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Petite Style

We are led to believe that good things come in small packages but many petite women find it a constant source of stress finding clothes that fit as most main lines don’t cater for littlies!

Style Advice for Petite Women


Don’t “make do” with clothes that don’t fit properly. Make a tailor your new best friend and they can help you to achieve clothes that look better on and feel so much nicer. Never settle for clothes that are too big otherwise they will drown your little frame and appear shorter than you are. You want to wear the clothes, not allow them to wear you!

If you are spending money getting clothes tailored to fit you well it’s worth looking after them to ensure they stand the test of time. There is nothing worse than having a beautiful jacket that you have worn over and over again and seeing it marked or tired – the thought of replacing it after spending years finding the perfect jacket in the first place is so frustrating so use shoulder covers, storage bags and clothes brushesm to keep garments looking new and follow laundry instructions to ensure longevity.


Understand the proportions of your body – a must for any woman, but especially those who are petite. Learn how to balance your upper and lower body.


For tops and jackets, opt for neat and tidy styles. Too much pattern or fuss could over power you! Tailoring always looks great on petite figures as long as it is well fitting on the shoulders and the arms. Always ensure that the sleeves finish on your wrist, and no longer otherwise it will look like you are wearing someone else’s jacket! Cropped jackets always look great on petite figures and enhance your small frame.

¾ sleeves are a good option for petite frames as it draws the eye to the waist giving you more of an hourglass look and makes your arms appear longer and leaner giving the overall impression of a longer body.


Petite women should look for trousers in a straight or bootleg cut that fit their leg well and finish on the top of the shoe to lengthen the leg. Cropped and Capri styles also look nice on a smaller frame with open style shoes such as loafers or ballet pumps. Again ensure trousers aren’t too long otherwise they will look like you have shrunk in your clothes!

A-symmetrical hem lines in skirts can help to ensure that the body doesn’t look too swamped in longer garments. Higher waistlines can also help to elongate legs as well as showing off your feminine figure.

Heels are obviously a good option to make legs look longer and slimmer and of course to give you height should you want it. If your feet hurt when wearing heels, try some insoles or shoe pads to prevent pain in the first place or look for thicker heels, platforms or wedges which are always easier to wear than a stiletto type heel.


In general I would avoid large prints as this may look far too much on a little body and you could get completely lost in the pattern. Small prints however keep petite ladies looking in proportion.


Downsize your accessories to balance out your proportions and look for neat shoulder bags and clutches. Pill box clutches would be a great addition to glam up any outfit!


Here are some great collections that offer smaller sizes. If you know of any that aren't on our list, we'd love to hear from you! 

Precis Petite; Rocha John Rocha; FWM Petites; Wallis; Topshop; M&S; Debenhams; Miss Selfridge; M & Co; Dorothy Perkins

by Nicola Fulstow

Please note, this is an excerpt from Nicola's Book 'Nothing to Wear' available to download as an eBook from Amazon for just £4.99 where you'll find lots more invaluable hints and tips.