Style and Beauty

Getting the latest styling and beauty solutions

style and beautyClothing labeled as petite is cut with that proportion in mind. Compared to standard items, you’ll often find narrower shoulders and shorter inseams. So whether you’re a size 00 or a size 16, if you’re shorter, the petite section is worth a look.

For bustier petites, balance is key
Fuller petite body types can vary, but overall, celebrating shape is important. For big-busted petites, empire waists are great since they nip you in beneath the bustline. Or, try a fitted top paired with a high-low skirt. This way you’ve got a fitted base with an outer layer to balance and all without sacrificing shape.

Smaller frame? Depending on the brand, don’t overlook kids’ sizes
Sizing doesn’t always make sense, even with retailers that have specific lines for petites. So when shopping, don’t look at sizing tags, look at measurements. With some brands, the larger kids sizes are interchangeable with the smaller petite sizes and they often cost less too.
Think about functionality, too. “I love cropped tops in regular sizing which work perfectly as not-too-long tops on petites. Also look for items that look like higher empire-style waists on the models, since those tend to fit like regular dresses on petites.

And the same goes for shoes
In this case, both pairs have the exact same measurements around the top with the kids’ size just isn’t as tall. But if you’re shorter, this actually means a more proportionate fit. The boots will hit your calves, rather than right below your knee. More comparison info here.

Use layers to fake a perfect fit
If an item is fine in some spots but too big in others, use layers to strategically cover the latter. More examples of faking fit here.

Get familiar with easy at-home alterations that you can do yourself
Things won’t always fit perfectly off the rack, but you can often still make them work with simple DIY alterations. Like this one for slimming sleeves and raising the neckline with two small changes that can make a big difference. Find three ways to do this and two of which are beginner-friendly.

At the same time, know when to invest in a professional tailor
Yes, it’s an added cost, but if you’re careful about sticking to classic pieces that you can wear year after year like winter coats, for example and you’ll find that the investment is worth it. More here.

Cuff long shirts at the elbow
Flowy long-sleeved shirts sometimes dwarf smaller frames. Cuffed sleeves and a quick tuck can break things up and emphasize shape.Or cuff long jeans for a quick makeshift hem. Roll them up or tuck them under.

With maxis, pay extra attention to silhouette
You can wear maxis, but be mindful of roomy cuts with lots of material, says Gordon. If something is voluminous on the bottom, balance things out by wearing something fitted or tucked on top. More here and here.

The same goes for high-waisted bottoms and crop tops. Again, balance is key. Pair a fitted crop top with high-waisted skirts or shorts, says Gordon. This can help balance both halves without sacrificing shape.