From wedges and platforms to stilettoes and blocks— I have worn them all. And after many ankle twisting incidents I realised that heels are not the most practical daily footwear.
My quest to look tall without heels led me to this crazy yet amazingly effective world where 'creating an illusion of height' is key. The focus word here is 'illusion' — no magic potions —just a deceptive yet smart way to dress up, which basically fools the rest of the world into believing that I am not as short as I actually am!
I soon learnt that following these tips and tricks can create an illusion of height for the onlooker.
Wearing vertical stripes
This one is probably the oldest trick in the book. Wearing horizontal stripes makes one look broader and shorter, whereas clothes with vertical stripes give the impression of being slimmer and taller.
The long lines create an illusion of length thus seeming to add an inch or two. Striped dresses or solid coloured tees paired with striped pants can create the desirable effect!
Be it a sari blouse, a kameez, a dress or top, a 'V' neck makes the neck look longer thus creating the impression of height. The deeper the 'V' neck the better, however since not many are comfortable wearing deep necks a broad scoop neck can also do the trick.
Long kameez or dress
Believe it or not, the length of a garment is equally proportional to the kind of height impression it creates. Wearing a long kameez draws the attention of the onlooker to the continuity of the fabric elongating ones look. Remember to pair the long kameez with leggings or churidars and make sure the kameez has a high slit. Churidars make the legs look slender and high slits accentuate the length of the legs making one look taller.
Checking the waistline
Many kurtis or kameezes are designed such that they are cut at the waist or higher. What these essentially do is divide the body into upper and lower parts creating a visual gap between them making one look shorter. Again remember continuity of fabric creates the illusion of length so it is better to wear a dress that doesn't have such obvious waist cuts. For instance, kalidar-anarkali dresses are better than the 'choli cut' ones, especially for those of us who are trying to create this height impression.
Draping a sari
Saris are the definition of elegance and draping it correctly makes a world of a difference. To look taller in a sari, wear a well fitted blouse and try tying it low on the waist as it makes the torso look longer. A light flowing fabric like chiffon with a comfortable pair of heels hidden by the length of the sari is a sure shot way to add a few inches.
Wearing monochrome and small prints
Small prints suit a person of short stature way more than big bold prints. Sticking to the theory of continuity, dresses in one colour from head to toe help make one look taller too.
Finally, piling the hair on top of the head is a definite way to gain height. Tie a high ponytail or a high bun but if open hair is preferable then puffing it up front is also a good idea.
After a lot of trial and error, I somehow managed to nail this deceptive look. But in this entire process of trying to look taller I have come to realise that my issues with my height are all just in my head, making not an iota of difference to the onlooker.
Most people who matter see me and like me for who I am and I am sure the same holds true for most of us!
I will leave you with a quote that I heard during the time I struggled to accept my height, a quote that is close to my heart even now, 'God only lets things grow till they are perfect…Some of us didn't take as long as others.'
By Samina Hossain
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed