Style Tips for Petite Frames

At 5ft 3 and a ½ and believe me that ½ an inch is crucial when your whole life you’ve been referred to as ‘cute, tiny or diddy’.  I’m embarrassed to think I have even been cooed at, like some miniature Bichon Frise or Pomeranian puppy has just entered the room. 

For years I was on first name terms with the tailor at my local dry cleaners, as unfortunately growing up most of the brands selling petite clothing were what my Grandmother would wear rather than a young woman who wanted to look and feel ‘trendy’. Trousers would be 5ins too long or sleeves would be coming to my fingertips & let’s not talk about ‘one size’ whoever came up with that idea anyway?!


Petite life isn’t all doom & gloom as with everything in life there’s always pros & cons. Some of the plus points for me are that;

  • You can shop in the children’s section & save lots money.

  • You become very skilled in walking in high heels.

  • Its easy to shorten clothes but you can’t make them longer.

  • Capri trousers are the perfect fit/ length without having to be altered.

  • Apparently we look younger.


No matter what your height / size dressing poses challenges for us all but here’s some tips I’ve picked up for petite dressing:

  • I tend to tuck my shirt or t-shirt in as it lengthens my shorter stature.

  • Smaller frames shouldn’t overlook shopping in kids section, they do tend to have a different cut so trying on is crucial however could save yourself a fortune especially with some of the designer brands.

  • If shirt sleeves are slightly too long, roll up the elbow… I tend to do this a lot & it’s always make me feel more stylish.

  • Cropped jeans, showing off some ankle gives the illusion of longer legs.

  • Belts are great accessory, they work especially well on a long maxi dress otherwise it’s too voluminous and can make me look shorter.

  • High waisted jeans or trousers emphasises your waist and makes your legs appear longer.

  • If you’re also quite busty it is important to get the balance right. Separates do tend to work better on you.

  • Nude pumps are great as again they elongate the legs. Unless you have slimmer longer legs try to avoid straps around the ankle (we need to maximise the whole length of the leg)

  • Jeans are one of the hardest things to buy especially as there is so much choice. Skinny, High waisted and Bootcut tend to be the style that flatter a petite frame the best 

Over the years I have learnt to dress for my height & shape. Knowing the basic rules of dressing means I can pick and chose which rules to break to create stylish, well fitting outfits. Petites comes in all different shapes & sizes & dressing well will leave us feeling happy & more confident.