When it comes to fashion, a significant part of looking good has to do with dressing for your body type. After all, the most fashionable of clothing items simply won’t do justice if placed on the wrong body. However, while assessing one’s body type with relation to clothes shopping often has to do with specific features of the body – such as the width of the hips, or the length of the legs – some ‘body types’ can come to mean various things; the ‘petite’ body being one of them.
When people come across the word ‘petite’, they often immediately think of a person with smaller dimensions all over – whether it’s in their height and weight to the length of their limbs and torso. However, while the word generally refers to someone who is 5’4″ or shorter, many dimensions can still vary greatly. For instance, many petite people have long torsos and short legs, or vice versa. What’s more, weight can vary significantly from one person to another, with dimensions in features such as hips differing just as much.
For this reason, it’s often challenging for some people to find clothing that fit them well. A petite person will often have to shorten the legs on trousers or the seams on dresses due to their height. However, if they opt to shop for generally smaller sizes for height, they might end up with smaller clothing dimensions for features such as hip width – which isn’t always ideal. So what’s the best way to go about shopping for a ‘petite’ body frame?
It helps to seek out stores that offer specialised departments for petite sizes. Doing so can take a lot of the effort out of searching for sizes, and enable you to focus more on finding fashions that you like. Of course, even petite departments will have a lot of variance in sizes due to the fact that the term can apply to people of various body dimensions.
Once you’re shopping for the right sizes, it helps to keep a few tips in mind with regard to the look you’re trying to achieve. Therefore, try going for high-waisted, figure hugging trousers to elongate your legs; however, if you choose to wear low-rise trousers, ensure they’re not too short. Another way to make your legs look longer is to wear high-heeled boots (not too high though – 5 cm max will do) with short dresses and skirts that fall anywhere above the knee.
Wearing similar-coloured tops and bottoms – as well as wearing a belt that’s the same colour as your skirt or trousers – will help elongate your silhouette too. If you like prints then opt for small, vertical prints and motifs, particularly avoiding horizontal stripes. And don’t wear oversized accessories such as large jewellery pieces or sunglasses – you want to ensure accessories stay in proportion with your size. If you want to look taller, you can try wearing buttoned shirt dresses or tying long, skinny scarves loosely round your neck. You can also put your hair up in a bun or wear a headband to elongate your top half.
When it comes to shopping for petite clothing there are many ways to achieve the look you want. However, be sure to keep some specific shopping tips in mind in order to help you look your best in a wardrobe that’s right for you.