6 Tips to Elongate Your Frame

Elongating the shorter frame

One of the questions our Stitch Fix Stylists are often asked by petites and others who are smaller in stature is how to make a shorter torso appear longer. Here are six style tips to give you length through your midsection:

Show A Hint
Showcasing some skin is a great trick for diverting the eye away from a shorter stature. V and scoop necks are flattering necklines that work great for the shorter frame.

work with color
Choosing a color palette that is similar in tone and color range is an effective way to create a seamless look from head to toe. Prints with vertical lines do a great job of elongating your figure.

raise your hemline
Dress and skirt lengths that hit below the knee may make you appear shorter, while shorter dresses and skirts that hit above the knee will create the illusion of longer legs. The shorter you go with your hemline, the more height you will appear to have. If you want to explore the maxi trend, add height by pairing your look with a heel or wedge.

try a belt
High-waist belts may work if you want to lengthen your legs, but be aware that they can shorten the appearance of your torso. Steer clear of chunky, thick belts and instead select a slim belt, which will prevent the illusion of cutting your frame in half.

enhance with denim
It’s all about the wash! Select a style that fits best with your body type. Avoid wide leg jeans, which can make you look more compact. A clean dark wash will make your legs appear slimmer, but whichever wash you choose, try and keep your wash as clean and streamlined as possible.

Slip on a heel
Heels will not only add to your height, but will do wonders for your posture. If high heels are tough to wear, go for wedges or a hidden platform. You want to make sure your heels are not chunky, so stick to sleek styles that will complement your petite frame instead of overwhelming it. If you prefer a flat, select a style such as a pointed or peep toe to add length.

If you’re working with a longer frame, read our post on styling a long torso and short legs.


  1. These are fabulous tips that work well to elongate women of any height! I’m tall, but often try to lengthen the appearance of my torso. The color palette is a great one that a lot of women miss. Everywhere you cut with color, you visually lose about an inch. So figure out where you are longest proportionately (i.e. upper vs lower leg, neck, torso, leg etc) and create your visual breaks there to look more proportionate. If you are going to switch color or pick a hem length, so areas will be more forgiving.

  2. I guess I find this a bit confusing…”elongating the shorter frame” and “elongating a short torso” aren’t really the same thing, but they’re used interchangeably here. I have a very short torso, but long legs. Believe me, I don’t need my legs to look any longer as that ends up making my torso look even shorter! And while the belt idea is nice, no matter what width belt I use, it cuts me in half (thirds?) and makes me look like I’m all chest.

Leave comments here!