When you're short, color changes across an outfit can make you look even shorter by cutting you in half visually. We should get all the bad news on the table at one time: Big prints, some geometric prints and vertical stripes can be fashion suicide, too. Heck, even bold textures like large knits can be a problem. It isn't fair, we know, but it's still all about scale. Smaller women have smaller silhouettes that typically don't accommodate big, bold, overstated fashion well. Forget the floppy bows, the large ruffles and the oversized handbags.
It' isn't all bad news, though. If big and bold doesn't work as well on a petite woman, small and subtle works beautifully. Subtle accents can have a huge impact on a petite woman's fashion choices -- in a good way. All that thread play on your jeans can look like a million dollars, where on a tall woman, it'll be a minor detail.
Creating vertical symmetry and an elongated silhouette usually works very well in petite fashion. Let's explore how this relates to color: If you're petite and perfectly proportioned, the visual impact of being shorter than average may be marginal, but don't count on it -- especially in jeans. Your best bet is to create a visual bridge between the garments you're wearing above the waist and the jeans you're wearing below the waist. The easiest way to achieve this is to adopt a monochromatic look where your shirt, jacket, sweater or vest matches the color of your jeans. This has an elongating effect that will make you look taller and more slender. It's a trick that will work with any type of trouser and even with skirts. Wearing jeans in solid fabrics and preferably dark colors also helps create a straight, vertical column that's flattering to almost any figure. Darker jeans with slightly lighter, vertical fade lines at the front can help produce a slenderizing, elongated effect, too.
Here's another general rule: When you select contrasting colors for tops and jeans, the higher the waistline of the jeans, the more pronounced the shortening effect will be when a contrasting top is tucked in. Sometimes even choosing a wide, contrasting belt can make you look shorter and stockier. This doesn't mean you're limited to wearing blue or black every time you wear jeans, though. Try wearing a contrasting shirt or tee with an item over it like a long scarf, jacket, vest, sweater or shawl that coordinates with your jeans. Another option is to wear a somewhat longer top in a contrasting color that hits below the waist at about mid-hip length (not tucked in). This tends to even you out top and bottom, minimizing the shortening effect.
If you love color, indulge in your choice of accessories, but keep your look in jeans as blended, balanced and uncluttered as possible. You'll look taller and more slender. Keeping things simple isn't a big yawn, either. It will shift the focus to other details like your jewelry, shoes, neckline, hairstyle and beautiful smile. There's nothing wrong with that.
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