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Petites- what suits you?

(22 Posts)
Feckinlego Thu 11-Aug-16 10:54:31

I'm 5'1 and struggle to wear clothes that suit me. I love long cardigans, slouchy knits etc. , but I know I look drowned a lot of the time. This season I'm determined to research before buying. So I'm thinking maybe Blazers instead of long cardigans, a short Mac, Breton top instead of big sweaters. Am I on the right track? Any petites care to share their tips or buys?

Boredomismyenemy Thu 11-Aug-16 11:12:08

I'm a bit taller 5'3. I wear skinny jeans, but not too long that they bunch or my legs look really short! Skirts or dresses that come to just above the knee. I have a couple of long cardigans that aren't too chunky, but they also don't have buttons. Waterfall cardigans look hideous on me! Jumpers I tend to go for length that hits my hips, and that are looser fit. Tops I tend to go for semi fitted Breton or tshirts with a slightly rounded hem as that enlongate my body. Blazers or trophy jackets. Slim fitted wool coat in winter. I also have a Parka that's fitted in the waist and just covers my bum which looks nice. Haven't found a Mac that is the right length yet smile

redhat Thu 11-Aug-16 11:16:51

fitted all the way.

Slim structured dresses, skinny jeans, fitted jumpers. Loose and flowy jumpers and cardigans don't work unless they are with something skinny so that you can also see the body shape.

macnab Thu 11-Aug-16 11:40:25

I agree with redhat its easy to look swamped if you can't see your own silhouette.

If you're not able to alter clothes yourself, find a good seamstress. I find getting jacket and coat sleeves shortened just a bit makes all the difference, in fact the place I go to have all sorts of clever ways of altering things so they fit perfectly and things look so much better.

It's a real pain not being able to wear the things I like (like you, I like long cardigans etc) but if they don't suit what's the point.

macnab Thu 11-Aug-16 11:42:28

Forgot to add, I'm 5'2" and slim build. I think its not just the length of things, but also the fit on the shoulders and arms that can ruin a nice outfit. I try to buy 'petite' sizes when I can, but the choice is limited.

My sisters are all small, we often say we'd love to go to Japan for a shopping spree we reckon we might find better fitting clothes there!

minipie Thu 11-Aug-16 11:47:09

5'3 here. Agree you need fitted. Anything baggy and I look dumpy.

Longish loose cardigans are ok IF I wear them open with something fitted underneath. And even then, they can't be too long.

Dresses are great as they don't cut me in half. Knee length coats and dresses and skirts seem to work best on me. Maxis can look good but only if slim fitting rather than tent like. Calf length does not work.

What's your shape like? I am a petite hourglass (with large bum & thighs) so what suits you may be different if you are eg more of an apple shape with slim legs/no waist.

bigTillyMint Thu 11-Aug-16 11:53:38

DD is petite with a lovely hourglass shape and she definitely looks best in fitted dresses/bodycon/tight tops and short skirts. Long and gathered drowns her!

nickEcave Thu 11-Aug-16 12:00:43

I'm a short (4 ft 11) slightly podgy hourglass. My clothes have to be fitted or I look like a weeble! The only exception is I can get away with drapey, slouchy tops if they have a dipped, rounded hem at the front and I wear them with a fitted skirt that shows off my legs. The trouble with needing fitted, structured clothing is that it is much harder to pull off a casual look. The only summer clothing I look good in is fitted dresses with cropped cardigans which look fab for work but is way too overdressed for days with the kids and camping.

Feckinlego Thu 11-Aug-16 12:07:11

Thanks for replies. All very useful tips thanks. Dresses, I'd love to wear them as I really hate skinnies, but I struggle to find casual ones or footwear to match. Any tips v welcome! But for now I've a clue at least where to start so thanks to all.

Feckinlego Thu 11-Aug-16 12:07:56

Just to add I'm a size 8 but have a big tummy angry

nickEcave Thu 11-Aug-16 13:20:59

If you have the time to rummage then TK Maax can be fabulous for dresses - I've got a number of cotton and linen ones there over the last few years and never paid more than £25 for them. I get all my cropped cardigans from Woolovers - the cotton/silk crew necks with 3/4 sleeves sit on my natural waist and I have them in about 4 different colours which go with all my dresses. I have a smart pair of tan sandals and a tan handbag which go with everything and I don't have to even think about dressing for work in the summer.

Millionprammiles Thu 11-Aug-16 14:03:05

Fitted dresses can be tricky if the waist of the dress sits nearer your hips than waist (as its too long). It will then look too loose at your waist and too tight across your hips.
Sleeves and hems can be adjusted but it can be tricky to adjust waist position.

It can be easier to find dresses that fit if they're A-line or empire line (but still slim cut). And you can cinch in with a belt. Knitted dresses in Winter can be a good fit. In Summer I tend to go for looser dresses that I can cinch in with a belt.

But nothing beats a great seamstress to alter clothes for you - most of my formal work (and going out) dresses have been expertly altered.

And I find Spanish clothes labels (like Mango) or 'younger' labels (like Warehouse) a better fit. Much as I like the clothes in Reiss, Whistles, Cos - they just don't fit.

Darthvadersmuuuum Thu 11-Aug-16 14:12:45

I'm 5'1" and find empire line tops and dresses that sit just under the bust flattering. I am an old hippy though.

redhat Thu 11-Aug-16 17:03:22

I think empire line is one of the least flattering styles on me. It's because my rib cage is much wider than my waist and so it makes me look much wider than I am. When you're tall that isn't as much of a problem.

whattheseithakasmean Thu 11-Aug-16 17:07:17

I look pregnant in empire line. I like skinny jeans & fitted T shirts. I bloody love the Boden cropped cashmere cardigan and own it in many colours. Great with dresses and jeans, a lovely neat fit.

DeathMetalMum Thu 11-Aug-16 17:13:02

3/4 sleeves seems to work for me, weather its dresses or cardigans or jumpers. I have recentlyfound some brilliant cardigans in tkmaxx, they are both 3/4 sleeves sit just above the hip and are kind of waterfall type front and are brilliant, I am size 8/10 with a tummy and they really distract the tummy area, but don't drown me like other cardigans. I team most things with skinny jeans or shorts in the summer, shorts unfortunately have to be short shorts otherwise they cut me in half completely!

Greenteandchives Thu 11-Aug-16 17:16:49

I wear a lot of dresses with small print or plain. Never wear large patterns. I wear skinny jeans with t shirts that sit just below hips. Always show a bit of ankle rather than have them long. Or roll the ends up.
Never ever wear shoes with ankle straps or anything that sits too far below the knee. I have a small waist and bigger hips, but I hate belts. They always make me look bulkier.
My pet hate is blouses that fit my top but don't do up all the way down as I am so short waisted.

BlueEyedWonder Thu 11-Aug-16 23:08:07

I'm 5ft and a size 6/8.
Agree, fitted clothes work best for me.
I try and buy from petite ranges where possible: Topshop, DP, Gap online, ASOS, New Look, Boden, M&S, Next. I also find some well fitting pieces in Zara and Warehouse although they don't have specific petite ranges.
I wear skinny jeans, cigarette pants, just above the knee skirts and dresses. Fitted shirts and cropped cashmere jumpers and cardigans work well. Ankle boots and shoes with a small block heel give a bit of height whilst still being comfy

AmberNectarine Thu 11-Aug-16 23:42:55

At 5'5 I'm not particularly short, but I have a small frame and am size 6-8 so easily swamped.

Agree with PPs, fitted is your friend. Some of the current trends are v hard to wear, I.e. Midi skirts. I can only wear these if they are either very fitted or very full with a very fitted top.

I mostly wear fitted dresses/skinny trousers and tight knits for work, skinny jeans and fitted tops for casual.

Floisme Fri 12-Aug-16 09:53:13

5'3, size 8-10, kind of hourglassy/pear.

I think it's more about fit and proportions and that slouchy knits look fine provided they actually look slouchy rather than just too big. (I know I'm a bit taller so they're probably easier to find). I like them to end around the hip bone and sometimes I just lop a couple of inches off a jumper and roll the edges. I wear them with something fitted e.g. tube skirt.

I like cardis either cropped or long. By long, I mean practically knee length and I wear with narrow trousers or skinnies. Knee length makes me look more streamlined. Mid thigh makes me look even shorter - and dumpy too.

Same with jackets: I like short and fitted or knee length (i.e. a coat).

Clean lines: minimal fuss, clutter, frilliness, busyness. Normally just one piece of jewelry.

I have a small face too and look way better with short hair. No dangly earrings because I wear glasses and there'd be too much going on.

Feckinlego Fri 12-Aug-16 10:05:01

Great tips everyone. I took your advice shopping with me yesterday. Got a blazer, couple Breton tops, a lovely fitted but casual dress from tk max that I plan to wear with tights and boots come Autumn, suede ankle boots, and 2 plain cardigans from h and m (not quite sure how to wear them, loose or fitted top?). Have ordered some cigarette pants from asos which should be more comfy than skinnies. Oh I got some straight leg jeans too, again not sure how I'll wear them but they were so cheap from tk max I couldn't not! I'm banned from the shops for a while now but not online

Boredomismyenemy Fri 12-Aug-16 13:30:52

Glad you got some nice fitting bits, nothing worse than coming home empty handed from a shopping trip! Could I be a pain and ask you to link to the ASOS cigarettes trousers?! I'm after some! I will also be taking a trip to tk maxx on the hunt of casual fitted dresses for Autumn as you found one there! smile

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