The clothes make the woman, or so they say, and first impressions are always crucial. How you dress and what you wear tells the world who you are, what you do, and how confident you are in doing it. Unfortunately for petite gals, finding the right clothes to represent yourself to the world can be a bit trickier when it’s hard to even find something in your size. Not to mention the natural struggles that come to those on the petite side. Not all styles suit all body types. But at Four Seasons Direct our mission has always been to bring the most current fashions two women of all shapes and sizes, and we like to think we’ve become experts on the subject of fashion. After all, we keep our fingers on the pulse of this quick-moving fashion world 24/7 in order to bring you up to date. So if you’ve been struggling to look and feel your best in the clothes you’ve got, allow us to offer you our best tips and tricks to rocking stylish petite clothing.
First things first, you need to know what to buy. We all know that just because an outfit fits doesn’t mean we look good wearing it. The truth is different cuts were made to fit different body types, and even two women who wear the same size clothing can have two completely different body shapes. So, in order to look your best, you need to know your shape. Curvier women with larger busts suit empire waistbands well, while slender and straight-lined women need more structure in their garments in order to avoid getting lost in the flow of fabric. As a general rule, the aim of stylish petite clothing is to create an elongated silhouette. Petite women are naturally quite compact, and certain clothing styles can overwhelm your slighter frame, while the best looks are ones that draw out your form.
So how do you go about it? There are two key ways you can create the illusion of a longer form. The first is to break up the torso into multiple shapes. In short, two shapes read to the eye like a longer torso even if there is no difference in actual length. If you have a rectangular frame, creating the illusion of an hourglass figure by cinching your garments with elastic waistbands or accent belts will dramatically improve your look. Similarly, if you are a curvier woman, it’s better to emphasize the curves around the waist and chest, creating two shapes out of the torso, rather than trying to hide your curves with a formless garment. Well fitted clothing is a petite woman’s best friend.
The second way to lengthen your frame is by creating the illusion of longer legs. Petite women naturally have shorter legs, which is why many struggle to find pants that fit in both the waist and the hem. Thankfully you can find all the short sizes in our Petites section, so you’ll never have to fuss with cuffed jeans or creating new hemlines again. While you’re browsing our selection for new and improved jeans to update your closet, consider a pair of flared jeans. Jeans that branch out below the knee create the illusion of length as they lead the eye further down, making you seem taller than you are. On the opposite side of the spectrum, opting for shorts, dresses, and skirts which end above the knee will also create the illusion of length – in this case, because there is more leg to see. If you are opting for a shorter skirt or shorts, think carefully about the shoes you pair with the look. Nude shoes can do wonders to add length to your legs, as they never definitively separate your leg from your foot. The same goes when you’re wearing tights in the winter – match your shoes to the color of your tights for a lengthening effect.
Do be careful when choosing your shoes to avoid bigger and blockier styles. The larger the shoe, the faster it draws the eye downward, and when you’re working to build an outfit that lengthens your frame the last thing you want is for everyone’s eyes to be dragged down to the ground. It’s especially important to avoid above the knee boots. If shorter skirts lengthen your legs by leaving them exposed, longer boots swallow your legs up and make them seem far shorter than they are. It’s best instead to opt for lighter and more delicate shoes, such as ballet flats and strappy sandals. If you need to wear a bootie to help balance out your outfit, opt for ankle boots to keep from taking away any of the limited leg space you have.
When in doubt, remember that A-line silhouettes are flattering on everyone, no matter your shape. To put our tips into practice and give you a working example, let’s say you find the perfect a-line skirt here at Four Seasons Direct. By design, this skirt comes in at the waist and branches out wider as it goes down, so in order to balance the outfit and compliment the silhouette the skirt creates, you should browse our Petites section for fitted tops and find one that can be tucked in beneath the skirt. The natural width of your shoulders and the widening cut of the skirt work together to create an hourglass figure even for those without it, making you look elegant and graceful. To complete this image, pull on your favorite nude heels, or if it’s too chilly to go barelegged, add in a pair of dark tights and matching color flats. The skirt and top work together to draw the eye up your body while the long stretch of a single color over your legs and feet tricks the eye into thinking you’re higher up from the ground, making you seem taller and less compact. These are the basics of playing with shape and color to create the look you like, and they can be applied to many different outfits.
You can even create an A-line shape without an A-line skirt or dress. High waisted flare jeans have the same A-line silhouette as they flare out wide near the bottom and come in narrow at the waist. Plus, long pants like these create the same stretching block of color as matching your shoes to your tights. High waisted garments will work wonders for making a petite woman’s legs seem longer and more elegant, as long as she styles them well. Flat chested petite women can add a little volume to their shape by pairing up high waisted jeans with crop tops, as these tops draw the eye up, and a tasteful and strategic show of skin is a great way to add length to your image.
But, as we’ve said, not all petite girls are built the same way. Many petite women struggle with short legs that are often lost in their outfits, and our tips and tricks for lengthening the legs work wonders for them. However, some petite women have plenty of leg length to work with and, instead, struggle with losing their shorter torsos under too long shirts. If this is the case for you, then you actually need to avoid high waisted pants and skirts, as they will eat up the little bit of torso space you have to work with. For short torso Petites, mid-rise jeans are the way to go. They strike the perfect balance between lengthening your legs and leaving torso space for you to work with. You should also avoid empire waist tops which cinch in just under the bust because these bring your waist higher up your torso as well.
As a final note on pants, slender straight leg styles can also be quite flattering so long as they have the right hem. As we said, a little bit of skin showing here and there is a very simple way of ensuring you aren’t lost under the fabric of your garments, and in this case, an ankle hem paired with open shoes like heels or flats is the perfect go-to for any petite woman. Our favorite pants come from the fantastic brand Jag Jeans, offering a wide range of cuts and styles that are as beautiful as they are comfortable to wear. You can find them easily under our Labels We Love tab here at FourSeasonsDirect.com, or search by pant size in our petite’s section to find the perfect fit.
After you’ve found your perfect pants, it’s time to focus on the top. You’ll find an endless variety of blouses, tanks, graphic tops, and more here at Four Seasons Direct, so it’s really up to you what style you want to wear. For lovely petite ladies, we recommend necklines that show a little skin to help lengthen your neck – once again, breaking up your outfit with a tasteful bit of skin shows the world that there’s more to you than just your outfit, which keeps you from getting lost in the fabric. Try casual scoop necks, professional v-necks, or flirty off the shoulder tops to get the full effect. Be mindful of any ruffles or bust detailing, which can be a great help to flat-chested women but may draw unwanted attention on fuller busts. Cinching and belting are great ways to create the all desired hourglass figure, but remember that wherever you draw in to be the thinnest point will visually become your new waistline. Be careful not to bring it too high unless you can balance it out with a full chest or wider shoulders!
Moving beyond the neckline, you’ll also need to keep in mind the length of your arms when choosing a top. Many petite women know the struggle of finding a shirt that fits perfectly everywhere except for the sleeves. The worst part is that an ill-fitted sleeve can truly ruin an outfit! The best way to avoid this disaster is to focus on shorter sleeve styles. Short sleeves, of course, won’t ever run the risk of falling past your wrists, but in colder weather or less causal settings, an elbow sleeve or a three-quarter length sleeve can provide the coverage you need without overextending. The Ruby Rd collection here at Four Seasons Direct has plenty of gorgeous petite-appropriate tops featuring stylish elbow sleeves and even the daring open sleeve for women who want a little drama. Of course, this doesn’t mean that full sleeves are off the table. If all else fails, rolling up long sleeves up to the elbow will give you a professional look that hides their ill-fitted length – a life-saving trick when that gorgeous top you’ve fallen in love with has just a few inches too many on the cuff.
The greatest trick to finding stylish petite clothing is to stay on top of the ever-changing trends. Lucky for you, when it comes to keeping up with the fast-paced fashion world, we do the hard part for you! We send our style team all across the country to scout out the latest looks and season’s best fashions, bringing every star style altogether in one convenient shopping location. You can always count on the clothes you find at Four Seasons Direct to be the latest and greatest cuts and styles available in the modern style. Plus, we’re constantly updating our selection! So no matter when you log on, the first styles you see will always be the freshest look of the season.
If you want to stay in the know and receive updates on the latest stylish petite clothing trends, subscribe to the Four Seasons Direct newsletter and follow us on Facebook at Four Seasons Direct. There we announce all our new garments as they come in and let you in on all the sales you never want to miss! Plus you’ll be informed of all our seasonal in-store fashion shows, where we showcase the best looks the latest fashion season has to offer! There’s no better way to stay up to date and find the looks you’ll love to wear than with Four Seasons Direct!