1. Opt for cropped silhouettes
Cropped blouses and cropped slim-cut trousers are great for creating the illusion of an elongated frame. Steer clear of long-line tunics and shirts that fall below the waistline.
There’s also the quintessential two-third/one-third rule that all petite ladies should know by heart. Let us break it down for you… By no means should you split your body into two equal halves when it comes to pairing tops and bottoms.
Instead, your bottoms should take up two-thirds of your body (high-waisted trousers are a great go-to for this) while your top takes up one-third proportion. Keep this in mind and you’ve got a fail-safe formula for figure-flattering styling.
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2. Layering is great, but keep everything tailored
Despite the common misconception that layering is a petite woman’s worst nightmare, we’re actually huge advocates for it. It’s a great way to add dimension and spruce up any look.
Layering with baggy or oversized cuts will indubitably wind up overwhelming your smaller figure, but the trick is to opt for tailored, streamlined cuts such as a sleek pantsuit.
Avoid layering with relaxed fits, oversized shirts and longline duster coats. Keep the inner layers polished and well-fitted, and throw on cropped blazer jackets. Bonus tip: Peplum blazers that nip before flaring at your hips are extra flattering for your proportions, adding dimension and elongating the torso.
3. Avoid boxy or square-shaped silhouettes
Square-shaped silhouettes such as shift dresses, straight-cut blouses with stiff boxy sleeves and blazers with structured shoulders should be avoided as much as possible. We repeat: These shapes will not do anything for your petite frame.
Boxy silhouettes tend to conceal your figure and you might end up looking smaller and swallowed up underneath them. Go for structured shaping and pieces that show off your figure to a fuller effect. For example, opt for wrap dresses or belted dresses that are cinched at the waist instead of shirt dresses.
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4. Try wearing more vertical stripes
If you’re showing your stripes, and we mean this literally, be sure to go for stripes that run vertically as opposed to horizontally.
Horizontal stripes usually give off a widening illusion, while vertical stripes are elongating.
This rule doesn’t have to be applied as strictly when it comes to tops, since it covers a smaller proportion of the body; but be extra cautious when you’re dealing with dresses, one-piece items like jumpsuits, and trousers as well.
5. Monochromatic is the way to go when it comes to wearing a one-piece
For jumpsuits and co-ords, solid colours give a uniformed look as compared to bolder, distracting prints that will, in turn, overwhelm a petite frame.
An overload of prints and patterns can easily look messy when you’re not super tall, so it’s better to opt for a monochromatic colour scheme if you’re talking about one-piece outfits.
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6. Opt for high-waisted bottoms
Whenever in doubt, always go for bottoms that are fashioned in a high-waisted fit.
This trick works for both slim and fuller women as the positioning of the waistband around your abdominal region can create the illusion of a shorter torso and longer gams. Finish the look with either an off-shoulder top (slim women) or a neatly pressed white shirt (plus-size women).
7. Utilise short skirts to your advantage
When we mention the word “short”, we don’t mean micro. Numbers that expose your butt cheeks isn’t sexy. It’s quite the opposite: Tacky.
For leaner women, you’re free to explore numbers that ends around your thigh region, while curvier women should choose skirts with hemlines that end around your knees. Whatever size you are, you should always sharpen up with a blazer if you’d wish to wear this number to work.
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8. Slip into a pair of comfortable heels
Yes, there are proven studies that show the direct relationship between high heels and boosting confidence. However, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, especially to petite women. Will you feel confident if you’re struggling with every step you take in those six-inches pumps? We doubt so.
A pair of comfortable shoes — whatever the height — is all that matters. We’d recommend sticking to a maximum of three-inches if you’d want to survive a whole day in them. Slender women can go for thinner heels while curvier sisters should opt for chunkier soles, such as block heels, for support purposes.
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9. Go for fitted numbers
Contrary to popular belief, bell bottoms, flare pants and maxi dresses will make a petite woman appear shorter than usual.
Whether you’re thinner or fuller, opt for garments that’ll fit you to a T. If you’d chance upon a particular item that you’re obsessed with, yet find yourself swimming in them (the hemlines are too long!), take them to the tailors and get them altered. Easy.