Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tips & Tricks for Long Shinners: Skirt Length Rules FAQ's (Part 3) - Shoes & Legwear

Good morning, everybody! Continuing the edited FAQ's about the infamous "skirt length rules", this post will focus on lovely long-shinners.

Question: "I feel like my shoes really change the way my skirt lengths look on me.  Am I right, and if so how do I pick shoes?"

Answer:  Footwear and legwear can make a huge difference in how the proportioning of your body looks in your overall ensemble. 

By the way, to you lucky and rare neutral-shinners out there who have a balanced measurement in your upper and lower legs:  Do read on, but know that you can experiment with short-shinner AND long-shinner "looks" and probably carry most of them off beautifully!

Shoe and Legwear Guidelines for:
(1)  Shorter skirts and dresses(remember what "shorter" means for you!)
(2)  Narrow-legged capris
(3)  Narrow-legged full-length pants, and
(3)  Narrow-skirted mid-calf skirts and dresses

Guiding words for you:  High Vamp Shoes, High Contrast Legwear

Long-shinner lovelies, in contrast to your short-shinner friends, you don’t want or need for your footwear and legwear to appear to extend the length of your lower legs. 

Footwear:  High vamp shoes (in any heel height) are your friends.  These are, of course, are just the opposite of low vamp shoes -- they're footwear that comes up high onto the top of your foot.  Examples are shooties, booties, oxfords of every heel height, and most sneakers. "Less you, more shoe" is your mantra, and these styles take a few inches off the apparent length of your leg by "chopping it off at your foot" (sorry, effective but awful image!)

I mentioned that sneakers are almost always a high-vamp shoe, and they deserve a special shout-out for you.  While short-shinners are going to look better (and instinctively prefer) a no-sock or no-show sock look with their sneakers, YOU are the gals who are going to look precious in a high-top sneaker, a sneaker paired with some contrasting-colored ankle socks, or even brighter-colored or patterned sneakers.  Lucky ducks. :-)

Legwear:  Pairing your high vamp footwear with contrasting colors or tones (little color, strong color) in legwear, socks or pants will create a flattering visual “break” between your leg and foot.  You're the gals who can wear gorgeous two-toned oxfords with a nude leg, bright socks or tights, capris or a shorter skirt.

That's it, ladies -- pretty simple if you remember those four guiding words!  Try them and see how they work for you.  Of course, how you wear your own wardrobe can't simply be dictated by a set of math-based visual proportioning tricks.  Only you can decide how all of this jives with your own tastes.  So use what helps you feel and look like your best YOU, and toss the rest.  Compromise is A-OK because the most important rule is this: You should love it if you're gonna own it and wear it!

Please e-mail me at if you have more questions about any of the concepts I've discussed, other wardrobe "fit" questions, or requests for future wardrobe tips & tricks posts!

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