If you’re petite — that is, you’re no taller than 5’4” — then you know how tricky it can be to find clothes that fit precisely and perfectly. It takes a little legwork to track down brands and retailers that cater specifically to your stature, and once you find them you should never look back. Seriously, who else knows how to design petite dresses and pants with such ease?
Once you know where to buy, it’s a matter of choosing what to wear. What flatters your unique silhouette best? Which areas would you prefer to call attention to? What helps create the illusion of more length if you want to try to look a little taller? Your clothes can make all the difference, and understanding what flatters you is the best way to create outfits that you feel great about wearing no matter what the occasion. Work? Check. Date night? Of course. Nights out with your friends? Definitely. The right clothes can change the tone of your look in an instant. Here are four outfit ideas to keep in mind.
Love a great trend? Then this look is for you. Petites can easily rock off-the-shoulder tops because this style is absolutely made to convey the appearance of length. The visual trick comes to life thanks to the strategic space between your neck and the top of the shirt. The bare skin elongates your upper body, making you appear taller in the process. Choose from women’s long sleeve tops or something with short sleeves — the effect is the same so long as the top comes off the shoulders.
If you opt for a fitted top that conforms to your figure, a pair of wide-leg pants works well on the bottom. Just be sure not to choose a leg that’s too exaggerated; that can overwhelm a petite frame and take away the lengthening effect you achieve on top. A fit-and-flare skirt is another option that creates some balance. Prefer a looser fit top? Something with a more relaxed silhouette looks great with shorts or skinny jeans.
Pencil skirts are universally flattering. While they’re available in various lengths, the mid-length skirt is among the most common and practical choices for petites. It cuts off at just the right spot and reveals just enough skin to elongate your frame a little. How you style it depends entirely on the occasion.
For the office, it looks virtually flawless with a simple blouse and a pair of sensible pumps. You can add a matching structured blazer, but make sure it isn’t too long or you risk overwhelming your frame. Something that falls to the middle of the hip is ideal. The monochromatic look also helps convey the illusion of additional length. A pencil skirt with a high waist offers the same flattering advantage, extending the legs considerably.
On the high-waist front, it’s time to make these pants the VIPs of our wardrobe. Not only do they look great, but they tick all the boxes where petite fashion musts are concerned: they elevate the waist, create instantly flattering proportions, and make your legs look longer as a result. Anything goes, whether it’s a pair of high-waisted corduroy pants or jeans.
This look can easily throwback to a bygone era — hello, 1970s! — or take on a more contemporary appearance with the right accessories and tops. You’ll look flawless when you tuck a turtleneck into your bottoms, but you can easily modernize the look by wearing a sleek bodysuit and a structured blazer instead. High-waisted bottoms look best with some width cut into the legs, so stick with heels to contribute to a streamlined look from top to bottom.
Once it cools down, you’ll need to add some outerwear to the mix — and even this piece that you only wear once in a while is crucial to your overall look. Remember that it’s key not to choose pieces that might overwhelm your body. Don’t worry too much about long sleeves, which your tailor can easily adjust to your comfort.
As for structures, a cropped jacket is always flattering since it comes to a stop at the hips, which helps elongate the legs visually. If you’re browsing petite women’s winter coats, don’t be surprised if you come across knee-length styles; the streamlined silhouette is ideal for your frame because it conveys length from shoulder to knee. Have fun with your color choices; now is the time to break out the beautiful jewel tones and the striking patterned jackets to shake things up just a little bit.
Who says being short has to exclude you from wearing the most fashionable clothes out there? With the right pieces in your wardrobe, you can create beautiful ensembles that are flattering and timeless.