What staples does one need to build the perfect petite classic clothing wardrobe? From the perennial crisp white blouse to the iconic little black dress, there are certain essential garments that every petite woman should own.
What Is the Definition of Petite?
Did you know that, even if you wear a size 24, you could wear petite classic clothing? There is a popular fashion misconception that all petites are short, skinny women, but nothing could be further from the truth. This apparel is specially designed for the shorter bodies of women less than five feet four inches tall of any size or body shape.
Petite Classic Clothing Basics
Invest in the following basics to build a high-performance wardrobe that offers maximum mix-and-match possibilities. These classics transform with accessories to transition seamlessly from the desk to dinner. The key is to tailor these timeless styles to the height and proportions of the petite woman. For instance, a knee-length or full-length skirt is more flattering for these women than a mid-calf style that makes the body look short and dumpy. Use neckline interest for your white blouses to complement your stature; v-necks, asymmetrical or wide neck tops work wonders of optical illusion.
- Black dress pants
- Denim dress jeans
- Business suit
- Little black dress in an A-line, sheath, or wrap style.
- Black skirt
- Button down cardigan
Use traditional accessories, like pearls, to dress up or down these clothing staples. Swap out footwear styles to add fashion accents; stiletto boots with jeans, or bejeweled kitten heel mules with your little black dress.
Fashion Tips for Petite Timeless Styles
By observing a few guidelines, you avoid wardrobe malfunctions, while selecting the most elegant classics for your special size needs.
Look for slacks with flat fronts as pleats add bulk at the waist and make one look shorter. Straight, slim pants elongate the leg and flatter a body with smaller proportions. Create a taller silhouette by opting for shoe styles with high heels rather than flats.
For business suits, choose styles with jacket lengths that end at the waist or slightly above, like a bolero or peplum jacket. Push up or cuff sleeves to reveal just enough bare arms to add to the illusion of height.
Wear blouses tucked in rather than hanging loose over slacks or skirts for a leaner, taller look. Fitted blouses or those with styling details like princess seaming, three-quarter length sleeves, or pin tucking, create a vertical line that is flattering.
Little Black Dress
If there is any garment that has earned the title of classic clothing, it is the little black dress; today's famous fashion designers call the LBD. The best choice in a LBD is an A-line or sheath style with a hemline that kisses the knees. Fitted waists or princess seams add vertical lines for height, but are not necessary if one opts for an A-line dress, which has a natural vertical appearance.
In recent years, jeans have become an accepted fashion staple for the well-dressed woman. Styles with vertical seams and skinny legs are the best choices for those who want to appear taller.
It is just as important to know what not to wear as it is to know what to wear. Small proportioned women should avoid boxy clothes, horizontal stripes, calf-length garments, and loud, large prints.
Where to Buy
Shorter women need lots of patience for shopping. Most apparel companies do not cater to the special needs of this section of the industry. However, some vendors that do cater to this market segment are:
- Talbots has a long history of being the go-to place for the petite woman. They offer a wide range of styles and fabrics in sizes to fit both petite (sizes 0-20) and petite women (sizes XP to 3XP). As another advantage, you can schedule a personal fashion consultation with a trained professional who will help you design the perfect wardrobe for your lifestyle. Purchase online or at a brick and mortar store.
- Blair is another dependable source for individuals shopping for these smaller-proportioned fashions. Their apparel is available in sizes PXS to PXL, and women's sizes PX to P2XL. Their website features an easy to use size chart, as well as several tutorials on dressing to flatter your body style and height.
- Ann Taylor's collection of petite clothing is both wide and deep. Whether you need outwear or that perfect little black dress, you will find a wide range of styles that are age appropriate for most women. Shopping is easy and convenient at a local store or online.
When you build a wardrobe around petite classic clothing pieces that can be worn in many different ways, you extend the functionality of your clothing and reduce your cost per wear. You save time. Getting dressed for any occasion is hassle-free and fun. Best of all, your self-confidence increases because you know you can pull together a polished look instantly just by shopping in your closet.