• Sumo

When asked, the average person might say that a petite figure is a small one. Most people would classify anything size 6 and under as petite. However, while the word does mean a small and dainty build for a woman, petite means something entirely different for an article of clothing.

Did you know that most women sized 14 and up will look better in petite clothing than in standard sizes? Even if you’re somewhat tall, a shorter waist and tighter fitting bodice such as on smart, petite jackets will accentuate your curves rather than bulk over them like standard sizes will do.  Just watch out for the pants which can be a little short!

Petite, meaning smaller than standard, applies not only to the girth of the waist, hips and shoulders, but also to the length of the garment. The most notable difference between petite and standard sized clothing is that the waist is generally a great deal shorter. Most petite women have a very short waist with long hip bones meaning that most clothes will bulge and look somewhat awkward around the hips and lower waist.

If you’re like most petite women, you despair of ever finding something that will fit you correctly and not hand loosely over your frame. Standard clothing sizes are much too long and too bulky for the petite figure meaning that they can create the illusion of a thicker figure without any curves. And no one wants that! If you’re a petite, stop worrying, there are plenty of petite style fashions and many top brands have petite lines that you can choose from. The trick is to choose clothing made for your body rather than made for anyone.

dress for petite

Dress for What You Have, Not What You Don’t

Most women could easily say that the easiest asset to show off is their legs. For you, the petite woman, that is not so. Instead, you should show off your waist. For example, a mini skirt is the standard ‘sexy’ wear for a woman with long legs. Unfortunately it won’t look quite as good on you and will instead make your short legs look even shorter. Try wearing a high waist pencil skirt that goes to the knee to elongate the waist, add definition to your curves and draw attention up. You can of course wear this look into the office or even on dates by adding smart, petite jackets and heels. You should attempt to draw the eye upward rather than down in order to accentuate your curvy hips and your waist.

Choose Colours & Patterns Carefully

As a petite, patterns can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Avoid large, oversized patterns (or large oversized anything for that matter) in favour of dainty, small prints that won’t drown out your petite figure. A great idea is to choose small patterns that cover an entire dress, or minimalistic patterns such as lace edging instead of bold geometrics that draw the eye. For colours, you can really wear just about anything. However, experts recommend that you can use solid colours such as burgundy, black or charcoal to elongate your figure and make yourself look slimmer.

Chose Clothing to Accentuate Your Figure

While it’s no easy matter to walk into a store and point out something and say “I’ll look good in that” you can choose your wardrobe based on what you know will flatter you. V shapes such as V necklines, empire waists and small geometric prints are great for elongating your figure and drawing attention up to your face, both good things for the petite figure. High heels are also something you can pull off remarkably well. Your frame can get away with wearing a pencil skirt, kitten heels and smart petite jackets to work.  Of course, you can always consider switching into something a little taller for a day out on the town. Your short frame and small figure will let you get away with wearing heels pretty much anywhere. Of course, the heel will also will enhance your figure, make you look taller and give you that sexy ‘swaying’ walk made popular by fifties divas (many of whom were petite).

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