What to wear when you need a stepstool to get the cereal (i.e. you're short).


The delightful Jami, who helps me with Pinterest says I should have titled this as....

Best Outfits for Short Women: 7 Wardrobe Must Haves for Petite Women

Jami, I promise you, on Pinterest, you can call it whatever you like.


If you have ever had to ask someone tall to reach things for you, read on.

Oh short ones! Pocket Venus's. Petites. Those of us under say, Five feet 4. We’ve always had to cut, fold, or sew up the ends of our clothing just to get the right fit, even if they’re still far from perfect. But who says we always have to settle? 

Here are some wardrobe pieces that can make you look and feel ten feet tall at five foot two:

#1 Fitted Black Pants

Black isn't just for stealth ops, it really does live up to it's reputation of making us look slimmer if that's your goal. Fitted black pants or black skinny jeans play a useful visual trick of making legs look longer (especially if you pair them with black boots). 

#2 Pencil Skirt

A classic pencil skirt can form an inverted triangle shape (I'd explain the geometry, but it will be faster if you just trust me) and make you look narrower and therefore longer. The fact that it’s every woman’s go-to formal skirt is just a bonus. These never date - add a kick flap to make walking easier, and lined ones will slide better over your curves. You can also add shapewear for a smoother line. 

#3 Vertical Patterned Top

Using stripes horizontally or vertically is foolproof method to make things appear wider or longer - but before you read on, if you're going to be on Zoom/camera, make sure the stripes aren't pulling attention away from your face, so think neutral colors. For a more professional look, go for a vertically striped button-down shirt. 

#4 The Right Size Blazer

The perfect blazer can present you as a "force to be reckoned with," according to Jami. Sounds good to me. Aside from being elegant, they go with everything from a ball gown to a tee. A short, tight-fitting blazer gives your upper body more structure so you will not only look taller but you’ll seem taller. Yup, it works. Don't go for a long blazer if you're petite - it drags the eyes down, you'll lose your waist and you'll look like you're wearing the wrong size. 

#5 Mid-thigh Dress

Before you splutter at the words mid-thigh, we are short. The idea is to draw focus on the frame rather than the length of your body, and a mid-thigh dress can do that for you. Whether bodycon or flared, short dresses can make short women look taller. 

#6 Solid-colored Jumpsuit

If you want to look taller and leaner, jumpsuits help. The human eye scans - and it will scan up and down and the impression will be of one smooth line. Choose solid colors because loud prints can swallow you up. Ditto overly large bags and jewelry. We don't want to look like we are playing dress up in a grown up's clothes. 

#7 Ankle Boots

I can't wear heels, foot issues, damn it, because I love the way they look. Heels make you look taller. No, really? You can get a similar effect without stilettos, though; ankle boots can do the trick too. By covering just enough of your feet, this kind of boot can give you the appearance of longer legs. 

Other tips - high waisted everything, monochromatic outfits, pointy toe shoes...call me!

Aroha, Erin

Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash


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