How to Look Taller: Heels & a Hem

The Banana Republic outlet dress is back from the tailors. I tried to save $20 and spent 2 hours painstakingly ironing and hemming it by hand (recently got rid of my sewing machine…smacks head), but gave up at the lining. I took it to my trusty Korean tailors and they were aghast at my crooked stitching. Shaking their heads and clucking their tongues, they tore apart my hard work, but thankfully charged me a pity price of just $10.

It’s no secret that heels are a petite gal’s best friend, but let’s revisit the importance of wearing the right skirt/dress length (old post here). For this, I pinned and re-pinned and finally settled on right above the knee:

Before (left) and After (right)

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Sheath dress: Banana Republic outlet size 00P
Heels: Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps sz 5 (a work staple!)
Flats: Tory Burch  Flower: J.Crew outlet

Shorter is not always better when it comes to length. Higher-waisted dresses can get away with a shorter hem (see altered Theory dress here), but regular-waisted dresses such as this one need a sufficiently long skirt length to make it look balanced and proportional. The right skirt length makes the entire look more refined all-around.

Side view – before (left) and after (right)

Back view before (left) and after (right)

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The belt was a smidge too big and long, but I couldn’t use my trusty hole puncher because it was fabric. I ended up just poking the prong where I wished there was a hole, and then pulling the belt through:

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Mustard Cardigan: Martin & Osa sz XS
Belt: Banana Republic Outlet sz XS

A hem job is a simple but critical alteration for certain items, especially if you’re petite. Unfortunately it will cost you upwards of $20 at the tailor (more for lined items). I wish I had the time and patience to do my own alterations!

Readers – Do you always get your items altered to fit perfectly? If so, do you DIY or shell out for the alterations?

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