Tag Archive for: petite fashion

Did you know how good your body is?

I apologize for not posting for awhile, work has been busy with several new clients. There are times when I love my job, I do. I love watching women transform from nothing-fits-me, my-mom-always-said-I-look-bad-in-skirts, I-am-not-that-attractive, I-am-too-fat to kind of getting closer to the mirror, twirling a bit and suppressing a smile because they know they look good. I love getting the emails after an event telling me how  beautiful they looked and how many compliments they got. How their husbands couldn’t keep their hands off of them. How their kids were surprised to see mommy in something other than Lululemon. The confidence, the joy in being a woman, the fun – I love all that. That’s the reason I do what I do.


Top: J Crew sweater (similar here), 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans (similar here), and New Balance for J Crew sneakers

Well, not these last 2 weeks. These weeks have sucked. Client nr 1 is very pretty with a firecracker personality. She is also petite and athletic with a muscular built. It was a nightmare to go shopping with her! I obviously know that petites are completely overlooked in fashion. The petites section at Nordstrom makes me want to cry. I was actually accosted by a 4 petite women asking me WHERE are they supposed to go to shop for decent clothes. UGH. SO many petite women and so many crappy options. We had such a hard time with client nr 1, I am still looking online that tops that work.



Client nr 2 (thank you, Momus, goddess of Irony) was 5’11, skinny with a pear shape. We found sweaters and dresses (Calvin Klein) but just failedfailedfailed at jackets and pants. There’s no tall women section. There’s plus size and actually had pretty cute options. But by God if you are short or tall, you are screwed. Many many hours of desperately looking for clothes, just clothes that fit!


Source: stylecaster.com

I have never really thought, OMG, what an amazing body I have. Sure, there are times I think I look great, really great even. Not every day though. But having done this marathon shopping trips with clients 1&2, it dawned on me how easy my life is. Sure I need to tailor clothes here and there. But by and large I get to go to any store and buy clothes based on whether they look cute on me or not. And I never realized how unusual that is. Did you know how good your body is??? So I beg you, put aside all these preconceived notions of how fat/skinny/bad you look and just go wear whatever the heck makes you happy. Because before you know it, you’ll be 70 and you WILL look back at your current self and think DAMN I looked good, why didn’t I know it?



Best style tips for petites.

Yay, my first email from a reader expressing her frustration in clothing options for petites. I feel your pain, L. There are tons of articles on how larger women are having a hard time dressing but I’ve seen many stylish options for women who wear bigger than size 10 whereas I am always shaking my head going through Nordstrom or Bloomingdales petite section. Even brands that normally have attractive clothes somehow end up designing what can only be described as sad sad clothes for women shorter than 5’4″. Considering that average height for women in the States is just that, it remains a mystery to me why such a large section of populace is underserved.


Rule number one: come to terms with the face that you’ll need to use tailor often. I’ve found that even petite clothing still needs to be altered to have that perfect fit, depending on the body.

Jackets should hit you at the hip (feel the top of your hipbone). Stay away from boxy fits and go for fitted at waist or empire cut jackets. I really like J Crew petite blazers, Ann Taylor petite options as well as White House Black Market petite options.




Tailored pants should cover 2/3 of your heel and the pointy toe flats and heels are your friends as they will make the legs look longer. Color coordinated pants-shoes will also visually lengthen your legs. I see this done wrong all the time. You cannot have the same trousers for both flats and heels. If you wear both, buy 2 pairs of pants and have each tailored accordingly. The picture of the left automatically makes you look shorter and too long pants draped around your ankles is not a great look either.



Source: alreadypretty.com

Jeans should be hemmed to be at an ankle length. Play around to see which length is most flattering by cuffing them first before altering. Skinny or straight leg jeans are most flattering. You can do maxi dresses but stay away from anything too billowing.

Skirts (other than mini) and shorter dresses should end right at the top of your knees.



Shoes: as I said, aim for anything pointy toe. Boots need to end right under the knee and wedge heel is your best friend. In my experience it’s really hard to find well fitting boots for petites as the calf area is inevitable too large. European designers cut narrower than American designers. I’ve had luck with Johnston&Murphy, Aquatalia and Nordstrom’s BP brand which is meant for juniors and is therefore cut narrower.

Do not wear light skinny jeans with dark short booties, it shortens your leg and makes it look bigger. Likewise don’t wear booties with skirts. Ever. Do heels, flats, or tall boots. Case and point.


Last but not least: be mindful of volume. If you are a flowy top do not do flowy wide skirt as well. Pair a-line skirt with a fitted top. If possible accentuate your waist, this tip works whether you are plus size or regular petite.

Here’s my inspiration board for Petites on Pinterest.