There isn’t much we can do about our height. For the most part it is what it is. No surgery or diet can add or take away from what nature decided our stature should be. So how do we make the most of what we are given? Of course Ms. Conover has some sensible advice. So which class of short are you? Short and slim, short and stout, or short and medium build? We will start with short and slim.
Ms. Conover marks three areas of danger for the short, slim woman. Danger, yes, she says danger!
“One of them is dressing your hair high. If you build it up into a exaggerated coiffure, you will look top heavy and call attention to your lack of height.”
Makes complete sense when she says it that way. With the 1980s well behind us we have not had to worry about big hair being much in popularity these days, so that is helpful!
“You have the same problem with your hats – wings that shoot up in the air, bows that are placed high, egrets standing upright are almost never becoming on a small woman.”
O.k. A hat with an upright egret?! I can’t really imagine that not looking ridiculous on a woman of any height.
Of course I was imagining a full sized bird on top of someone’s head! I am pretty sure Ms. Conover was referring to the feathers of the egret and not the entire bird.
“I advise the studying of the height of the heels of your shoes, too. A very high heel – higher than other women are wearing – will make people think that you are trying to make yourself look taller than you are.”
Now I have a big issue with modern shoe styles in general right now. Six inch heels?! Who can really wear these on a daily, regular basis? There only seems to be either no heel what so ever, or 4-6″ heels in many of the stores. I am the only one out here that would like to have an attractive 1-3″ heel choice? I think Ms. Conover would have words for many of the young ladies and women today who are teetering around looking ridiculous for the sake of fashion.
In conclusion, for the short, slim woman:
“Make the most of your appearance – your height – as it is….However, if you are short and slim, your charm is in the very fact that you are small and petite and you can wear almost any style fashion dictates, avoiding an elaboration of drapery on a skirt, or a voluminous wrap, or extremely large figured materials.
Some of the styles which you can wear well are what are called sport’s clothes: the pretty sweaters, plaited skirts, and the dainty hand-made blouses. Dresses that have a low bloused-over waist are also becoming to the slim, short woman.”
Thanks to Vintage Field & Garden for your beautiful vintage picture resources!
I am writing these articles from my own personal collection of Ms. Conover’s dressmaking series, but this series is available to any of you that would like to read the complete work (or part of, not all 12 lessons are available). This series was originally published in 1921 and is now in the public domain. If you would like to study this more in depth you can read directly from the source yourself without my commentary My version was released in 1922 so it may be slightly different from what you find here, but it should be very similar. You can download the entire first lesson in either Adobe or PDF format. You can also download the 1922 version here, but I am not entirely sure if it includes all 12 lessons or not.
If you are curious about my “art” work, I did it myself using an app called Paper 53. As you can see I am still in the early stages of learning how to use it, but it sure was fun! You are welcome to use my pictures for your own purposes, I would just appreciate acknowledgement.