Dressing For Your Body Shape – Petite

If you want to always look your best then being aware of your body shape and the types of clothes that suit you is absolutely essential. One of the most common reasons for making clothing mistakes stems from not being aware of what suits your figure or taking advice from someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart, for example, shop assistants.

No matter what your shape, there are some fundamental guidelines for enhancing and flattering your figure.

Petite women are a special category, and being classed as petite is more than simply being very short. As a petite you are most likely to have a balanced vertical body type, which means that at the hip line, you are almost perfectly divided in half. However, you are also a combination of the following features:

You are under 164cm (5’5″) in height
You are short in the mid-body (from the fullest part of the bust to the waist, and waist to hip)
You are under size 16
You have a small to medium bone structure

Petite women therefore have special requirements when it comes to fashion.

As a true petite, you will look your best in wear specialist petite clothing because these garments have been designed with your particular needs in mind. Petite clothing is cut narrower in the shoulders and shorter in the mid-section. The sleeves, pant legs and skirts are also shorter. This means that they will suit your proportions perfectly and are less likely to need expensive alterations.

As well, petite clothing includes smaller details to suit your smaller height and bone structure. This includes lapel widths, buttons and belts, as well as small scale patterns and jewellery. Anything large or chunky will overwhelm a petite woman.

You can also use vertical design lines to make you appear taller and slimmer. The most powerful vertical line runs down the centre of the body, effectively dividing it in half. Vertical lines like stripes have the most impact on height when they are narrow and placed close together. The wider the stripe and the further apart they are spaced, the less impact they have.

Some petite woman end up choosing clothing from the children’s section. While in terms of size these clothes may fit, it is important for all women that we also choose clothing that suits us as individuals. Petite women want be able to wear feminine, flattering clothing that suits their age, career and lifestyle. It is unlikely that children’s wear will be appropriate.

Simply choosing the smallest size in general women’s fashion and having the lengths altered may work sometimes but not always. The cuts, patterns and details may be too large on a petite woman, and attempting to alter these elements will be expensive, if not impossible.

Good department stores will have a specialist petite section. If you’ve never ventured in before you will be pleasantly surprised at the range and quality of petite clothing available.

Knowing your body shape is crucial. These simple guidelines will help the petite woman to always look and feel her best.

Susan Lockhart is a qualified Image Consultant in Brisbane, Australia and owner of Synergy Image Consulting. Learn how to make the most of your appearance and dress for success, no matter what size, age or shape you are. Discover the most comprehensive personal styling program available online! You could have your own personal style portfolio in just minutes by visiting http://www.synergy.your-estyle.com/

January 22, 2011Permalink