I had a fashion influencer critique 5 of my go-to outfits. Here’s how she’d help me look taller and cooler.
I’ve always been short for my age and I have an athletic body type, so when it comes to fashion, I’ve tried to find styles that don’t make me look stocky or wide.
Separately, I’ve been a freelance writer for the past eight years. Although I’m lucky that I don’t have to get dressed up every day and go into an office, the downside is my wardrobe isn’t quite complete, and not nearly as curated as I’d like.
I can’t say I’ve ever really had a defined style, but I try my best to dress well for an occasion or night out. That said, it’s a challenge to figure out what I like wearing, what I feel confident in, and what works best on my petite body.
So I asked fashion and lifestyle creator Ally Chen (@fashionbyally) for suggestions on how I could look taller and cooler. In addition to having over 1.4 million followers across her social-media platforms, she is petite herself and regularly shares personal-styling tips and style tricks for short girls.
Here’s what she had to say about five of my go-to looks.
Ally suggested upgrading my first look with wide-leg pants
For look one, Ally, who’s just a couple of inches taller than me, suggested swapping my casual jean skirt with classy, wide-leg pants. She said that these types of business-casual pants are super trendy right now, especially on TikTok.
“I used to avoid wide-leg pants, but for date night/drinks, it’s the perfect day-to-night transitional piece,” she said. “I love a pair of black wide-leg trouser pants to dress up the look.”
She also suggested swapping out the white boots for black block heels to match the trousers, which can help my legs appear even longer.
I’ve never owned wide-leg pants because I thought they could make me look too boxy, but Ally said they create the illusion of length when paired with a cropped sweater or fitting top and heels.
She also suggested I should complete my look with a matching red lip and gold jewelry.
Ally liked my go-to dress for a nice dinner but thought the shoes could be better
Ally said the green color of the dress “is definitely on trend,” but suggested swapping out the short booties for a pair of heels, which can elongate my legs and play up the elegance of the look.
“To lengthen your legs, I would go for a pair of heels that match your skin tone,” she said.
If I wanted to upgrade the look more, she said, I could choose a dress in satin or silk, fabrics that look “effortlessly chic.”
She had some suggestions for upgrading my go-to comfy look
I often wear this type of outfit, which combines athletic attire and streetwear. It consists of form-fitting leggings, sneakers, and some type of oversized shirt or jacket on top.
Ally suggested I swap my skinny leggings for “high-waisted wide-leg yoga pants” and to try playing around with the 1/3 rule “where the top takes up 1/3 and the bottoms are 2/3 of the outfit.”
Ally said she’s “obsessed with athleisure dresses,” and recommended I try one next time I’m looking for a casual outfit.
“They have built-in biker shorts for comfort underneath but the look of a dress,” she said. ” Toss your hair in a claw clip, throw your essentials in a tote bag, and you’re ready to go.”
I love this suggestion because I feel physically comfortable wearing dresses and they can help me avoid the stomach-cinching tight waistband that some leggings have.
My simple summer outfit could use some accessories
I’d wear this basic look on a warm day to a picnic or park. I like it, but I’m not the best at accessorizing.
Ally said she recommends I add “a unique accessory like rings, silk scarves, or a baguette bag” to make this simple look more visually interesting.
She also suggested I update the classic tank-and-skirt combo with a more interesting and romantic corset top.
“Here’s a great chance to shop at a local thrift store or your best friend’s closet,” she added.
I’d wear this simple, layered outfit in the fall or spring
Since it rarely gets colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit in San Francisco, I wear a lot of sweaters and layers. Sometimes I also layer button-down tops underneath them so I can remove layers if I get warm.
Ally told me she “loves the classic denim-on-denim look” but recommended I swap out my ankle boots for taller boots because the current ones cut my legs short.
“I would go for a pair of platform cognac over-the-knee boots to lengthen your legs,” she said. She also said I could try boots with a lug sole, which are chunkier but provide extra height and more comfort than a typical heel. On days I’m not feeling boots, she suggested a leather or suede penny loafer.
Lastly, Ally said a cropped sweater instead of a longer one can also help lengthen my body.
Click to keep reading more style breakdowns from Insider’s Fashion Clinic.