Saturday, November 6, 2010

Make It Work, or Not

As a short lady, I've memorized most of the basics ins and outs for dressing yourself to look taller: horizontal striped pants, nude heels, monochromatic outfits, etc. One thing, however, that has me puzzled is why some of the worst options for shorter women are sold in practically every department store petite.

Today's perpetrator is the ankle length skirt. On most wearers, the long skirt makes one look like a member of a religious convent or a 17th century Pilgrim (See Exhibit A). There's also the floor length floral skirt* which, again, should be reserved for 1970s style Halloween costumes.

I have simply found that longer skirts do not flatter most people, regardless of height. The styles for longer lengths are limited since it's clearly not practical to buy an ankle length pencil skirt- if you plan on at all walking. For every girl who can rock a floor length skirt a la Blake Lively, there are twenty others who are sectioning their bodies into terrible proportions. Blake succeeds in this outfit because the skirt gives the illusion of being part of a one piece dress which is much easier to wear even if you aren't 5'10" like she is. I've seen a variety of dresses that give the illusion of wearing a skirt by combining a cropped top with a more flowy bottom.

Longer dresses present a similar problem for petite girls. Shorter dresses that expose your legs trick the eye into making you look taller. They are also much easier to shop for than, say, pants. Anna, Ma'ayan, and I went to college in Ohio and understand that cold weather doesn't always permit us to wear shorter skirts and dresses in November (or even March for that matter), but if you learn to layer clothes properly, you can use some of your dresses in the winter.

If you do want to wear a longer dress, try to shop for one that is less bulky. A long sleeve floor length dress is going to look bulky. Consider pairing a turtleneck under a knee-length jumper or looking for a dress that, at the very longest, hits you mid calf. I've also seen a variety of woolen leggings this season, which look fairly cozy.

Remember, if it's that cold, you can even layer leggings or throw on some pants.

*Admittedly, I have purchased this type of skirt, but haven't worn one since I was 17 and a vegan.

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