What To Wear If You Are Short And Petite: 11 Useful Tips

If your height is under 160 cm and you have a petite figure, it’s a double-sword situation. On the one hand, you don’t have the problems with choosing clothes like plus-sized women do. On the other hand, you need to create an illusion of a taller, more defined figure. Here are 11 tips that will help!


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1. 1/3 – 2/3 rule

This rule sounds complicated, but in reality it couldn’t be easier. The biggest mistake you can make while dressing is cutting your body in half with tops and bottoms of equal length. Instead you should pick bottoms that will take 2/3 of your figure and leave 1/3 to the top to create the necessary balance.

2. Opt for cropped jeans

Many fashionistas think that the high-waisted, cropped silhouette of jeans is reserved for tall women, but the truth is that jeans that are cropped at the right length can add the vital centimetres to your figure. Your cropped jeans need to show just a flash of your ankle and have a high waist.

3. Wear prints

While bold and large-scale prints are not the best option for a petite lady, you can satisfy your print craving with the help of smaller, delicate prints. Avoid mixing and matching bold prints – go for full-print outfit or combine two items with a complementary print.

4. Highlight waist

With a petite figure the most important thing to do is to add definition to it – preferably in the waist area. Wear a waist-cinching belt whenever possible and go for fitted clothes rather than shapeless, oversized garments that look better on taller bodies.

5. Go monochrome

A monochrome outfit (an outfit consisting of the same colour from head to toe or featuring different shades of one colour) is one of the most effective way to add the desired centimetres to your height and definition to your curves.

6. Shop in the children’s section

A less obvious trick for dressing petite figures is that the measurements for small women’s sizes often match measurements for children’s sizes for 12-14 years. Children’s clothes are often as cute as items for adults, and they always cost less, which is why it’s something you should consider.

7. Choose the V-neck

There are dozens of neckline styles available at choice today, but if you’re looking for a go-to neckline, choose the V-neck. Not only does the V-neck elongate your silhouette and make your chest look better, but it’s also suitable both for casual and evening wear.

8. Mini and maxi

Choosing a medium-length skirt or dress for a petite figure can be tricky, but, luckily, you have much more freedom with maxi and mini length. To make you look even more gorgeous, a maxi dress needs to have a defined silhouette, and you can wear virtually any mini skirt or shorts you like!

9. Alter your clothes

Things aren’t always going to fit you perfectly off the rack – you’ll want to shorten or narrow down the sleeves, make a dress fit better, or trim the excess length off your new jeans. That is why you should either find a professional tailor you can trust or learn how to do the alterations yourself!

10. Invest in vertical stripes

This is one of the oldest fashion rules for petite and short women, but it still works. If you want to create the illusion of a taller figure, go for vertical stripes in your dresses, trousers, and other garments. However, tops with horizontal stripes are just fine!

11. Wear crop tops

A crop top is a cut of clothes that few body types can afford; luckily, a petite body type is on that list. A crop top on its own or paired with a longer fitted shirt underneath makes your torso look longer and adds the desired balance to your figure.


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My name is Inna. I am a content writer with an English and literature background. As a mother of a 2-year old son, I love learning about children’s health and development, as well as finding new interesting toys and activities for my little one. I am also in love with all things tech and always keep my finger on the pulse of new smartphone and gadget releases. Another big passion of mine is beauty and makeup – every day I read about new trends in skin care and makeup and always look forward to trying them. Plus, I love pop culture, travelling, crafts, and anything that can make our daily life more thrilling!