Here’s the deal. Everyone knows that everyone looks better in high heels…it’s just reality. They make you stand taller, make your legs look longer and leaner, and are just all around sexier. But for a lot of women, especially moms, heels on a daily basis are not practical. So let’s talk today about how to wear flats without looking stumpy, and which flats to choose that will make your legs look amazing.

There are about ten million options of flats out there right now, so how do you choose? You have to remember that not all flats are created equal, and even though one is just as flat as the other, they do not all flatter your body in the same way.

WHICH FLATS? The most flattering pairs will be the ones that show the most foot because it will elongate your leg. If you have short legs or wide ankles, do not wear t-strap or ankle strap flats (like these or these). The line up your foot or across your ankle instantly makes you look shorter.  Also if you have short legs, avoid round toe flats. Instead, choose flats with an almond toe or a pointed toe.

There are some that are cut way down to reveal “toe cleavage,” and some that are cut higher up on your foot. The lower the cut, the longer your leg will look.

SHOW SOME LEG, OR AT LEAST SOME ANKLE. There are a lot of trendy flats right now that are beyond the basic flat — like lace-ups, loafers, and d’orsay’s. These are some of my favorites, especially since they amp up any basic momiform, but since none of these styles reveal the top of your foot (which elongates your leg), you have to show it off other ways. Wear a cropped pant, wear them with shorts or a skirt, or just cuff your jeans so you can see a few inches of ankle. These little tricks instantly lengthen your legs and keep you from looking stumpy.

CHOOSE SKINNY PANTS: You don’t have to wear skinny jeans (although those are usually my top choice) — a cropped cigarette pant or a pair of faux leather leggings (like I’m wearing here) are both good options that will elongate your legs and keep you looking tall and thin even without a heel. Wide leg pants or flared jeans with flats are just asking for stumpiness, so stick with shoes with a heel or wedge when wearing those styles.

WHAT ABOUT SNEAKERS? You guys probably know by now how obsessed I am by the sneaker trend. Obviously these are a little different because they cover up your entire foot. The same skinny pant and showing off your legs/ankles rules apply, but there are a few other tricks to help elongate your legs when wearing these sneakers.

One, choose slim sneakers. Athletic sneakers are super trendy, but many of them, like these or these, are pretty wide across. If you’re already short, leave those styles to the super tall girls. Instead, choose more casual sneakers, like slip ons or these slim lace ups.  Two, be strategic about lacing them. Make sure they’re pulled tightest up near the toe, then looser as you get toward the tongue. I also think that not tying the laces in a bow gives it a sleeker, slimmer look. I knot them at the top, and then tuck the laces in between the shoe and the tongue (so they don’t slip underneath my feet and bother me when I walk).

So rock those flats — just rock them the right way so you avoid stumpy looking legs. You can do it!


  1. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    These are all awesome tips! I’m in the stumpy ankle boat, so I can never pull off the straps around my ankles, but I love the tip about wearing more pointed flats! I’d never thought of that before!


  2. Shae says:

    Great tips! You just talked me into getting a pair of loafers I’ve been wanting.

    Shae @ Current Habits

  3. Can you show us a close up of your sneakers with tucked-in laces? I had never noticed that you do that, but when I searched on “sneakers” I did find a couple of examples. Not exactly sure how to replicate it though…

  4. I just recently decided I “need” sneakers to wear with my skinny pants. Appreciate the tips!

  5. i love these tips! thank you for sharing, i can’t always wear heels and flats are so much more comfortable =o)

  6. Candice says:

    Can you do a tutorial/pictorial on how you knot the laces at the top?

    Great tips as I’m currently preggo and wearing heels everyday isn’t an option anymore.

  7. Sandra Li says:

    Do you wear socks with your flats? I can’t handle how my feet feel without socks inside shoes but I also can’t find the right low cut sock that won’t slide down under my heel. Has anyone out there found the perfect low cut or invisible sock?

    • Merrick says:

      I never wear socks unless I’m going to the gym or exercising. Sorry — I’m no help!

      • Sandra Li says:

        No worries! Thanks for the awesome tips on styling flats and the momiform in general. Your blog has changed how I feel about my boring basics; now I know how to make my momiform more interesting!

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