Styling Tips For Short Girls - Fashion Tips & Myths For Petite Women | POPxo | POPxo
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I'm Not Short, I'm Fun-Sized: Fashion Styling Tips Petite Girls Should Swear By!

I'm Not Short, I'm Fun-Sized: Fashion Styling Tips Petite Girls Should Swear By!

No matter who you are, the way you dress can affect the way you feel about yourself. When you embrace who you are and your body, the confidence boost you get is indescribable - irrespective of whether you are broad or narrow, curvy or lean, tall or short. If you’re blessed with an above average height, we’re sure you’d love to check out the ultimate style guide for tall girls, which includes tips to dress your best and feel the same, while embracing what your mama gave ya. If you’re shorter than most, don’t fret. We’ve got your back too!


First things first, embrace your height. No matter what you’re wearing, it looks better when you’re rocking self-confidence. We’re not just saying that!


Second, don’t change your style just because people say so. Work out ways to fit in these style tips with your signature style. You don’t have to ditch anything you love to wear - in fact, use your favourite wardrobe items to accentuate your assets, whether it’s a long neck, curvy waist or long legs.


Styling Tips For Short Girls


Read here some useful styling tips for short girls to kick our OOTD game up a few notches.


Crop Tops Are Life


A wardrobe essential for all short girls is the crop top. Worn with high-waisted bottoms - pants, shorts, skirts et al - these short tops are especially great if you have a longer upper torso but short legs. They help make one’s body frame look longer and also, especially, those legs. The shorter the top, the longer those legs, remember ladies. You can ‘fake’ a crop top by tucking in your longer tops or bodysuits into a high-waisted skirt or pair of jeans.


Oversize Pieces: Short>;Long


The XXL trend is going strong and we don’t blame the world for falling in love with it. People advise short girls against oversized items of clothing but we suggest playing with proportions instead of simply skipping the trend. For instance, wearing an oversized dress, which is super short will elevate your style and highlight the length of your legs, rather than one which is full length.   


Minis Are Made For You


If it’s fun-sized, it’s practically made for you! Keep in mind that shorter-length clothing will look better on you than longer items - mini skirts, short shorts, mini dresses and so on. When you’re wearing a mini, the spotlight is on your legs and their length. Whether it’s the summer or wintertime, you can wear your minis with a pair of fun tights to keep warm and look stylish at the same time.


Bet On High-Waist Bottoms


A very important styling tip for shorter girls is to invest in high-waisted bottoms. Apart from creating the illusion of a longer body frame, a high-waisted skirt or pair of pants accentuate your waistline, i.e. your curves. The logic is to bring one’s attention to the small of your waist, so you can also work with all fit-and-flare dresses. And don’t forget about belts as they can help any item in your closet accentuate your waist and elongate your body frame.


Say Hello To Heels


When it comes to shoes, shorter girls need a couple of swear-by heels in their shoe-drobe, don’t they? Not only they make you look taller, they instantly dress up any outfit - from work looks to dinner date outfits. Now, you don’t have to live in heels or walk around in a painful pair all day, so we suggest buying a quality pair that is as comfy as it is chic. We recommend platforms or block heels to start with.


Pick Longer Pieces With Slits  


Who says short girls can’t pull of midi or maxi silhouettes? As we mentioned, there are ways to make all sort of lengths work - that includes wearing maxi/ midi skirts and dresses. Pick longer dresses or skirts with longer slits so as to look on-point while also highlighting your legs. You could also pick skirts that have slits AND are also high-waisted. Double-win! So, no, maxi and midi clothing items are not off-limits at all as long as you choose them well.


Long Skirts Need Minimal Heels


When it comes to shoe choices, if you’re short, feel free to experiment when you’re rocking a short outfit. However, the right kind of footwear to pair with longer skirts, pants, dresses would be minimal. We’re talking slim, strappy heels or the very on-trend clear sandals… these kinds of shoes add height to your frame and also making a statement simultaneously.


Have A Good Tailor On Speed Dial


Keep your tailors close, you’ll need one every now and then. Unfortunately, not all of your favourite brands make stuff for shorter body frames. So, when it comes to alterations or custom-made formal clothes, your tailor is your saviour, isn’t he/she? Also, for all your traditional Indian wear, it’s best to get your outfits made-to-measure. Ready to wear garments more often than not have longer crotches, top lengths, sleeves and so on. It’s better to invest in the right tailor, amirite?


Micro-Accessories Over XXL Styles


While we’re all for wearing oversize clothes, when it comes to accessories, it’s better to lean towards the ‘micro’ trend. This is because big bags or jewellery can tower over your petite frame and takes the focus off your outfit and you, essentially. We don’t want that, do we? Go for mini bags, smaller rather than blanket scarves, minimal rather than oversize necklaces. If you love big earrings, go for hoops rather than chunky styles.


Choose Corseted Over Boxy Tops


Keep your tops short and structured as opposed to longer and boxy to flatter your figure as best as you can. If you’re shorter, corset tops or tops with more structure help bring attention to your assets rather than conceal them under a shapeless silhouette.


Flared Pants Are Super Fun


If you’ve been told that short women shouldn’t wear wide-legged or flared jeans, it’s time to forget that piece of advice. Flared jeans, especially, if chosen carefully, can do wonders and how! When choosing from the many kinds of flared pants to buy, go for moderately flared boot-cut pairs rather than extreme, 70s style bell bottoms as those can look overwhelmingly big on small frames. Boot-cut jeans with a flare that starts around the knee, on the other hand, elongate the legs - a useful tip is to pair wedges with your boot-cut pair so that the hem is almost floor-sweeping.


Go The Crop Route


A short woman’s closet needs as many cropped pants as it can get. Pants are a comfy, day-to-day go to and for us shorter girls, a cropped style pair goes a long way. We recommend wearing pants that are both high-waist AND cropped at the hem as that is a universally flattering style and length. Club a pair of pointed-toe flats or ankle boots with the same


Layer With Well-Tailored Separates Rather Than Oversized


We all love layering and for good reason. It adds more depth to an outfit and also keeps us during the winters. An important short-girl tip to keep in mind while layering is to do it with structured, well-tailored items of clothing rather than oversize (even though it looks cool on some) styles that don’t do anything for your body frame or height.


Shorten It Up In The Winter


While bundling up for the winter, go for cropped jackets or jumpers instead of floor-sweeping coats. Why? Cropped styles, as we’ve mentioned before, do wonders for your height and also bring attention to your curves rather than just adding bulk to your frame.


Vertical VS. Horizontal Stripes


It’s common knowledge that vertical stripes make one look slimmer… but did you know that leads to one looking taller too? So, stock your closet with the classic vertical stripe to level up your OOTD game and accentuate your long legs or long torso. Prints and patterns are key when you want to bring focus to your best assets, so keep that in mind always. For example bigger prints catch the eye instantly as do brighter colours and shiny fabrics.


Slip Into Low-Cut Shoes


This is a lesser-known fashion tip for short girls: the lower your shoe is cut, the taller you look. So, we recommend going for pumps and sandals instead of booties or oxford shoes with your outfit. Wearing something casual? Pair it with low-cut mules or pointed-toe flats. Going to a fancy do? Slip into a pair of low-cut high-heel pumps or strappy sandals.  


Bold Solids VS Bold Prints


Want to make a statement? Go for bold or trendy colours instead of big bold prints as they tend to look overwhelmingly big on smaller body frames. Solid shades that are also adventurous might be what you’re looking for to work in your height’s favour and still look chic as ever! We’re thinking reds, pinks and even yellows.


Buy Those Ankle boots


Knee high boots don’t do much for us shorter women, do they? The proportions create all the wrong illusions, making one’s body frame look shorter than it is. Ankle boots that start right at (and not an inch above) yours are the pair to invest in, instead. This shoe type shows more leg and thus, helps elongate your legs.


Rock Low-Cut Necklines


To elongate your neck and bring attention to it, choose to wear tops or dresses with a low cut V-neckline. The tapering neck makes one’s neck look more slender and long, and it also helps create a visual break with some show of skin.


Pick Pointed-Toe Shoes


Shoes with pointed toes do create an illusion of longer feet and add to your height but they are also very chic and on-trend. Go for statement-making colours, prints and patterns, such as shocking neons, tapestry print or polka dots to bring attention to your pointed-toe shoes.


Fashion And Styling Myths For Short Girls


Now, we firmly believe that being vertically challenged should never stop you from wearing what you want! Here are some myths you shouldn't pay attention to and why. 


1: Don’t wear maxi dresses


short girl 1 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Maxi dresses are the most versatile piece of clothing, and keeping short girls from wearing them is nothing short of a crime. As long as you choose the correct style that flatters your body structure, you can wear anything you want. One way for short girls to embrace maxi dresses is to opt for ones that are nipped in at the waist and have a side slit. Also stay away from large prints and choose small patterns or solids which give an illusion of height.  


POPxo Recommends: OASIS Printed Jersey Maxi Dress (Rs 3,200)


2: Short girls can’t pull off midi skirts


short girl 2 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Midi skirts are the current rage this season. However, the length of the hemline, which is mid-calf might make a short girl look shorter. The key is to opt for high-waisted skirts and cinch your waist with a belt. This automatically makes your legs look longer. Pair it with wedges or kitten heels to complete the look.


POPxo Recommends: Samantha High Low Printed Skirt (Rs 4,140)


3: Knee-high gladiators will shorten your legs further


short girl 3 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Knee-high gladiators are a dressier version of flats and could instantly jazz up your look. However, in case of the petite framed, it could make the legs appear shorter or thicker. To counter this, you can opt for a slight 2-3 inch platform heeled version, which would instantly have a lengthening effect on your calves. A colour which is closer to your skin tone would also have a similar effect. Additionally, pair them with clothes that are above knee-length, such as short dresses, skirts or shorts.


POPxo Recommends: NO DOUBT Cut-out Detail Lace-up Gladiator Sandals (Rs 3,995)


4: Horizontal stripes will make you look broader (and so shorter)


short girl 4 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Do you believe that horizontal stripes will make you look shorter? False. If you have a slight frame, just opt for small stripes which are closer together on the top half rather than going head to toe.


POPxo Recommends: Linen Blend Striped Blouse (Rs 2,990)


5: Short girls shouldn’t wear ankle-strap heels


short girl 5 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source It’s usually believed that ankle-strap heels make your legs look chubbier and cut down your height. However, shorter people can also rock these beauties like everyone else. Just choose a thin strap rather than the broad ones and opt for the ones with straps which are closer to your foot rather than your calves.


POPxo Recommends: NO DOUBT Patent Barely There Sandals (Rs 2,295)


6: Baggy or loose-fitting clothes will hide your frame


short girl 6 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source If you are petite, then chances are that you might feel swallowed-up in loose-fitting or baggy clothes. The key is to balance them with other shapely pieces. Opt for fitted denims with a baggy white T-shirt or accentuate your waist with a belt when wearing a loose dress.


POPxo Recommends: Vero Moda Beige Embellished Blouse (Rs 1,248)


7: Pick heels over flats any day


short girl 7 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Petite women do not have to always wear heels to look taller. Instead, opt for a pair of chic pointed flats which will give the illusion of added height by simply lengthening your knee-to-toe line.


POPxo Recommends: MY FOOT Lace Up Glossy Brogues (Rs 1,099)


8: Over-sized bags look frumpy


short girl 8 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Women having a short frame CAN carry over-sized handbags. Opt for a mid-hanging hobo bag (that reaches your elbows and not below) over a tote. This will balance out our proportions rather than overpowering them.


POPxo Recommends: Contrasting Detail City Bag (Rs 3,990)


9: Capri pants don’t flatter petite women


short girl 9 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Capri or cropped pants are great for summer and won’t make you look shorter if styled in the correct way. Opt for a pair which is mid-high waist and ends at a slimmer part of the leg. Also avoid ones with larger prints and too much bulk detailing such as big pockets, cuffs, etc.


POPxo Recommends: KOOVS Peg Leg Relaxed Trousers (Rs 1,295)


10: Layering with scarves will make you look bulky


short girl 10 styling for short girls


Celeb Image Source Scarves are a great fashion accessory and add colour to our outfits. The key is to opt for lighter and flowy fabrics such as cotton, chiffon, silk, etc., which could be draped around your shoulders instead of the neck for instant chic.


POPxo Recommends: Only Pink Printed Scarf (Rs 995)


MUST-READ: The Short Girl’s Guide To Lengthy Silhouettes (Especially Maxi Dresses!)


MUST-READ: #RealGirlStyle: 10 Trends Short Girls Should Avoid & Stylish Alternatives!


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This story was updated in March 2019.

Published on Aug 21, 2015
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