1 Apply Rule of Thirds
Have you heard of the Golden Mean Ratio? And what is the Rule of Thirds in petite fashion? I am sure you have read that the ancient Greeks discovered this ratio that appears in nature about what human eyes find most aesthetically pleasing. Specifically, 1/3 to 2/3 ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing division of space to our eyes. You have seen it applied in mathematics, architecture and art. Ever wonder how you could apply this to petite fashion? It is known as the “rule of thirds”, a ratio if you follow will instantly change the proportion of your body and make your outfit look very flattering. It is easier to be illustrated through outfit examples. The first outfit with the top and skirt of equal length visually divides the body into ½ and ½.. The second outfit has a considerably shorter top, thus divides the figure into 1/3 up top and 2/3 on the bottom. See how much taller the second outfit appears? This is not just limited to a shorter top and a longer bottom, and it can also be applied the other way around, i.e. longer top and shorter bottom, as illustrated by the third outfit. As you can see, it makes your figure appear more proportionate. The comparison of the 3 outfits shows you how big a difference it makes, when our outfit focuses on the thirds, instead of halves or the quarters. If you are wearing a short skirt and bare legs, you blouse comprise the top third, your skirt is the middle third, and your bare legs are the bottom third. We have illustrated this concept through skirt outfit, but the same rule of thirds apply to pants outfit.
2 Show your skin (strategically)
Showing some skin is the most effortless petite fashion advice to flatter the petite frame that everyone can apply easily. Now, it is important to do so strategically. If you are wearing a short skirt and showing off your legs, then you probably do not need to show too much of your cleavage. Vice versa, if you are wearing a low cut dress, then it might look more tasteful if it is not too short. As the old saying goes, leave something for imagination. You may be wondering what about the winter time when the temperature makes it unrealistic to wear mini skirt or sleeve less dresses? There are still many other chic and classic ways to show a little bit of skin. Off the shoulder tops or dresses are universally flattering and they work especially well with petite body frame. The reason is by showing the skin on the shoulders, off the shoulder style effectively elongates your neckline and make your proportion look better. In the winter time, go for an off the shoulder cashmere sweater that will keep you warm and sexy at the same time. ¾ sleeves is another style that will show the right amount of skin when weather is cold.
3 Get your sleeve length right
The quality of great style is in the details, while sleeves might be one of the most overlooked details of our outfit. Men’s formal wear has certain rules about the sleeve length of dress shirts and formal suits, and the rules seem to be much more relaxed with women’s wear. However, the wrong sleeve length could instantly downgrade the quality of your outfit and the impression people get from it about you, especially in work or formal social occasions. Sleeve length is especially important for jackets and coats, and it is such an important detail of petite fashion. Because most petite girls have shorter arms, one common issue in their wardrobe is that sleeves of coats or jackets are too long. For full length sleeves, the best is to hit just right around the wrist. For petite women, if the sleeves are too long, it will look like the jacket or coat is not the right size for you, even if it fits perfectly elsewhere. That is why it is critical to get your outerwear from petite department of retails stores or petite designers. Alternatively, you could send it to the tailor and hem it to the right length, and it will make a whole world of difference.
4 Wear high-waisted style
The come back of the high-waisted style is one of the best trends in the petite fashion world in recent years. They are not the loose fit “Mom jeans” of the 70s or 80s, instead, they are chic, sexy and functional as seen on petite celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria. In fact, high-waisted style is a must have staple of petite fashion wardrobe. It effectively elevates your waistline, thus elongate your bottom half and make your legs look longer instantly. We mentioned Golden Mean ratio earlier and how important it is to create the right proportion of your body, and high rise can effectively make your body look more proportionate. Both high rise skirt and pants work wonders in petite fashion. Did we mention wearing high-waisted style helps to disguise muffin top, which is the concern for many apple shaped petite women? And of course, you do not ever have to worry you are bending too much and showing your under panties in high rise pants.
5 Choose the right jeans for your body type
You could never have too many pairs of jeans, whether you are petite or not. There are so many choices on the market, flare, straight leg, skinny, boot-cut, boyfriend, and etc, but which ones are right for you? It is true jeans are so versatile and they go with anything, but that does not mean you can throw on any style and look equally good. Pinterest and other social media are flooded with street style shots of people wearing jeans, and some of them are far from pretty. Choosing the right style for you could really “make it or break it”. There are certain styles and washes that are universally flattering such as black skinnies, and they generally look great on petite girls as well. Meanwhile, petite women have some common treats such as shorter torso and shorter legs, so certain styles work better for petite body frame than others. Create vertical line is important in petite fashion, because if visually creates the illusion of height. Look for jeans with vertical details such as vertical seamline, or piping on the sides of legs. As mentioned earlier, high rise jeans is especially recommended for petite girls, because it effectively elongates your legs and creates the illusion of height. Flare jeans is another style that balances the petite figure and look flattering on petite women, especially when paired with high heels.
Depending on the petite body type, each petite girl also has unique figure, thus you have assets that you should accentuate and areas of concerns you may not want people to notice. In that case, finding the right jeans for your body type is important. (Click here to take the quiz and learn about your petite body type). For instance, pear shaped petite women gain weight first on their thighs and thighs are the widest part of their body, so a pair of black skinny paired with dark color boots will both distract people’s attention from your thighs and elongate your legs.
On the other hand, there are also styles that are universally unsuitable for petite girls such as low rise jeans. The lower the rise, the shorter they make your legs. Unless you are an extremely lucky petite girl blessed with super long legs so you do not care about losing an inch or two from wearing low rise style, otherwise we urge you to ditch the low rise style. Low rise style also makes your muffin top looks worse, if you tend to gain weight in your midsection.
It is also worth mentioning the trend of boyfriend jeans in recent years, which could also be tricky on petite girls because of the slouch fit. We are not saying you should stay away from boyfriend jeans, but choose it wisely and avoid overly loose fit. They are not flattering on petite women, no matter how comfortable they make you feel. A better choice is girlfriend jeans, if you really like the slouchy fit. They are not tight fit, but they are not exaggeratedly loose either.