Some of my readers contacted me recently for advice on what to wear if you are petite, slim and rectangle shaped. As all women know, it can be difficult sorting through rails upon rails of clothes to find not only something suitable for your shape but also your
I have this same problem, but in reverse. As a 5'8" slim rectangle, I still have problems with leg and arm length. Many times these are too short. The only way for me to get the correct length is to go up a size. This is the funniest thing! Do clothes manufacturers think that if you are a larger size, your arms and legs suddenly grow in length too? How bizarre.
Anyway, I digress. Yes, when you are not a standard size, shape or height, shopping can be frustrating. As a petite woman, you may find it disheartening to have to shop at children's stores. How can you look chic and elegant in clothes cut for children?
I have given much advice and many tips on this blog and in my books for pear shapes, standard and plus sizes but, alas, not very much for petites. So it is high time that I did.
Here are some guidelines to get you started, followed by some outfit suggestions for various occasions.
Proportions are key for everybody, no matter what shape, height or size. For petites, the rule to remember is not to wear or carry anything that will swamp your small frame and make you look much smaller than you are.
So, say NO to the following:
- Oversized coats (you will disappear)
- Exaggerated platform shoes (which will resemble hooves and make you look like Minnie Mouse)
- Large sweaters (shapeless and oversized for you)
- Large tote bags (big enough to carry you in)
- Large hoop earrings (almost the size of your face)
- Oversized rings (too large for your dainty fingers)
- Wide trousers (your slim pins will disappear)
As you see in the above list, the don'ts have all to do with anything that is too large, wide or bulky for you. Keep instead to small versions of everything, scaled down to your size.
2/ Rectangle Shape
Rectangles are well balanced, having their upper and lower body in proportion with each other, with small curves. So, try to add definition to your waist whilst emphasising your cleavage and hips. This is how rectangular shaped women can make their straight up and down figure more womanly.
So, say YES to the following:
- V necks and princess necklines (show off your cleavage)
- Padded bras (emphasise your bust)
- Frills around your bust such as in swimwear (small frills if you are petite)
- Narrow belts to show off your waist (no wide belts for petites)
- Pencil skirts (at or above the knee) for some va-va voom to your booty
- A line skirts (not too voluminous)
- Skirts or dresses with frills at the hem (will add curves to your silhouette)
- Illusion dresses (clever prints give you an hourglass shape)
- Cigarette/capri-style, slim-fit trousers (not cargo or wide-fit)
- Shapely blazers (not much longer than hip length)
- Fitted and/or belted coats
- Show off a well-turned ankle in sexy heels (remember no hooves!)
- Small handbags
Below are some ideas of looks for various occasions.
Lace top with a princess neckline.
This lace skirt is just divine.
A flirty dress ideal for a dinner date.
Illusion dress to give you curves.
Try a fitted blazer for the office, or for casual wear.
Slim fitted trousers.
This swimsuit will give you curves in all the right places.
Sometimes, for one reason or another, we are not happy with our size and shape. For petite women, keep in mind that the best things come in small packages!
What problems do you encounter with your shape or size? Please let us know in a comment.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy these:
The Most Flattering Swimwear For Rectangles
Swimsuits: the Right Style For Your Shape
Top Mistakes to Avoid For Longer Legs
Dress For Your Shape
Dress Your Shape
I'm Marie-Anne Lecoeur. I teach women how to upgrade their style and think, shop & dress like a French woman in my Ecourses and The French Chic Academy
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