Style Advice for Petites

Standing right under the five-foot mark, I  know a thing or two about petite style. I’ve always been the shortest out of my friends, never had an issue dating shorter guys and wearing high heels, and I’ve had my fair share of people resting their arm on my head thinking it’s funny. (Heads up, we shorties hate that!) Finding stylish clothing that fits my 4’11 frame isn’t always easy. There are certain things you need to remember and keep in mind for fashion and styling. That’s why here, I’m sharing my own Style Advice For Petites with a full petite fit guide.

What is petite fashion?

There is a big misconception about what being “petite” really means. The truth is, it just means your short. Specifically, women 5’4 and under are considered petite. It has nothing to do with your waist, hip, bust size.

J.Crew

J.Crew has always been a petite go-to for me! While my local store doesn’t have a petite section, their online section is always a hit. Their top styles are always available in petite and they fit perfectly – no alterations needed!

My Sizing:
Tops: XXS Petite
Dresses: 00 Petite

Anthropologie

I worked at an Anthropologie store, that carried a petite section, for almost a year. So needless to say, I’ve tried on a LOT of their brands/styles to find out what works for me and my frame. I find that Anthropologie sizing tends to run on a little bit of the larger size, so I alway find myself sizing down, even in their petite section. I usually head here for statement dresses and tops.

My Sizing:
Tops: XXS Petite
Dresses: XXS Petite

Old Navy

If you’re looking for affordable, stylish pieces for your petite frame, look no further than Old Navy. We’ve all loved Old Navy for years, and for good reason. Now, Old Navy sizing runs a bit different than their sister brands Gap and Banana Republic, as in they run a little bit on the bigger size. So if you have the option and are between sizes, I’d always recommend sizing down.

My Sizing:
Dresses: Petite XS
Tops: Petite XS

Asos

ASOS sizing is a bit different then most online shops. For them, I go to the petite section and then input my size as a US 0. They don’t mark their sizing just as Petite 0 so you have to make sure you’re in the right section. I also only shop their ASOS brand items since I know that they fit in the US 0 size every time. Makes shopping a bit easier.

My Sizing:
Tops: US 0
Pants: US 0
Dresses: US 0

Banana Republic

I’m pretty sure Banana Republic was the first store I ever purchased something designated as PETITE. They offer almost their entire line in petite sizing which is amazing, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Some of my favorite Banana Republic petite finds include cozy sweaters, dresses, and skirts that hit in exactly the right spot.

My Sizing:
Tops: XXS Petite
Pants: 00 Petite
Jeans: 00 Petite
Dresses: 00 Petite

My Petite Tips

Opt for fitted clothing vs. oversized.

The goal when you’re petite is to appear taller, not necessarily wider. So that’s why you want to opt for fitted clothing vs. oversized pieces. Fitted clothing helps define your shape and keeps you looking long and lean. Oversized pieces can make you appear stumpy.

Look for vertical hems and patterns.

Vertical hems and patterns automatically draw the eye up and down, not side to side. If you’re wanting to appear taller, it’s all about the optical illusion. Also stick to stripes that aren’t super wide, stripes on the thinner side are easier for the eye to follow.

Find a good tailor.

Part of being petite is that you sometimes just have to succumb to the inevitable: you’ll need to alter your clothing. So finding a good tailor is essential. Having a tailor you trust means you’re not as limited as far as fashion goes since they’ll be able to cut pieces down to your right size.

Know where to shop.

I love when my favorite brands offer petite options. Retailers are really catching on that, not every woman is 5’7 and a size 0, and shoppers are noticing! Here’s a list of some of my favorite places to shop for petite finds, as well as break down to my sizing at some go-to spots!