I admit I rarely wear flat shoes. They make me feel super-short and stocky, especially after a daily dose of high heels. But with all the cute styles of flats out there, who can resist? Besides, it doesn’t hurt to give our feet an occasional break from stilettos. So, to get the most leg-lengthening mileage, I look for these 4 qualities in flats:
- Nude-colored, neutral skin-toned – the more the shoe looks like an extension of your natural foot, the less clunky they will appear on your feet. Visually, the seamless tone creates a leg-lengthening effect.
- Pointed toe – opt for a longer toebox over a rounded shape. Again, it’s all about the lengthening effect. It doesn’t have to be super-pointy, but a slightly angled toebox will look less stumpy than a wide, rounded toe.
- Low vamp – the more low-cut the vamp, the more of your foot (and maybe even part of your toes) will peek out. It makes your feet look ever so slightly elongated.
- Avoid ankle straps – ideally, you’d want to avoid any kind of strap that cuts across the top of your foot. That creates a shortening, “cutting-off” effect. If you like the look of an ankle strap, your best best is a nude-colored one.
A quick caveat: I’m not big on “fashion rules,” so take these pointers as a general guide and not too strictly.
Pictured above are my favorite pair of flats in my closet right now. They’re Cole Haan, and I just adore the gold polish and buckle detail. If you like them too, you might also like this similar Cole Haan style with a smaller buckle detail. Or this pair of jewel-detailed Cole Haan ballet flats. I love the sparkling stones!
In general, I tend to choose ballet flats over other styles of flat shoes like riding boots, sandals, or loafers. That’s just my personal preference because I think they’re elegant on a petite body, but we petites can rock any style of flats.
No matter what style you choose, if you have short legs like me, just keep in mind the proportions of the rest of your outfit:
- Keep your look streamlined by pairing riding boots with skinny jeans
- Try a leggy look by wearing cute loafers with a pair of stylish shorts
- Sandals or ballet flats look especially great when paired with a flirty skirt or cute dress on petites
I personally like wearing a flared mini-skirt with flats. It keeps the whole look feminine, and I avoid feeling like a second-grader in kid shoes.
I try to steer clear of pairing flat shoes with flared capris because visually, it “cuts off” the length of my legs, and can make me look especially short-legged and squat. (That is, unless I’m just rushing out to the grocery store, in which case, that sounds like a very comfy combo.)
But like I said, I’m not big on fashion rules and restrictions. It’s all about experimenting with what works best for you and your proportions. I’d love to hear your take on whether you find it challenging to wear flats as a petite!
In the meantime, here are some super-stylish flats for leg-lengthening inspiration! Which one’s your favorite?