Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus

BeeNee a

Petite and Petite Plus: Fashion Woes: "The Rules": Styling Petite: Styling Petite Plus

In the US Fashion Industry, any adult woman between 4'11 and 5'4 is considered to be petite. Petite does not mean thin or skinny, it is simply addressing your height so you can be petite or petite plus. Here is the thing about being either petite or petite plus: you are the size you are. There is no sense Gag'ing questions everyday about how can you grow taller or should I wear heels all the time because I'm short. I am absolutely 100% NO believer in short girls having to wear heels all the time or plus sized anybody being made to just cover up in a jacket all day long. Life is too short (yes, lame pun intended) to live this way and to be miserable in 100 degree weather because you're afraid to show an arm. Learn to love your inches, your widths, your height, your curves, your lack of curves, etc. from now until forever. You CAN'T be someone else, because the only person you can be is you. (Steps off soap box).


The irony of being a petite size is that a whopping 70% of US women are considred petite and yet the fashion industry seemingly ignores this sizing group altogether opting for 6' foot models on runways, more "average" sizing, and clothing that might not necessarily reflect your styling needs and wants. It also unfortunately only tends to get worse when you address those women who do have fuller hips and/or a full busts or who are petite plus. These women do often have a harder time trying to compete with being plus and petite. Being of shorter stature does not mean everyone in this sizing group looks like a straight up and down pencil. You all are much more than that, or you're that, and well, lucky you, you can probably find something that works a little easier.


1. Rules were made to be broken

2. Adding bulk in any form to your petite frame tends to overwelm you and make you look, well, like a kid in her mom's clothes. Opt for clothes that are tailored and fit closer to your body whether you are Petite or P+.

3A. Heels are not the only way to make you look taller. Create a vertical line visually using your clothing. Look for clothes with...yup...vertical lines, vertical piping, vertical prints, the word vertical running up and down your body (only kidding about that last one)(sort of).

3B.Another way to do this is to rock a monochromatic look. When you wear all one color, the eye can freely flow up and down without resting on any part of you verticalling you up and down.

3C. Another way to do this in general is to avoid cutting your body into sections. You want a nice vertical flow, so putting on a choker neclace, wearing a belt, and wearing an ankle strap, and then horizontal lines, all chop the body up and make you appear shorter...or in the case of horizontal stripes, wider than you are.

4. Pay attention to your waistline. A tunic top is your worst enemy becuase it tends to be loose and flowy around your middle and ends below your waist. Visually this drags the eye downward. Belt things at your natural waist or have looser tops tailored in towards your actual waistline.

5. Legs. The more of them we see (uh...within reason, hooker!), the better. Again, your worst enemy is something like a midcalf boot with an midi skirt. Chopping up those legs will make you appear shorter. Take full advantage of a mini, a shorter above the knee skirt, and some nude color heels (even with an ankle strap) so as not to break the line of the leg.

6. With prints and accessories, keep them proportionate to your smaller frame. A giant print, much like a giant ball gown can completely swallow you up. The same goes with huge purses, big old cowboy sized belt buckles, big clunky shoes, and big oversized chunky jewelry. Of course, if you are P+, because of your lovely size, you CAN rock bigger sized accessories and prints because they match your frame and help to showcase you in the best way rather than overwhelm your frame.

7. Draw the eye up, up, and up towards your lovely face. Do a messy top bun, or afro puff, or mop of curls, with your hair. Wear a stunning necklace, put on a dramatic scarf, wear a pair of amazing earrings.

8. Life is so not fair...that's why tailoring was invented. Whether you need to bring in a bulky waist, hem a pant, or raise a hem, you should invest in tailoring. Even more so if you are P+. Buy clothing that fits the largest parts of you and tailor the rest until fashion designers get an F'ing clue that you exist.

Now that you know the rules AND you know that you can totally break them because rules were made to be broken, let's see the rules in action below.


Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus

Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus
Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus


Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus

Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus

Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus

Work It Girl: Petite and Petite Plus
Add Opinion

Most Helpful Girl

  • LittleSally
    Pretty styles! Love them. =)

    Nice of you to include slim and curvy options. A bit for everyone!
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guy

  • Anonymous
    Petite & petite plus girls are the cutest... makes me want to give such a girl love.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • zombiebabe
    i am petite too am 5'3 well thanks for the advice
  • waspcreative
    Petite are many many mens preference, including mine. Why some girls are self concious about their short height makes no sense. Hollywood and fashion industry have really brain washed people real good I guess.
    • I am 5"4 and I dont understand them too. I think women are very obsessed with perfection. :D Some of us are fat, some of us have big nose, some of us are short, some of us have big feet... I think it is flaws which make us unique and perfect. :D

    • BeeNee

      @Morriganhell Here is the thing I say to all on this subject... the only way a magazine or a runway show or a television show can survive is if someone is paying for it, subscribing it, liking it up and down on social media, or watching it. There are simply not enough women or men outright clamoring for normal, for girl next door, for average, or "human." Instead we all continue to buy or support in some manner these things. Trust me, we live in a world today where social media is as powerful as a judge, and when people want something bad enough, they make it happen en masse, but though there are sects of people who are very vocal and who promote these things, far more don't. They want photoshop and only super tall and only super skinny and this or that celebrity, so we're where we will continue to be unless we join together and demand the promotion of all beauty, not just certain types.

    • @myTake Owner If I had been designer, I would design for woman who have flaws on her body. Because perfect is too boring and mainstream.

    • Show All
  • fauchelevent
    Seeing the petite plus section was pretty cool, people seem to forget petite people aren't always stick thin doll-like little creatures :P Being 5'2 sucks in terms of clothing, I either have to roll up my jeans to get them to my ankles or buy 'ankle grazers' that go down over my foot :P This was a useful article though, thanks!
    • BeeNee

      You should really give tailoring a try. It's not really expensive at all to have your hem taken up. Typically $8-10 or less. I can not tell you how absolutely wonderful it is to put something on that's been tailored to your own body instead of just some random floor model.

  • SunsetRose
    Thanks for all these great tips!!! I love being petite but sometimes it's rough
    • BeeNee

      You're welcome. I'm glad you love being petite. Definitely celebrate you as much as you can. In order to help with the rough part, might I suggest these 35 brands who want to help you continue to love being petite?

    • SunsetRose

      Thank you for the resources! It makes me want to go shopping 🙊

  • Jxpxtxr
    Haha as a 5'10" girl I'm anything but petite but I have to confess that I sometimes sneak into the petite section of Topshop because they usually have some really cute skirts or tops that I can for some reason still pull off lol

    Those are some really cute styles by the way, nice take :)
    • becca123

      I do this too. Other than length in pants, some stuff fits me perfectly. At 5'9", who'da thunk it?

  • Spiorad_Aisce
    Good tips for petite and petite plus girls - I find myself being drawn to the subtle colour styles and least fussy (probably says more about my taste than anything). In petite I really like look of 1, 7 and 9. In petite plus I really like look of 1, 6 and 8.
  • SweetHomicidalQueen
    Those P+ girls are hot, and thank you for this! I'm a tiny girl and I am VERY bad at fashion
  • chintita
    i didn't know about petite plus lol i'm 5'5" but those outfits are adorable and i'd totally wear them
  • Shy_pisces
    I am 4" 11' and I fall into the petite plus myself and these tips are great
  • Zelda_5
    I'm 5'2"and one thing that I find really helpful to make you look taller is wear pants that are an inch too short. It makes it look like your too tall for your pants.
  • luvstoned4him
    I agree. petites have it hard as tho some curvy and pearshaped women. I am not petite but my mom is so this will greatly help her. Hope you do a take on my body type :) :) :) @BeeNee
  • Mustachekitteh
    Yeah the only pair of pants I found that were the perfect length on me. Is this old pair of pants my mom found that is a boys lard. :(
  • FallOutBoy2001
    OH MY GOD thank you. Shorty over here is trying to grow past 5'4" (I'm hoping to make 5'6", as dad is 6'0" and mum is 5'0") but in the meantime fashion to make me look taller is great!
    • BeeNee

      You're welcome. Good luck on that growth thing. You've still got a little time left to gain some inches, but if it doesn't happen, just love you, 5'4 and all.

    • Thanks for the kind words :)

  • musicbrain5
    I'm the total opposite of petite, but I can definitely relate to the problems with finding clothes that fit properly without having to alter them. One advantage that short women have over women like me is that there is always excess material to work with.

    The fashion industry doesn't quite know that tall women exist either, lol. Sure, the models are tall but there's a HUGE difference between the custom tailored clothing shown on the runway and what's ready to wear on the racks in the store. Most clothing is made to fit women of average height. It's not impossible to find clothes, but it takes more time and effort, haha.
    • BeeNee

      trusssssst me when I say, I have been saving up my next take about us opposites (mainly out of pent up rage, lol) because I just got out of a dressing room with hashtag tall people problems. LOL.

    • becca123

      Ugh, agreed. I'm 5'9". God forbid you have any shape at all. I'm hourglass, and I cannot find pants that fit in the butt that don't gap 3" or more at the waist. It is so frustrating. I'm a US6, so best of luck to me finding pants long enough to reach below the ankle, full enough to flatter the butt, and small enough at the waist that I couldn't fit someone else in there, too..

    • @becca123 Yep. I'm actually a size 8 but the only time I can actually buy that size is when I'm buying shorts or capris, or the odd skirt. Otherwise, it's way too short. Fits perfectly around the waist but not long enough... oh well. I'm pretty sure clothing companies believe that all tall people are also overweight.

  • BiscuitesSwag
    This doesn't really help me since I'm not petite, but I liked it anyway. ☺
    • BeeNee

      Glad you liked it anyway. Maybe it can help your shorter friends.

  • jjmarvin
    I've read fashion advice columns for short guys that have pretty much the same advice. As i petite male i say this looks legit.
  • candyaurora
    Loved your take. I am 5'2" and slim. Do you think a jumpsuit looks good in reality (it does look good in the pic!) On a shorty like me?
    • BeeNee

      Yes, but try to look for ones that are slimmer fit, tailored to the body, have a distinct waistline and with some form of vertical detailing or all in just one color or small print from head to toe. I love Asos. com. Just type in petite jumpsuit in the search bar. The great thing about this website if you've never heard of it, is they allow you to see the garment on 'the catwalk.' Click a pic and below it is the view catwalk option. Also the site is budget friendly, and has some good sales. Good luck shorty!

    • Hey thanks 😊

    • BeeNee

      You're very welcome.

  • rjroy3
    I'm feelin that girls style in the petite styling. Bottom left and bottom mid. ; )
  • Sunflower19
    I guess I am Petite:) being 5 ft tall Lol!
    Great take!
  • ShaeNielson
    This is actually a pretty good take! Im 5'6 so I don't classify as petite but it's still inspiring.
    • BeeNee

      lucky you being size average and all. LOL. Nah, everyone has a struggle or 2 or 10 in that dressing room. We just need to work with what we have.

    • Yea, danes aren't known for being short. It really can be hard to dress for your body if you don't know how different clothes and styles work, that's true.

  • meatballs21
    Petite 4 lyfe yo
  • XNicholeMariex3
    Cool take! 5'2" over here. 😄
    • Twolips

      Omg I could so beat you at basketball

    • BeeNee

      thanks :o)

  • YingKim
  • Anonymous
    I think all is beautiful
  • Anonymous
    So petite plus is short and fat?
    • rjroy3

      Pretty much, but a lot of girls who just have thick thighs and arms genetically fall into that group too. I've dated a few. Small waist, wide hips and thick thighs.

  • Anonymous
    and if I'm 5'5 I'm considered to be what? petite tall?
    • BeeNee

      By fashion industry standards, mind you, you'd be a sizing "average." Sizing is usually petite, average, tall, and variations of the three for plus.

    • Anonymous

      Ok, thank you. I wear size 6 it's consider average or fat?

    • BeeNee

      You're size human.

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