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The best information on petite and petite plus clothing

Petite Body Type - Short Legs

If you're petite and looking for fashion tips to minimize your problem areas, you've come to the rightplace!

Whether you're perfectly proportioned or have a particular problem area -- like a short neck, short torso, or short legs -- we give you practical advice to help you look your best.

Dressing for Short Legs

The basic concept is to make you legs appear longer through the use of vertical elements and by disguising the location of your waist to give the illusion of longer legs.

Styles to Look For Styles to Avoid
  • Straight legs or boot cuts, worn as long as possible. Boot cuts are especially good if you are wide in the hips.
  • A single color for pants, hose, and shoes.
  • Pants with subtle vertical elements like cords or pin stipes.
  • High-waisted pants (only if you don't have a short torso)
  • Shoes that match your skin tone when you're wearing a dress or skirt, or hose and shoes that match your skirt.
  • Shoes with v-shaped vamps and pointed toes - they make your legs look longer.
  • Heels, whenever possible, but not stilettos - they will look out of proportion.
  • Empire waist dresses - they hide the location of the waist and make your legs appear longer
  • Dresses or skirts worn just above or at the knee.
  • If you want a long skirt, wear the same color on top. Or choose a sheath dress or a soft, flowing fabric in a single color or small pattern. Wear it as long as possible and always with heels.
  • Pants tapered at the ankle.
  • Pants with elements that break the vertical line such as crops, cuffs, and flares.
  • Shoes with blunt square or rounded toes.
  • Contrasting hose showing between your pants and shoes.
  • Skirts with horizontal elements like ruffles or bottom borders.
  • Low ride pants - They make your legs look even shorter.
  • Shoes with horizontal straps unless they match your hose or skin tone.
  • Calf length skirts - they cut your legs in half. If you really want to wear one, choose a soft, flowing fabric and accessorize with boots of the same color.
  • Ankle length skirts above your shoes - same idea as above.
  • Wide or bulky skirts.
  • Flat shoes, except with shorts or a short skirt.
  • Bulky shoes
petite high-waist-pant    petite empire waist sheath    petite bootcut jeans
High-waist Pant    Petite Empire Waist Sheath    Petite Bootcut Jeans

This high waist paint is good choice to flatter a woman with short legs. Note the long length and shoes with a v-vamp in a similar color.


The empire waist on this great summer sheath disguises short legs. The shoes add to the elongating effect with no straps to break the line from knees to toes.


These bootcut jeans sitting just a tad below the natural waist are another good choice. Wear them as shown, a little on the long side with shoes in a similar tone. Another great bootcut is the one by Not My Daughter's Jeans shown to the left.

More fashion tips for your petite body type:   short torso |  short neck

Fashion tips for all petite women:   The most flattering pants, skirts, shoes, and more

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