When I started this blog, some of my friends suggested I write a petite fashion do’s and don’ts. While I am still planning to create an ultimate petite styling guide (watch out for this!), I think it’s really important to address some myths about styling a petite body frame first.
TBH, a lot of these misconceptions are written by bloggers or fashion writers who do not know how to style. Yes, I said what I said, and I meant what I said. The truth is, there are a lot of styling workarounds for these misconceptions. Additionally, not all petite body frames are the same; so many petite girls can rock outfits that are perceived as not-so-petite-friendly. Instead of telling you, let me show you what I mean. Yes, sis, I have proof!
- Petite = Tiny
Okay, first of all, “petite” does not automatically mean you’re small and skinny. It’s pretty much all about a person’s height and nothing else. Many girls with petite body frames can have the same bust, waist, and hip measurements, but have difficulties looking for clothes because of their short height. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics claims that only 8% of petite women are below 100 pounds. Unfortunately, I am part of this statistic, but it is not very common to the entire petite population.
- Don’t wear maxi skirts
FALSE! I personally love wearing maxi skirts, especially those that are high rise to give the illusion of long legs. So here’s the thing, it’s all about how you style it. If you’re wearing flats, then opt for a maxi skirt that reaches your ankles, so you don’t trip on the skirt or drown in it. However, if you plan to wear heels, I suggest wearing a maxi skirt that is a little longer. Another trick that I would recommend to show off your petite body frame is wearing a cropped top.
Lastly, the trickiest part about wearing a maxi skirt or a dress is where to buy it. I would recommend checking out ASOS petite because they always have a lot of maxi skirts and maxi dresses cut and designed especially for petites. As a plus, ASOS also offers a sustainable line!
- Midi skirts will make you look shorter
Again, this is a myth. There are so many ways of wearing a midi skirt to complement the petite body frame. For me, I like wearing an asymmetrical cut or a high-low cut to show off more skin on my legs. Similar to maxi skirts, I also like high-rise midi skirts paired with a cropped top or a fitted top that you can tuck in. Another tip is to opt for pencil cut skirts, which are not only tres chic and provide a great silhouette.
- Oversized silhouettes will drown you
Myth, myth, myth. Oversized tops are great because it gives you that fabulous silhouette, so why should it be exclusive to tall or regular-sized girls? What I like doing is to make sure that the rest of my outfit is fitted, particularly the bottoms, to create that much-needed balance. Also, it does not hurt if the oversized jacket or top has a vertical stripes print, which is always a petite girls’ best friend. While heels can always drastically improve your look, a pair of pointed-toe flats can also give girls with a petite body frame that extra length.
- Capri pants are your enemy
Again, false. TBH a lot of petite women avoid mixing up their wardrobe because of misconceptions such as this one. One thing girls with a petite body frame can do is to get a high rise pair with a fitted leg. I also style capri pants with belts to give that shape boost.
- Never wear flats, always wear heels
This is seriously one of the most ridiculous myths about styling a petite body frame. Not only is this a misconception, but it is also really dangerous. Studies have proven that wearing heels all the time can lead to some skeletal issues in the future. If your goal is to look taller, there are many ways to do this with a pair of flats. For example, nude flats can elongate your legs as they give an illusion of extending the body. Another workaround is wearing pointed-toe flats.
- Fitted pants are the only way to go
Again, a misconception. Don’t get me wrong, I love fitted pants, but I also like playing around with different shapes and silhouettes. I do have my fair share of boxy or oversized pants, and I swear that they do not automatically make you look shorter. As with many of the tips I have given here, I suggest getting non-fitted pants that are high rise to elongate the legs. Additionally, I also like wearing vertically-striped pants to make myself look taller. Also, wearing fitted pants is not very practical most of the time. Non-fitted pants are not only super cute and stylish, but they are also extremely comfy!
- Long hair is not a petite girl’s best friend
Again, another ridiculous misconception. According to Marie Claire, short girls should not have long hair because they should always show off their necks. I don’t know what else to say about this, because I’ve always sported long hair, and it does not affect how tall I look. However, if you believe this myth, then I would suggest just styling your hair in a way that shows off your long neck.
- High necks are a big no-no!
The same with number eight, petite girls should supposedly avoid high necks because we are supposed to show more skin. I guess my question is… so during winter, are we just supposed to freeze so we can look tall? If you are a petite girl and you’ve heard this one, please ignore it. Personally, I love turtle necks, and I promise you that it does not make anyone look short at all. Like I’ve been emphasizing throughout this whole post, just make sure that you get a turtle neck that fits you right and always mind your silhouette!
- You always have to make yourself look tall
And the final myth – you always have to make yourself look tall. Ladies, if we are blessed with a petite body frame, we should embrace it and love it. Our bodies do so many things for us. No matter our height, we are still able to do many essential activities. We are still capable of working out, doing chores, housing a fetus and giving birth, and making a difference. Since time immemorial, there has always been this misconception that we need to look different than how we really do. If we’re plus-size, then we have to style our clothes to make us look skinnier. If we are skinny, then we have to look voluptuous. If we’re petite, then we need to look taller.
These are all myths propagated by the typical societal definition of beauty. Guess what? You are beautiful and you are strong. Don’t give in to the pressure of how we’re supposed to look. Take care of your mental health and prioritize your happiness above all else.
There you have it! As women with a petite body frame, we should never let these myths limit our creativity when it comes to fashion. Fashion is an art form and an expression. Do you and stay comfortable – because happiness never goes out of style.