Petite does not necessarily mean small and slim, it simply means that you are 5’4” or below and it is okay to be short but sometimes finding the trends and pieces that work for your height can be tricky.
I am all about embracing your body for what it is and loving every inch of your curves or the lack of it. But, I am also a believer of dressing in a way that makes you feel your best, giving zero cares about what anyone else thinks. So, with petite women in mind, I have pulled together a list of styling tips that will emphasize your petite frame and help you take up the space you deserve. While actual growth is out of the question, dressing is made easier by simply knowing what not to wear. If you are wondering if your clothes don’t look right because you are on the shorter side, it is possible that you are just wearing the wrong trends. From avoiding particular clothing types to knowing the right silhouettes to stock up, your heights wouldn’t matter if you style your outfits correctly and dressing for your height comes down to a simple set of fashion tips and not to worry, I won’t be telling you to try out six-inch heels, but we will together see the ways to dress to help you gain a few vertical inches and help you embrace your stature.
Make Minis your Signature
You don’t have to make thigh-skimming skirts your new thing but just know that anything that hits three or more inches above your knee will do wonders for lengthening your legs. A short length outfit allows you a polished and taller look creating an illusion of having longer legs. Avoid calf-length outfits or midi dresses as they will make you look short by cutting shorter your legs in the wrong place. Dresses with length above or on top of the knee creates a nice vertical line as well.
Wear Well-fitted Outfits
A well-fitted outfit is a major tip that makes a big difference in your overall look. To avoid looking like your granny, skip shapeless dresses s they do absolutely nothing for your figure. It is important to know which trends and pieces work for your stature and unfortunately baggy dresses will work against you by swallowing you up in the fabric. Getting clothes with the right fit and size is even more important for short women as ill-fitting clothes will add extra bulk. Avoid oversized clothes even if they are on trend. Form-fitting slim silhouette will make you appear taller instead. If you really want to wear oversized clothes, make sure to create a good silhouette and a correct balance between the fitted and oversized piece. Make sure not to have both wide on top and below.
Show Some Ankle
If you think this is a clever way of hinting that you should avoid wearing pants that are too long for you, you are right. Aside from steering you clear of messy, dragging hems and bunched skinny jeans, showing just a silver of ankle between the end of your pants and the beginning of your boots or sneakers will trick others into thinking you are at least 5’6” even if you are just a 4’8”. You can get a flattering look in well-fitted ankle pants because it reveals your ankle skin and creates the illusion that your legs are longer than your pants.
Also wear shoes that keep your ankles free. Avoid straps around the ankle as ankle straps can make your legs look shorter. Instead opt for shoes that elongates like mules and pointed toe flats as they create the illusion of extra height. And instead of mid-calf or knee-high boots that will cut your legs off in odd places, try ankle boots so your legs are not covered up.
Vertical Stripes are your BFF
Vertical patterns elongate and are best for petites. Horizontal stripes are best avoided as they draw the eye across rather than up and down. You don’t necessarily need to feature vertical lines as a print such as a stripe to have verticals lines in your outfit you can create vertical lines with open straight jackets and cardigans that are the same length with your dress. Long cardigans or sleeveless vests are also perfect for petites.
Cinch your Waist
Many petites often have relatively short legs and to make those appear longer, wearing a belt will make your legs look longer by helping define where your lower body starts from creating the look of longer legs.
High Waist Outfits are Perfect
Monochromatic looks creates a vertical image and instantly create the illusion of height. Dark colors are a great choice to create this illusion as they make the wearer look thinner furthering the perception of height but essentially this tip will work for any color. You can try out solid jumpsuits and gowns to slay flawlessly. A tailored dress is a great option for a petite frame as the tailored silhouette avoids unwanted bulk.
High Waist Outfits are Perfect
High waist pants, slim jeans or skirts create the illusion of longer legs making you appear taller and together with a pair of heels work together to create a long vertical image with the illusion of height. For an edgy and chic look, go with a high waist skirts or palazzo pants.
Wear accessories in proportion
Go easy with the oversized accessories as they may overwhelm you. Choose accessories that are in proportion with your face and the rest of your body. Choose a handbag that fits your physique as oversized ones can make you look smaller. Minimal jewelry elongates the neck, giving the impression that the individual is taller than they are. You can choose a single chain instead of the chunky neckpieces and opt for minimal accessories like a thin bracelet or statement watch.
Low neck draws the eyes down
An item of clothing that allows the eye to move along your figure vertically is bound to be the most flattering. Low neck dresses draws the eye down and creates the illusion of length by making the torso look shorter. A deep V neck or plunging neckline are the best options and ensure your neckline appear as much as possible as it is the first highlighting element for the elongated appearance.
Go for crop tops
Cropped tops are great on short girls as anything that tricks the eye into elongating your torso can have the effect of making the rest of you appear shorter. I am not saying you need to bare your bellybutton at all times instead, try out tops that hit no lower than your hip bones. This will even out the proportion between your torso and your legs. You can pair yours with high-waist bottoms cut a little higher to nail the look and cover your belly.
Roll up your sleeves
If shirt sleeves extend a few inches below your wrist, you risk looking sloppy the second you step out the door. The easy fix is to roll those sleeves up to your mid-arm or elbow. Similar to the tip for showing your ankles, this hint of skin will make your arms appear longer than they are and thus add a few visual inches to your appearance. Alternatively, choose perfect sleeves like elbow sleeves, cap sleeves or sleeveless patterns.
I understand how important every inch is to a petite female so, leave your concerns at the door and modify your personality and build up your confidence with these styling tips.