Petite Women Over 40: Avoid These 3 Skirt Lengths to Elongate Your Figure

For women over 40 who are under 160cm (5’3″), choosing the right skirt is crucial for creating a fashionable and comfortable summer look. However, not all skirt styles suit everyone. Selecting the wrong skirt length can negatively impact the visual aesthetics, unintentionally making you appear shorter and heavier.

I. Three Skirt Lengths to Avoid

Short skirts above the knee

Skirts that fall above the knee are more suitable for those with slender, long legs as they showcase the skirt’s lively and lightweight feel. For women under 160cm, such skirts may make the leg proportions appear disproportionate, especially if the legs are not straight or toned enough, highlighting any imperfections. Moreover, excessively short skirts draw attention to the legs, visually shortening the height and making one appear smaller.

Knee-length skirts

Knee-length skirts, which just cover or slightly extend past the knee, are not an ideal choice for shorter women. This length tends to hit the widest part of the leg, especially when the skirt is form-fitting, potentially making the legs appear bulkier. Skirts that fall exactly at the knee visually divide the legs, disrupting the elongating effect and creating a disproportionate lower body, resulting in a shorter appearance.

Floor-length skirts

Although long skirts provide a sense of elegance and flow, they may not be the best option for women under 160cm. Overly long hemlines can visually “consume” height, making the overall proportions appear more compressed. Additionally, floor-length skirts can be inconvenient for daily wear, as they may cause tripping.

II. How to Choose the Right Skirt

Opt for high-waisted designs

High-waisted designs effectively elongate the lower body proportions, making the legs appear longer. For example, choosing a high-waisted A-line or straight skirt can create a more balanced silhouette.

Select an appropriate length

The ideal skirt length falls 2-4 centimeters above the ankle. This avoids the thicker parts of the leg, conceals any imperfections in the leg line, allows for easy movement, and lengthens the leg line, creating the illusion of longer legs.

Fabric and color choices

Lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, cotton, or linen are excellent choices for summer. These fabrics are breathable and offer a certain degree of drape, visually elongating the figure. When it comes to color, solid light colors or vertical stripes are more effective in lengthening the height. Avoid large, complex patterns and overly bright colors.

III. Styling Tips

Choose the right footwear

Selecting the appropriate shoes is crucial. Women over 40 can opt for shoes with a small wedge heel, which are comfortable and can subtly increase height and improve posture. Nude or light-colored high heels are also a good choice, as these colors extend the leg line, making the legs appear longer.


Appropriate accessories can add highlights to the overall outfit, but be careful not to overdo it. Choose simple necklaces, earrings, bracelets, or handbags to accentuate the overall look, adding personality and sophistication.

Color coordination

During summer, you can incorporate some bright colors to match the season’s atmosphere. If you’re hesitant about pulling off these colors, you can always opt for foolproof black, white, or gray. When pairing a top with a skirt, choose a monochromatic look to effectively extend the body’s vertical lines, creating a visually lengthening effect. To break the monotony without disrupting the vertical visual effect, add some contrasting or bright-colored small accessories like necklaces, earrings, or handbags.