5ft 3" or under? Then these Petite Body Shape style tips are for you!
Your height is less than what is considered 'standard' in the high street so buying clothes that fit can be difficult.
If your clothes don't fit well then you will never be comfortable and you will never look your best.
Everyone has their own idea of how they like to feel and want to look and these styling tips are quite generalized - many petites would like to look and feel taller while others embrace their height.
If you need more specific advice for any parts of your figure that you find a particular challenge then take a look at how to dress your OWN individual shape.
Many women are very happy to be petite so getting a good fit may be rather more of a priority for you.
But if you'd like to feel taller then a more streamlined silhouette will allow you to look taller and slimmer.
Good underwear, well fitted, will create a smooth line so your clothes can do their best. No visible panty line and no lumps and bumps around your bra.
A well fitted bra with fully adjustable shoulder straps gives good uplift and maintains a more youthful figure by creating the maximum distance between the bust and waistline.
Every woman that's under 5ft 3" is not a size 6 - we come in all different shapes and sizes!
I love the petite range from Soft Surroundings because most of the styles are offered from XS through to XL.
Wherever you shop be prepared to go up or down a size until you find a manufacturer with a cut that really suits and fits you. Although they should be the same as regular sizes, often they're not!
Avoid anything labelled 'short' as they are cut shorter but not to a smaller proportion overall.
Any styles with shaping need to fit in the right places - see the beautifully cut dress from Soft Surroundings right which is offered from XS to XL.
Jackets need to shape in at the correct waistline, dresses need to be cut to the length of your torso with the size of the armhole adjusted.
Trousers are cut differently in the rise and leg length will ensure that shaping comes at the right point.
Create vertical lines in your outfit to bring the eye down the body, by utilising:
Most petite women will have shorter legs than their torso so by visually elongating your bottom half you will appear taller.
Wear color and brightness high on your body to keep interest up towards your face and take care with your hair and makeup.
If you are particularly slender, it's easy to feel small and insignificant, so choose flattering necklines rather than something plain and non-descript.
Keep your jewelry high on your body rather than heavy bracelets which would weight you down.
Scale down the size of your accessories - a large body can carry large jewelry and a large bag, A small body however needs these items to be in proportion, small neat jewelry and a smaller bag, a clutch perhaps, will be more in keeping with your size.
Keep detail to a minimum - frills and flounces, collars, belts, buttons, patterns etc. should all be chosen carefully. You are a small lady and all these details should be in proportion with your frame.
Avoid tiny floral prints as they can look very little girlish.
Don't be afraid to adjust your hem length as a slightly shorter hemline can lengthen your legs. Make sure that it's appropriate to your age and in proportion.
Avoid the hem finishing at the widest part of your calf - that will make you look short and dumpy.
Don't team a short skirt with a low neckline - your body is shortened from both ends!
Maxi skirts can look great but make sure you create a slender line with a high waist and wear with heels. A full skirt will overpower.
Don't discount a midi skirt if it creates a slender line - it can give extra length to your bottom half if you match with boots etc.
This is an old photograph (right) from a fabulous blog.
Courtesy of www.puttingmetogether.com
Always avoid adding extra bulk to your small frame.
3/4 length sleeves and a shorter coat - both great ways of reducing the bulk on a small figure. Shoulder fit is vital, keep it as neat as possible.
Wear 2 or 3 colors at the most so your small stature isn't over powered with too much detail.
Shopping online may give you more choice and invariably more detailed measurement guides. Compare the measurements carefully with something that currently fits you well. When you find a brand that fits your figure, stick with it!