How to Dress a Petite Figure


If you're petite, you already know it's hard to find clothes that fit properly. Clothes that look great on a taller frame may make your body look larger or make you look shorter than you are. If you're petite, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing your clothes.

  • Look for proportional clothes. Don't settle for jackets that are too long in the sleeves or make your shoulders look big. Let tops land where they're supposed to, preferably at waist level. Purchase structured clothes or clothes with seaming at the waist to emphasize your waist.

  • Find a good tailor so your clothes fit your body shape. Many petite people need not only their pants hemmed, but the sleeves of their tops and jackets taken up as well.

  • Show off your legs. Choose skirts that hit above the knee to make your legs look longer. Avoid calf-length or ankle-length skirts that make you look shorter than you are. Mini-skirts are okay, depending on your age, your comfort level and your body shape.

  • Purchase straight-legged pants. Tapered pants look awful no matter what your body type is, and boot cut or flared pants make petite women look shorter than they are. Get your pants properly hemmed so the hems brush the tops of your shoes.

  • Consider buying pointy-toed shoes, or avoid shoes with a squared toe. These make the leg look shorter than pointy-toed shoes. If you're comfortable, wear shoes with at least a 2-inch heel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid large prints. On a petite figure, large prints make you look smaller and overwhelm your body. Go for clothes without prints or look for small prints.
  • Avoid cropped pants, tops and jackets. These make your figure look shorter.
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