Shape advice

How to dress if you’re petite

In our shape advice clinic you’ll find practical tricks and tips on how to make the most of your curves. A little expert knowledge along with some clever styling can work wonders when it comes to flaunting your figure.

Editor: Gabi van Rey

‘Small but powerful’: This saying hits the spot. There are many perks to being petite. You can wear any heel height and find clothing that’s made just for you. Here’s how to make the most of your frame if you’re under 5’3”.

A photo posted by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on the 

Rebel Wilson is 5’2” and adds height to her frame with a tee tucked into a high-waisted skirt.

Highs and lows

The only way is up for your waistband: the higher it sits, the better. Why? Because high-waisted skirts and trousers visually elongate your legs.

This effect is accentuated even more when you loosely or completely tuck your top into the waistband and finish your outfit with high heels.

Deep necklines also visually extend your upper body.

Finding the right fit

There are also special petite sizes especially for short women available in our shop. It’s also worth seeking out a good tailor to take up your trousers and skirts. What most people don’t know is rolling up the hems on your trousers which shows off the contrasting lining can take up more precious centimetres and make you look shorter.

Extra tip: Trousers that show your ankles visually extend your figure, while cropped lengths make you look shorter.

A photo posted by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson) on the 

Well-fitting trousers (in terms of the length) in a dark tone are priceless. Combined with a short top they’ll add inches to your legs.

Take a tip from Rebel and create a tone-on-tone look with a dress and jacket in the same colour.

Prints & Colours…

Tone-on-tone combinations or head-to-toe looks in one colour create the illusion of length which means that jumpsuits, maxi dresses and co-ords are your wardrobe heroes.

Vertical stripes not only make you appear taller, but also leaner.

Luminous and bright colours can also be used tactically to lengthen your frame, depending on whether you want to create longer legs or a longer upper body.

Short or long?

Both. This applies to tops as well as skirts and dresses. Crop tops, boleros, short jackets and short blazers all visually lengthen the leg and when worn in combination with short or knee-length skirts and dresses that show leg, they add the illusion of extra height.

Contrary to their reputation to overwhelm short women, maxi dresses and skirts are flattering as long as you opt for high waisted styles.

Rebel enjoys the best of both worlds in a dipped hem frock.