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How we dress can drastically alter the appearance of our body type, and can create the illusion of being taller or shorter. To create the illusion of being a little shorter, interrupt the line of your body using clothing or accessories. Just as creating a continuous line from head to toe gives a person the appearance of being taller, breaking up this line can make you look shorter. There are various ways to use clothing to draw the eyes across the body rather than down the body, to create the desired effect.

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A contrasting belt

A belt that contrasts with the rest of your outfit creates a horizontal line across your midsection and creates the appearance of a shorter body. Bright colors or standout patterns can make a belt the focal point of an outfit, achieving the desired effect of making the wearer look shorter.

EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images
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Color pop shoes

Wearing nude shoes with bare legs or black shoes with black hosiery or pants draws the eyes continuously down to the floor, making the wearer look taller. Interrupting this line by wearing brightly colored shoes breaks up the line and shortens the appearance of the legs.

Red Pumps Heels Women's Footwear Ray Kachatorian / Getty Images
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Wide neck tops

A broad and straight neckline draws the eye across the body at the shoulders, which are the widest point of the body. Exaggerating the width of the shoulders in this way leads the eye across the body and makes the wearer look shorter as a result. A wide neckline can also balance out wider hips for pear shape body types.

Wide Neck Women's Top Leland Bobbe / Getty Images
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Horizontal stripes

The easiest way to create a horizontal line across the body is with stripes. Wearing horizontal stripes creates the illusion of width, which tricks the eye into thinking that the wearer is also shorter than they really are. Vertical stripes do the opposite, as they draw the eye down and make the wearer appear taller. If you aim to look shorter, avoid wearing vertical stripes.

Woman Clothing Stripes Horizontal Tara Moore / Getty Images
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Visible layers

Wearing layers is perfect for the cold weather, and can also make you look shorter. The trick is to make your layers visible. Try an untucked shirt with a sweater over the top to create three horizontal lines next to one another at the middle of the body. The eye will see the line of the sweater, the shirttails, then the pants or skirt; these three visual interruptions make the wearer look shorter.

Clothing Shirt Sweater Woman brusinski / Getty Images
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Cropped pants

As well as creating a line across the top half of the body, you can also do the same with the lower half. Cropped pants break up the line above the ankle and trick the observer into thinking that the legs are shorter than they are. Pair this look with other styles, like a contrast belt or horizontal stripes on the top half, to maximize the effect.

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Color blocking

Create the visual effect of cutting the length of your body in half by wearing contrasting colors on the top and bottom. This is an ideal way to trick people into thinking you are shorter than you are. The severe line in the middle where one color meets the other creates a strong horizontal break, leading to the desired effect of looking shorter.

Bright Contrast Clothes Woman

brickrena / Getty Images

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A big purse

One way to create distraction midway down the body is by carrying a large purse. This creates a break in the length of a person, making them look shorter as a result. The bigger the purse, the better! Any style of purse will have the desired effect, so this is an easy and versatile way to reduce your perceived height.

Purse Handbag Woman Outfit Eva-Katalin / Getty Images
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Voluminous clothing

Adding width shortens the look of something, and the same goes for your body. If you add some volume to your clothing choices, you'll have the effect of looking shorter overall. A puff sleeve or a tulip skirt are easy ways to add volume to the top or bottom of an outfit.

Puff Sleeves Blouse Bright Top nicoletaionescu / Getty Images
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Statement coat

Finally, a great way to make yourself look shorter is to wear a fabulous statement coat. A cropped or waist length coat is best to break up the length of your body. Avoid a longer line coat as it will draw the eye down and make you look taller. An interesting texture or color works well, as it attracts attention and can also add volume.

Faux Fur Coat Orange Bright Vasilina Popova / Getty Images

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