The panacea for the petite woman’s wardrobe is finding the perfect fit. Petite women can wear any style or color; your lifestyle and personal preference should determine your dress, not the so-called ‘fashion experts’. Throw away that do’s and don’ts guide to dressing the petite figure and write your own guide. Ignore the tips on how to make your legs look longer, or how to elongate your abdomen. You are petite; you should embrace that, not try to camouflage it.
When shopping for clothes, ask the salesperson to direct you to the petite section; department stores usually arrange clothing by size. Afterward, get rid of the salesperson by politely saying, “thank you, I’ll let you know if I need further assistance.” This way you will not feel rushed, or feel pressured into buying clothing that is not right for your body type.
It is okay to buy the basics like jeans, t-shirts, no-show socks, and nightclothes from the young adults’ department. The difference between jeans for girls and those in the adults’ department is usually only the price and size. Shopping in the young adults’ department for the basics can save you money.
General Fashion Rules
Many of the general rules guiding the misses and the plus sizes also apply to the petite fashion. For example, if your face or hair is what you want to draw attention to, wear an attractive necklace, or a neck scarf with a subtle pattern. These accessories will direct attention to the upper part of your body, without upstaging your physical features.
If your waist or hips are not your best assets, wear a belt that is the same color as your clothing. A belt of a contrasting color will draw attention to that area. If your waist is one of your best features you can wear a belt with an eye-catching buckle or one that contrasts with the color of your clothing. This will accentuate your midriff.
High-heel shoes will add height to your stature. The same common-sense principles used when buying clothes should be exercised when shopping for shoes. High-heels do not have to be uncomfortable, so find shoes that will elevate without torturing you.
The “black dress” is a must for every woman’s wardrobe, and the length of it for the petite woman is best just below the knee. With the right accessories, the black dress can take you from breakfast to lunch to dinner, and then late-night entertainment. When traveling, the black dress can serve multi-occasion functions. Accessorizing the black dress with a casual belt can make it the perfect informal outfit at breakfast. By adding a scarf, the black dress becomes a semi-formal dress at lunchtime. The same black dress can be worn with a dinner jacket, giving it a formal look in the evening.
Petite Fashion Recommendations
1. Always try on an outfit before buying it; not even a good price will correct a poor fit.
2. Follow your instincts, not the latest trend; it will be out of vogue next month anyway.
3. If you are on a budget, stick to solids as much as possible; they are easier to mix and match
4. Looking through the misses is a waste of time unless you are prepared to make alterations
5. The size of the handbag is just as important as the color; if it is too big it will make you look like a child with a school bag.
Sit, stand, and walk with confidence; do not be intimidated by tall and plus-size women. If you are convinced that what you are wearing is right for you, those around you will be convinced as well.