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If you landed on this page through Google search, then I can only assume that these two conditions apply to you: First, you think you’re short and fat, and second, you want to look taller and slimmer when dressing up. If both of these apply to you, then this guide is for you. Otherwise, it’s time to click away as this article will probably only offend you.

Note: This post wasn’t written to make the women who aren’t tall and slim feel less attractive. Instead, this post was written to answer a specific question that plenty of women around the world ask. And that question is: How to Dress When You’re Short and Fat. Pure and simple. So here it is, a guide with no holds barred.

1. Elongate your body with vertical lines and patterns.

How to Dress When You're Short and Fat
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Vertical stripes and patterns trick the eyes to see a taller figure by emphasizing length and downplaying width. Because of this, not only are they elongating but also slimming.

Want to see how effective vertical lines are at elongation? Then take two photos of yourself, one wearing a solid-colored dress and one wearing a vertical striped dress and you’ll see a big difference.

2. Wear flesh-colored high heels.

How to Look Taller If You're Short and Fat

It’s common knowledge that that high-heeled shoes are height-enhancing. But did you know that flesh-colored footwear will add even more to your height? By being flesh-colored, they’ll trick the eyes to see your shoes as extensions of your legs, thus elongating your figure.

And if you need all the height that you can get, pointy pump shoes will never let you down as their shape, in itself, will elongate your legs.

3. Match your footwear’s colors to that of your pants and skirts.

How to Dress When You're Short and Fat

Matching your footwear’s color to your bottom has the same elongating effect as wearing your footwear in nude colors. They trick the eyes to see your frame taller than it actually is.

4. Follow the Rule of Thirds.

Have you ever worn a highly recommended outfit for your body type only to end up wondering, “Wow, something is off with this outfit. Is this supposed to flatter me because I don’t feel like it.”

That’s probably because you’re going against the rule of thirds.

The rule states that a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio (and vice versa) is the most aesthetically pleasing division of spaces.

How to Dress When You're Short and Fat
Eiffel Tower with its 2/3 to 1/3 proportion.

Pay attention and you’ll see this ratio everywhere in art and nature— architecture, painting, photography (and come to think of it) the human body!

The next time you feel that your outfit looks off though, examine and adjust it in accordance with Rule of Thirds and see the magic unfold.

So how does this apply to fashion and dressing up a short and fat figure?

This ratio will make either your torso or your legs appear longer. If you have a short torso and want to lengthen it, wear the 2/3 and 1/3 ratio. If you want to elongate your legs, wear 1/3 to 2/3.

  • You can achieve the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio by wearing crop tops with long, high-waisted skirts or pants. Or you can simply tuck in your top.
How to Dress When Short and Fat
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  • To create the 2/3 to 1/3 ratio, a tunic or a long handkerchief top usually does the job. If it follows the ratio, then expect to look great, (provided that the outfit is also suited for your body shape).
  • Another effective way to divide your outfit into thirds is by wearing a belt at the waist.
  • Balance and contrast also play their roles. If you’re wearing a flowy top, wear a tight-fitting bottom. If you’re wearing a tight-fitting top, wear a flowy bottom.
  • Note: The rule of thirds is not an absolute. It’s more of a guideline than a rule so you don’t always have to follow it. But combined with the knowledge on how to dress for your body type, it will make dressing up faster, easier and classier.

5. Camouflage your fats with diagonal lines and patterns.

While vertical lines slim down by elongating the body, diagonal lines slim down by distracting the eyes from the actual bulk and width of the body. This, together with the right placement, trick the eyes to see a slimmer figure.

How to Dress If Short and Fat - Swimsuits
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If you want to slim down a specific part of your body, then you need to wear the diagonal line as close that part as possible.

For example, you have broad shoulders that you’d like to minimize. Then pieces with diagonal necklines are your best friends. They draw the focus in the middle and away from the shoulders.

And if you want to camouflage your tummy fats, opt for pieces with diagonal stripes and patterns at the midsection. Like this:

6. Avoid horizontal lines

While vertical and diagonal lines are your best friends, horizontal lines you should wear horizontal lines with caution.

For example, don’t wear them at your neckline and midsection if you don’t want to look wider and shorter. (Therefore, avoid straight bandeau tops!)

Although you can wear a belt to emphasize your waist and execute the rule of thirds, most of the time, it’s generally safer to just avoid horizontal lines altogether.

7. Look for hourglass patterns

How to Slim Down an Apple Body Type

The best examples of hourglass-shaped pieces are A-line dresses and peplum tops. They hug the waist and flare out at the hips, creating the illusion of an hourglass silhouette.

Whatever your body shape is, you can never go wrong with hourglass pieces. They enhance the curves, slim down the waist, and shape the hips.

How to Dress If You're Short and Fat
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Note: Peplum and A-lines are only a few of the many hourglass-shaped options. Designers create an hourglass impression by manipulating a lot of elements like lines, shapes, colors, and patterns. Here are some of the examples:

How to Dress Slimmer and Taller

The designer of this one piece came up with an hourglass impression by combining a series of lines (horizontal, diagonal, and vertical).

one piece for a plus size apple body
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This one, on the other hand, features cutouts on both sides of the waist that mimic an hourglass shape.

8. Look for clothing with tummy control panels.

Can you wear a bikini if you’re short and fat and expect to look great? You sure can. But there are several factors to consider. If belly fats are your main concern, wear a high-waisted bikini with a tummy control panel.

Best Bikini if You're Short and Fat.jpg
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If you have an hourglass body type though, (which means your waist is still well-defined despite being on the heavy side) then feel free to rock a traditional bikini to show off your curves.

To elongate your legs, wear a high-rise bikini bottom. If toning your booty is your goal, opt for a cheeky coverage.

9. Learn your body type.

best plus size swimsuits based on body shape

The guidelines I discussed above are universal and should work on any petite and plus size body shape.

However, there are styling rules that are unique to one body type and don’t apply to the others. So if you want a more in-depth guide specific to your body, then you first need to know your body type.

If you already know your body type, pick it from the choices below and read your in-depth guide.

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  1. This tips has really help me and now i know fashion

  2. Does anyone know where to find the dress from the first picture with the white vertical stripe and waste band? I love it. There is no name or link below it.

    1. Irina Souvandjiev says:

      Hi Isabel, I don’t know the brand of that dress, but if you right-click on the image, you should have an option like ‘search for this image with Google Lens’ or something like that. A new tab will open and google will present you with similar images, and you can find a webshop where they sell a similar, if not perfectly identical, dress. Hope this tip helps you out.

  3. It’s verrattuna irritating when you read about clothes that suites for fat people, the models are always NOT fat. And if you look for clothes for shortsit and fat, the models are at least middle long and also NOT fat.
    As in this article.

    1. Thank you! I agree with you. In this article, NO ONE is short or fat. In the rest of this site, I haven’t found anything other than a fat cartoon. So frustrating!

  4. I’m none of these body types. I have boobs and a round booty, but I also have broad shoulders and a round middle.

  5. Just wish you would have shown a few dresses or outfits on different sizes☹️I definitely need to see ideas for my body shape. Not only am I 5’2″ and 175lbs but I’m 60 yrs old and still rockin’ my 30yr BADASSERY ???

  6. whatamusicgeek says:

    Hi, first time visitor on this site. I’m 5 feet tall and not an inch taller, 160 pounds, which to doctors they call me obese, I think I’m between a 10-14 petite, but I feel like these rules don’t apply to me because they sound like they’re contradicting each other. I look terrible in dresses with a belt at my midsection unless the dress is completely black, I hate nude color clothing unless it’s a pale pink, I prefer bright colored clothes, and don’t get me wrong, the only thing I really love to shop for are pinstripes and vertical and diagonal lines in clothes. However, I will say that for a teeny tiny fat chubby woman who hates her curves, even though I’m a “perfect” hourglass figure, finding vertical striped clothes ANYWHERE is impossible, especially in the size that I want it to be. Also, the place you suggested online- Swimsuits for All- is EXPENSIVE. To me, I never want to buy a bikini SET for more than $10. I want a bikini top to cost as much as the bottom, $5 each, or no more than $12 for the entire thing. I actually like one piece swimsuits better because they hide so much more. But I hate my breasts being too big and I hate my butt being too wide. I want to look thinner AND taller without sacrificing my sense of style. I don’t want to look like a ghost in white and pale nude colors- I have natural red hair, so my skin is whiter than porcelain, nude and flesh tones are totally a sin when it comes to dressing a ginger. For redheads, I stick to a palette that is earth tones mixed with bright pastel colors, but emphatically NO yellows, the color yellow is my enemy. Bright yellow makes me look like I have hepatitis, but not champagne golds or pinks, which I love. But nude colors like taupe, gray and mauve make me look invisible and sometimes a lot fatter. I don’t want to overexaggerate my boobs and my butt, I want to hide them at all costs, I’m against flaunting them and looking like a prostitute.
    Do you have any suggestions for dressing someone like me?

    1. Hey! Your comment resonated so much with me. I am the exact same. I always start these articles feeling hopeful but by the end I feel like I know less than what I started with. Maybe we need to look into it more?

      However, I think it took guts to write this article in the first place. I can see it was meant to help and not to harm. Maybe it just means we need to keep looking for answers.

    2. Kathleen A McIntosh says:

      I think the only nude she talked about was shoes. As for bathing suits I have never in my life bought a bathing suite for under $20 and I’m 55. I typically like a bikini with high waisted full bottoms to cover my butt but I have a nice narrowing waist with a full bust. I find shopping in specialized bathing suit stores works better than walmart brand. I also only buy a bathing suite every few years so it’s worth it to spend money on this. $80-$100. I love all the V neck line and diagonal lines and bringing in waist and nice flare over hips this sounds like the perfect style for me. I’m looking at these things because I have a photoshoot coming up for my website.

  7. Hourglass

  8. Enjoyed! Thanks.

    1. Alina Gurung says:


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