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13 Outfit Tricks to Fake Longer Legs

Make those gams look miles long.

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Simplify your color scheme

You already know that an all-black outfit can help you look taller and slimmer, but the color itself isn’t the only secret. Wearing the same hue—especially a dark shade—head-to-toe will stretch you out vertically, making your legs look long and lean. Black is a go-to because it’s easy to find shirts and pants of the same shade, but a maxi dress in a deep color can also achieve the look. Pick shoes that keep your ankles and feet covered to keep the color uninterrupted. Click here to learn what your outfit color says about you.

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Slip on nude shoes

Give your feet some attention when you’re looking to lengthen those legs. A nude shoe that matches your skin tone creates the illusion your legs keep going and going, instead of cutting off at the ankle when you’re wearing a skirt or shorts. On chilly days, slip on shoes that match the color of your tights. Check out these other tips for wearing tights too.

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Pick a higher waist

A higher waist tricks the eye into thinking your legs start higher up than they do. Choose a skirt, pants, or shorts that hit just under your ribs, and tuck in your shirt to highlight the effect. As a bonus, high-rise bottoms are also a trick for looking instantly slimmer.

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Cover up with a short jacket

Highlight that high-waisted look by throwing on a jacket that ends just above your hips. Because it makes your torso look shorter, your legs will look longer in comparison. Find more classic jackets to add to your wardrobe here.

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Go long

Cover up stubby legs with a maxi dress or skirt. No one will know where your legs really start, so you can fool the eye into thinking your legs go on for days. Short-legged ladies might have trouble finding a maxi dress they won’t trip over, so head to the tailor for a simple, inexpensive custom fit. Click here to learn how to wear a maxi dress through the winter.

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Or raise your hemline

On the other hand, a short skirt can make your legs look longer too. Showing more skin calls attention to your legs, making it look as if they go on for days. Pair a short hemline with a high neckline to keep it modest, and save this trick for when you’re out of the office. Don’t miss these outfit mistakes never to make during an interview.

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Get pants with pinstripes

The right pattern can call attention right where you want it. Vertical stripes draw the eye up and down, making your legs look instantly longer. Find a pair with big, bold stripes, or opt for a subtle pinstripe.

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Keep it simple

Not a fan of patterned pants? Have no fear—unadorned bottoms are lengthening too. Details like cuffs and bulky pockets draw attention to random points of the leg, but a clean silhouette draws the eye all the way from the waist to the ankle, making everything in between look longer.

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Pick pointed toes

Rounded toes can make your legs look stumpy, but pointed-toe shoes will give you the opposite effect. Because the foot looks longer, your legs look they keep going too. Check out these other tricks for accessorizing perfectly.

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Add some height

It’s no secret that a pair of heels or wedges can make you look taller. As a bonus, your muscles have to work harder, making them look strong and toned. Learn how to wear high heels comfortably.

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Pick the right wide-leg pants

Find wide-leg trousers that are longer than you’d typically buy, and slip on a pair of heels. With the wide bottom seamlessly covering the tops of your feet without bunching up, you’ll hide your heels while still getting that extra height.

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Say no to ankle straps

An ankle strap cuts into your leg, making your legs look like they stop at the strap. By wearing sandals and heels without a band, you’ll let the eye travel all the way down to your feet without the visual interruption.

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Try tall boots

The taller the better when it comes to boots. A thigh-high pair will draw the eye further upward, creating the impression of longer legs. Pair them with a dress or skirt that covers the top of the boot to create an uninterrupted vertical line. Don’t miss these tricks for making boots last longer.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.