Fashion by Body Type: Petite

Most people who read the here OU Daily fashion blog know me personally, so I know I’m stating the obvious by saying that I’m on the shorter side–5’2″ to be exact. Keeping up with trends when you aren’t built like a model can be tough, but to be honest it mostly has to do with confidence.

I thought it would be neat to break down what looks the most flattering on different body types and fashion muses for your figure, but please know that rules are meant to be broken–I contradict a lot of what I’m about to say, because I have a serious case of “IDoWhatIWant” syndrome. Personally, I think the most interesting people are the most individual, so don’t be afraid to do the exact opposite of what I suggest!

Disclaimer aside, read on for a guide to staying on trend even when you’re tiny!

Things to Consider…

  • This is probably obvious, but the length of your body is independent from its shape. Keep in mind that your short, but refer to wardrobe guides for hourglass, pear, apple, and athletic body types as well.
  • Tailored pants are essential for elongating your leg. Your legs will look even longer if your shoes match your pants. Think a pair of khaki trousers with nude pumps, or black opaque tights with a black pair of boots.
  • Ignore articles that say you should stay away from bulk–a full coat or wide-leg jeans look great as long as everything else you wear is fitted.
  • Be careful with ankle boots. They should only be worn with short dresses or skirts. Pair then with something knee length or longer and you’ll look stumpy.
  • Shorter girls sometimes have issues with jeans hemmed awkwardly or shoulders on jackets being too wide. A great tailor is essential to keeping your finds fit perfectly.
  • Stay away from large prints or anything too complicated. Tiny polka dots or florals and skinny stripes will look the best.
  • Waist belts are tricky too. Feel free to wear a thin waist belt around the smallest part of your torso to create an hourglass look, but wide belts should be worn lower at your hips.
  • Cropped tops can look awkward if you have a short torso. Pair it with a high-waisted skirt to keep it from looking too 90’s fabulous.
  • Speaking of which, it’s pretty difficult for tiny girls to rock high-waist pants (remember Jessica Simpson’s awful high-waisted jeans?) However, Kim Kardashian is both petite and curvy (like our friend Jessica) and has figured out how to pull this look off correctly.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear over the knee boots and thigh high socks! just be sure that the part of your leg featured is the thinnest part of your thigh.
  • TAILOR YOUR SKINNY JEANS! Really scrunched jeans or cuffed skinnies made you look so awkward.
  • Maxi dresses will look great on you as long as you go for sleek, monochromatic styles. Try a simple black A-line maxi dress with gladiators for a fun summer look.
  • Go crazy with your shoes. My friends and acquaintances know that I have a fetish for wedges and hidden platform shoes. I absolutely HATE flatforms and platform flip flops though…if you feel like you can rock them though, more power to you!
  • Tunic length tops are always flattering as long as they hit your upper thigh. Try one out with skinny jeans and flats, or leggings and boots.
  • Don’t be afraid of wide leg and flared jeans! They’ll made your butt look tiny and are more interesting than your go-to pair of boot cut jeans. Wear them with heels for the most flattering illusion.
  • If you have nice legs, show them off unapologetically. Petite girls can do this without looking skanky.
  • Don’t listen to any of this advice. The most creative and fearless fashionistas are by far the most interesting.

Fashion Icons for Petite Girls

Eva Longoria is the perfect balance between sexy and classic. I especially love her red carpet looks. She’s the perfect inspiration on how to dress for formal occasions or what silhouettes look best for maxi dresses.

Rachel Bilson is my go-to muse for everyday casual outfits. She is trendy but never overwhelming. In the picture above, she looks amazing in wide legged jeans, a tailored jacket, and heels.

At 5’3″ but curvy as can by, Kim Kardashian is a great fashion muse for any girl with a fuller chest and butt. She looks chic no matter what she wears, and shows you how to show off your figure without looking too risque.

Nicole Richie is my favorite diminutive fashion muse. She is as tiny as can be but isn’t afraid to layer and wear loud outfits. Her boho-meets-California girl style is so unique, and she’s never afraid to tackle a trend. I love her huge hats, short skirts, and impossibly high heels.

Fergie is great for fashion inspiration if you have an off-beat, urban sense of fashion. She always wears bright colors, unusual accessories, and is never afraid to show off her rock-hard abs.

If there’s a fashion rule, Mary Kate Olsen is sure to break it. Even though she’s tiny, she piles on layers, accessories, and giant handbags. I adore her sense of anti-fashion fashion and applaud her sartorial fearlessness.

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