As a 5’1 person, I often struggle with choosing outfits that are visually appealing, comfortable, and most importantly, physically fit. With the average height of women in the United States being 5 feet 4 inches, most shelves in retail stores and boutiques are filled with clothes perfect for people with elongated limbs. unfortunately, I and many other people, however, do not fall into this category.
After years of getting inspiration from Pinterest, Best Dressed Ashley, Your Mom Ashley, and magazines, I realized that what they wore didn’t necessarily translate well to my body shape and size. One day, while checking my inbox, I noticed an email from someone named Chi from Petite Dressing, a blog/online store dedicated to providing fashion tips and options for petite women; it opened my eyes. After that day, I explored more on Pinterest and YouTube, looking for users who gave clear and concise advice on how to dress for my height; as a result of my research, I discovered Dearly Bethany, Naomi Boyer and Jessica Neistadt. With their help, I’ve compiled a list of tips below to help my petite classmates on their journey to find styles that work for both. Actually fit and look good.
1. Always tuck your shirt in
As petite, we tend to run out of size, so to look taller, tucking your shirt into your pants is the way to go. Not only does it accentuate your waistline, but it also helps define your overall physique. Depending on the bottoms, half-pleats are also a great option – if you do, make sure the top is taller and looser to make it easier and more comfortable. No matter the event, the day, the morphology or the size, this advice is always applicable.
I wear blouses a lot, so one of the main tips I give for adding some pizzazz to the outfit is to tuck one of the flaps “halfway” into my pants while leaving the other untucked and hanging down. . By doing this, you not only add texture, but it also creates a different dimension to your entire clothing ensemble. Below is an image of what I mean:
I also like to tie my shirt to create a “crop top” look; this trick works especially well when paired with high waisted skirts or pants. One way to do this is to take the ends of your shirt, loop them, and secure them with a tie or rubber band. Below is an outstanding video that better explains how to liven up an outfit involving a shirt.
2. Stick to high-waisted bottoms
Since the majority of little ones have shorter legs and longer torsos, it is very important to create the illusion that this is not the case. High-waisted bottoms — skirts, pants, and shorts — are a great option for looking both taller and fashionable. While skinny jeans are beautiful and fashionable, they aren’t necessarily flattering, so opting for flared pants, boyfriend jeans, or even culottes is a wonderful alternative. Replacing skinny jeans with another pair of pants also helps you create a more unique and intriguing silhouette.
3. Only wear skirts of certain lengths
For skirts, there are two possible options: either midi skirts or mini skirts. For those who don’t know, the length of midi skirts falls between the mini skirt and the maxi skirt (floor length). They’re great for petite girls as they hide the majority of the leg – making it look like there’s more leg length than there actually is – while exposing an appropriate amount of skin inside. down. Maxi skirts with side slits are also a fantastic option for the same purpose.
If you’re more of a mini-skirt type, the high waist is the best option. From personal experience, having a mid-rise or low-rise skirt depreciates your leg length and, therefore, your overall height, so, again, opting for a high-rise skirt to avoid this situation is optimal.
4. Always mix and match size
What do I mean by mix and match sizes? When I say size I am referring to the tightness or elasticity of your tops and bottoms. One of the biggest tips I’ve seen on various sites was to always pair a looser top with tighter bottoms and vice versa. By doing so, you produce a comfortable, balanced and put together look.
On the right side of the thumbnail image above, you can see that she has duplicated the sizes of her tops and bottoms; its top and bottom are looser. As a result of this decision, her outfit looks messy and feels like she just rolled out of bed. Her outfit on the left, on the other hand, although not the best example as she paired a tight top with a tight bottom, it looks much more polished and thoughtful than the previous look.
5. Wear a shoe with a certain height
This might seem like an obvious trick if you’re trying to add height to your outfit, but a lot of people forget to do it; if you notice, a lot of the models in the attached pictures are wearing some type of heel. “A shoe with a certain height” does not always necessarily mean a high heel. If you think you’re not mature enough to wear heels yet or just aren’t a fan of ankle strap heels, platform boots and sneakers are a perfect alternative. Converse and Dr. Martens, among many brands, offer a wide selection of platform shoes ideal for any situation. Personally, I don’t really like wearing high, high heels, so whenever I can I try to incorporate a shoe similar to the Japanese Lolita Oxford shoe to really add that simple but strong exclamation point to my outfit.
Aside from being a confidence booster, a heeled shoe can really help complete any outfit you’re wearing. As basketball great Russell Westbrook once quoted, “Shoes make an outfit. You can put on a crazy shirt and pants, but you add those shoes – done.”
6. Show some skin when you can
Sounds weird, I know, but it’s really helpful advice. Often outfits become clunky and cluttered if there are too many layers of fabric stacked on top of each other. One solution to correcting this stuffy appearance would be to show off some skin, either by wearing a crop top, shorts, or even a pair of open-toed sandals. Revealing a bit of skin is the best way to balance out an outfit, especially if the ensemble is monochromatic.
Another way to show off some skin would be to play around with the necklines of your top. If you originally wore a turtleneck or a high neck shirt, replacing it with a v-neck or off-the-shoulder top is a wonderful decision. This trick works especially well if you’re trying to wear a costume that has lots of layers and individual pieces.
7. Play with sock lengths and fabrics
This trick may seem simple…and it is. The general consensus, when it comes to socks, is that crew, ankle, and no-show lengths are our only options, but that’s not the case. In the case of petite ones, sock lengths (other than the ones I just mentioned) are to our advantage. For many who have experimented with the uniform, the knee-length socks may seem over the top and gross, but they actually help a lot with the outfit. Not only do they add flavor to the look, but they also give the illusion of being a bit taller and thinner – the same goes for knee high socks.
Different sock fabrics also contribute to overall illusions and looks. Long black stockings, fishnets and patterned socks are great alternatives to normal leggings, skinny jeans or a Nike sock. They also help slim down and vertically stretch your overall physique.
8. Accentuate your waistline
This was briefly mentioned in the “Always Tuck Your Shirt In” section, but this tip is extremely important when facing a vertical challenge. When you’re shorter, your figure often gets lost in heaps of fabrics and clothes, so it’s important to establish where your waistline is to help your stature a bit.
This can be achieved in several ways:
1) You can wear high waisted bottoms (as mentioned before)
2) You can tie your top to help tighten your waist (as mentioned before)
3) You can wear clothes that automatically hug your body (i.e. tight dresses, fitted shirts, etc.)
4) You can tie a belt, corset or sweater around your waist to indicate and draw attention to where your waistline hits
5) You can wear a crop top to show off your waistline
The biggest piece of advice I can give on this subject is to experiment. These tips won’t work if you don’t experiment with them, so give them a try as soon as you can!