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Fashion Guide for Short Women

by Sara Cantu, studioD

Petite women sometimes face difficulties when shopping for garments that fit just right. Not every department store contains a large petites department, making for fewer choices for shorter women. Not only are dwindling selections an issue, but certain styles of clothing that are unflattering on a short frame should be avoided as well. Enhance your best features and make your height work for you by following some simple styling tips for short women.


Chic dresses can do wonders for a short frame, so opt for styles of the perfect length to complement your figure. Wrap dresses, empire-waist dresses and solid-colored sheaths in bold and bright colors that hit just above or below the knee will accentuate a petite shape. Dresses that hit mid-thigh also prove flattering, as do vertical stripes and piping that will subtly draw the eye and create an illusion of a leaner, taller frame.


Look for streamlined silhouettes to lengthen a short height. Flared trousers that are fitted on top and widen below the knee will create a flattering figure. While sporting denim jeans, opt for darker washes that elongate the leg and stay away from cropped styles that cut awkwardly at the ankle. Black denim jeans paired with a black tank top and black heels or pointy-toed flats also flatter a short frame with its monochromatic palette. Add a simple swipe of lipstick for an incredibly sleek ensemble.


High heels and wedge heels are the best way to add extra height to a short frame. With a wide variety of styles and heights, you are sure to find a pair of heels to complement your figure as well as your ensemble. Whether it's a pair of bold and bright pumps or a neutral heel that delicately draws attention to your legs, choose a style that's not too clunky, as that will only accentuate shortness.


Shorts that elongate the legs are a great choice to complement a petite figure. Avoid cropped styles that hit below the knee and instead opt for a pair that hits mid-thigh. Also, choose a style that can be dressed up or down and experiment with different pairings like a sophisticated blazer, a feminine V-neck blouse or a simple and casual white tee shirt. Pair short shorts with nude heels for a statuesque figure and the appearance of mile-long legs.

About the Author

Sara Cantu has been writing fashion and lifestyle articles since 2009. As a fashion stylist, writer and blogger, she has been published in “Lady Couture” magazine and “RGV” magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of Texas - Pan American.

Photo Credits

  • Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images