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Petite Body Guide

Fab Body Guide: It's a Petite World

A Fab reader recently wrote in asking us to start PetiteSugar. Since that's not on the roster (but you never know...) we decided we could do a Fab Body Guide dedicated to petites.

I lightly touched on the subject with Rachel Bilson, but here are many more helpful tips on how to elongate your silhouette, accessories dos and don'ts, and online retail shops with stylish fashions for petites.

Tips on elongating your small frame:

  • Wearing similar colors, or monochrome, gives the illusion you're taller. It provides a continuous flow from one item of your outfit to the next.

  • When you don't want to wear all one color, just make sure the silhouette of your outfit is lengthening. For example, if you want to wear a fuchsia blouse with white pants, make sure the hem of the pants sweeps the floor, even with your high heels.
  • To avoid looking wide, stay away from horizontal stripes and colorblocking; you can certainly do skinny stripes though!
  • Another style that makes you appear wide is anything overly billowy, a la Nicole Richie's tiered mini dress. If you must dabble with the trend, steer clear of tiers.

To hear more advice about petite fashion and to see some Fab outfits we put together,

  • Speaking of creating continuous flow, make sure your shoes and tights are similar in color. A black outfit with a white shoe will chop up your leg and make you look stout.
  • Avoid super long tunics, especially if you're wearing a long skirt or pants. With a skirt that hits above the knee, mid-thigh grazing tops are a more acceptable. Also be wary of cropped jackets and tops — they don't call them cropped for nothing!
  • When wearing cropped or capri pants do like Sarah Jessica Parker and wear them with high heels.

Accessories Dos and Don'ts

  • Do wear pointed toe shoes because they are more lengthening than round toe.
  • Don't wear T-Straps, bows, or heavy buckles on your footwear because it creates a wide, chunky effect.
  • Do wear flats, but keep your outfit silhouette slim.
  • Do stay away from wide, colorful belts. If you're going to wear a belt, opt for a skinny one.

Petite Shops

Fab Petite Outfits


fabgirl24 fabgirl24 7 years
I haven't seen the blogs for petites for fabsugar. Is it up and running yet? I would really want to read more and mingle with the petites petites .
twiggychic3 twiggychic3 8 years
Super Petite Fashionistas Poll Here! (University Research) Only Participate In The Poll If You Are Female And 5'3 And Under Please!
kerneschick2005 kerneschick2005 9 years
Hi ladies, I too am petite. and I don't mean just little, but truly petite (my sister and I both are, poor thing will never be 5 ft or 100 lbs...) I am 5'1" and 103, and I have found that despite my mexican booty, I can wear designer jeans (specifically Seven for All Mankind) from the kids' department--half the price and they fit SO much better--plus, if you buy at Nordstrom, they hem them for free (at least mine did!) :) and we all know we petites frequently need a good hem. hehe.
PFScenester PFScenester 9 years
Oh, I'm always happy to find more blogs/reads geared toward us petites!
serafinablog serafinablog 9 years
Ladies, I see that my blog serafina has been mentioned (thanks for the shout out SweetStanzy). I'm a petite chic myself and have loads of fashion advice and news on my blog. Check it out Its all about petite fashion for all body types. Feel free to email me, leave me comment or contact me through FabSugar. Go petites!
Yo-Shorty Yo-Shorty 9 years
Hi, I could do a petite post for you once a month if you like and then you could just add a link to my blog in return I'm just starting out on this blogging stuff but I quite enjoy it!
crista71 crista71 9 years
Calvin Klein makes a petite line of bras! Finally someone understands that all our parts are scaled down! I totally recommend this line.
LoveRoars LoveRoars 9 years
THANK YOU!!!!!!! I love it!
inertia inertia 9 years
I highly recommend Japanese fashion magazines for tips on fashion for petites. The tallest professional models shown are no more than about 5'7" (at most), and many magazines also use "girl next door" types in the 4'11" to 5'3" range that's typical for Japanese women. Japan's entire fashion industry is geared toward making clothes that fit and flatter petites. If you're short and slim, I think it's worth buying Japanese clothes online (from ordinary cheap brands like Uniqlo, not the international luxury ones) or bringing a lot of extra cash if you happen to visit.
g-baby g-baby 9 years
sweetstanzy sweetstanzy 9 years
I stand at a proud 5'2" and I'm always getting my jeans hemmed or getting clothes taken in, so I appreciate Fabsugar's guide to all things petite. There's a good shopping blog called Serafina ( that's dedicated to petite fashion.
Chelle_Belle Chelle_Belle 9 years
Thanks so much for this post. It's very insightful!! I'm a petite lady (5'3) and I loooooooove these suggestions. You're so fab, Fab :)
Tech Tech 9 years
Hey, one nice thing about being short is that you can wear shorter skirts than everyone else and it's far less scandalous! I also heard this advice, for you gals that are shopping the petite sections--Marc by Marc Jacobs kid stuff. It's as pretty as his regular stuff, but petite and a fraction of the price!
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
OH come on! I would love a Petitebighipsacnepronefablips Sugar!
CocoChic CocoChic 9 years
If you guys really want a PetiteSugar, why don't you make a group for it? :)
javsmav javsmav 9 years
me too, Greentea! I'm short--not petite. I'm in the height range, but petite clothes never fit. Pants are too short (even with flats) & shirt sleeves hit inches above my wrists. These tips are still useful for the most part. Except that if I fall in love with a round-toe shoe with a bow on it, I'm going to buy. I don't think it makes THAT much of a difference.
emalove emalove 9 years
I would love a PetiteSugar!!! I'm tiny (both height-wise and weight-wise) like Rachel Bilson ...I always have to shop in the petite section for women's clothing. And I feel like so many styles look overwhelming on me. Great tips!
misshouston misshouston 9 years
If a PetiteSugar is nowhere on the horizon, how about a weekly feature on FabSugar? We petite fleurs (as Clinton Kelly calls us) would truly appreciate it!!!
dukegirl dukegirl 9 years
Thanks for this Fab Body Guide. Do more, not only for petites but all body types. And thanks for the link to MSN, gabiushka.
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 9 years
I'm 5'3 but I have a 'tall person's body'--so I've been told. I don't know what that means, but whatever.
k_izzle k_izzle 9 years
If you're going to have petitesugar, then there better be a tallsugar, a plus-sizedsugar, an hourglasssugar, pear-shapedsugar, blah blah blah. That's just absurd.
oblio000 oblio000 9 years
thanks so much fab! and i totally think a petitesugar is a great idea!
sarahsreallife sarahsreallife 9 years
Haha yeah Audrey was NOT short by any standards! But I'm always happy to learn about people who are the same height as I am (5'3"): Victoria Beckham and Natalie Portman, for example! One tip that wasn't on the list was high-waisted pants...they make the leg look longer so the whole body looks longer. But you know, I don't really focus that much on making myself look taller. I think if you love what you're wearing and you carry yourself confidently, you'll great even if you're a midget!
will205 will205 9 years
she may be small, but audrey was 5'7". how about someone a bit... shorter?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I don't think petite necc. means you need to be short and thin, I think both really put you in that range.
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