“I’ll keep it short and sweet.” – Matt Groening, Creator and Cartoonist of The Simpsons
While we already gave you a lowdown on how to dress for your petite figure, let’s hear it from a fellow Style Icon who you may not even realize is also in that department. We’ve asked Style Icon TheStyleVoyager, who stands proud and tall at 5’2", on how she dresses for her height just for you guys! Read on to discover a few of Sybil’s styling do’s and don’ts.
TheStyleVoyager: “Show more skin. It’s all about showing the ‘right amount of skin’ for me. So most of the time I wear something with super low neckline – given I’m not anything close to curvy – to visually elongate the body.”
There’s a fine line between showing enough skin and too much skin when it comes to looking polished and balanced. Plunging or v-neck necklines are excellent for petite figures because your natural skin and nude tones enhances the illusion of height. Our tip? Make sure you use some special tape to prevent any unwanted exposure or wear a buttoned shirt and simply unbutton more buttons to open up a bit of the chest area.
Shop Sybil’s look!
1. ‘Classic Shirt in Muave’ by Style Sofia ($28.00)
2. ‘Element Garland Floral Maxi’ at Bloomingdales ($40.88)
2. Contrast to complement.
TheStyleVoyager: “It’s tricky to layer for petite height, most of the time it looks like you’ve simply piled on too much clothes. So instead wear something super sheer, or if you’re wearing a blazer, or something structured and heavy, go with a bandeau underneath to balance it out.”
While we’ve discussed dressing in monochromatic before, but when it comes to textures and fabrics, it’s good to contrast to reduce an overwhelming look. Try to mix ‘softs with hards’ (i.e., sheer top with a textured skirt) to achieve the harmonized look.
TheStyleVoyager: “Always go for streamline garments. You want to look taller not wider. Try to avoid pleats, ruffles or anything that’s gonna make you look wider than you are. If I’m wearing something baggy, I tend to cinch it up with a belt.”
Streamline (or classic, timeless) pieces are excellent for petite figures since they look good on almost everybody as opposed to trendy garments which may only look good for certain body types. However, if you are into pleats or ruffles, make sure they are minimal or use Sybil’s tip #2 by contrasting the heavy texture with a sheer/soft one. Sometimes, cinching your outfit up can instantly transform a baggy outfit into a lengthening, sleek look.
Shop Sybil’s look!
1. ‘Midi with Piped Button Front Dress’ by ASOS ($41.37)
2. ‘Pasquarella Platform Wedge’ by Aldo ($80.00)
4. Go neutral or with a pop of colour.
TheStyleVoyager: “Colors and prints definitely play a big part in my dressing routine. All over neutral, is again, a good way to visually elongate the body. But sometimes adding one bright color to your basic neutrals would help to attract eyeballs (as we petites always fall below everyone else’s eye level. Just joking!).”
While it is best to stay with neutral or skin-toned colours, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid bright, bold colours. Sometimes, colour is a magnificent way to express one’s spunkiness regardless of height. Staying with the same concept, you can simply switch an outfit up by wearing a flashy colour along with the neutral colour. Go ahead, play up those colours and show some personality!
Shop Sybil’s look!
1. ‘Ruffle One Shoulder Top’ by Forever 21 ($19.80)
2. ‘Chiffon Full Length Skirt’ by American Apparel ($46.00)
5. DIY’in never hurts.
TheStyleVoyager: “Sometimes I alter my clothes a little bit. I ordered a DVF (via Net-a-porter.com) dress for my birthday last month and the size 2 dress fits like a giant paper bag. So I asked my mom (yay for my mom!) to chop off a few inches for me. I have to do that from time to time, especially with floor-lengths.”
It’s difficult for petite gals to find a perfect fit sometimes since most stores offer ‘normal’ lengths. Thus, it never hurts to do a little bit of diy tailoring to the garment! For simple, basic garments, shortening the length with thread and a needle can be a fun project. With intricate pieces, you may want to find a local tailor shop (or a handy friend!) to do it for you. Large stores like, Nordstrom’s, Banana Republic, and Neiman Marcus also offer these services (but with a price).
TheStyleVoyager: “I shop at Topshop a lot (online only since there isn’t one in Hong Kong). I’m a perfect size 8 there, [and] I never have to worry about the sizes. I know they also offer Petite and Tall selections, which is super cool.”
When you don’t want to alter your clothing, shopping at a store that offers petite sizes may be another option! Here’s a compiled list of stores that offer just the right size for petite gals all around the world.