Why platforms DON’T necessarily make you look taller (and how to pick out flattering designs)

Platforms, frequently used by most of us in order to get some extra inches in height (or just because they’re more comfortable than classic heels), are indeed quite tricky if you want to get a flattering outcome.

Not only they are not chic, but they can have a totally counterproductive effect on your figure (as you can clearly see in the picture below), making you look more robust despite the fact that they are usually worn to look taller and thus, hopefully, slimmer.


Even if this may sound surprising (and totally unfair!), instead of adding some inches in height, most platforms add them in width and are therefore only suitable for those of us who are already very tall (and not all of them, either), as height decreases heel-to-leg disproportion and camouflages the platform, making it look lower. If you have an average height, a thick platform just weighs down your legs.

This is particularly true when talking about dark shoes, and about winter footwear.

In summer, though, things can be different, as, when wearing sandals that leave the foo partially uncovered, the backfiring effect of the platform is less perceptible, and this is especially true when picking out colors similar to your skin tone.


Though, pay attention not to overdo the height of the platform (if you are a “petite” size, it should not exceed half an inch).

Also, platforms are less perceptible and allow flattering results when wearing wedge sandals. Wedge sandals—especially when they’re in cork or rope—are one of the rare shoes that can sport a platform without looking tasteless and without making your legs seem shorter than they are, as their design camouflages the platform, thus allowing a better outcome.


In order to achieve a stylish and slimming outcome, give preference to “minimalist” styles, which designs that leave the feet uncovered as much as possible, in order to visually reduce the height of the platform.

Also, pick out colors similar to your skin tone, or lighter. This always has a flattering effect on your legs.


Cool-neutral tonalities can also guarantee an impeccable outcome if their design is minimal (as in the image below).


If you prefer to pick out dark colors, you can opt for shoes similar to those in the picture below, as the alternating colors of the wedge allow continuity with the dark straps above, while still keeping a connection with your skin tone.


Conversely, avoid styles that are not open toe (unless you’re six feet tall). Closed platform shoes as those below are suitable only for tallest ladies, as the thick platform joined with the closed-toe visually doubles the height of the platform, thus delivering the “I’m-standing-on-a-shoebox-with-my-short-legs” effect.


Platform pumps should not even be taken into consideration—no matter what the trends say. As my coauthor, Benedetta, says, “If you are not Gisele or Gigi Hadidi, they concentrate all the weight toward your lower part, like the clogs of a cow.” The foot takes a grotesque shape and looks awfully disproportionate (the short-leg effect is even greater if the shoe is dark-colored).

Also, avoid thick platforms with classic shoe styles, such as oxfords or similar, and with ankle boots, because combining these styles with a platform is perverse.

I’m talking from experience about that as, when I was in my twenties and wanted to look taller with no effort, I bought myself black platform high-heeled pumps. I then wondered why my legs looked shorter and more robust than when I wore cap toe ballet flats. Then I understood.

Just think about it and look in the mirror with your dark, thick-platform shoes. And you will understand too.

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