Case study: Keira Knightley

Another actress with shorter legs and a long torso, Keira Knightley has a very slender build with almost no curves, and at 1.70 is relatively tall. Shorter but slim thighs are easier to flatter than curvy ones, but nevertheless require some know-how - especially for someone who, like Keira, is a casual girl at heart: always a challenge for ladies with shorter legs.

Keira is a good example of someone who has, after years of hit-and-misses, managed to find a good compromise between what she likes to wear and what flatters her frame.

Let's again start with the most obvious casual uniform: jeans. As usual, they are not Keira's best look, and over the years we have seen her in some less than flattering denim looks [even in a Chanel commercial]. The low-rise jeans [even flares with heels!] combined with a tiny crop top or straight-cut corset; the skinny jeans worn with a boxy jacket that ends at the wrong spot; and the fitted overalls [rarely a good look for long torsos] all only serve to highlight short legs.

However, thanks to her slight frame, Keira does manage to get away with some slouchier denim styles - even overalls. They may not be a classically flattering look but she makes them look cool. Tips to steal from her are layering and, for wearing skinnies, pairing them with an open blouse or cardi with a shorter [leather] jacket on top:

But Keira's real casual uniform consists of high-waisted, wide legged trousers with loose cropped/tucked in tees. These are a relatively brave choice as again, they are not traditionally flattering, although they do make it somewhat less obvious where her legs begin, and certainly have loads of personality:

The other outfit type Keira likes to wear, both for casual and formal occasions, is a short, waisted, A-line skirted dress - she even got married in a similar design from Chanel [last image], which suits her perfectly:

Longer skirts and dresses feature less frequently in her rotation, which is a shame as they are an excellent choice for Keira. Note in particular the floor-length gowns [the last one with the sheer neckline is an especially clever move as this shortens her torso], but Keira's uber-slim frame means she can even get away with a more voluminous midi skirt that would drown ladies with more hips:

What Keira needs to be mindful of when choosing skirts or dresses is to avoid straight cut midis, especially if paired with strappy or high-vamp shoes, as this combination cuts her legs off in the wrong place:

Keira is fully aware of the power of jackets, although given her casual style, her choice is usually not a blazer but a denim jacket, which she layers over both trousers and dresses. Note the frequent use of a belt, which cleverly highlights her small waist under the boxy fit of the jacket.

Finally, as usual, let's finish with some real eye candy, some of Keira's best looks. I am afraid the selection is rather formal as I believe this is how she shines the most, but I have included some more everyday outfits too. Note the figure-skimming [never body-con] skirts, the swing dress styles, belts, low-vamp heels and the power of asymmetry: