The Accessorizing Tips To Take Note Of If You're Petite

Runway models have historically been between 5'9" and 6' tall. And while the fashion industry is becoming more accepting of different body types, tall and skinny is still the norm. It's worth it to note that being short or petite isn't the most vilified body type in society, but those who are shorter often have fit issues even with their most basic clothing items since clothes are made around the skewed perception of "the average" body.


Some stores carry petite sizes, which can make shopping easier in some cases, but a petite line isn't an option at every store or in every brand. So when you have to purchase straight sizes, you're often left wondering how to rock wide-legged pants or baggy shirts. Other times, petite girls may often fall in love with a piece of clothing and then have to spend the money to get it altered so it fits their proportions. 

Despite the struggle, you don't have to limit where you shop. Instead, knowing how to properly accessorize the outfits you do wear can give you more freedom and a more flattering look for your shorter stature.

Leave jackets and blazers unbuttoned

A stylish jacket or a blazer can add more color, texture, and interest to an outfit. But adding this additional layer also adds more fabric, which can drown smaller statures in bulk. That doesn't mean you have to forgo your favorite pieces altogether, though. The trick to continuing to wear your favorite oversized clothing when you're petite is to keep your jackets and blazers unbuttoned whenever possible. 


Closing these items up can highlight a poor fit, especially if they are not from a petite line, and it also interrupts the central vertical line of your main outfit. This will call attention to your shorter height rather than elongate your look. Wearing one single color underneath a jacket or blazer in the form of a jumpsuit, a matching set, or a dress can also help create that vertical column that adds height to your shorter frame.

Highlight a higher waistline

Appearing taller when you're petite is often about your proportions. Two people can be the exact same height, but if one has longer legs and a shorter torso, they're going to appear taller. With a simple belt hack, you can cheat the eye to make your body appear taller. When belting an outfit that features a dress, jumpsuit, or skirt, place your belt higher than your natural waistline. Quick tip: to find your natural waistline, feel for the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.


Depending on your body, your natural waistline may be high naturally, in which case, you may not need to place belts too much higher. But for those whose natural waist falls a little lower, placing a belt above it makes it look like you have longer legs and a shorter torso. Similarly, jeans, trousers, and skirts that are high-waisted can help make your legs look longer and you look taller. And if your goal is to show off the length of your longer-appearing legs, be sure not to cover up the high waistlines and belts by pairing your bottoms with cropped blouses and tucked-in shirts.

Match your shoes to your pants

Your shoes can add some length to your legs and not just in the obvious way of adding physical height with heels and platforms. Matching the color of your shoes to the color of your pants can give the appearance of a taller frame even when you're wearing flats. Opt for a monochromatic color scheme when you're wearing pants or trousers. This method makes it seem like you have a seamless line from your waist to your feet, which gives the illusion of longer legs.


When you're showing skin in a dress or a skirt, nude shoes that match your skin tone will give you a similar effect. In cold weather, if you're wearing an outfit with tights, wearing shoes that match the tights will also give the appearance of longer legs. You won't always have to wear heels or platforms to give yourself some height, but, of course, it wouldn't hurt if you're looking to add a few more inches.

Keep the extras delicate

The right accessories make the outfit, but they can also overwhelm the look if you aren't careful. While that's true of any body type, those who are petite can have their outfits overwhelmed more easily. Heavy, chunky, and large accessories can drag you down, adding visual weight to an outfit that can make you look shorter. This is the case with purses, jewelry, and other common accessories.


Swap larger pieces for more delicate ones so they don't overwhelm your outfit and stature. Small chains, thin rings, and tiny handbags won't overtake your look. Similarly, lighter materials like silk scarves won't add a bulky or chunky detail to your look. 

This doesn't mean you have to completely stay away from larger pieces; it's about balance. If you want to wear a thick chain necklace or a large bag, try to limit your outfit to one oversized statement piece. Keep your other accessories minimal so you're not drowning in the details.

Wear over-the-knee boots

The right pair of shoes can make you appear taller. Over-the-knee boots are perfect for visually elongating your legs, especially when styled right. You can pair them with a shorter skirt or dress to show off a little leg. The long line of the boots makes your legs look like they're going on forever, even if the heels are flat.


If your outfit includes pants, be sure they're a style you can tuck into the boots, which creates an even longer line that can add length to petite statures. You can also combine this tip with the one from above and match your boots to your pants. For example, black jeans with black over-the-knee boots will make you look taller. 

It's also a good idea to choose boots that have a sleeker design, which means staying away from bulky or bunchy styles that add more width than they do length. Pointed toes also help create those long lines to give the illusion of more height to your look.