Ok, before I begin this article, don’t get worked up about the title. I write on what people want to know and many women would like to know how to look taller and slimmer in their clothes.

I’m not saying that you HAVE TO dress to look taller or slimmer or that it is important. But if looking taller and slimmer is your objective on any particular day, or gives you extra confidence, then this article will provide some guidelines.

It’s also ok to have an objective like this.

When I look at myself, some days I want to dress to appear taller.

Some days I want to highlight my figure or accentuate my waist.

Some days, I just want to be edgy and I don’t care if the silhouette I choose is the most flattering.

Some days I don’t want to dress my age or care about slimness and just have fun.

It’s all ok.

If on any particular day, I want to dress to look slimmer, it does not mean that I don’t accept who I am or that I’m unsatisfied with the body I have, it just means that on that particular day I want to look as tall or as slim as I possibly can.

Clothes are a great tool to deceive the eye and obtain the objective you are after, so why not use it?

With that out of the way, let’s get to it!

How to look taller and thinner

There are many ways to look taller and thinner. Check out our tips to look longer and slimmer below and combine to your heart’s delight for the best effect.

1. Wear Heels

This is quite an obvious one of course.

One of the best ways to look taller is to avoid too much color blocking from the waist down. That means using tights or stockings in a color that coordinates your skirt or shoes.

Or coordinating pants with your shoes. Doing so elongates your body from the waist down.

Another great trick, especially in the summer months when it’s too hot to wear stockings, is to choose nude color shoes. Nude shoes work with all colors and make your legs look longer, since a contrasting shoe color tends to interrupt your leg line.

You probably know that heels work magic by adding height and improving your posture, giving you a taller, slimmer look. But many heels are uncomfortable to wear. Look for deceptively comfortable heels. Brands like Cole Haan make fashion-forward shoes with comfort touches like padding built in.

I like my heeled shoes form Fly London that are extremely comfortable and great for walking, yet still add some height.

Sylvia wearing her Fly London shoes | 40plusstyle.com

You don’t have to wear sky-high stilettos to streamline your look. 2-3″ of height can make a big difference. Some of the best everyday heels include:

  • A kitten heel, with just a little bit of height in a sexy, thin heel shape
  • A heel with a rubber sole for comfort and impact resistance
  • A stacked pump with a thicker, more stable heel
  • A wedge heel, which offers more support and stability
  • A platform pump or sandal. It’s more comfortable than it looks if you think about it. A pump with a 2″ platform and a 5″ heel is not actually 5″ high. The heel feels more like a 3″ high pump but lifts you up a full 5″.

Add further comfort to your high heels with the adhesive Dr. Scholls Dreamwalk High Heel Gel Insoles in your heels.

The insoles cushion the heel and ball of your foot, where most of the walking impact happens. Dr. Scholls offers a full gel insole for pumps and boots or an adhesive arch-only insole for open toe heels, slings backs and sandals.

Here are some ideas for stylish, comfortable heels that will help you look taller and slimmer. All of the shoes here have a 2″ to 3″ heel.



Wear Heels | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Karl Lagerfeld Demas SandalSlingback PumpHattie Cuff SandalNude Pump

Slingback Pointy Toe PumpDark Chambray Suede Slingback PumpTaro Woven Ankle Strap Sandal – Alleah Platform Sandal


If you want to stay comfortable while wearing your heels check out our recommendation for the best arch support shoes.


2. Create a Skinny Waistline with a Belt

Belts are a great addition to your wardrobe. If you want to know how wear them, check out an older article on how to wear a belt.

But besides being a great fashion accessory, a belt helps cinch the waist and add an hourglass shape to your body. The latest trend in Japanese-inspired Obi belts is the perfect slimming belt that cinches your waistline comfortably.

If you want to use a belt to look both taller and thinner, skip the contrasting belt and match the belt color to your pants or skirt—it will give the illusion that your legs are just a little longer.

Sometimes layering gets a bit bulky. But layering is an important tool in looking taller and slimmer. A belt will help streamline the effect of layering if you feel there’s too much fabric on you. The best way to use a belt with layering is by adding the belt over your cardigan or shawl to draw the fabric in and give you curves.

Here are some fashionable, slimming belts:

Skinny Waistline with a Belt | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Metallic Leather BeltSnake Embossed Faux Leather BeltFaux Leather Link BeltKate Spade Leather Belt

Molten Buckle Calf Hair BeltCroc Embossed Stitch Faux LeatherCrystal Stretch BeltCrystal Stretch Belt


Can’t belt because your belly is too big? You may like to check out our tips on how to hide your belly and create beautiful long lines. 


3. Dress in Columns of Color

Columns of color when used strategically, help heighten and slim your shape.

The slimming process consists of two elements: color and layers. Think carefully about color choice. Although it’s true that black is slimming, wearing too much black can be boring and age you.

Any dark, rich color can be just as slimming as black, so opt for the latest colors like navy, dark red, merlot, dark indigo denim or rich, charcoal gray. Emerald or forest green is making a big comeback, too.

Once you’ve picked a dark, slimming color, add a cardigan, jacket or sleeveless vest to slim and lengthen you further. The layered jacket effect is a great lengthening secret. Add impact to your columns of color strategy by paying attention to the length of your legs.

When selecting a bottom, opt for a higher waist pant or skirt to elongate your legs.

Higher waisted pants and skirts will make your legs and body longer, while the jacket layering accentuates your gorgeous face. And on days you really need a mood (and height) lift, wear a bold, rich color in a monochromatic, head-to-toe look. Here are some ideas:


Dress in Columns of Color | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Outfit 1:

Black biker jacket Red Jeans Red TeeBurgundy CrossbodyPendant NecklacePeep Toe Booties

Outfit 2:

Navy blazerNavy satin blouseNavy hoboSilk scarf Navy pumpsNYDJ

Outfit 3:

White jeansStripe shirtWedge sandalsStraw bagWhite jeans


4. Add Vertical Details to Your Style

Choose long, vertical lines, prints and seams instead of horizontal ones.

Vertical details will lengthen you and help with the illusion of a taller and slimmer frame by forcing the eyes to scan up and down instead of sideways. The detail can be subtle, like piping or a tuxedo stripe. Or a two-tone hourglass cutout on a dress.

Here are some examples of great pieces that have vertical details that lengthen and slim.

Vertical Details to Your Style | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Kitty Sheath DressNeck Knit Maxi DressKnot Front Stripe Kimono DressNeck Knit Maxi Dress

Wide Leg Ankle Pants – Skipper ShirtStripe High Waist AnkleColorblock Blazer

In the look below I’ve used 5 lengthening and slimming strategies:

  1. I’m wearing a short dress with vertical stripes which are lengthening.
  2. I’ve also belted my thin belt quite high, making my legs appear longer.
  3. This is further emphasized by the bootleg pants that I’m wearing. These are hemmed for heels.
  4. The heels add further inches to my height. The pants almost touch the ground so the heels are barely visual
  5. The pointy toe shoes further lengthen the look

how to look taller and slimmer | 40plusstyle.com

Wearing IGC dress (no longer available – similar), Paige bootleg jeans, Silver pumps (similar)

5. Wear jeans with a flare or a bootcut

Opt for jeans with a flare, which will draw the attention down and give the illusion that you are taller. Opt for a leg length which comes closet to the floor, but which doesn’t skim it.

By choosing longer length jeans, you create longer looking jeans. Choosing cropped jeans would visually draw a line across your calves or ankles, making your legs look shorter.

These kind of jeans look best with a (small) pointy heel which will further lengthen the look.

Wear jeans with aflare or a bootcut | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

High Waist Flare JeansWhite High Waist Flare JeansDojo Trouser Jeans

Elle High Waist Flare Jeans Jamie Flare Leg JeansBeverly Button Fly Skinny Flare

6. Choose a form-fitting dress with a defined waist

Opting for a dress with a defined waist, or a top with a waist tie can give the illusion that your legs are longer, making you look taller.

Have a look at the skirt below. On the left I’m wearing if quite low and the skirt sits on my hips which makes my legs look shorter and I appear smaller. The look on the right is more lengthening and slimming.

A drop waist style is likely to make you look shorter. However, be careful about choosing a belt which is a constrasting color to your dress because this visually cuts a line across your body and can have the effect of making you look shorter.


A form-fitting dress with a defined waist | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Stripe Belted ShirtdressDovie Sweater Dress – Chiffon Fit & Flare

Crepe Sheath DressWrap Stretch Jersey DressLace Sheath Dress

7. Choose high-waisted styles

In the same way that choosing styles with a defined waist will help you to look taller, so too will opting for pants, jeans and skirts which have a high waist.

If you choose bottoms which start at the hips, they are likely to make you, and your legs, look shorter than they really are.

high-waisted styles | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Barbara Bootcut JeansHigh Waist Straight Leg Jeans – High Waist Straight Leg Jean

Pleated Wide Leg TrousersFraser Demi Boot PantsFraser Demi Boot Pants

8. Wear V-necks

Choose V-neck tops where possible. They will add height to your frame by creating a triangular, vertical line.

For the best result, wear with your high-waisted jeans or pants.

If you are wearing a button-down shirt instead or a v-neck, then you can leave a few buttons open to create the same kind of look as a v-neck.

Wear V-necks | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Tipped Cable SweaterBlue V-Neck SweaterRoll Tab Sleeve Tunic

Knit Wrap Top Wool & Cashmere V-Neck Sweater Stripe Sleeveless Linen Blend Blouse

9. Tuck your tops in

Rather than letting your tops hang over your bottoms, tuck your top into your jeans, pants or skirt.

This will make your torso look shorter and your legs look longer, which will give the illusion of height.

Tuck your tops in | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

 Image Source: @lieblingsstil

10. Look for tops with slimmer sleeves

White statement sleeves, such as bell sleeves, are on trend, they can make your top half look wider.

This, in turn can draw the attention width ways, rather than lengthways. If you are trying to look taller, then look for tops which have slimmer sleeves.

Opting for a three-quarter length sleeve, rather than a short sleeve will work well.

The same goes for the width of your tops. If you choose a top which is slimline this will elongate your figure to create extra height rather than width.

For example, notice how the tops below are very similar in color and style, but the top with the shorter, wider sleeves draws your attention to the sides rather than up and down.


Slimmer sleeves | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com


Roll-Tab Sleeve Tunic – Button Back Top

11. Wear a hat with a little height

Wearing a hat can not only provide a style statement, giving you the perfect finishing touch to your outfit, but it can also draw the eye upwards, helping you to look taller.

Opt for a hat which has a little extra height on the crown.


Wear a hat with a little height | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

High Crown Wool FedoraWoven Raffia FedoraWool Panama HatWool Panama Hat

Straw FedoraFiddler Un Fisherman CapSlub Knit Panama HatFelted Wool Fedora

12. Improve your posture

I’m sure we’re all guilty of slouching or not paying attention to our posture during the day.

But, just by standing, or sitting tall, rather than slouching your spine or shoulders can add an inch or two onto your height.

13. Opt for pointed toe shoes

I talked earlier about wearing high heels, which is one of the more obvious tips for looking taller.

But another good tip is to wear pointed toe shoes rather than those with a round toe.

These can add an inch or two to your foot, and elongate your leg. You could opt for either heels or, if you want a more comfortable everyday look, for flats.

Opt for pointed toe shoes | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Tracy Embossed MuleKenzie Venetian Pointy Toe LoaferPortia Genuine Calf Hair Loafer – Piper Loafer Mule

Vesta Pointy Toe PumpPortia Buckle MuleElyssa Buckle MuleAsymmetrical Pump

14. Avoid big prints

If you’re trying to look taller and slimmer then it’s best to avoid big, busy prints as these can draw the eye across the body rather than up and down it, creating the opposite effect to the one you are aiming for.

If you do want to wear a print, choose a smaller pattern.

15. For an even more streamlined look, use shape wear

Start with the right bra and underwear – it’s the foundation for your look.

Proper shape wear will lift and support where you need and smooth and streamline other parts, giving you a slimmer, longer look.

Shape wear doesn’t have to look like something your grandma used to wear, fashion details like lace or contrasting panels in the undergarments give you a powerful combination of beauty and brawn!

Be open minded and give shape wear a try.

Today’s top shape wear companies like Spanx, Yummie and others are founded by women or work with women designers that know how a woman wants to look — and feel. That means that there is a fashionable selection of undergarments that tuck, lift and hide flaws while being pretty comfortable for all seasons, too.

Here’s a collection of some of the best:


use shape wear | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Open-Bust Full SlipSuit Your Fancy High Waist Thong – Seamless Slip

Haute Contour Thong Bodysuit – Mid-Thigh Shaper BodysuitSpotlight On Lace Bodysuit

What tricks do you use on the days when you want to look taller and slimmer?


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How to look taller and thinner | fashion over 40 | style | fashion | 40plusstyle.com

Feature Image: @tatamuc

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