When you're short, shopping for clothing is a bit of a battle. As someone who's under 5'3", I've regularly found myself in fitting rooms trying on laughably long jeans or jackets that make me look like I've come straight from the '80s (such as unintentionally oversize shoulders). If you're nodding along in empathy, rest assured that I feel your pain. But it doesn't have to be this way.
While we should all embrace whatever size, shape or height we are, I know that for me, sometimes appearing and feeling a little taller helps with being more confident, which is why I've looked to petite Instagrammers to gather some tips on how to dress a smaller frame. Although they have their own takes on fashion, there's one thing they tend to avoid: anything overly layered. Now, on to their secrets…
1. Show your waist.
3. Opt for cropped, fitted denim.
4. Wear high-waisted trousers.
5. Tailor your pieces.
6. When in doubt, go tonal.
7. Do oversize, but don't excessively layer.
8. Invest in a long coat.
9. Don't underestimate small heels.
If you want to see these tricks in action, keep scrolling for nine outfit ideas that are ready to steal—featuring some of the coolest petite pieces we've come across.
1. Cinch Your Waist Where Possible
Style Notes: Thanks to the current trend of shirred tops and dresses, the waist is automatically cinched. However, if that trend's not for you, then keep voluminous layers in check by belting them at the waist.
Self-Portrait Off-The-Shoulder Shirred Cotton-Poplin Midi Dress (£290)
& Other Stories Fitted Smocked Shirt ($75)
Arket Structured-Buckle Leather Belt (£59)
2. Wear Short Skirts With Pointed-Toe Shoes or Boots
Style Notes: The beauty of this look is that it's so simple. There's just something about pointed-toe shoes that directs the eye down.
Christian Louboutin Quart 80 Lizard-Effect Leather Mules (£745)
Zara Rustic Mini Skirt (£26)
Gianvito Rossi Point-Toe Leather Slingback Pumps (£545)
3. Opt for Cropped, Fitted Denim
Style Notes: While wearing cropped items may seem counterintuitive, the high-waisted, fitted cut and a clever flash of ankle give the impression that Aimee Song is taller than she is.
Arket Regular Stretch Cropped Jeans (£59)
Lemaire High-Rise Cropped Jeans (£299)
Isabel Marant Naliska Cropped Straight-Leg Jeans (£285)
4. Wear High-Waisted Trousers
Style Notes: Anything high-waisted is a must for petite women, whether it's a pair of vinyl trousers, jeans or palazzo pants. The high rise gives the illusion of longer legs by emphasising your waist.
H&M Crease-Leg Trousers (£20)
Usisi Sister Flora Pleated Woven Straight-Leg Pants (£290)
& Other Stories High Waisted Pleated Twill Trousers (£85)
5. Tailor Your Pieces
Style Notes: When you’re all about oversize, most suits end up being too long and too big, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take part in the trend—you just need to find a good tailor.
& Other Stories Fitted Single Breasted Blazer (£120)
Raey Single-Breasted Wool-Twill Jacket (£595)
Mango Belt Suit Blazer (£70)
6. If in Doubt, Go Tonal
Style Notes: Tonal outfits are a go-to for shorter girls. Make like Monikh and pair a green dress with a green jacket.
Nili Lotan Cami Silk-Satin Gown (£620)
Extreme Cashmere No.105 Big Coat Stretch-Cashmere Cardigan (£700)
7. Do Oversize, But Don't Layer
Style Notes: The one thing petite street style stars all know to be true? Layers are not your friend, as they tend to drown shorter people in fabric. If you want to do the oversize look, opt for one key piece and wear it over something sleek.
& Other Stories Wool Blend Oversized Blazer (£165)
H&M Oversized Cashmere Jumper (£100)
Arket Leather Shirt (£250)
8. Invest in a Long Coat
Style Notes: Kim Kardashian West is a fan of this trick. (She knows a streamlined silhouette is always going to make you appear taller.) Bonus: A long coat will instantly make any outfit look smarter. Bonus bonus: Many of the world's midi coats will be long enough to do the trick, so you've got more options to play with.
Arket Down Puffer Trench Coat (£250)
Palones Notting Hill Two-Tone Twill Trench Coat (£155)
COS Wool Mix Relaxed Belted Coat (£190)
9. Don't Underestimate Low Heels
Style Notes: We saved the most obvious rule for last. Of course, wearing heels will make you look taller. And if you can't bear high heels? Fear not—kitten heels are back.
Jimmy Choo Rav 65 Crystal-Embellished Satin Mules (£725)
& Other Stories Croc Leather Heeled Ankle Boots (£135)
This story was originally published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated. Up next, the biggest A/W 20 fashion trends you need to see.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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