If your feet have ever disappeared inside skinny jeans, or your wrists have been swallowed by long sleeves, you’re likely what the fashion world calls “petite.” It doesn’t matter if you’re slim, curvy or plus-size, if you’re under 5-foot 4-inches tall, “regular” clothes were not designed with you in mind. Flatter your pint-sized figure by looking beyond the tag description and use these tricks to create your own height and dimension.
Lengthen With Lines
Create the illusion of length with vertical lines. Pinstripes are the natural choice for slacks, but even a simple back seam on a pair of pantyhose tricks the eye into moving up and down. Look for dresses with subtle lines, such as color-block panels or two parallel lines running down the torso. Avoid prints that mix stripes and patterns, as the busy look at can overwhelm your frame.
Layer Your Tops
Billowy fabrics can dwarf a shorter body without the right balancing pieces. If you love the comfy, flowing fit of a maxi dress or skirt, pull on fitted jean jacket or tuck in a slim-fitting top. Cropped jackets are perfect over tucked tops and printed dresses. Look for jackets that glide over the shoulders and stop at the hips. Cuff the sleeves for shape. Layer crop sweaters and shorter tees over longer tanks to stretch the torso.
Show It Off
Maybe you don’t have legs like Giselle or Heidi, but if you show off what you’ve got, you’ll actually look taller. Dressy shorts featuring ties and pleats create dimension; add attention-grabbing platform heels or knee-high boots for height. In colder months, go for the monochromatic look. Pair your short-shorts or skirts with the same color tights and heels for streamlined style. For a fuller figure, embrace an empire-waist skirt, which sits just below your bust and emphasizes an hour-glass figure while concealing the stomach area. Rolling long sleeves to the elbows is another way to add shape by showing skin.