How to dress when you are short or petite

Fashion is oriented to the girls that are taller than average and much taller than most of us. But, before you give up and get all frustrated, let's clarify some rules that will help you look great and wear what fashion industry has to offer.

Here is how you can look taller and more proportional:

  1. Don't create strong horizontal lines in your outfit. When there is a pronounced colour difference between your top and bottom, it visually cuts you off, making you look shorter and wider, so go for colours that are similar or close to each other. For example, white and light blue in summer, grey and blue or black in winter. Use this same rule for horizontal stripes that are wider than your finger.
  2. Avoid big prints. Petite girls should be cautious with bold and scaled prints. In comparison to the huge flowers you have on your top, your body looks even smaller. The safe option is solid colours. However, you can wear small prints too.
  3. Go for vertical accents. Vertical stripes or a single line in your outfit will make you look taller and slimmer. The same will work with diagonal lines. Detailing on your clothes that is vertically located, for example, buttons will work in the same way. Long scarfs are another way to create a vertical line in your outfit.
  4. Scale your accessories. Similar to prints, we careful with bold and big necklaces, earrings and purses. Big bags (especially soft and shapeless) will make you not only shorter but also wider too.
  5. Additional things that will add some height to you:
  • Nude shoes or shoes that have the same color as your bottom (pants or tights)
  • Hats
  • Hair volume on top of your head (it is back in fashion)
  • Shoes with a pointed toe
  • Heels, especially if paired with long pants that cover the shoe completely.
  • Classic straight pants (preferably with creases). Same rule for jeans- straight leg options are your best friends.
  • Maxi dresses also very flattering and slimming. They add height, but you need put additional attention to the length of the dress: it should be just above the floor, not touching it, as only your feet need to be seen under the dress.

Specific items that will make you look shorter if high heels are not your thing:

  • Midi (below the knee) skirts and dresses.
  • Tunics (if their color is different from leggings or skinnies under them). They will visually shorten your legs too!
  • Long jackets. Go for jackets that end just on your waist line or few inches below.
  • Mary Janes or any other shoes that have stripes that cut your legs
  • Oversized or too sloppy clothes.
  • Ankle pants or capris
  • Long coats, trench coats, and vests (below the knee or midi)


Where I suggest to shop?

As it relates to fit, in order not to invest tons of money in alterations, I suggest shopping at stores that have dedicated petite lines. Here is the list of my favorites (at different price points):

  • Banana Republic
  • Top Shop
  • Eloquii (plus size options also available)
  • Asos
  • Talbots (plus size options also available)
  • Ann Taylor
  • Loft
  • Express (new line launched Jan 2017)
  • Addition Elle (plus size options also available)
  • WHBM (White House Black Market)
  • GAP
  • J Crew

Miniature women are beautiful and very attractive.

They create a very fragile impression, and men immediately feel the need to protect them. Go for it and use it to your advantage. We all are strong and independent, but why not to pretend? (:

Kylie Minogue is 152 cm (5'), Salma Hayek and Shakira are 157 cm (5'2"), and Lady Gaga isĀ  155 cm (5' 1").

You are in good company, ladies. Don't let stereotypes discourage you!

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