Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting a Style Therapy session at the premier Petite Fashionista Presents event held at Proof Bar/Sky Lounge at The Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto.
The topic at hand was one very dear to me, being 5'4" (with heels) myself: Petite Tips and Tricks, or what I call 'Presto Changeos' that can make the 'ok' items in your closet ones that are infused with personal style and fitting to a petite frame. Many of you have requested a list of the tips I shared during the show, and now, here they are:
1. Blouses/button down shirts should skim your frame, rather than hang loosely from it to maintain a longer, leaner body line. To make use of 'too loose' tops, try keeping the top untucked and cinching a belt over it at your natural waistline to bring the fabric closer to your body and creating a hint of an hourglass shape
2. Petite especially benefit from bringing attention to the face and neck, helping others to see our height. To benefit from this keep necklines open, showing some collarbone and directing the attention upward, using a boat, scoop or v-neck or leaving and extra button open on your blouse (not too low please!) depending on your face and body shape. To dress up the neckline add in a statement necklace that fills some of the space but still allows skin to peek through.
3. Ensure that city or Bermuda shorts fall 1"-1.5" above the knee to benefit from the longest leg line possible. Pairing these with wedges or sandals with a small heel will maximize the effect, while flats; on the other hand, will shorten the leg. The Theory Palmer S Bermuda short to the right is from revolveclothing.com
4. Look for heel heights that are proportionate to your height and body shape. As petites we tend to look for the most height we can get! While we may feel taller, we actually look even smaller, teetering on top of overly high heels, which defeats the purpose, doesn't it? An ideal heel height for work is between 2"-3" - the Nuncio from Nine West is my favourite basic (see left) while an evening shoe could be as high as 3" before looking out of proportion. For wedges and platforms, keep to 1.5" of platform height, 3.5" or so for heel height and be mindful of avoiding super chunky platforms which look heavy and thick against small frames. Pumps with covered platforms are especially flattering, and very of the moment. Aren't these Giuseppe Zanotti's from revolveclothing.com beautiful?