The Five Items That Always Look Great on Petite Women

petite style tips, dior slingbacks and the curated coat
The Curated coat*, Acne Studios tee (similar here), Gucci belt, Everlane jeans*, Acne Studios scarf, Dior slingbacks (affordable dupe here), Celine bag

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve found dressing for my petite stature to be relatively straightforward.  Sure, I’ve paid many visits to the tailor and it can be tricky to navigate options on the high street as not everything works on my 5’2″ (158cm) frame.  And while I gave up on the idea of actual growth in my early-20s, dressing is easy when you know what looks good on you.

To equip my fellow vertically-challenged friends to shop effectively and stylishly for their stature,  here are my petite style tips and five pieces that always look great on smaller frames:

#1 – Cropped pants

petite style tips wearing gucci belt, dior slingbacks and celine belt bag

Pants that sit just above the ankle work to elongate your legs and are incredibly flattering if you’re petite. Though what is usually a flattering ankle length for regular women is largely lost on my petite frame! Thankfully there are creative ways to get around this.

If you’re on the hunt for cropped trousers, focus on fit rather than length. You don’t have to stick to petite-specific styles either. It’s an easy fix to have pants hemmed and a straightforward job for the tailor. And you don’t even have to hem things professionally. In some instances, you can get away with rolling them up yourself (which is what I’ve done above).

#2 – Wrap dresses

DVF dress, Celine bag, Wittner heels (sold out, similar here)

The petite girl’s answer to a shirt dress.  A shirt dress can easily swallow you up and make it look like you’re accidentally wearing an oversized style.  Wrap dresses on the other hand, are universally flattering and one of the most inclusive buys out there.

I’m wearing a classic DVF dress here which is over 7 years old. For my US friends, you can shop the black version of the dress here and a navy cashmere version here. For everyone else, here’s a great alternative in navy (that’s also on sale!).

It’s hard to go past the iconic DVF style but the wrap dress has experienced a bit of a resurgance thanks to the likes of Ganni who have released some fun versions which I’ve included in the mix below:

#3 – Belted jackets and blazers

Shorties can still rock angles and belting a blazer creates a silhouette with a bit of sass. Your shoulders look stronger when your waist is tapered in and the angles are flattering on everyone.  It also means all those long-line blazers made for taller women aren’t off-limits!

#4 – Kitten heels

A little bit of height makes a world of difference but it doesn’t mean you need to endure pain with sky-high heels. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I’m a huge fan of kitten heels. They look chic, are comfy to wear and that additional 3 -5cm of height is always so flattering.

#5 – Skinny jeans

petite style tips, gucci belt review, sizing and width

It can be tricky shopping for denim when you’re petite but the proportions on skinny jeans mean they also work on petite frames. When it comes to jeans, Nobody Denim is at the top of my list. Their Cult Skinny and Siren Skinny styles are particular standouts for me (I’m sporting the high-rise Siren style above). Nobody Denim jeans don’t come in shorter lengths but I haven’t ever had any of my pairs hemmed because I’ve never thought it necessary. They gather slightly at my ankle but I personally don’t mind this. For a high street alternative, Everlane denim is excellent quality with a comprehensive range of cuts. And because they have the option available, I always opt to get their jeans in the ankle length offered.

I hope my petite style tips were helpful to any petites out there looking for some inspiration.

P.S. The five wardrobe staples that you’ll wear all year round and five classic colour combinations.


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