The Petite Mama !

Being Petite means you are 5’3” or under. It also implies that you have a little less space to work on with fabrics and accessories. Hence, you need to use some time tested strategies used by petite celebrities and other less famous, but equally glam people !

Petite women can develop a signature style and make a fashion statement with confidence. This blog post is all about that plus a list of  few brands which work best for shorter women.

If you are petite then you should :

Try to elongate your body ( vertically/ height )

Avoid widening effect ( horizontally) left to right.


Here are few more tips to style your petite frame.


1) Dresses

Think high heels, tailored fit / fitted cut when you are picking up dresses.


Empire Dresses:  The main advantage to this dress style is that it does not cut your figure in half at your natural waistline.If you happen to have a few extra pounds, it’s also a great style to help conceal the tummy.



Empire waist and Cross Waist (Right) – moves the waistline underneath your bust line, elongates and leans out your frame. Source: Mod Cloth




Wrap dresses a must have in your closet. Can be A-line or straight as both styles flatters petite women. Source : Old Navy




Drop Waist Dresses:  These hits mid thigh and the drop waist hem sits right above your hips. A fashionably fun look and a bit risky, so  make sure to pick a solid color. You can pair it with a jacket and small belt.  ASOS – Dresses under $20



Avoid long, flowy gowns or dresses which flare at the bottom.



2) Jeans

Jeans and pants without cuffs, bulky pockets or pleats. All the extra details tend to widen and shorten. However, this is an exception if you have full or wide upper body.



Straight Fit (left) , Skinny jeans ( right) . Source : The Limited


If you want to look lean and longest possible, then your best jeans styles have a solid dark blue or black wash.  You can wear a pair of shoes that blend in with jeans (e.g. black pumps with dark blue jeans). Also notice the pointed shoes giving a lean effect to the whole look.

Avoid: Cargos

3) Skirts



The hemlines should show leg, but not cut the thigh too high.


A few more pointers for skirts:

Vertical prints (not wide and horizontal ones)

Vertical details such as visible zippers, stitches, row with buttons, and waterfall ruffles

A-line or straight

Prints and details scaled to your body size

Minis hitting your knees or Midi skirts will be your best bet


4) Accessories

While picking up accessories for your petite frame, refer to your overall weight and body ratio. Avoid over sized, bulky accessories – large bags, over sized jewelery, wide belts

Bracelets, rings and watches should be scaled to the size of your hands, wrists and hands.

Keep Belts Narrow and match them to your outfit if you want to wear a belt. Wide or contrasting belts cut the figure in half, breaking  up the vertical illusion that you are trying to achieve.


5) Outerwear/ Layers

Wear jackets, coats and cardigans same color as your bottoms. This creates a seamless vertical long line that will make you look taller. It doesn’t have to be the exact same color, same shade will do too.


Monochromatic dressing : will make you appear longer and leaner no matter the color choice. Make it interesting with accessories in your favorite colors and styles.



These petite celebs know the power of monochrome dressing. Also notice the hemlines – midi and mini – neither too long nor too short



Avoid color blocking dresses



7) V -Neck :  One of the necklines (along with deep and slim scoop necks) that helps elongate your body frame, especially your torso.




V-neck, empire waist dress ( LOFT)


Tip: If you’re wearing a round or square neckline you can counter the widening effect by topping it off with something vertical like a long necklace.


8) Shoes



Open toed shoes, T – straps, Pointed shoes are all good for your petite frame.


9) Tops

Lengthen your torso by wearing a longer fitted shirt underneath a cropped sweater

Wear tops that end at hips. Avoid tops which cover your hips.

Wear vertical stripes if you have to, avoid horizontal ones

Avoid lot of busy details and extra layers of clothing – these will add width to your torso.

Avoid bulky tops- these will make you look broader, while you are aiming to add some height.


3/4 sleeves, simple, clean cuts and V necks are your friends !


10) Hairstyles

Pixie Cut , Medium length or Chin length hair best for petite frames.


Pouf (left) , Chignon ( Right) adds height to your frame.



Pouf again and Pixie cut


Shopping Tips

Check regular sizes too. Cropped tops in regular sizing sometimes work perfectly as not-too-long tops on petites.

Don’t buy overly tight / loose clothes. They must have the right fit.

While shopping, don’t look at sizing tags, look at measurements.

Know which brands are petite-friendly

Anthropologie,  JCP, Paige premium denim , Joe’s jeans

H n M – (petite friendly, no petite sizing)

BCBG , The Gap, Macy’s, Nordstrom

Talbots, Old Navy, ASOS, Top Shop

Ann Taylor/ Loft, Banana Republic, J.Crew

The Limited, Modcloth


The above style tips are for guideline purpose for general petite frames.. They are not definite rules. Anyone can wear whatever they prefer because you define your own style.

And remember to have fun dressing up. It will show up on your face. Confidence is one of the biggest style boosters.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

Rise and Shine !!


  1. Thanks everyone. Glad you liked it 🙂

  2. Good Monika.You are giving very good tips.Keep it up.

  3. Thanks, your information is something really useful

  4. Loved reading through this- all useful info for me! Thanks for sharing, Monika.

  5. Great peice of info Monika & quite useful for me as I am 5″3′. After reading this post I realized I was in the right direction, however I will avoid wearing horizontal stripes & long tops hereon. Loved it !!

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