Stylewise TallI've never felt shorter than this one time when I came to the office on a frantic morning without my high heels on.

By and by, my former editor Liana ambled over to my little desk to discuss an event I had to attend in the evening. When I stood up to grab something from my overhead cupboard, she suddenly elicited a very surprised “Oh!”

“What?” I asked, fearing she had found the Pentel pen I’d copped from her desk a week before (and had no intention of returning).

“I always thought you were taller,” she replied with a laugh. “But then I’ve never seen you without heels.”

This is perhaps a common story for those of you who have tried to make up for your non-model height with towering footwear—like me. The moral of the story is always the same: no matter how long you’ve been schlepping around town on stilts, one busy day, you'll end up flying out the door in flats. And poof! All your tall tales go up in smoke.

Here are the facts: with a forcibly straightened posture and my neck stiff against the ruler, I clock in at 5 feet 5 inches by the skin of my teeth (er, scalp). I’ve always yearned to be a head taller than I actually am—but when I turned 18, I stopped growing, and out came the platform shoes. (To this day, I still dream of how I’d look if I were 5 foot 10—skinnier, maybe?)

But a woman cannot live on high heels alone, in spite of all her unfulfilled fantasies of being five inches taller (sob). And another thing—even if you do have the willpower to heel up every single day, it isn’t always about the shoes. Looking taller revolves around proportions, proportions, and more proportions, with size-smart colors and cuts thrown in the mix. When you choose the right ones, you can stretch your height, whether you’re in stilettos or floor-flat sandals.

Got a tall order on your hands? Try these tips on for size, and for best results, team up two or more in one outfit.

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