Leaning on the petite side (I’m only 5’2″), I struggled to find clothes that fit and flattered my frame for a large part of my life. It wasn’t until I started dressing for my height and body type that I finally defined my personal style. I’ve since remained conscious of how everything fits on my body, making style notes about what works and what doesn’t. From avoiding tricky prints to stocking up on the right silhouettes, it’s all about maximizing your height with a few fashion guidelines. Below, I’m sharing my best advice on how you can dress to flatter your petite frame.
Outfit Details: Saint Laurent Bag Large Monogram Envelope Matelasse | Similar Olive Duster | Privacy Please Bodysuit (wearing an XS – runs TTS) | Similar Levi’s Shorts (and here) | Gianvito Rossi Suede Heels (also here, budget version here) | Quay Sunglasses
1. Opt for lengthening pieces
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll notice that I wear a lot of floor-length pieces from duster coats to dresses and trousers. I like to pair these garments with high heels to create the illusion of length. Keep in mind that smaller frames be overwhelmed by floor-length pieces, so it’s important to ensure the hem grazes the floor rather than drags. Softer fabrics are also ideal since they’ll drape over your body naturally.
2. Favor high-waisted silhouettes
For petite ladies, anything that cinches the waist gives you a longer silhouette and helps define your figure. I typically shop for styles that fit close to the body and have a higher waistline, especially when it comes to bottoms and dresses. A high-waisted piece always helps me look my tallest!
Outfit Details: Badgley Mischka Beige Trench Coat (in ‘Fog’ color) | Club Monaco Top (wearing an XS) | Parker Smith White Denim | Christian Louboutin So Kate Heels | Quay Sunglasses | Saint Laurent Sunset Bag
3. Use a monochrome color palette to your advantage
Sticking to a monochromatic color scheme helps create a long, seamless look. Darker colors like black, navy, and gray are great for making you look slimmer. However, I also love nude and white outfits for a crisp, spring ensemble. To prevent a monochrome outfit from looking dull, play with flowy cuts, proportions, and trendy accessories that will make a statement and keep your outfit fresh.
4. Avoid bold patterns or anything too ornate
While I’m all about wearing what makes you feel best, there are a few things petite girls can avoid in order to look taller. Some of those things include large, bold prints that tend to break up a small frame. I love florals and tropical prints; however, I always steer clear of anything too complex and bold. Vertical stripes also help add an extra inch or two – unlike horizontal stripes, which have a widening effect.
Outfit Details: Similar White Blazer | Anine Bing Cami (better for budget here) | Levi’s Denim Shorts | Christian Louboutin White Heels (better for budget here) | Gucci Belt | Quay Sunglasses | Chloe Small Nile Bracelet Bag
5. Buy the right accessories
Accessories can also play a huge role in your outfit. As much as I love an oversized tote, they aren’t the most flattering handbag for my size. Mini and medium-sized bags are perfect since they’re proportionally closer to my frame. Belts are another accessory that I love. The simple cinching of the waist can instantly make you appear leaner. The same goes for simple nude pumps, which is why I love my Christian Louboutin’s so much!
Outfit Details: VICI Black Top (wearing an S, save 20% off with code “MARIA20”) | VICI White Jeans (wearing a 1, save 20% off with code “MARIA20”) | VICI Black Statement Earrings (wearing a 1, save 20% off with code “MARIA20”) | VICI Gold Pendant Necklace (wearing a 1, save 20% off with code “MARIA20”) | Saint Laurent Bag (‘Lipstick Red’ color)
6. Try cropped silhouettes
Another one of my favorite figure-flattering tricks is to opt for higher hemlines – especially in tops. They usually create an instant slimming effect, especially in a solid, neutral tone. Tops that hit at or before your hips are the perfect match for high-waisted jeans or voluminous skirts. Slightly cropped pants that show some ankle also look great when paired with high heels.