Search here...
Fashion Lifestyle Outside

10 Big Fashion Tips for Small People

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f we’ve met in real life then you will know that I’m vertically challenged (another way of saying I’m a short arse). I come from a long line of short people; in fact at 5 ft 2.5, I’m one of the tallest females in my family – go figure!

I can’t tell you how pleased I was when high street stores began making clothes designed for the petite population. I think that Next was the first store to actually recognise that not everyone is of model proportions. Nowadays every shop seems to have a petite section – no more buying children’s clothes at the age of 40!

Like most people, I’ve made the odd faux pas (just because cropped jeans are fashionable, it doesn’t mean everyone has to wear them) over the years but I’ve also learnt a trick or two to assist us shorties. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the things I’ve learnt…


DON’T wear cropped skinny jeans as they cut your legs off at the wrong place making them look even shorter than they already are.

DO wear boot cut jeans or skinny ankle grazers with a small heel.


DON’T wear boxy tops that end mid way across your hips as it will cut you off at the widest part of your body.

DO wear tops that skim the top of your thighs (assuming what is on the bottom half is figure hugging) or a top that is cinched in at the waist.


DON’T wear too many patterned clothes together as they will overpower you.

DO wear a patterned top with plain bottoms or vice versa.


DON’T wear ballet flats for obvious reasons.

DO wear a trainer with a chunky sole as it has more material and gives you a little extra height.


DON’T wear too many baggy, shapeless clothes together.

DO wear wide leg trousers with a fitted top (add a heel for extra height) or a baggy top with fitted trousers.


DON’T wear knee-high boots as they make your legs appear shorter.

DO wear ankle boots with a small heel.


DON’T wear skirts or dresses that cut off across the knee.

DO wear skirts that are a couple of inches above or below the knee.


DON’T wear tops that are the same length all the way round.

DO wear tops that have side splits or are lower at the back than the front.


DON’T wear shapeless, long-line blazers.

DO wear a fitted jacket that will accentuate your waist.


DON’T wear a square neck top or anything too high up in the neck.

DO wear a v-neck to create the illusion of length.


Based on the above, I’ve put together some items from the high street that would fit into these categories and I know would suit me and maybe you too?

Are you a fellow shortie? Do you struggle to find clothes to suit your frame? Have you got any tips to add?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if anyone purchases an item featured here, I receive a very small commission. The price you pay is not affected.
Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Tricia Coopet

    I would call you a mfupi a Swahili word for “one who works with their bottom nearing the ground” always remember my RI teacher telling me that. From one mfupi to another.

  • Kerry

    I’m not that short, but I do feel like my body is out of proportion, with the bottom half being much shorter. I use to always wear heels to compensate, but I’m just to clumsy to keep that up nowadays! Chunky trainers are a good compromise x

    • Suzanne W

      I can wear a heel if I’m going out but I normally stick to a smallish heel and never a stiletto – my days of those are well gone!

  • Seaside Sparkles

    Great advice thanks, for me at 5ft3 the issue is always jeans when I find the perfect fit i tend to buy a few in different colours.

    • Suzanne W

      Yes I’ve learnt to do the same. Zara is usually my ‘go to’ for jeans 🙂

  • Sarah Christie

    Great tips I am 5ft so struggle too although I do wear cropped jeans! but need petite ones, I prefer them longer. I long to wear wide length trousers but they just never look right on me x

    • Suzanne W

      Really? I had no idea that you were shorter than me! You don’t look it in photographs. I often wear cropped jeans as ankle grazers. I like the wide leg trousers too but a no no for us short arses. Same goes for maxi dresses I think! x

  • I’m a littlie too Suzanne! 5′ 3.5 at last count (that half and inch is SO important!!!! When I find something that fits I tend to go mad and buy it in every colour!! Especially jeans. Boden do the best ones for me. I’ve been wearing them for years — the leg length is perfect xx

    • Suzanne W

      Interesting, I’ve never bought jeans from Boden, are they good? x

  • Kerri-Ann

    Great tips lovely. I love Caro’s comment about buying something in every colour! I do the same x

  • I’m quite little too – only 5’3″ – and I love it! As a teen I wanted to be taller but now I’m older I actually really like being short. Ballet flats are my go-to shoes as I’ll ALWAYS go for comfort over the pain of wearing heels just to look a bit taller. Agree with everything else though 🙂

    • Suzanne W

      There’s so many more fashion ranges out there for us petites now; almost every store does a range! When I was a teenager, there really was nothing 🙁 xx

  • Being 5″2 I totally get what you’re saying here!! Unfortunately I’ve done thee cropped jeans thing too – and I look back at those pictures and cringe! Great advice and I totally agree with everything you said. x

    • Suzanne W

      Funny how many of us shorties there are! The problem is, cropped jeans are so useful for the summer! x

  • Morgana

    As a fellow petite I can relate. At 5ft 3 I’ve learnt over the years what I can and can’t wear, especially being that I’m curvy too. I do occasionally chuck the rule book out though.. I’ve got a long black blazer style coat that I thought would swamp me so hesitated buying it but in the end threw caution to the wind and got it anyway and never regretted it for a second!! xx

  • Olivia Green

    Great article Suzanne! As fashion industry revolving more than ever nowadays, demand for petite models and clothing line increasing at lightning speed.
    Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.