg pants or flare leg pants and jeans, you can go as long as possible and pair them with heels (of course you never want your pants to be too long as to be dragging on the floor).

On the other hand, with cigarettes’ pants or skinny jeans, since the legs are tapered, you cannot really go too long without them bunching up on your feet. Therefore, you will need to go with the length right below your ankle, without having any extra fabrics bunching on your shoes.

Dressing Monochromatically

Monochromatic dressing, in case you aren’t familiar, is the concept of wearing one color scheme from head to toe. This can be adapted using any color and it happens to be one really incredible way to dress when you’re a short woman. Similar to the way dresses give the body a longer line, without any breaks, monochromatic outfits do the same thing. This is a great styling trick to utilize in the cold weather months when more layers and pieces are needed for warmth, but you still want to flatter a petite figure. It’s also ideal for the professional woman who has to (or wants to) wear suits.

It’s worth noting that monochromatic dressing doesn’t necessarily you can only wear the exact same color from head to toe. In fact, as long as the color of your top and the color of your bottom are from the same color scheme, it will still serve the purpose of elongating your short frame and flatter a petite woman. Examples include ivory, tan and camel, all from the same nude color family. Although they are not the same shade of nude, wearing combinations of these colors can make a short girl appear taller and leaner.

Keep Your Accessories in Proportion

Statement accessories can definitely be fun and exciting, but they also have the tendency of overwhelming a petite body. Think about it this way – when accessories are BIG and over the top they take up a lot of space on the body and when you have a short frame as it is it can be too much. Instead, think of your accessories, in size, in relation to your body’s size. Petite women tend to wear smaller, more dainty accessories well because they enhance your body rather than overwhelm it.

In addition to the actual size of accessories, air on the side of less is more. Layering and stacking jewelry is great, as long as it’s not taking up too much space – just like statement accessories would.

Stay Away from Long Tops

Lengthening the body as a short woman, primarily comes with a focus around making legs appear longer.

That is why long tops like tunics, for example, are best to be avoided.

While long tops elongate your torso, they also shorten your legs and as a short woman that’s going to make you appear much shorter than you already are.

Wear Nude shoes

Whether you prefer flat shoes or high heels, if you’re ever in doubt as to the most flattering type of shoe to wear the answer will always be: neutral colors!

This doesn’t necessarily mean black and white, but instead a color that’s close to your own skin tone. Wearing nude shoes is a stylist’s trick to making legs look super long whether they’re flat sandals, stilettos, or something in between. Anytime you feel like you need a little extra boost to your outfit, add a pair of nude shoes and you will notice an instant lengthening effect.

Always define your waist

If you are short, it is critical you should always define your waist. This is especially critical if you are short and curvy or petite plus size.

There are many different ways to show your waist definition. The easiest is to wear tailored clothing that cinches your waist. By doing so, the eye will assume anything under that point (the waist”) is your legs, and therefore improve your body proportion.

If you are wearing a top or dress that does not cinch your waist, you can also use a belt to create one- more to come on how to use a belt if you are short!

Avoid Ankle Straps

High heels are great for petite women however, high heels with ankle straps can be a bit tricky. The issue with ankle straps is it cuts the leg line off right at the ankle, instead of continuing the line down the foot (which helps to add length to your body). The best way to elongate your legs is to just stay away from ankle straps and go with pumps.

However, many petite women have smaller feet, thus they may find shoes without ankle straps harder to walk in. In that case, while you can certainly wear ankle straps , just make sure to wear them cautiously so that you’re able to flatter your body type as best as possible.

If you do have to wear ankle straps, the solution is to go for skinnier ankle straps as opposed to bigger ones. The reason is wider ankle straps make your legs cut-off even more obviously. Second, the best is to go with nude ankle straps, because they will blend with the color of your skin, making your legs look less cut-off.

Match color of pants and shoes

This is one of the most effective ways to flatter a short girl, as it instantly make your legs appear longer!

When your shoes and your pants (or jeans) are the same color, they form an unbroken vertical line that makes the eye believe your shoes are part of your legs. For someone with short legs, this not only elongate your legs, but also optimize your body proportion immediately.

Wear Dresses vs Separates

Dresses are a great option for short women because they are an easy way to elongate the body, something that is ideal when you’re petite. Because dresses are one-piece garments by default, they give the body one long, uninterrupted line, down the body. This is the factor that lengthens the body.

When wearing a lot of separates it breaks up the body’s line and can shorten an already short frame. Of course, this isn’t to say you should ONLY wear dresses, but it’s something to favor in your wardrobe.

Wear Boot Cut Jeans

Bootcut jeans is quite similar to the flare leg jeans, and they are quite the runner-up, as the best jeans for petite women. Bootcut, by definition, is narrow fitted through the knees and starts to widen at the knees, the jeans is wide enough to accommodate a boot under, thus the name.

With bootcut jeans, it’s quite easy to wear bootie under them, since that is what they are made for. But of course you can also wear them with any other shoes, including pumps, sandals or even flats.

Wear High Waisted Jeans

Believe it or not, the placement of the waist on bottoms can completely change the way your body looks in clothing. This is particularly true for petite women, because you’re already short the wrong waist placement can make you look even shorter. High-waisted jeans are the best for short women for this reason. Not only do high waistlines further highlight your waist, giving you a slimming benefit, but it also creates the illusion that your legs are starting higher on the body which then makes them look much longer. Win-win benefit.

Now, if you don’t want to wear high waisted all the time (or at all) you can swap it out for mid-rise but steer clear of low rise bottoms. Anything low-rise commonly drags the waistline down which does the opposite of lengthening.

Wear Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits can be intimidating to wear, for figure flattery purposes, but they’re your friend as a petite woman! Just like dresses and monochromatic dressing, jumpsuits create that ever-beloved long line down your body that instantly lengthens your shape.

When trying jumpsuits just make sure there’s some waist definition and the length is right. Otherwise – have fun with this one and enjoy the ease of it.

Wear Vertical Patterns

A guaranteed way to lengthen a short body type? Look no further than vertical patterns.

Everyone knows horizontal stripes are to be worn cautiously as they have the ability to widen a body, the opposite happens when patterns are vertical though.

Because of the vertical shape of these types of patterns it gives the illusion of a longer line down the body. Getting the key to success in dressing a short body? It’s all about long lines down the body. Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways you can achieve this, vertical patterns included.

Wear Maxi Dresses

Traditionally, short women have often been told maxi are to be avoided at all costs. The truth is, this just isn’t factual. In fact, these lengths can be incredibly flattering on short women. The key when wearing these longer length styles is to make sure they’re laying in the right place on the body.

Maxi dresses have the same pattern or solid colors in a long vertical line, and that is exactly why they are probably one of the best ways to make a short girl look longer and taller.

A few things to keep in mind here.

First, maxi lengths will likely need to be altered to be the right length for your body. Be sure anything maxi isn’t TOO long and drags on the ground. Second, always make sure longer styles like these aren’t too overwhelming or flowy on your body. It’s quite easy for a petite body to become hidden under a lot of fabric, particularly longer silhouettes, so figure-forming options are best.

Wear Maxi Skirts

Similar to the maxi dresses, maxi skirts work wonderfully on a short woman because it can lengthen your legs and make you appear taller overall. Since maxi skirts have a lot of length and volume, it is best to wear them with a shorter top.

The rule of thumb is to only wear one voluminous piece of clothing at a time. This is the best way to dress for anyone regardless of their height. If you happen to be short, then this rule is critical.

If you do not like to wear cropped-length tops, you can go with a regular-length shirt or top but just tuck it under your maxi skirt. This will make sure your overall silhouette looks sleek, without overwhelming your short frame.

Wear Midi Dresses with Caution

Can short women wear midi dresses? Yes, but with caution. The reason is midi length runs the risk of making your legs look cut-off since the dress ends somewhere between your knees and your ankles,

First, when it comes to midi lengths it’s best that they lay just under the widest part of your calves. Anytime midi length rests at the widest part of the calves it shortens and adds bulk to your body, just below or above that area will elongate your legs and you’ll be able to make the most of this silhouette.

Second, I highly suggest you wear midi dresses with heels. Not only will this give you a height boost, but also this will help improve the proportion, because of the length of the midi dresses.

Wear V neck

Lengthening your body doesn’t always have to mean creating a long line down your entire body, although it’s a great trick to use! Another more subtle way to achieve this is with specific necklines. V-necklines are one of the best for petite women to wear because it opens up the area around the face, drawing attention there, and the v shape creates a line at the chest that gives this gorgeous elongation.

High necklines can be worn when you are petite, but wear them cautiously. The closed-off effect of high necklines, like crew necks and turtlenecks, tend to create harsh lines on the body and shorten your overall shape.

Wear Petite Sizes

This may sound basic, but you REALLY need to get your sizes right. This may sound obvious to some, but not every short woman realizes how important it is for women under 5’4″ to wear petite size clothing.

If you are wondering what is petite, it is defined by height, not by weight. The common misconception is that petite refers to women who are thin, but that is not the definition of petite in the clothing industry. Someone can be petite and wear XL or plus size because petite has nothing to do with one’s weight.

Even though different petite brands may have a slight variation of their defined height for petite, most brands refer to under 5’4″ as petite. Therefore, if you are 5’3″ or shorter, then your best options are petite sizes.

Since regular-size clothing are made for women above 5’4″, they are most likely going to be too long for short girls. More importantly, the proportion is not going to be right for someone under 5’4″. In comparison, petite-size clothing are adjusted proportionally to fit shorter women, including shorter sleeve length, pants length, as well as waist placement. All of those are critical factors that can make or break your outfit.

Therefore, short women should first look for their sizes in the petite section. You CAN, of course, still look in the regular size department, because you may still be able to find some styles that can actually fit you. This is not to say you should only look in petite sizes, but for garments such as blazers, long sleeve blouses, coats, cardigans, jeans and pants, you will most definitely find petite sizes fitting you way better than regular sizes, saving you trips and bills to the tailors.

Wear above the Knee Dresses

Perhaps a more obvious way to add length to your body is by simply showing some leg. Wearing dresses, skirts and shorts that visually expose your legs is a pretty simple way to make them look longer. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to wear mini skirts and short shorts. Even wearing clothes that are just above the knee is going to give you the figure-flattering benefits from this styling trick.

Wear Paper Bag pants

Paper bag pants have been quite on trend in the last few seasons, and they have quickly become the favorite of many short women, regardless of their age group. Similar to the concept of high waisted jeans, paper bag pants are a short girl’s best friend. This is because paper bag pants extends well beyond your natural waist line, which creates the illusion of a shorter torso and longer legs.

The best way to wear a paper bag pants is to wear it with a top tucked in. Since the paper bag design does create additional volume around the waistline, you should be careful with this style if you happen to have a bigger tummy.

Avoid Anything Low Rise

Low rise is a big no no for petite girls, especially if you already have short legs.

Whether we are talking about jeans, pants, shorts or skirts, anything low rise is going to make your legs look even shorter.

The only caveat is if you have a short rise, then a low rise jeans on someone else might fit you like a mid rise, in which case you may actually feel more comfortable in lower rise. (But that is the exception not the rule, and that really just means the jeans is mid rise instead of low rise on you!)

Wear High Heels

This may be (somewhat) obvious but one of the easiest tricks in the book when dressing a short body type is by throwing on a pair of heels.

Not only do high heels add height (literally) to your body, but they also have a way of giving your overall body type a lengthening effect that’s incredibly flattering. Anytime you’re in doubt when dressing as a petite woman, just add some high heels!

Avoid Cropped Wide Leg pants

Wide-leg pants can be tricky for short women. The reason is they carry so much volume in the leg shape, it is very easy for them to make your legs look even shorter than they are. That is not to say short girls should never wear wide-leg shapes. You can totally wear jeans or pants with wider legs, but you want to be very selective.

Of all the wide-leg pant styles, the least flattering for petite women are the cropped-length culottes. Because they are both wide and short, they expand you horizontally instead of vertically. Therefore, you should stay away from cropped wide-leg pants since they can indeed make you look even shorter!

If you do love the comfort of wide-leg pants, you should go with a pair of full-length pants that covers your legs completely, which I will talk about in great detail later in the article.

Choose Belts Strategically

Belts aren’t just for function, they’re a great accessory to add a fun detail to an outfit. When you’re petite, though, belts need to be chosen strategically.

For starters, it’s best to avoid belts that are really wide. Because the goal is to lengthen the appearance of your body, wearing a wide belt around your waist is going to do the opposite. In fact, wide belts are a quick way to shorten your frame. Stick with belts that are on the thinner side, no wider than 2-3” is a good rule to have for yourself.

Aside from the width of the belt, color(s) also play a role in how flattering a belt can be when you’re a short woman. Wearing a belt that’s the same color as the dress, pants, whatever it is you’re wearing is a really subtle way to emphasize your waistline while also giving your body an elongated effect. Great stylist trick!

Create Vertical Lines

There have been a few different ways to elongate the look of your entire body on this list, a good thought to have in the back of your mind anytime you’re dressing a petite body is striving for ways to create these vertical lines.

As you’ve noticed this can be done various ways to do this, at the core, it’s the idea of giving your body a column-line effect.

In other words, a long line.

A few other, perhaps more subtle, ways to achieve this include wearing a longer cardigan that’s open in the front or leaving a structured blazer unbuttoned – just to name a few.

Avoid Bubble Sleeves

Sleeves tend to be a forgotten element when dressing to enhance a body type, especially in petite women. The truth is, sleeves make a difference!

When dressing a short body big, bubble-type sleeves are easy to overwhelm a short body.

Because voluminous sleeve styles like this require a lot of fabric and take up a lot of space they’re quick to shorten your arms and torso area in the process.

Wearing sleeves that fit a bit closer to your body, with less volume, are going to enhance your body in a much more effective manner.

Get Alterations

If you are short, it is critical that you have clothing altered in order to fit you perfectly. Chances are, most clothes you bought off the rack will not fit you exactly the best way, therefore, taking them to the tailor is quite necessary most of the time. The reason is even the petite brands are made according to the measurements of petite models who are typically 5’4″ or 5’3″. That means if you are 5’2″ or even 5 fee under, then even the petite sizes are likely not going to fit you too well, either.

Taking your clothing to the tailor may sound costly, but it is totally worth it, especially when it comes to the investment pieces such as wool coats, blazers or suits, let alone pants or jeans. No matter how much you have spent on the clothes, if they do not fit you right, they will never look good on you. So, make sure you have at least of a couple of local tailors you can trust and make sure they are familiar with your request and are able to make alterations to make the clothing perfect fit on you.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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