Short Leg Solutions

Every inch counts. This is your new mantra.
This is not a short person problem. It’s less about actual height and more about proportions. Ideally, a woman’s legs should be about 1.4 times longer than her torso, and a man’s legs should be of equal length to his torso. A 5-foot-9 woman has short legs if they are roughly the same length as her torso. You might be thinking it all sounds so mathematical and precise. It is. Whip out a measuring tape.
But you probably already know which one you are.
Measure your inseam (crotch to heel). Divide it by your full standing height, then multiply by 100. The number you get is your leg percentage. 45%-48% is normal, above that is long and below that is short. There’s nothing wrong with you, lady short legs. Long torsos are elegant–they can carry more weight and still look lean. Celebrities who share your plight are still hot. But we use a few inches. To help balance you out, here are the fundamental principles of short leg street style.

Let’s start with your shoes.

Rule #1: Always wear a bit of heel.
We’re not expecting 5-inch stompers–those are for your most precious moments. We’re talking wedges, kitten heels, anything that adds a couple of inches. wedges-01-600x450 soar-thumb
Rule #2: If you must wear flats, go pointy and nude.
It elongates your legs by not breaking up the visual line. stylishwisheswordpress Bonus combo: Pointy, nude heels.
Rule #3: Boots always go above the knee or end at the ankle.
Never wear mid-calf boots. It makes your calves look 3 inches bigger and your legs 3 inches shorter. over-the-knee-winter-boots-nyc boots3

For your bottom half.

Rule #1:  Be high and loose.
High-waisted pants and skirts in loose silhouettes are the way to go. Avoid skinny jeans and body-hugging skirts. They may make your ass look great, but they also reveal how low your butt really is. Wide-leg pants that touch the floor are the way to go. You can wear them with flats and still look proportional. Ballerina skirts, balloon skirts, and A-lines will look great. You can wear them with flats, but with heels, they make your legs endless.
Rule #2: If you must wear a body-hugging bottom, you must also wear heels.
Again, they must be high-waisted. You can try high-waisted bikinis, but they do have the tendency to make you look chunkier in the midsection. Use with discretion. 53a04b343e008_-_cos-01-high-waisted-bikini-snooki-taylor-swift-nu1jqk-de  
Rule #3: Always go for super-short or super-long.
Anything in between is risky–cropped jeans, capris, pedal pushers, knee-length skirts. Anything that ends at the knees or mid-calf cut you in half. The stumpy soccer mom look is not cute. But you can wear cropped pants that cut off at the ankles, or long shorts that cut off mid-thigh, as long as they are loose and high-waisted. collage


For your upper half.

Rule #1: How low can you go? Low necklines and V-necks visually shorten your torso, making your legs seem longer by comparison. By the same logic, avoid turtlenecks and high necklines.
Rule #2: Crop your jackets.
They make your torso seem shorter. Best paired with dresses and loose shirts.

For your dresses.

Keira Knightley–the torchbearer of all short-legged women in the world–shows you how it’s done.

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