How To Dress If You've Got Really Short Legs

16 November 2019
Style, Fashion, Trend, Designer, Menswear, Michael Kors, Prada, Lanvin, Dior
Our Style Shrink comes to the rescue, once again, with his guide to dressing if you've got little legs (it's surprisingly common)

I was recently asked by one of the bolder members of the GQ fashion team – someone who isn't shy about making his voice heard but also absolutely knows how to dress – what he should wear as he has, in his own words, "freakishly short legs".

Now, being of a body dysmorphic disposition myself (in my mind I, like a praying mantis, have very long legs, flappy saplings and an embarrassingly truncated torso) I well understand the travails of dressing an unusual frame. Personally speaking, I focus on enhancing the length of my torso by wearing carrot-shaped trousers to draw down the eye, drop the crotch and create the illusion of shorter legs. Simple.

Making legs look longer, however, can be a trickier business. If you're slim, as the aforementioned member of the GQ fashion team is, the key is to focus on a higher rise trouser, which creates the illusion of a longer leg – a straight or tubular cut rather than skinny one that skims the skin of the thigh and calf rather than cling to it.

It's also an idea to opt for a trouser that reaches the top of the shoe or even breaks over it, as this will produce a longer line, whereas a cropped trouser will only draw attention to a shorter frame. The final requisite is that you take your trousers to a tailor; it's a regrettably expensive business to achieve the aforementioned cut.

Up on top you're best going for something that crops relatively high. A bomber jacket, for instance, or a short postman-style three-button jacket. Anything that sits too low will lengthen the torso and undo the good work done by your trousers.

If you're on the larger side of things, I would, in fact, recommend going even slimmer in the leg and keep things quite loose on top. An illusion of length will be created by the slight imbalance in proportions. A wide-lapelled, oversized double-breasted jacket, for example, worn with some slim-cut (never skinny or spray-on) jeans.

Here, to get you started on your journey into leggy nirvana, are a few of this season's looks for creating the illusion of a longer leg:

The trousers

Trousers by Michael Kors, $578 at michaelkors.co.uk

Trousers by Lanvin, $963 at matchesfashion.com

Trousers by Dior, $655 at dior.com

The tops

Jacket by Prada, $2202 prada.com

Jacket by Officine Generale, $462 at matchesfashion.com


Via British GQ