My top tips to elongate your legs - 5 pairs of footwear you need for Spring/Summer - The 6 key tips I give my clients to look put together - even when dressing casually

Breeda O' Connell

How to make your legs look longer & slimmer!

Aim to create the longest possible unbroken line:

  • When wearing a skirt or dress with a bare leg, wear skin-coloured heels
  • Or if wearing a different colour shoe, look for shoes with a low vamp (shoe some toe cleavage!)
  • Conversely, when wearing trousers, look for a high vamp or a boot - picture a pair of black tailored trousers paired with shoes with a low vamp so there's a lot of the foot on show. Compare this to wearing the same trousers with a boot or shoe with a high vamp - the line of colour will not be broken & you will achieve a visually lengthening result
  • Match your shoes to the colour of your tights
  • Match the colour of your socks & shoes to your trousers
  • Heels will always elongate & slim the legs - be sure to get the proportions right though by selecting a heel that's right for your scale - for example, a tall woman with a large frame will look off-balance in a very thin heel
  • Bootcut jeans worn over boots (hence the name!) and skimming the ground at the back will make your legs look long & lean - even better if the boot is in the same colour as the jeans
  • High-waisted jeans & trousers can lengthen the legs, but may not work if you are conscious of your tummy or if you have a large bust
  • Avoid ankle straps that cut off the leg and shorten it
  • Cropped trousers can make the legs look shorter - unless you are tall
  • Cluttering the leg with boots such as Doc Martens will visually reduce the length of the leg
  • Dark wash jeans are visually slimming & elongating
  • Wide leg pants worn with heels will have a lengthening effect (the trousers need to come down over the heels for this to work visually)
  • In Autumn/Winter pair a midi skirt or dress with boots in the same colour for an unbroken line and to visually lengthen the bottom half of the body
  • Wear tonal colours head to toe to elongate & slim overall
  • Vertical detailing on trousers such as seems and strips will lengthen visually

Footwear for your Spring/Summer wardrobe - my 5 essential pairs

1. White trainers: possibly the most versatile & practical pair of shoes in your Springtime wardrobe. Pair with literally everything - dresses, skirts, jeans, trousers, shorts, leggings - everything

2. Loafers: depending on your Style Personality, choose from backless or enclosed versions; classic styles in quality leather or designer dupes (or the real deal if your wallet allows!) with print & buckle detailing; pastel colours or neutrals. Again you will get loads of use out of these, especially if you go for a neutral pair, and they are great for the days that don't feel quite warm enough to get those toes out!

3. Slip-on flat sandals: something that you can easily slip on will give you the effect of looking effortlessly stylish - because, well, they're effortless...and stylish!! Especially if they are tan, black, or lighter neutrals that go with everything you wear. Whether they be a Hermes inspired, minimal, or more substantial flatforms - a pair of slip-on sandals are most definitely a Spring/Summer essential

4. Mules: these started out as a trend some seasons back, but have now become a Spring/Summer staple piece. For the most versatility, choose a mid-height block heel - this style also won't date, so you'll get more longevity too

5. Barely there high heeled sandals: if you only invested in one pair of  'occasion or 'going-out' heels for your Spring/Summer wardrobe, then this is the style to go for. They will go with practically everything and will always look timeless & chic

The 6 tips I give my clients to look put together - even when dressing casually

Is it possible to dress in casual, basic pieces & style look put together - ABSOLUTELY! Here are 6 tips I give my clients:

1. Accessories are crucial: Even a great pair of sunglasses & a classic watch can elevate an outfit to a whole other level. Think of a pair of Raybans teamed with a baseball hat - uber casual yet super stylish. Think of a tan belt with the perfect pair of blue jeans, or how layering necklaces transform a simple V-neck tee. It can be a crossbody bag with a striped canvas strap, it can be a stack of bangles, or several earpieces worn up along the ear - accessories don't have to be glitzy or overstated - and are key in elevating simple everyday basic pieces

2. Pay attention to your Grooming: How do you stop casual clothes from looking sloppy & thrown together? Pay a little attention to your grooming -  make a little effort with your hair & makeup, it doesn't have to take a lot of time, but this will be key in how your appearance comes across

3. Check the condition of your clothes & accessories: If your shoes are scuffed, if the hem of your jeans are tattered, if your knits are bobbled, if your bag stitching is worn - all of these things will kill any hope of looking put together

4. Watch your colour palette: casual clothes always look more stylish in neutrals or muted accent colours - bright colour combinations can take casual basics to loungewear or leisurewear territory

5. Buy the best quality you can afford: because there isn't a whole lot going on in the clothes themselves - they are just basic wardrobe staples after all - the quality of your clothes has to do the talking. This can be the key difference in looking put together, or not

6. Style it up: how you style your basic pieces makes the world of difference to how the outfit looks & feels overall - pop the collars of your simple white shirt, push up your sleeves, half tuck your tops, cuff your jeans, tie the belt of your trench to the back instead of the front - little styling tweaks will change up the whole thing!