Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fitting Pretty

A reader asked for tips for dressing well with petite proportions and an ample figure. Petite means shorter than five feet four inches tall. Some people assume that it means tiny but the term applies only to height.

Solid tops in soft fabrics that hold their shape, have a V neck and sleeves that can be turned up will flatter you more than a floral shirt with long sleeves and a collar for example.  Never tuck in your shirt and wear a belt if you are self conscious of your waistline. A better choice will always be tops that can be worn over the waistband. The hem of your jacket or blouse should stop at or near the top of your hip bone. Allow as much leg length to show as possible.

Pants that are tapered and more tailored will look better on you than wide leg pants, skinny jeans or flared Capris. Many stores now have a petite section where you can shop for classic pieces which can be worn with several other items in your wardrobe.

Avoid horizontal lines or breaks in your look. Each horizontal hem or color break visually shortens you. For example a shorter blouse under a jacket which is a bit longer will make you look taller and neater than when both items stop at the same area or the blouse extends beyond the hem of jacket creating another horizontal line.

Carry smaller bags and look for shoes with a pointed toe. High heels tend not be a good choice for most petite women. A better choice would be wedges or square heels that have a longer more pointed toe area. This type of shoe always elongates the leg and makes you look a little taller.

Smaller watches or other jewelry such as button or small drop earrings will look best on you. Stay away from chandelier earrings, stacks of bracelets and statement necklaces. Bold jewelry and colorful patterns in clothing will almost always overwhelm you. Scarves should be small and worn in a very sleek simple tie or wrap if you choose to wear them. Avoid bulky sweaters and jackets.

Your key pieces should be solid colors that flatter your skin tone and work well together. Find a good tailor and spend the extra money to get pieces tailored to fit perfectly. You will always be glad you did.

I hope these tips prove to be helpful to you. Thank you for reading!


Donna said...

Thank YOU, Miss Susan, for this most informative post! I can already see some things that will be donated to charity when I do the seasonal closet change-out.

Diane said...

Thank-you for this. I too am petite and will take lots of this advice. I did just recently go out and get nice dark navy jeans and some cute shoes. And now am weeding out my closet of the non-flattering clothes I somehow bought. I feel much more confident making my choices with your guidance.
No more buying matching sets just bacic colors that will mix well with my pants.

Catherine said...

I am really enjoying your blog. I find your posts informative, positive and very well written and designed. Thank you for all the work that I know you must put into this.
With many thanks from rainy Vancouver, BC !

gracefully50 said...

Great advise, Susan!

Myrina said...

thank you for the useful advice!

Learning to Paint said...

Hi Susan, I appreciate the tips, but how do we curvy petites add interest or drama to our outfits if all our accessories are of the same small scale?


Susan said...

You can add drama and interest in the style and details of one focal point piece effectively. Never wear a piece that overwhelms you. For example a long beaded necklace with large ornate beads wouldn't work for you. A shorter necklace with one ornate pendant would. Thanks for your comments.