With proper exercise, legs can be toned and tightened, but nothing can really lengthen them. There are some types of highly risky and painful surgery involving adding metallic appendages to the leg bone that actually make legs a few inches longer, but these are only recommended in extreme cases of medical need. The rest of us can elongate our legs using optical illusions and a few fashion choices that visually alter leg shape.

Things You'll Need

Apply shimmering body lotion to your shins. The prisms of light in the lotion will attract attention toward the center, and longest part, of your leg. Your legs will appear longer and leaner.

Wear shoes in a color that matches your skin tone. A shoe in nude, pale or brown tones will look like an extension of your leg, thus making it appear longer than it is in reality.

Wear pin-striped pants, boot-cut jeans, clothes with vertical lines and knee-length skirts. These will all visually elongate legs, making them look longer and leaner. Vertical lines on pants and skirts fool the eye into seeing an elongated silhouette.

Do Pilates leg exercises to stretch and elongate the leg muscles. Regular squats and lunges create bulky leg muscles, making legs look shorter and chunkier. Pilates focuses on making the muscles lean and long, making legs look thinner and longer. The side leg raise is especially effective in toning and elongating thigh muscles. Lie on your side with your legs stretched out and your arm supporting your head. Raise the top leg to a 45-degree angle, then lower until it’s two to four inches from the bottom leg. Hold the leg in this position for five seconds, then repeat. Do 15 reps on each leg at least three times a week.

Wear shoes with a long, skinny heel, or stiletto heels. High heels make the lower leg muscles tense up slightly, giving them a noticeable lift and elongating the leg. The added height will also make your legs look longer.