10 Styles That Make Women Look Fat

Does this make me look fat? We've all probably asked this question at least once in our lives. If what you're thinking about wearing is on this list, the answer to the question is "yes"! Here are the 10 worst fashion styles to wear if you want to look thinner and taller, because wearing them will make you look bigger and shorter:

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Skin-Tight Dress

Coco Austin in tight dress
Coco Austin in tight dress. Mike Coppola/ Getty Images Entertainment

Wearing a dress that's skin-tight is a big mistake if you want to look thinner and taller. If a dress feels tight, if horizontal wrinkles are appearing (especially across the bust, hips, or thighs), or if lumps and bumps are clearly visible, the dress does not belong in your wardrobe. The too-tight dress effect is likely to be multiplied if the dress also has other unflattering features, such as being too short or too revealing. Certain fabrics can also compound the fattening effect.

Pictured: 5'2" Coco Austin in a dress that's not only too tight but also features unflattering horizontal lines.

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Full Skirt

Helen Mirren in full skirt. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

A full skirt on a short woman equals a guaranteed fashion faux pas because of the widening effect. Petite women should avoid skirts that are wider than they are long at all costs. The worst offenders include full circle skirts (the poodle skirt that was so popular in the 1950s is an example), gathered skirts (these produce a lot of fullness around the top of the hips), and pleated skirts (pleated skirts with stitched down pleats may be an exception depending on other style factors).

Pictured: British actress and petite lady Helen Mirren, who usually looks fabulous on the red carpet, looks less than fabulous wearing a full skirt.

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Skinny Jeans

Coco Austin in skinny jeans. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Unbridled Eve

Skinny jeans look best when worn by skinny women. Just because skinny jeans are available in all sizes doesn't mean that they're a flattering style choice. Jeans with straight legs almost always look better on short women (unless they wear a tiny size) than skinny jeans do.

Pictured: Coco Austin wearing skinny jeans.

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Patterned Pants

Christina Hendricks in plaid pants. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Even 5'7" Madman star Christina Hendricks doesn't look thin when she wears plaid pants. It only goes downhill when shorter women wear any type of pants or jeans that made from fabric with a pattern, whether it's plaid, striped, floral, or some other print, rather than a solid color (preferably a dark solid color for the slimmest appearance). One exception to this rule is pinstriped pants as long as the stripes are truly very narrow and the pants hang straight from the hip without distorting the vertical lines of the stripes. Another exception is a very tiny pattern, such as a subtle check, in a neutral fashion color, because it will read more like a neutral solid hue.

Pictured: Actress Christina Hendricks wearing plaid pants.

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Cropped Pants

Melissa McCarthy in cropped pants. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Cropped pants cut off the legs from a visual standpoint, they make women look wider, and cropped pants also emphasis a petite women's short stature — all good reasons to avoid cropped pants. Award-winning actress Melissa McCarthy stands about 5'3", so it doesn't help her appearance when she wears cropped pants.

Pictured: Actress Melissa McCarthy wearing cropped pants that are also too tight.

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Bulky Sweater

Woman wearing bulky sweater. Thinkstock/Getty Images

Bulky sweaters add pounds visually, even if extra pounds aren't really there. If a bulky sweater has other unflattering features, such as a turtleneck, cowl, or wraparound style that falls below the hips, the weighty effect is further magnified. Any type of bulky or oversized clothing is especially bad for the petite woman because of her already short stature. To look thinner and taller, it's necessary to emphasize verticality, rather than pack on heavy layers of fabric.

Pictured: Woman wearing bulky sweater.

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Puffy Down Coat

Elizabeth Olsen in Down Coat. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Best Events

I really can't think of any famous petite women who are thinner than Elizabeth Olsen, and even she looks bigger when she wears a puffy down coat. Like a bulky sweater, a puffy down coat not only makes women look fatter, but it also makes them look shapeless. Since neither is a desirable fashion effect, it's a good idea to wear a more flattering winter coat style, such as a single-breasted, knee-length wool coat with princess seaming.

Pictured: Elizabeth Olsen wearing a puffy down coat.

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Ankle-Wrap Shoes

Petite actress Josie Loren wearing ankle-wrap shoes. Jason Merritt/Getty Images For Teen Vogue

Wearing shoes with ankle wraps cuts off the leg line, visually shortening the figure. When short women wear ankle-wrap shoes, they also look wider. Ankle-wrap shoes have a heavy look too. This is especially true of ankle-wrap shoes in colors that contrast with the legs, tights, or stockings. Shoes with ankle straps are also problematic, but a work-around can be achieved for short women who fall in love with a dynamite pair of high heels with ankle straps. Petite actress Josie Loren is actually tiny, but wearing ankle-wrap high heels, she looks bigger than she really is.

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Wide Belt

Petite actress Salma Hayek. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Wide belts add bulk and a horizontal line across the middle — not a good thing for women who are trying to look slimmer. If the wide belt is in a contrasting color, it widens even more. A better choice for a belt, especially for short women, is a narrow belt in the same color as the clothing. Petite actress Salma Hayek has a great figure, and she looks fabulous, but even she has a svelter look when she's wearing a belt of a dark color along with a dress in a dark color than she does when she wear a wide, black belt that's a stark contrast to the hot pink hue of her dress at left.

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Choker Necklace

Petite actress Jennifer Saunders wearing choker necklace. Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Do you want to shorten your neck or cut off your head? Probably not, but that's exactly the visual effect women achieve when they wear choker necklaces. To look slimmer and taller, open up the neck and neckline area, rather than blocking it. Wearing a top or dress with a V-neckline will achieve the desired results. If you want to wear a necklace, try a pendant necklace that falls inside the neckline to emphasize the lengthening V-neck effect.

Pictured: Petite British actress Jennifer Saunders wearing a choker necklace.