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Petites: A Dressing Guide

Petites: A Dressing Guide

style guide for petites


If you've visited my About page before, you know an interesting little (key word "little") fact about me: I don't quite reach 62 inches on the doctor's height measuring apparatus. And I'm fine with that. (Fine = Frightened, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional. Can you guess which movie I just referenced?)

So yeah, totally cool with it. No, for real, being a dwarf doesn't bother me anymore. It used to. Boy, did it ever. But I've finally come to terms with my diminutive stature. I've learned a few ways to work with and dress for my height (or lack of it), and now I'd like to help all you other tiny creatures out there.


Skirt, pant, and dress lengths

They say that wearing cropped pants or mid-calf skirts and dresses makes the leg look shorter because a cropped length cuts the foot at an awkward spot. Instead, you should choose either shorter skirts/dresses or ankle length pants and maxi skirts/dresses. It's solid advice. Which isn't to say I've never worn a mid-calf skirt. I have. Plenty. I just may not be doing myself a service.

You see, that's the thing with all these style tips - they're true, they work, but you have to decide if you're willing to sacrifice apparel styles that you love for dressing guides that work for your body. In this case (of skirt/dress lengths), I tend to choose the clothing I love over dressing advice.  

Note: Click on an image to be brought to its web page

patterns and prints

It's best to keep the patterns that you wear on the smaller side, the logic being that since you're small, the patterns you wear should be small as well. If the patterns are very large, your body will be overwhelmed and overshadowed by them. So keep the prints simple; if you don't like patterns, even better - wear solid colors. 


Note: Click on an image to be brought to its web page

Vertical detailing 

This piece of style advice is pretty famous: wearing vertical stripes conveys an illusion that you're taller than you actually are. More ways to achieve this same illusion: wear vertical pleats and vertical ruching. 

jackets and coats

I know double-breasted jackets are uber chic, but try to stick with single-breasted ones (single tear slowly rolls down cheek).  Keep your collars smaller as well. And the length of your jackets and coats should be shorter - again, you don't want to be overpowered by what you're wearing. 

Note: Click on an image to be brought to its web page


Smaller accessories are better choices than huge and overwhelming ones. By now you should know why. Same applies to the other detailing on your outfit - keep everything small and simple.


Wearing two acutely different colors for the top and bottom parts of your outfit cuts your body in half. Never a good idea. Dresses and monochrome outfits are wonderful for petites because there's no spot being cut off, and an elongated, never-ending look is achieved. 

Note: Click on an image to be brought to its web page


Did you know that pointy shoes help elognate your legs? How cool?! Also, nude shoes work the same magic, by blending into your skin and deceiving the eye. It makes people go, "wait, is that her skin or her shoe?" The result of this confusion: people think your leg is longer when it's really just your shoe producing the illusion. And I think that's even cooler than the pointy shoe illusion. Also, just gonna state the obvious here - high heels are great for petites. I don't think an explanation is necessary for this one (high heels work because they make you taller). 

Note: click on an image to be brought to its web page

Just a reminder: the above are style tips, not style rules. Don't stress.



On a completely unrelated note, here's some food for thought (punny!):

squirting ketchup on french fries
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