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The best information on petite and petite plus clothing

Petite Fashion Tips - Which Styles Work Best for Petites?

If you're petite and looking for fashion tips to help you look your best, you've come to the right place! Find out how to enhance and flatter your petite figure by choosing styles of pants, skirts, shoes, and accessories that work best for petite women.

General fashion tips for petites |  Best pants for petites |  Best skirts for petites |  Best shoes for petites |  Best accessories for petites

General Fashion Advice for Petites

  • Look for styles that emphasize vertically.
  • Avoid horizontal elements that distract the eye from that vertical line.
  • Use a monochromatic color scheme, including hose and shoes. Use contrasting colors sparingly.
  • Avoid large prints. If the pattern is bigger than your fist, it is too large to flatter a petite frame.
  • Choose V-necked tops or create the look of a V-neck with a vest, v-necked cardigan, or halter top.
  • Balance a horizontal neckline with a vertical element like vertical pin-stipes, pleating, or a long necklace.
  • Choose soft, flowing, lighter weight fabrics and avoid bulkier materials. For example, choose cashmere over bulkier wools.

Visit Lord & Taylor's petite department!

Best Pants for Petites

  • Wear straight-leg or cigarette-leg styles (bootcut can also work, particularly if you are wide in the hips), a little on the long side, in darker colors.
  • Choose styles with subtle vertical elements, like cords, or pin stripes.
  • Avoid leg designs that end at or just above the ankle or are tapered at the bottom.
  • Avoid cuffs -- they break the vertical line.
  • Choose crops with caution, avoiding horizonal elements like wide bottoms.
  • Choose flares with caution, avoiding styles that are very tight at the knees. Choose looser, flowing styles.
  • Avoid an obvious break between the pants and your shoes by wearing shoes or boots that are partially or completely covered by the bottom of your pants, or wear hose and shoes in the same color as your pants.

For tips on the best jeans for petites, visit our Petite Jeans page.

Best Skirts for Petites

  • Wear your skirts short or long, but avoid mid-calf
  • If you really want to wear a mid-calf length, wear matching boots or color-coordinated hose.
  • The ideal skirt for most petites is a pencil skirt that follows the shape of the body but isn't too tight or clinging.
  • Just at or below the knee is usually a good length
  • Most fashion experts recommend staying away from short skirts if you are over thirty, although you might wear one over leggings.
  • If you wear a short skirt, wear it with flats.
  • If you wear a long skirt, wear it with heels, and choose straight or flowing styles that are not very wide.
  • Never wear a skirt that is wider than it is long.

Best Shoes for Petites

  • Wear shoes with a heel to give you more height. Even some athletic shoes and sneakers come in styles with a lift.
  • Choose pumps, peep toes, pointed toes, and shoes with a V-shaped vamp to lengthen your foot.
  • Avoid shoes with horizontal straps that visibly cut across the front of your foot.
  • Alternatively, choose shoes the same color as your skin tone so the straps are less obvious.
  • Avoid lace-ups and other high-cut shoe styles.
  • Avoid big, chunky shoes because they add weight and make you look shorter. When you wear athletic shoes, choose the smaller and daintier styles.
  • Avoid flats with long skirts. Wear them only with shorts or skirts above the knee.
  • Wear boots with heels in the same color as your skirt when wearing skirts below the knee.

If you have petite feet, be sure to visit our Small Size Shoes page for all the best sources!

Best Accessories for Petites

  • Wear thin, color coordinated belts and avoid wide belts in contrasting colors.
  • Generally avoid oversized accessories, such as large bags, oversized jewelry, and wide belts.
  • Choose a bag with a relatively slim, vertical shape rather than chunky or wide styles.
  • Wear scarves in ways that emphasize verticality. For example, tuck the middle of a long rectanglar scarf under your jacket collar and let it hang loose on either side of the lapels.

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