5 Wardrobe Essentials Short Girls Look Amazing In

Don’t let your short stature stop you from reaching the heights of fashion.

By Hana Tilksew3 min read

It’s a mistake I’ve made way too many times: I’ll be browsing an online site and fall in love with an outfit because of how great the model looks in it. Then, I’ll spend way too much money buying it, convinced I’ll look just like the model once I have it in my hands. But then the outfit arrives in the mail, and it looks disappointingly frumpy on me. The shock! The horror! The financial despair!

This is the reality of shopping online for many short women. We see something that looks incredible on a tall model and assume it’ll look just as great on us. But six inches of difference in height has a huge effect on how clothes lay on the body. It’s time we started keeping our own frames in mind when we shop, instead of assuming our bodies will morph into that of the model as soon as we put the outfit on.

Height isn’t the only factor you should consider while building your wardrobe (body shape, personal coloring, style aesthetic, etc.), but it’s definitely something you should keep in mind. I’ve never let being short get in the way of my passion for fashion, and neither should you. Here are my best tips and tricks for looking as incredible as any tall fashion model, no matter how short you are.

Evie's product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

Follow Your Fellow Short Girls

Social media is a great place to find style inspo, but you should be getting it from the right people. Studying the outfits of 5'10" Zendaya or 6’2" Karlie Kloss won’t help you much if you’re under 5’5". Instead, follow other short girls like influencers Kit Keenan and Camila Coelho, or celebs like Sabrina Carpenter and Lori Harvey.

Not only does following other short girls help you figure out what clothes will flatter you, but it also helps you realize the beauty in your own body type. Looking at pictures of super tall women 24/7 can be pretty damaging to your self-esteem if that’s the only kind of beauty you’re exposing yourself to. But when you fill your feed with images of stunning and stylish short women, you’ll appreciate your own stature much more.

Lengthen Your Frame Strategically

Dressing to flatter a short frame is all about working with your height instead of against it. This means being conscious of which shapes and silhouettes will gracefully extend your body and which ones will unflatteringly drag you down.

Wear the Heels

When it comes to looking more elongated, the first thing a lot of women try is a sky-high pair of heels. But while any pair of heels will make you become taller, certain heels will make you look shorter. Namely, heels with ankle straps. Because the ankles are the narrowest point of the body, covering them with bulky straps cuts off the leg and shortens the frame. Heels with slingback straps, on the other hand, give the illusion of longer legs and a more slender silhouette. 

Mango Slingback Heels, $60

Steve Madden Locke Dainty Strappy Sandals, $100

Mini Dresses

When your body is made up of short vertical lines, clothing that’s also made up of short lines looks very flattering. Short girls have the luck of being able to wear mini dresses without looking as revealing as a taller person might. While longer dresses can easily swallow a shorter frame, mini dresses look proportional and elegant on us.

Abercrombie & Fitch Emerson Drop-Waist Mini Dress, $80

AYM Ava Reversible Mini Dress $129

Hill House Home The Ophelia Mini Dress, $168

Lilysilk Linaria Wrap Dress, $299

Color Blocking

This doesn’t mean that short girls can’t look good in longer dresses. But if you want to avoid being swallowed whole by your outfit, look for a dress that breaks up its vertical line via color blocking. A great example is Sabrina Carpenter’s Oscar de la Renta look for the 2024 Met Gala. Though Carpenter is only about 4’11, she doesn’t look consumed by her huge train because the gown is split into two parts: the black top half and the blue bottom half.

This isn’t a trick that only works on the red carpet – color blocking between your top and bottom half is a foolproof trick for short girls everywhere.

Lulus Flirty Pairing Green and Blue Color Block Ribbed Cutout Dress, $69

By Malene Birger Strapless Organic Cotton Maxi Dress, $250

Tadashi Shoji Pleated Two-Tone Off-Shoulder Gown, $238

Tiered Ruffles

Besides color blocking, another great way to break up the vertical line of a longer dress is via tiered ruffles. Not only do tiered ruffles create shorter vertical lines on a long dress, but they’re also delightfully feminine and whimsical. Can’t you just imagine running through a flower field in one of these?

Cherley Halter Floral Print Ruffle Tiered Vacation Maxi Dress, $50

English Factory Scallop Sleeveless Tiered Dress, $175

Hill House Home The Elise Nap Dress, $268

Cropped Pants

When it comes to pants, a lot of short girls struggle. The currently trendy look of oversized baggy bottoms tends to drag short frames downwards. Cropped pants, on the other hand, are a winning look for petite girls. This goes back to the principle of leaving your ankles uncovered to lengthen the body. Style your cropped pants with a pair of slingback shoes, and your legs will look long enough to reach the stars.

Mango Jeans Sienna Flare Crop, $50

Mango Straight-Fit Cropped Jeans, $70

Frame Le Super High Kick Flare Jeans, $90

Tall women are the muses of the fashion world, and it’s understandable why. Runway models need the frame to pull off whatever a designer puts on them, and taller women naturally suit a larger variety of styles. But where does that leave all the short women? Should we accept that only tall girls get to have great style?

Of course, we shouldn't. It may be a little harder to pull off certain styles as a short woman, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to look sophisticated. While there are no universal rules in fashion, certain guidelines can serve as a great starting point to establish what does and doesn’t work for your body. Beyond that, it’s up to you to adopt the guidelines that fit with your personal style and discard the ones that don’t.

Fashion is, above all, a tool of personal expression. At the end of the day, what looks best on you is whatever you feel your best in. Once you know the rules, you can break them in ways that make the most sense for your personal style.

Support our cause and help women reclaim their femininity by subscribing today.