I'm Under 5'3''—These Are the 9 Outfit Secrets I Swear By

Elinor Block
·4-min read

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.

2. Wear short skirts with pointed shoes or boots.

3. Opt for cropped, fitted denim.

4. Wear high-waisted trousers.

5. Tailor your pieces.

6. When in doubt, go tonal.

7. Do oversized, 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.

& Other Stories Fitted Smocked Ruffle Top (£65)

La Ligne Smocked Crepe Dress (£365)

Bottega Veneta Leather Belt (£710)

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.

Mango Heel Zipped Boots - Women | Mango United Kingdom (£20)

Khaite Eiko High-Rise Waist Zebra-Print Twill Mini Skirt (£670)

Prada Point-Toe Spazzolato-Leather Slingback Pumps (£705)

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)

& Other Stories Treasure Cut Cropped Jeans (£65)

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 Tailored Trousers (£25)

Stella McCartney Carlie Cropped Woven Straight-Leg Pants (£450)

& Other Stories Tailored Kick Flare Trousers (£75)

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.

Lemaire Shawl-Lapel Double-Breasted Crepe Blazer (£640)

Mango Flowy Suit Blazer (£70)

Frankie Shop Oversized Belted Woven Blazer (£250)

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.

Max Mara + Leisure Talete Washed-Satin Midi Dress (£215)

& Other Stories Wool Blend Tortoise Button Cardigan (£65)

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.

ASOS Design Collared Faux Leather Trench Coat in Putty (£65)

COS Tailored Long Coat (£225)

Totême Signature Wool and Cashmere-Blend Coat (£800)

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.

Neous Cygnus Canvas Mules (£395)

Mango Heel Leather Sandals (£70)

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know.

This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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