In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the key wardrobe pieces for leg lengthening, and did a little fashion math involving sneakers. Today I want to focus on the leg-lengthening miracle flat: the nude ballet.
Anyway, a couple of months ago, I received not one, but four different emails from readers asking this exact question: How can I make my legs look longer while wearing flat shoes?
So I googled it. And the number one answer? Wear heels.
Um. Ok. Thankyoufornothing?
Leaving Google behind me, I started playing around. And I think...I THINK...I'm on to something here. There are a few styling tricks and a few key pieces I keep coming back to. Per usual, I've created something ponderous (on par with a dissertation, because YES I take all of this fashion stuff very. seriously.) so I'm breaking it up into multiple parts in the hope that one can actually read it over morning coffee. At this point, it's looking like a three part series? Hopefully not more, but no promises. Sometimes I think I should've named this blog 'an engineer's approach to fashion' just so there were no surprises, and I could then feel free to use charts.
But enough blathering. First up, the key pieces....
Clockwise, from top left:
1. High-Waisted Denim (or Shorts)
Nothing will visually elongate your legs faster than high-waisted denim. Of course, you've gotta show off that waist, so tuck (or half-tuck)your top.
In general, the more of top of the foot you show, the longer the leg line. So ballet flats are a better choice than, say, loafers, simply because they show more foot. Nude ballet flats kick the illusion up a notch further, and are like leg-lengthening magic shoes when wearing shorts or skirts. The key is to find a pair of nude flats that are in the same color family as your skin. I'm a sunburn-easily kind of girl, so I had more luck with a blush pink than with a true nude.
The trapeze silhouette is perfect for leg lengthening because the swing starts above your bustline, completely obscuring where your waist actually starts. Perfect for the short-waisted - especially with a pair of high-waist denim.
In general, sneakers are not leg lengthening. They cover up the entire foot and add bulk. However, sneakers are sofreakingpractical for Mamas trying to chase their kids around a park that I had to figure something out. Here it is: Skip the contrasting laces. Black sneaks with white laces? No. Red sneaks with white laces? No. But...if you can find cute sneaks with laces that are the same color - BAM. It'll work for leg lengthening. I like the black/black combo.
Featured: Onitsuka Tiger by Asics (lots of non-contrasting laces options - the lighter pairs would be perfect with light wash denim for spring)
7. Over-The-Knee Flat Boots
Not only does this trick work, but it works really, really well. And it almost doesn't matter where the boot hits - anywhere between above-the-knee and mid-thigh makes your legs look longer. The trick is to make sure the boot is sleek, and fits well (slouchy boots should be avoided for leg-lengthening purposes).
Those tops and dresses with the elastic waistbands sewn in? Some - some - will hit slightly higher than your actual waist, making your legs look miles long. However, some won't (maxi dresses often are too heavy and pull the elastic down). But keep your eye out - it's worth a shot, right?
Use accessories to draw the eye up towards your face. A little cleavage, a stunning statement necklace, a scarf or a cool hat will lift eyes up. This whole feeling of up will help to elongate your body.
We had the most amazing Saturday. It was our long-anticipated day date (aka my Christmas and Valentine's Day present). And while I had visions of waltzing around the city in something wildly glamorous...Saturday was a mushpot of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. So instead, I wore this:
We started at the Art Museum, where we - get this - wandered leisurely. I read some of plaques hanging on the wall. I KNOW!!
And afterwards, we strolled around downtown. Held hands. Got coffee at our fav, La Colombe.
(I'm all about the cuffs these days.)
Of course, I posed a little. Wearing two jackets like all the other fashion bloggers.
But aren't these sexy jeans? Even with the combat-ish boots. (Grace, you asked about these boots and so I hopped right to it you #shoppingenabler More later.)
I swapped the combat boots out for heels before our dinner reservations at Vetri. In hindsight, that was a mistake. Mike had booked us a six course dinner at 6PM, with tickets to see Ballet X at 8PM. By 7:45, we were only on course four. By 7:56PM, Mike signed the check, and by 7:59PM we were running - no, SPRINTING - like the crazy people we are. (Thankfully I can still run in heels.) And at 8:00PM sharp? We were busting through the doors of the Wilma Theater.
It was a tough call (stay/go?) but wow. We made the right decision. Ballet X was mindblowing. It was exciting and funny and sexy - Mike didn't even fall asleep!! (The man always falls asleep at ballets.) We'll be going again....with, I think, the boys. The Wilma theater is such an intimate setting that you can hear the sound of their shoes squeaking on the stage, hear the dancers breathing, and see the subtle expressions on their faces. And I love how it was such a departure from traditional ballet, but with all of the rigor. It was like Balanchine-meets-hiphop-meets-threestooges. (OK, maybe not exactly that last part. But close.) And tix were only $35.
After, we went back to Vetri (sheepishly) to collect our entrees and dessert.
Philly, thanks for a beautiful day and an amazing night. You are one seriously cool city. I can't wait (hint, hint Mike) to do this again.
Whoa. The number of layers I'm wearing is ridiculous. But the thought of putting on my puffer coat - yet again - is starting to affect my mental stability. I had to get creative. In the name of health, you guys. HEALTH.
Mike and I had a day-date last weekend, in honor of my birthday. We started with a long brunch at Kennet's, where I had, quite possibly, the best mimosas and pancakes ever (we're talking fluffy cornmeal pancakes with local, house-cured bacon cooked right in, sitting in a puddle of real maple syrup with a fried egg on top). I mean seriously. The restaurant was also dead right around 11AM (in a romantic way, not a creepy way) on a Saturday, which means that next time we'll bring the kids. But they have a wood-fired pizza oven, and try to source ingredients locally, so if you haven't been....GO. You won't be disappointed.
It was a magical day. Day dates are our favorites because...well, because we're not tired. Instead, we spend the day wandering around, holding hands, perusing boutiques, sitting in coffee shops and having loooong brunches where we walk out tipsy. And than we wander around looking for Philly's best coffee.
It's basically our life, before kids.
We also found THE most amazing bookstore: Joseph Fox. My favorite bookstores have a cozy feel (check), knowledgeable staff (check) and - here's the most important part - a really well-edited selection. I want someone to show me the books I didn't even know to search for on Amazon. You know?
Their kid's selection was small but inspiring. We're talking arty books for kids that I've never seen anywhere else, new twists on old classics, and ingenius picture books that get kids thinking about life's biggest questions.
And I felt oh-so-glamourous in my high-waisted skinnies. My belt is too loose, and these jeans do look better with pumps, but I loved it all anyway. I'm most comfortable in an outfit that's a little 'off'. Perfect outfits always make me feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes.
BTW - Mike spotted my necklace at a local boutique, Sugarcube. It's macarame, so it's durable and comfortable and I've been wearing it with everything.
I'm still messing around with how to style these jeans (you'll be seeing soooo much more of them), but there was so much interest, I thought I'd post a preview. And I'm sharing a few of the gorgeous books found at Joseph Fox here.
I'm thrilled to have OE back (remember this?). OE is a dear friend, and the fabulously talented mama behind Girl Meets Baby. I'm gaga over her take on Doc Martens. Enjoy!!
Hello again ANMJ readers... Eek! I am not sure if I am more excited to re-guest post here or cover this awesome topic: good ol’ Doc Martens.
Ok y’all, they’re back — in a big way. And no longer are they strictly reserved for the punk rock grunge culture or ‘Hot Topic’ crowd. These babies are making their way into real deal fashion. My eighth grade self is blindly diving head-first back into this trend.
I am here today to show you a few ways to style these bad boys and hopefully give you a bunch of tips on size, fit, and breaking them in with the least amount of pain as possible.
Mamas, statement outerwear is huge for Fall. (Yes, I'm still harping on jackets.) And while I totally endorse running out and buying a brightly colored wool coat with balloon sleeves, or some swoon-worthy feathery confection...there are certain, uh, lifestyle limitations most of us face.
While I was home in June, my sister and I had a discussion about crop tops. She was pro, I was...meh. Until I remembered that I had one. (It was on clearance for $4.99 at Ann Taylor. Reason enough, right?)
I've been playing around with different lengths of shorts...but the jury is still out, Mamas. I'm not sure I love this mid-length. I'll probably go back to rolling them up.
Anyway, my summer momiform (heck, my year-round momiform) consists of some kind of tee (give or take sleeves, depending on the season) plus denim. Like I mentioned last year in our Summer Style Rules article, I primarily rely on a cool shoe + bag combo to keep things interesting in the summer months. (If you missed it, my 2013 sandal picks are here...and bags picks are coming soon!)
But I have two accessory additions to the summer momiform this year: patterned belts and statement sunglasses.
Mamas! These quick little peeks into reader's closets are quickly becoming one of my favs. Here's Kristen's....
Hi Shana, thank you for ANMJ! It makes me smile.
I think I may have emailed before, but I could be completely making that up. I'm tired! [NOTE FROM S: Sing it, Sister.]
I'm a mom of 16-month-old twin girls. I work full-time but in a blessedly casual office. I gained 80 pounds through IVF hormones and then bed rest. Only have 10 to go, but still have the dreaded pooch.