Alice in Wonderland had magical cake to make her grow, but a petite teen must rely on her clothing choices to give the illusion of height. Looking at the style of petite celebrities — Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Richie and Scarlett Johansson to name a few — it is clear that you don’t have to be tall to seem statuesque. Make sure to select appropriate clothing choices for your petite size.
Simple, clean designs and colors are a must-have for a petite young woman. Too much of a busy print or ruffled additions will overwhelm your small shape. While fabric options are endless, it is best to avoid floaty, billowing fabrics such as chiffon. Create a more perfect fit out of pieces that are slightly large by tailoring your clothing, from hemming a dress to shortening sleeves. Garments are not traditionally cut for petites unless specified as such, making it essential to have certain clothes tailored.
V- or scoop-neck shirts draw the eyes down as they elongate the neck area. Shirts that will not be tucked in should have a hem that hits just a few inches lower than the waistband of a low-rise pant. Opt for slim fit or slightly loose tops, but steer clear of oversized, baggy shirts, as they will engulf a small frame. A fitted blazer or jacket is ideal to create an hourglass figure and maintain a polished look.
Straight-leg pants in pale colors give you a break from black pants or skinny jeans and will lengthen the appearance of your legs. Select pants in a petite size as this is one piece of clothing where tailoring likely won’t work; if you hem regular or tall sizes, the knee break will appear too low on the leg. Skirts and dress hems can be worn in a mini size, though no longer than 2 inches above the knee for more formal occasions. Short dresses can also double as tops over skinny pants. A high waist for pants, skirts, dresses or shorts will lengthen your bottom half.
For the Feet
Nude heels, or black tights with black heels, help to visually elongate the legs. While platform heels support the foot, there are flat options to allow your feet a break from high heels. Flats must be worn with pants that end at the ankle instead of bunching up around the foot. Knee-high boots can also be worn with short dresses or skirts. Avoid ankle boots, t-strap heels and Mary Jane shoes, which create a visual interruption across the foot and ankle, making you appear shorter.
The last thing petite teens should do is weigh themselves down with chunky and huge accessories. Instead, choose delicate jewelry and skinny belts rather than wide ones. No matter the trend, it is best to avoid large handbags which dwarf a petite frame.
References and ResourcesWeWomen.com: How to Dress if You're Petite: Style Advice
College Candy: A Petite Girl's Guide to Style
Glamour: 3 Genius Style Tips For Petite Girls, Courtesy of ExtraPetite.com