It’s easy to feel a bit left out of the fashion scene when you’re on the short side. After all, when most runway models are almost twice your height and many clothes seem to be designed for Amazonian goddesses, it’s enough to make you admit defeat and retreat to the kid’s department for some pieces that actually fit. But maybe it’s time to push back against the snippy and stodgy fashion rules for petite women. In fact, the list of
short girl fashion rules you never have to follow is about a mile long.
After all, there are tons of benefits that come along with dressing a shorter frame. You learn about the importance of tailoring and fit early on. And you probably have a more DIY approach to some common tailoring problems. I can hem up any pair of pants or dress like nobody’s business, and my blind-hem stitch is second to none (by virtue of necessity and pants that are always about a foot too long). Petite girls are already accustomed to thinking outside the box where fashion is concerned, so why should any arbitrary rules hold you back? If a maxi skirt with a bold print is calling your name, then there is nothing wrong with wearing the hell out of it. Whatever your fashion sense, it’s time to let go of rules that no longer measure up to reality.
1 Avoid Big, Bold Prints Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: Large prints will overwhelm your delicate frame. Real Talk: If it makes you happy, then go for it. Chances are your personality is big enough to warrant a bold look. 2 Always Wear Heels Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: You should at least try to make your legs look longer. Real Talk: There's nothing cute about stumbling in heels that hurt your feet after a few minutes. If you'd rather embrace some adorable flats, then rock them with abandon. 3 Avoid Cropped Pants Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: It will make your legs look stubby. Real Talk: Cropped skinny jeans look super cute on anyone. Pop on some sandals for warmer months, or pair them with flats for an easy style. 4 Maxi Dresses Are A No-No Dominique Charriau/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: You will drown in the overabundance of fabric. Real Talk: As long as you aren't actively tripping over the hem, maxi skirts and dresses can work for any body. They are too elegant and comfortable to avoid. 5 Match Your Bag To Your Body Size Alexander Koerner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: A large handbag will will look out of proportion beside you. Real Talk: To be honest, this one never made a lot of sense to begin with. If you want to rock a bigass bag, then do it. 6 Don't Wear Ankle Strap Heels Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: It will cut off your leg line, and you need all the leg line you can get, sister. Real Talk: Sometimes the strap is useful for keeping the heel from falling off your foot. Strappy heels are for everyone. 7 Don't Shop In Juniors Monica Schipper/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: You're a grown woman and that is just inappropriate. Real Talk: Sometimes clothes from this section just fit better. And going for the basics, such as sweaters and tops, probably won't veer into the "this was clearly made for a 12-year-old" territory. 8 Don't Wear Oversized Anything Bennett Raglin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: You will just look like you're playing dress-up. Real Talk: Of course well-tailored clothes look great, but the occasional oversized sweater or topcoat can make quite the statement, too. A giant necklace is also fun. 9 No Rounded Toes Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: It will make you look even shorter. Pointed toes only! Real Talk: I have no hate for the pointed toe look, but a nice rounded pump or flat can be appealing, too. The shape of your toe box is probably just fine. 10 Avoid Big Belts Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: They will cut your body in half. Then there will be even less of you! Real Talk: There's no harm in defining your waist with a belt of any size, and sometimes bigger is better. I mean, I have friends in Texas who would be personally offended by the thought of a tiny belt. 11 No Horizontal Stripes Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: These will just enhance your shortness. Try vertical stripes instead: you might actually look taller. Real Talk: Stripes of any direction are for everyone. You won't look wider or shorter; just chic. 12 No Tall Boots Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: They will cut off your leg line and make you look shorter. Real Talk: Maybe wearing things to look taller is not the entire point of a wardrobe? At any rate, boots that are mid-calf or higher are a classic style that can suit any body. 13 Wear Smaller Sunglasses Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Old Thinking: Big frames will completely overwhelm your tiny face. Real Talk: What's that? I can't hear you over the sound of my overwhelming chicness.