Published on march 31, 2017

SHORT AND PROUD: The Short Girls’ Guide To Shopping On A Budget (And Looking Awesome)

written by Team thredUP

Buying clothes that make you feel your best self is, of course, the ultimate goal! So we’re here to help all those short gals out there (hands up if being able to see at a concert is a serious struggle!) with this little guide.

Our Top Petite Fashion Tips

1. Find Brands That Have Specifically Manufacture Items For Petite Women

Start your search in the petite section, where you’ll find popular styles that have been tailored for shorter frames—plus pieces designed specifically for petite women. Many brands and stores now carry petite lines. Start with Ann Taylor, J Crew, Talbots, Liz Claiborne, and Calvin Klein. Look for sizes that end in “P” (00P – 16P) as this denotes a petite size. When shopping for jeans, pay attention to length. If “average” is too long, try “short” instead. (Also, you can always cuff your denim while you decide whether or not you want to get it tailored.)

2. Find Out What Flatters Your Shape

Not all short girls have the same figure, so not every petite style will work for everyone. Here are a few ideas for flattering silhouettes:

Avoid pieces with lots of extra fabric or a boxy outline unless you plan to add a belt for shape.

Stick with above-the-knee or asymmetrical hemlines when possible, as showing more skin will help you appear taller. V-necks and scooping necklines can have a similar effect.

Finally, when selecting prints, favor small patterns, vertical lines, and solid colors.


3. How To Make Non-Petite Clothes Work For You!

You aren’t limited to the petite section, but if you do venture outside of it, you may run into a few problems. For instance, you may find that shoulder seams and armholes don’t line up properly, dropping down your arm or exposing your bra. Some shirts, especially baggier styles, may not be your best choice even if everything lines up. Give yourself a more defined waistline by belting, tying, or partially tucking your shirts. With pants, pay attention to the inseam measurements. The closer you can get to your actual measurement, the better the fit will be.

4. Give Yourself a Little Extra Height… Or Don’t 🙂

If you want your legs to look longer or you’d like a little extra height, shoes are a short girl’s best friend. You probably already own a few pairs of heels and wedges, which will definitely help. For more length, pair your shoes with petite pants or tights of the same color. If your legs will be bare, pick something in a nude color.

Block heels in 1-2 inch heights are making a serious come back – they’re also pretty much just as comfy as flats.

Or just say, “No thanks!” to heels. There’s no shame in being on the shorter side, and if you don’t love heels, don’t wear ’em.


Tell us in the comments section what your tips and tricks are for dressing if you’re petite!