EXPERT-RECOMMENDED PIECES TO COMPLEMENT YOUR FRAME INSTEAD OF OVERPOWERING IT.
When it comes to looking well-put-together, stylists unanimously emphasize the importance of dressing for your body type. This is particularly crucial for individuals on the petite side, where ill-fitting clothing can easily overwhelm the frame, resulting in an unflattering appearance. Recognizing this challenge, we turned to stylists for insights into the best clothing items tailored for petites.
“Fitting well, especially around the shoulders and waist, poses a challenge for petite individuals,” notes fashion designer Sunica Du. “Many designs are tailored for average or taller individuals.”
Joe Manktelow-Pimm, a style expert and editor of 7Gents, points out that it’s not just the standard hemlines that are problematic for petites; overall proportions tend to be off, with shoulder seams and sleeve lengths often mismatched.
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5 Clothing Items You Need If You’re Petite
With these above-mentioned considerations in mind, here are some indispensable wardrobe items that stylists recommend for petites:
1. High-rise pants
Whether you’re in search of jeans, leggings, or trousers, pay close attention to the rise. As a general guideline, higher rises are more flattering for petite bodies.
“A pair of high-waisted pants can elongate your legs and create a balanced silhouette,” advises Du. Styling-wise, experts suggest tucking in tops to enhance the lengthening effect.
2. Tailored blazer
Jasmine Charbonier, the style and travel blogger behind Your Tampa Bestie, deems a tailored blazer essential for every petite wardrobe. Specifically, she recommends opting for one with slim lapels and unpadded shoulders to avoid overwhelming a petite figure.
“A well-fitted blazer defines your waist and adds structure to your frame,” adds Du. “For a streamlined look, choose a blazer that ends at the hip and pair it with a monochrome outfit. Leaving blazers unbuttoned can create a vertical line down the center of the body.”
Monica Liang, a fashion and style expert and founder of Vain Affair, suggests seeking a blazer with vertical pinstripes to visually lengthen your torso.
3. Midi dress
Maxi dresses can pose challenges for petites, leading Amrita Harbajan, a certified image consultant and style blogger, to recommend midi dresses instead.
These dresses, hitting between just below the knee and mid-calf, strike the perfect balance for showcasing footwear and complementing a narrow frame. Charbonier specifically suggests a solid-color wrap dress, timeless and elegant, that cinches the waist. To create the illusion of longer legs, pair midi dresses with nude shoes matching your skin tone.
4. Trench coat
While a trench coat is a timeless wardrobe staple for everyone, Charbonier emphasizes a few key considerations for petites. Opt for a three-quarter length coat that hits at mid-thigh, avoiding the standard length that may appear too bulky on a smaller frame. Additionally, a trench coat with a belt can define and accentuate the waist, enhancing the overall look.
5. Ankle-length skinny jeans
For petites, the ability to pull off cropped lengths effortlessly is an advantage, notes Charbonier. She recommends investing in ankle-length skinny or straight-leg jeans, as the cropped length flatters and creates a leg-lengthening illusion. To maintain a polished appearance, pair these jeans with a low heel or pointy flat, along with a top that’s either cropped to the waistband or neatly tucked in.