The height of a petite woman is 5'4" and under, and although many may define petite as weight specific, i.e. skinny, slender or tiny, contrarily it is primarily defined by height.
I veer closer to the higher end of what's considered the "petite spectrum" as I am somewhere between 5'3" - 5'4", but nonetheless I have over the years continued to search for clothing and overall looks that best accentuate my frame.
What I've found more than the clothing I've purchased is the importance of knowing what works best for my figure. There are a few really easy hacks that I've figured out when dressing and of course I'm here to share them with you.
Although these tips may be geared to more of a petite woman, they can be also beneficial for everyone.
1. Know your body shape
There are five primary body shapes: pear, apple, rectangle, inverted triangle, and hour glass. There are others but these are the more common. When you know your body shape you become aware of silhouettes that will best flatter it. You will also know the areas of your body that you’ll want to bring the most attention to and others that you do not. This is actually a great tip for all women.
2. Know your body proportions and measurements
Knowing the measurements of your bust, waist, and hips will be extremely helpful when selecting clothing but this is especially key if you’re an online shopper or someone who doesn’t prefer trying on pieces before purchasing. This will also help with what brands you choose to shop for. When researching brands best suited for you, you'll learn that there are brands that specifically cater to certain body types, so knowing your measurements is key.
3. Focus on the core of all your looks
The core of an outfit can make or break your look, especially as a petite. Whether you’ll need to cinch in the waist with a belt, tuck in your top, crop a top, or play around with the placement of a high waisted item, ensuring the precision of the core of your outfit can determine if it's a hit or miss.
Unless you’re intentionally wearing an oversized top and have proportioned it with a fitted bottom, you’ll always want to focus on a core that's put together.
4. Wear one oversized piece at a time
This is extremely important because petite frames can be very easily swallowed up or overcome by an oversized look if not properly proportioned and we're left looking frumpy.
And I totally get wanting to wear oversized looks because I happen to love oversized items myself but I have learned that I have to choose just one per outfit, otherwise the outfit ends up wearing me.
5. Leave blazers unbuttoned
Unless you’re planning to cinch the blazer with a belt, you’ll likely want to leave it unbuttoned. I've found that an unbuttoned blazer vs. one buttoned, will better elongate a petite frame.
6. Incorporate high waisted pieces into your looks
Playing around with how we position high waisted items can elongate silhouettes and make us appear longer and leaner.
7. Wear delicate accessories
Now I realize this will be subject to individual style but I've found that wearing smaller dainty jewelry vs. oversized statement jewelry can be more flattering on petite frames. Smaller frames can be very easily overcome by accessories that are too large. This includes jewelry, handbags, and sometimes even boots and shoes.
I know this may be not be something you'll want to compromise on as an accessory lover, however, if your focus is elongating and making your frame appear taller or even smaller, I've found that less really is more in this area.
8. Invest in heels
By investing in heels, I'm not necessarily referring to purchasing quality heels but more specifically learning how to walk in them and wearing the right ones to compliment your overall looks. However, no price can be placed on comfort, so of course you should want to invest in heels that also provide comfort. Heel types will be subject to your style, but whether it's a block heel, stiletto, wedge, or anything else, a quick and seamless way to elongate any frame will be a heel.