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How To Dress If You're Petite: Style Advice

Published by Ursula Dewey
Published on 3 May 2013

If you're petite then you're in the same fashion club as Isla Fisher, Scarlett Johansson and Eva Longoria - all pint sized celebs that know how to dress.

Style advice for petite women

what to wear petite style advice small Scarlett Johansson Moet and In fact the number of petite stylish celebs is pretty jaw dropping. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Ritchie.. they're all 5"3 or under.

But despite the fashion minefield of being petite, the A-list never seem to get it wrong in the style stakes - and that's because they have some pretty neat rules for dressing to their shape and size.

If you're a petite gal then finding clothes that don't drown your proportions is difficult, and finding tailored pieces can be something of a challenge when everything needs taking in.

That's why we spoke to Nicky Hambleton Jones, personal stylist and fashion expert extraordinaire to find out the style secrets and fashion trickery you need to master as a petite woman.

What kinds of dresses, tops and trousers would you recommend for a petite figure?
In terms of trousers I would recommend straight-leg in a pale colour as it makes your legs appear longer.

I would also recommend keeping things simple, wear clean lines without too much fuss; adding ruffles, belts and chunky accessories all at once breaks up the flow of an outfit and can make you look shorter; stick to one accessory in one place at a time.

petite what to wear Dresses are great for women with a petite frame, keep the print/colour simple and the length to the knee and you will look taller.

Are there any style shortcuts to making you look taller when you're petite?
Heels are the most obvious shortcut, but you shouldn’t feel that wearing them is an obligation; heels are not appropriate everyday attire for everyone.

If you are a fan of heels, then heels with a platform are most comfortable as pressure is not focused entirely on the ball of your foot.

Clothes with a great cut that flatter the figure will also help to accentuate what you already have; a fitted blazer is versatile and instantly takes any outfit from casual to professional in seconds.

What kinds of fabrics are most flattering when you're petite?
The great thing about being petite is that you can carry off most fabrics however I would suggest avoiding any that have a tendency to billow and expand like chiffon and georgette; they’ll swamp your frame and make you look smaller.

Can you recommend any accessories that can help make you look taller?
I would recommend wearing skinny belts rather than chunky ones; chunky belts can cut your outfit in half and thus make you appear shorter than you are.

When it comes to choosing a handbag don’t give in to the oversized trend, the bag will swamp you; choose something small and statement.

petite fashion advice Mila Kunis OZ Premiere A long scarf can give the illusion of length, but make sure you don’t wear it around your neck as this will ruin the line of your outfit, wear it vertically.

Trends come and go but what style staples should every petite woman have in their wardrobe?
A V-/scoop neck blouse, a pair of nude heels to elongate the legs and a fitted blazer without a doubt.

What are the style no-no's when you are petite? What should you avoid?
Avoid busy prints and be careful when wearing anything floaty with a lot of fabric as this can swamp your frame and again make you look smaller than you actually are.

Do you have any other style advice for petite women?
Embrace your body, don’t shy away from or be embarrassed about it and just remember to keep your outfits flowing in terms of lines.

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