Dressing for Your Body, Which Happens to be Awesome: Petite Edition

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Petite girl


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Welcome back to Dressing for Your Body, Which Happens to be Awesome (known in some circles as DFYBWHTBA -- we're working on a better acronym). You've learned how to dress your long legs, your boobs of any size, and your fantastic butt. You've laughed, you've cried, you've listened to India.Arie's Video on repeat, and now you embrace your body type with all your heart, right?

Well, maybe not yet. But even if not, I am here to help, showing you ways to dress your bangin' bod (and trust me, it is bangin') while loving your body, not trying to trick people into thinking it's different.

That said, this week we are going to talk a little bit about optical illusions. Dressing for your shape is mostly about managing your proportions — showing people where to visually divide your body. It turns out, though, that people associate certain proportions with children and certain proportions with adults. Assuming we're all trying to look adult-aged here (isn't that pretty much what college is anyway? A bunch of kids pretending to be adults?), there are certain styles to avoid as a shorter girl. Essentially, high-waisted jeans are your friend, and long flowy tees are probably not (and between you and me, they seem to be on their way out for exactly this reason. You could be six feet tall wearing one of these shirts and still look like a kid in her pajamas).

On the other hand, you also have the option to throw the proportion nonsense out the window and turn everything I just said on its head. More on that later.

Being short and small has its perks. If you want your boyfriend to be taller than you, you don't have to search long for somebody you can wear heels around. And on that note, you can wear heels without towering over everybody. I have a friend who is very petite (probably 5'1"), and she just wears intensely high heels around campus every day. I have no idea how she does it, and it's probably uncomfortable, so I'm not endorsing that specifically, but you have that option! You can probably also fit into small spaces, and that's probably useful sometimes (especially if you join a hide and seek league).

Tips for Dressing Your Petite Self

Show off those legs

Sure, people typically lust after the legs of 10-foot-tall supermodels, but the best way to keep your proportions looking appropriately post-pubescent is to emphasize your legs. High waisted and colored jeans are an awesome way to make that happen.

You can wear heels every day if you want to

People seem to give shorter girls much less trouble about wearing heels for most situations - taller girls can get awkward stares, but no one will think twice when you do it. Rock it, if that's what you're into.

The monotone look will set you free

If you hate high-waisted jeans, if you love long shirts and sweaters, or if you just hate the word "proportion" because it reminds you of math class, you have another option. Try going way-neutral, and then adding accessories to your heart's content.

Outfit 1: Summer Casual

short casual look


Jeans — Topshop, Top — Topshop, Heels — Heels.com, Bag — WetSeal, Necklace — Harvey Nichols, Headband — Go Jane

This is a great outfit for the end-of-warm-weather hangouts that are happening on campus right now. It's casual, but dressed up, with a studded headband and awesome chunky platforms. I love these. I wish that I were not 5'7" so I could wear these every day of my life. I just might, regardless. The high waisted jeans with a cropped top give you more feminine proportions, which is always a plus.

Outfit 2: Way Neutral

short girls neutral look


Sunglasses — River Island, Scarf — Modcloth, Bag — Wallis, Jeans — Farfetch, Shirt — Topshop, Shoes — Lane Bryant, Bracelet — H&M

The base of this outfit is pretty much all black. You've got black jeans, a dark grey t shirt, and black studded smoking slippers (a trend which I am loving, by the way). Not the most interesting outfit, but the perfect blank slate - you can add pretty much anything to this. Because you're wearing all one color, the long-ish shirt won't make your legs look shorter — It'll just blend in. Leave it to your accessories to make a (in this case, patriotic) statement.

What do you think?

How do you keep your petite frame looking adult? What's your favorite short-girl fashion tip? What are your personal opinions on heels? What body type should I cover next? Answer these questions and more in the comments!