Petite figures – Don’t let your style come up short!

When we talk about petite women we’re usually picturing ladies who are 5″3′ or under with a small frame. But “petite” doesn’t have to mean short, women with a particularly slight build will benefit from the same fashion advice. Firstly, we don’t want you to feel like you have to create the illusion of height or size because you’re a little shorter. What we want to do is show you that a lack of height certainly does not mean a lack in style.petite woman

Creating the illusion of height

As much as we don’t think you short ladies should have to create the illusion of height or size, we know for some women it will be a confidence booster if they could. So, we hope you appreciate us going against our own words!

1) Use a “two-third one-third” rule. Avoid outfits that split you in half at the centre and go for something like high waisted bottoms that cover two thirds of your lower and short tops that cover your remaining one third. If you’re out of high waisted jeans, try wearing a large belt that’s the same colour as your bottoms.

2) Physically increase your height with high heels or stilettos. Matching the colour of your heels to your legs or stockings will make your legs appear longer.

3) Vertical stripes over horizontal every time. They’ll help elongate your petite figure, horizontal stripes will only make you look wider.

4) Look for vertical lines in your clothing, not just in the prints and patterns; we mean the seems, stitching, neck lines etc… The eye will automatically follow the line down your petite body shape aiding in creating the illusion of more height.

What to look out for

When looking at printed items, keep your eye out for prints that are in proportion to your size. A detailed, delicate, smaller print will suit you much better than larger block patterns. Anything with a plunging neck line will work really well for you, whether it’s a dress, shirt or top. Talking of showing some flesh, keeping your dresses a little shorter will make your legs look longer so keep a respectable length above the knee. Fitted clothing will do much more for your figure and baggy clothes. Plenty of women envy a petite figure and plenty of men desire it, so show it off! Get a well fitted wrap dress in your wardrobe as well as a couple of bodycon’s and you’ll be covered for most occasions.

Try to avoid…

Avoid wearing large bracelets, oversized glasses and long dresses that fall below your knee. Stay in proportion to your size with your fashion accessories. Thigh high boots won’t do you many favours either, if anything they’ll make your legs look even more petite than they actually are! You can pull off high and wide scooping neck lines, but there are better choices. When considering colours, primary block colours may make you look more “school pupil” than trendsetter. Pastels, patterns and shaded textures will avoid creating any child like look.

What would you like to know?

We’re building a complete fashion guide for those with a petite body shape, this is a tiny snippet of advice in comparison. If there’s anything you struggle with or would like to see us writing about, email us at and we’ll do our best to answer your questions in another blog post.


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