I have a friend who is, for all intents and purposes, sample size. I’ve gone shopping with her for years, but to this day, it completely confounds me that she can waltz into a store, pick something up off-the-rack, and not even bother to try it on. “Oh, it looks like it’ll fit,” she’ll say, and buy it on the spot.
Being petite, this isn’t something I’ve ever been able to do. Clothes simply don’t fit off the rack, even if they’re from the petite section -- and on the rare occasion they do, I’m totally overjoyed. It’s a novel experience for me, to find something that fits perfectly with no alterations necessary.
But enough complaining! Because my real point is that there are perks to being pocket sized, too -- by virtue of the fact that you don’t fit into any and everything, you learn what does work for your body pretty darn fast. You’re forced to, really, when only 25% of the clothing out there (if that!) will fit. When your selection’s so small, you want to be sure you’re getting something good, am I right?
But all the same, I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can never really know enough -- and so I’d like to pass on a link to this really insightful post by Kelly of AlterationsNeeded about petite fashion and body proportions. Determining where you fall on this scale (whether your torso-to-leg ratio is weighted towards one or the other) can go a long way in helping you balance your proportions in a way that’s lengthening and flattering.
So although the wrong item can make you even shorter than you already are, the right item can do a ton of good! For example, I personally have a longer torso and shorter legs (and thus, as Kelly describes, I fall on the “appearing more petite than I am” end of the scale). Because of this, I’ve found that high-waisted items do a lot to balance between the two. Alternatively, my friend (who stands at 5’0) has a much shorter torso; for her, bottoms that hang lower on the waist (or are just lower-waisted in general!) are more flattering.
Of course, there are a whole host of other factors that come into play in determining how a skirt will lengthen/shorten your petite figure -- the shape, the hem line (for more on that, see Extra Petite’s great post), etc. But you tell me if you think I’m right! Here are two outfits, one with a high-waist, and one that hits me a little lower, near the hip. Which do you think does a better job of lengthening my proportions?