Houston Bae in Couture

3 Style Lessons from Simone Biles' Perfect Golden Globes Look

How to rock an amazing red carpet dress when you're 4'9".

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen January 9, 2017


Queen @simonebiles rocking gold tonight, as always!🏅#GoldenGlobes

A photo posted by Teen Vogue (@teenvogue) on

Beyoncé may have skipped the Golden Globes this year, but luckily for Houstonians Simone Biles was on hand to represent the all-important HBIC (that's Houston Bae in Couture) slot. And not that we expected anything less of the 19-year-old who brought home five medals from Rio, but she nailed it.

Here's the thing: athletes certainly have the definition (and usually the body type) to pull off high fashion without breaking a sweat—just look at Lindsey Vonn or Serena Williams. But Biles is only 4'9", and as any petite woman knows, that makes dressing to impress a little more complicated. So it's worth pointing out exactly what makes Biles's gold gown so delightful—and so flattering.

1. She nailed the hem.

Short ladies should already know that the tailor is your friend, but this is your goal: a hem that floats juuuust above the floor when you're wearing heels. Any shorter and you're not maximizing the lengthening powers of a floor-length gown, and any longer means the fabric will pile up on the floor and emphasize that it's too long for you. This is the goldilocks hem.

2. The waistline pulls the eye up.

The hem is only half the battle when it crating length via a dress. The other, arguably more important factor, is where the waist is cinched. A higher-waisted look like Simone's does two things: cinches at the most flattering part of your torso (not that this is a big factor when you're a world-class athlete) and creates the illusion of a longer leg. Be careful, though, because if a waistline is too high you end up looking like a Jane Austen character.

Compare Biles to fellow gold-medal Olympian Madison Kocian on her left: though the cuts are similar, Kocian's dress hits at her natural waist, which doesn't hide her petite proportions quite as well as Biles's thick sash at the waist does—though both look amazing.

3. She isn't afraid to sparkle

That plunging neckline? Sofia Vergara couldn't pull that off without making headlines. And three types of shimmering gold fabric might be a lot of look on a supermodel. But when you're petite, your look can be a little extra. Forgoing a necklace means that Biles could go big with her other jewelry, and let the gorgeous pleating on the bodice get all the attention.


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