You fall within a petite body shape if you are 5’4” in height or under. You can be petite and any body shape, from an hourglass to a strawberry, along with being anything from slim to curvy and anywhere in between.
I have worked with a lot of clients who struggle with their personal style because of their petite frame. They often don’t know how to dress to accentuate their best features or where to find the right pieces, which will fit them properly without the need for alterations. So here are three of my top petite styling tips to make getting dressed that much easier.
Avoid oversized styles: We’ve seen huge trends for oversized items but for a petite frame they often do the complete opposite of what we are trying to achieve. Make sure you go for fitted pieces of clothing that highlight your shape, pull you in at the waist and elongate the frame. Excess fabric and boxy styles can make a petite frame look short and give a drowning-in-fabric appearance.
Wear vertical lines: Long vertical lines will make the frame look taller. Think pleated skirts or vertical stripes to elongate the whole frame. If your torso is longer than your legs, and you want to create the illusion of longer legs try wearing a pair of trousers with a vertical print. This will instantly create the image of long legs.
Go for separates: It can sometimes be harder to get an all-in-one piece like a dress or a jumpsuit in a good fit for the petite frame. The style may fit well in one area and not in another. If you often find this, I’d recommend trying separate pieces of clothing like a top and trousers, or top and skirt. It will be easier to get the fit right on the separate pieces. You can also often find co-ord styles where the top and bottom piece is available as a set. Again, this will be elongating to the frame with one colour or print that runs throughout the length of the body.
I know a lot of women struggle to find petite clothing that fits. A lot of the high street shops may have a petite range, so it’s a good place to start. I would also recommend finding independent small businesses with a direct focus on petite fashion. Two brands I have come across are Kloth London and Shop the Shortlist, who both specifically design pieces for the petite frame.
Want to learn more? I’ve got a blog post on petite style and also cover tips and tricks in my body shape analysis sessions.
Neelam Mistry-Thaker is a fashion expert, personal stylist and style coach.
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