How to dress to flatter your shorter stature

Ever wonder how to best flatter your shorter figure? Well that’s what I am here to talk about today. The pictures shown here are EcoPetites clothing modeled on these beautiful petite women.

First of all, your clothes should fit. Sometimes we put on clothes that don’t fit, and we think it is our bodies that are wrong. Remember: it is the clothing that is wrong because it doesn’t fit you. If you are regularly donning clothes that don’t fit properly, it can wear on your self-image (yeah, I am a pun-loving gal). So remember that most clothing is made and designed for women taller than you. Yet, 50% of American women are 5’ 4” or under. That is why I started EcoPetites. I’m designing these styles specifically to fit and flatter you. So, buy some petites and find a good tailor to fit other clothes to your body that doesn’t fit, to broaden your options.

What makes for a flattering look?

Amethyst Back Vent Top with Mystic Print Skirt

Amethyst Back Vent Top with Mystic Print Skirt

  • Look for where the seam hits at your shoulder. It should actually sit on your shoulder. Most short women have narrow shoulders, no matter what their weight is. Even if you need a larger size to fit your bust, the shoulder should still be at the shoulder: that is probably the single biggest reason that I recommend wearing petite tops (or bring it to your tailor). That fit problem alone is automatically steering into frumpy zone.
  • Prints that are smaller in scale are flattering on smaller people, as it will not overwhelm us.
  • Long accessories. Here I have the model wearing a long necklace. You could opt for a scarf for the same effect, in cooler temps.
  • The armhole opening should be proportional. I’ve designed this top such that the arm opening sits closer up to the armpit, which looks more flattering on the body and lengthening to the torso. Don’t worry about tight upper arms on this one: a higher armhole does not mean the biceps area will be tight. I’ve accounted for that with both the fit and the stretch of the fabric.

    Mocha Wrap Dress

    Mocha Wrap Dress

  • Alternatively, look for styles that don’t have a seam at the shoulder, such as raglan seams (where the seam points inward from the armpit to the neck). The armholes on tank tops should be small enough to cover your undergarments and sit close to the body.
  • Try not to cut your figure in half. Notice that an empire waist creates nice balance. This is the smallest spot on most women, so it is also flattering.
  • Heels and updos can help create some height. Not that any of us can do either all the time, but at least sometimes.

    Tie-front Cardigan, Swing Tank and Yoked Skirt

    Tie-front Cardigan, Swing Tank and Yoked Skirt

  • Go short. Skirts and dresses that are at or above the knee are in proportion with your body. Show as much leg as you are comfortable showing. Add leggings if you are feeling shy about showing skin. If you are over 40 years old, but under 64 inches tall, keep wearing skirts above the knee. That ol’ rule is, well, just old. You are not.
  • Look for elements that create a vertical line: this cardigan is designed to remain open in the center even when tied to create a vertical panel that draws the eye to your face and is slimming. The vertical lace stripes on the skirt also lead the eye upward.
  • V-necks are flattering, and can be a sharp V, a soft V or a
    Princess seamed dress

    Princess seamed dress

    narrow U. The lace trim on this dress gives the illusion of a bigger deeper V without showing a whole lot of skin. You can also put a tank under a deeper neck in a contrasting color to still get the visual upward momentum without exposing as much skin, whether the need is for warmth or to wear to work.

This should be plenty to chew on! I hope this helps, my dear short sisters.

Click here to view Events coming up in April, here in Minnesota, where you can shop the above styles plus more!

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