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Page 2 in the conversation "Thinking about height" by Scarlet
I'm 5' 3.5" and I don't think about it often. Petite ranges don't fit me, as they are too short, so I've just got used to buying from regular ranges and altering if I need to.
Some people have said to me, when I tell them my height, that I don't 'look that short' LOL No idea what they mean - I have good posture from lots of Pilates, but my reasoning is that I can do nothing about it, so I just forget it!
AT 5"4 I am just on the cusp of being short - and am I am pretty certain I would be under average height among my generation of women in Australia.
I always wanted to be an inch taller than my mum and I made it.
I agree that proportion is more important visually than height. I have short legs, and I would quite like them to be longer (which is impossible to acheive) which would make me taller if everything else remained the same - but really it is more about proportion.
I do think,however is is harder to hide an extra few pounds when you are short. I have had tall friends who I have not realised are overweight for ages (usually til they bring it up), since they can "carry it".
And your chances of looking either short legged or short waisted are increased too, I think.
Western cultural ideas of beauty aside, some of these "oh I wouldn't want to be any taller because XYZ" comments seem the inverse of taller women saying they wouldn't want to be shorter because of ABC!
I don't know why people can't be happy with their own height OR see advantages to being shorter/taller.
[But then I have to admit I find the whole "love every aspect of the body you have 100%" movement as oppressive as the "fix every aspect of the body you have to meet norm du jour" movement.]
Anyway: I have a rather tall personality *plus* dislike being in moving/still crowds and lacking a view, so I would love a few more inches. For whatever reason, my fake (heeled) height feels more natural to me than my real one.
However, I hang with 5'1 women who are totally dialed into that height and wear flats almost exclusively. And then I have tall friends who would like a few inches less, and I have tall friends who pop on heels that make them 6'1 because they love being taller!
It's all good -- but yes, I believe some proportions may suit one height over another.
[Unfortunately for me the tall-women-in-heels thing defeats the purpose of *my* heel-wearing, but oh well. ]
I'm 5'2" and, like Mo, come from a family of fairly tall people. My mom used to be the shortest in our whole large extended family at 5'3" until I grew up (not! lol) and took away her grown and before her, my great-aunt held the "shortest" title, also at 5'3". The rest of the women are all 5'6" or taller and our guys are all over 6'.
Despite that, I've never really felt short. As I like to tell my teenage son, I'm tall for my size and what I lack in height I make up for in spirit!
I didn't learn about correct fit in clothing until about 3 or 4 years ago (when I started watching What Not to Wear!) so I don't think shopping bothered me that much since I didn't realize all my stuff was too long in the first place. I did start wearing heels so that my pants wouldn't drag the ground, but in the end, I just fell in love with them. Love how they look, love the sound of me walking across a room in them, and when I slip on a pair of heels it gives me "attitude." I feel sexy and confident in a pair of pretty heels so that's why I wear them. Since I don't really think of myself as short, I've never worn them to try to feel tall...and, in fact, I feel like my bottom is more of a hindrance to finding clothes than my height.
That said, I do have the "can't reach the top shelf" issues... And now that my oldest is in high school, I have to be more concerned about looking "age appropriate" because practically all the kids at his school seem to be taller than me... so it's easy to be mistaken as another teenager if I'm dressed down. That has pluses and minuses... I'm just a few years shy of 40, so I feel like it's a blessing that I'm aging well, even if I have to bear my son teasing me that his friend's think I'm his sister.
ETA: My whole real point is that maybe I'm obtuse but I didn't realize anyone was putting down short people here or elsewhere. Maybe it's the circles I hang in, but most of the people I know or have met online in terms of fashion, really stress making the best of yourself whatever you look like. It just occurred to me that maybe all the leg lengthening talk could be putting down short people but I just figured that was a cultural thing... Americans love long legged women and since every model we see is generally pretty tall, we're kinda brainwashed into that. But that's why I don't read fashion mags anymore and rather get my fashion tips and fix from YLF and what-i-wore today type blogs.
At 5ft 4, I am the shortest in my immediate family. My Mum and sister are both around 5ft 6. I am a full foot shorter than my husband, it will be interesting to see who's genes my daughter has inherited!
I am pretty happy with my height. In NZ I am on the slightly shorter side for women of my generation. In the UK I am about average.
Despite my height, I have long legs and I do think that they are actually out of proportion to my height. Other than that, I don't really mind being the height I am, as I am neither short or tall, just average. If I wear 4 inch heels, it does freak my husband out though as he is not used to me being that height!
I have had the advantage of being tall - I stopped growing at 12, so at that point was tall in comparison to my class mates. At that point in my life I was a reasonably good swimmer with some potential and also good at netball. However, my height or lack thereof, prevented me from excelling in either sport.
I've never thought of being short as a negative thing any more than I would think of being brunette or blonde as a negative thing. It's simply how we're made.
I take it for granted that I'm comfortable with my height (5'7"). Height is one of those things that you simply cannot imagine having differently than you do, if you get my drift. Sometimes, my husband will stand two steps down from me to see how it feels to be reversed in height -- he's 6'6" and has no idea what it's like to have to climb on stepladders to get to things, or see over a crowd at a concert.
I like being tall-ish, but even at my height I wouldn't mind being taller. I like heels mainly for how they make my legs look more shapely, but I don't mind the extra inches either. Maybe it's because I'm surrounded by husband and stepsons who are all over 6'5"!
Vix, I totally agree with you on the "I don't want to be tall..." and "I don't want to be short..." thoughts. I do think that a lot of it is situational. One of my best friends growing up was a 6 foot tall woman. Both she and I wished that we were of more average height, but when asked, I would always say that I would rather be as short as I am than as tall as she as. She, however, always said she would be way more comfortable at her height than mine. My guess is that a lot of the comments about not wanting to be tall OR short come from that place. Personally, I am just so used to being short that I can't imagine life as someone very tall. When I am in a group with people smaller than I am (a rare occasion), I always feel very uncomfortable and kind of gigantic. But I bet when my friend is with women who are taller than her she feels tiny and insignificant.
Hmm . . . . well techinically, all of you ladies that are 5'3" to 5'4" are considered AVERAGE in the U.S. So the handful of us that are 5'6"-7" and up are TALL. For many years women is this country have been getting taller, but right now that is being balanced by the growth of ethnic populations that are generally shorter (hispanic, asian). So, we actually may end up with a large gap between the super tall and the petite. It will be interesting to see.
Me, I am 5'8". Statistically, I am tall for a woman, but in the world of women that are 5'10" or above and compared to men I don't seem tall. Also, I don't look tall because I am very proportionate (I'm bigger all over, not skinny). Still, I need tall sizes. I often top out of the tallest regular retail sizes for sleeve and pant length, so I would hate to see what women that are 6' do for those items unless they only hit up the specialty stores that carry inseams in the 38 or 40" range. Fashion clothes, trendy clothes are not offered in the sizes that tall women need. When I can't walk into a store and put on a skirt without showing my panties, women that are actually models are posed so funny because the photog is trying to hide the bits! So even though there are tons of great fashions that might look better on tall ladies, it is almost impossible to find them in the sizes tall people need when shopping retail!
I had no time to comment on this thread and now I have so much to say! First of all, last time I checked 5’ 4” is average height (like Elly says), so I think it is telling how many people identify themselves as short at this height. I think Angie really put her finger on it that height is a sought after commodity, and the question is why? My best guess is that height represents physical power, and people like to project power. I actually think this is similar to the way people loved SUVs (until gas was too expensive)--it made them feel higher and more powerful.
Regarding heels, I think a lot of women love heels because of the way they change, legs, ankles, rears, posture, attitude (what was said here already), but plenty of women on the heels/flats poll said some variation of, I am short—I need all the help I can get.
To those who say that daily life is a struggle because chairs, desks, cabinets, etc. are not designed for short people, I would counter that and say everything is designed for an average man. No wonder that we have trouble.
Maya – I know what you mean about attractiveness. I hadn’t exactly thought about that before, but I feel the same way. I am pretty sure that people's preferences for their partner are all across the board. Kind of begs the question then, again... By the way, I posted wide-leg pants here once and you liked them. I admit, though I have to wear heels with those or it looks off to my eye. Hubby disagrees though, so who knows.
Thanks for the interesting discussion to everyone.
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