A few weeks ago a lovely reader named Melissa messaged me on Facebook asking me for tips on how to dress when you’re petite. She found that often clothes would be too baggy and would look like they were overwhelming her frame. I can definitely relate! Finding things for your shape when you’re diminutive in size and stature can often involve a few extra steps to ensure the right and most flattering fit. If you’re in the same boat then rest assured that there are some easy ways to have a great wardrobe that works for you.
Get everything tailored
This is my number one tip to anyone, especially when you’re petite. Find yourself a great tailor that you like and start getting your clothes altered to fit perfectly. Often buying off the rack can mean that clothes can be a little too loose, too long or just not sitting perfectly and it pays to take the time to get everything tailored to fit. This is especially true of pants and jeans which can often be miles too long. The added benefit of getting clothing tailored is that you’ll always look polished. Win-Win.
Go for cropped lengths
I tend to favour anything cropped, especially when it comes to pants and jeans. I’ll usually make sure that my pants hit at the ankle or slightly above as I’ve found this can help elongate the frame. If you’ve got a pool of fabric gathering at your feet it can look messy and also end up making you look even shorter.
If something has too much volume it’s going to really swamp you so always pay attention to the proportions you’re working with. Try to go for pieces with structure as opposed to anything too floaty as this will help define your shape. Anything high waisted is great as it draws the eye upwards and ends up giving you a longer looking frame. Also if sleeves are too long try rolling them or pushing them up so you don’t look like you’re walking around in oversized clothing.
Avoid clunky shoes
I avoid anything with too much bulk and gravitate towards a streamlined aesthetic. Most of my heels tend to have a stiletto heel as I’ve found this helps elongate my figure and looks more in proportion. As for flats, I don’t really do flatforms or styles of that nature as I’ve found they just look too bulky. I go for sleek flats, sandals and slides that are quite minimalist in nature and don’t have too much extra ‘padding’ to them. Even my boots these days tend to be of the sock boot variety as I like the tighter fit compared to regular ankle boots.
Incorporate a fitted silhouette
I steer clear of anything too voluminous these days as I’ve found a fitted silhouette is far more flattering. I’m not saying you need to live in bodycon dresses 24/7 but you do need to be mindful that what you’re wearing is cut close to the body in some way. At a minimum, I like to keep one aspect of my look streamlined. Whether it be a pencil style skirt, a fitted top or a dress with either a tight top or bottom or a close fitting pant, there’s always got to be one element of my look that’s a little more figure hugging. This avoids the issue of looking like your clothes are wearing you and not the other way around.
Once you’ve found ways in which to ensure that your clothes fit perfectly, dressing when you’re petite doesn’t seem so much of a drama. In fact, you’ll probably learn to appreciate even more that good things really do come in small packages.
Do you have a fashion question you’re dying for advice on? Leave me a message below and I’ll answer it in a future blog post.
I’ve spoken of how much of a fan I am of a statement skirt whether it be for casual wear or something a little more special. Whilst this skirt style holds its own simply because it will usually feature striking colour or print, the key to letting it truly stand out is what you pair it with. And there’s such a plethora of choices you really will have no trouble making it your new go-to (especially when it comes to party season). So here are some amazing options for the next time you want an outfit that truly delivers.
The statement top
Even if you’re wearing a skirt that’s already a focal piece on its own it doesn’t meant that you can’t also take it up a notch with your top. If your skirt is in a vibrant shade, has extra embellishments or lots of texture just be sure to keep your top a neutral colour but feel free to go for a design with elevated details such as a dramatic sleeve or ruffles such as the one I’m wearing below.
A logo tee or sweater
A tee or sweater emblazoned with a logo is still very much a thing and it’s a dream to pair with a bold skirt. To keep your look cohesive try and incorporate a similar colour palette in your top as what you have on your skirt.
A tonal top
There’s something quite chic about incorporating similar tones throughout an outfit. I wore the below pink top with a midi skirt in a similar shade and loved that it worked to elongate my shape and also had visual impact. It’s an easy styling trick to try when you want a look that looks polished and pulled together.
A white tee
God bless the humble white tee for it really does work with pretty much everything. It’s also a great pairing with a printed skirt, allowing the skirt to take centre stage. This pairing has become a shortcut of mine on days when I want an outfit that looks like I tried but I really managed to get out the door in record time!
A touch of lace
A glam top, one that incorporates luxe finishes such as lace is great with a skirt that features rich shades or a romantic print such as flowers. It also incorporates a little bit of extra texture to create a look that’s got flair.
A bold accessory
Whilst not in the clothing category a great accessory really makes for the ideal finishing detail when it comes to an outfit featuring a statement skirt. A great belt and a structured bag fall into this category and are easily paired with many a skirt, regardless of its print, colour or texture.
Crisp white suiting always looks chic
Classic, timeless style is one thing I always aspire to. I like to keep my looks on trend but with an overarching sense of polish and generally don’t venture too far from what I know and love. One of the main reasons I do this is because it ensures the longevity of my wardrobe. If I stick to pieces that I believe will last the test of time I won’t have to update them as often and I can guarantee my favourites will have plenty of outings ahead. Having adopted this as my approach to shopping and how I dress for many years, and also observing the stylish women in my life whose ensembles just don’t seem to ever date, here’s what I consider to be the building blocks of having a look that will endure the years to come.
Scrimp on trend buys
I love purchasing trendy items as much as the next person but I keep them to a minimum. If I like the look of the signature silhouette or colour of the season I will buy a handful of pieces and work them back with what’s already in my closet. I avoid wearing one trend from head to toe and like to give it my own spin.
Embrace timeless fabrics and prints
There are certain prints and fabrications that won’t date. Polka dots, stripes and plaid have remained in the mix most seasons and will add a fun touch to any outfit that won’t look dated. Long-lasting fabrics such as tweed, silk, wool and cashmere are worth adding to your wardrobe as they really stand up well to the wear and tear of everyday use.
A classic black bag is definitely worth the splurge
Invest in classic pieces
Think of the pieces that have been around for ages and have remained a constant and they’re likely to be things like a black blazer, a white button down shirt, denim jeans and the little black dress and a simple black bag. These are the wardrobe buys that are worth investing in as they’re not going away any time soon.
Tailor your clothes
Ill-fitting clothes will make you look unkempt so it’s best to invest in tailoring pieces so they perfectly fit. Find a good tailor and have things taken in or up or out, depending on your needs, to ensure that whatever you’re wearing fits you like a glove. A perfectly tailored outfit just screams timeless style.
Know what suits your body shape
Learn to pinpoint the styles and silhouettes that work with your shape. Go on a shopping expedition and try on a few different silhouettes in key staples such as pants, tops, skirts and dresses and see what works. Be brutally honest. If what you see doesn’t put a smile on your face then keep searching until you find something that does. Once you’ve pinpointed what works for you then you’ll have a handful of go-to styles that you can always come back to time and time again.
Who do you think has timeless style?
A little outfit planning goes a long way
Morning wardrobe dilemmas are a common occurrence for most women. And it can be downright stressful. Anyone who has ever found themselves running late, only to lose the very shirt they wanted to wear will know how it can get your day off to a bad start. So the best way to get around this is to do a bit of forward planning. You can plan as little or as much as you want but if there’s one thing I know it’s that getting your outfit sorted ahead of time can shave minutes off your getting ready time (more time in bed!). It also avoids that situation where you walk out the door and immediately regret what you’re wearing but you’re cutting it too close to change. If you want to avoid last minute panic tomorrow then take note of the following five things…
Designate Sunday as your ‘get organised’ day
You can pick any day you want but Sunday is great because it’s the start of the week. Look at your diary, pinpoint what you have on and then start pulling your looks together. And once you know the outfits you want to wear it’s a good time to wash anything that is dirty and iron everything in advance so all you have to do in the morning is get dressed and walk out the door.
Do a wardrobe clean up
Nothing will stand in the way of you and a drama-free week of outfit planning than a closet that’s overflowing. A little wardrobe organisation goes a long way as it takes away the stress of having to locate clothing in a pile of unidentifiable shirts. My foolproof way to organise my clothes is to take everything out and do a cull to start with. Once I’ve done an edit leaving me with only the clothes I’m loving and using, I will organise them into categories. So jeans go in one spot, activewear in another, blazers, coats and so forth. This means I can see everything and instantly know what I have to work with.
A designated rail is a great way to keep your outfits organised
Put everything in a designated area
If you’ve gone to all the effort of planning your outfits there’s no point putting them all back in your cupboard only to have to find them again throughout the week. If you’ve got room in your home, I really like the idea of having a designated rail to hang all your looks for the week. This can include everything from clothes to shoes and accessories. If you’re a bit tight on space, try hanging your outfits together on one side of your closet so you can easily find them.
Set yourself a challenge
It can become quite tedious to just wear the same things over and over again so why not set yourself a style challenge each week. I have one here that you could try or simply come up with your own. It can be anything from wear one animal print item or wear an all-white outfit. The key is to get your creative juices flowing and think beyond your usual fashion repertoire.
Rethink an old favourite
I’ve got a few old faves in my closet which I wear to death. I usually know off the top of my head what they will go with and end up in the same looks. And whilst this is great for those days when I just can’t be bothered thinking of what to wear, it can sometimes get boring. So, to get around this I’m trying to take the old faithfuls in my wardrobe and wear them in different ways. Whether it’s pairing it with a different colour or a skirt as opposed to jeans, I’m making the effort to rejig the classics I own to keep them fresh.
What are some things you do to make getting dressed throughout the week easier?
Should I or shouldn’t I?
Over the years I’ve done my fair share of shopping expeditions and as a result I’ve also walked away with buyer’s remorse a time or two (or ten). And as I hated the feeling so much it was something that I wanted to work on curbing. It’s a waste of money and I really hate the idea of something going unused because I just wasn’t 100 per cent sure about it. I need to ensure that I always make a good purchase whenever I shop.
I do most of my shopping online so I know how easy it can be to make an impulse purchase when you’re sitting at home, enjoying a glass of wine and trawling through your fave clothing site. When you’re looking at something in real life it’s easier to gauge whether it’s definitely something you’ll wear or if it’s just an of the moment item that will end up just spending its days gathering dust in the back of your wardrobe. When you’re shopping on screen it can be a little trickier as everything looks great when professionally photographed.
Regret-free shopping right here!
I often get asked my tips for online shopping and without a doubt the biggest one is that I will leave something I am thinking of buying in my cart for 24 hours. The action of adding it to cart is enough to satisfy my shopping whim but by not buying it immediately I give myself enough time to think about whether I really want it or not. I apply a similar principal to shopping in real life which works just as well. Usually I’ll see something when I’m out shopping with the girls and I won’t try it on right away (mostly because have you ever tried to try something on with two kids in tow?) but instead I’ll leave it a day or two. If I’m still thinking about it I’ll go back on my own and try it on. However this gives me a bit of time to consider whether I really want it or it was just a fleeting interest.
My general rule is that if I’m still thinking about something the next day then it’s something I really want as opposed to just getting caught up in the moment. By delaying buying it it gives me time to research the item further. I suggest Googling what you’re thinking of purchasing and seeing what it looks like on other sites as sometimes the colour or texture can look really different. It also allows me to consider how it’s going to work with the rest of my wardrobe and ask myself the key questions I’ve told myself I need to ask before any purchase. If all the boxes are ticked then I know I’m making a good purchase.
Tell me—What are some of your favourite shopping tricks?
Wardrobe basics are the lynchpin of your look. I find that owning a few key pieces can in turn make everything else you own just that little more wearable as you can start with the below items and then build an outfit around them. Each person obviously has their own unique style so some of the pieces below might require substituting here and there but overall I think they’re the kind of staples that can be worked in so many different ways. Versatility is key when it comes to a look and having the right wardrobe basics in your closet can really ensure that you are able to take your style repertoire in several different directions. I’ve narrowed down a few key things that I think every woman needs…
Jeans are a key part of my off duty wardrobe
It’s imperative to find yourself a pair of jeans that fit you ridiculously well and are ultra flattering. My go-to style are skinny jeans as they work with my body shape but yours could be a straight leg style or a chic pair of wide leg pants.
2. Leather leggings
I’m already looking forward to transitioning to my autumn/winter looks and one of my can’t live without staples is a pair of leather leggings. I can wear them dressed up or down and as a bonus they’re so comfortable. When buying a pair be sure to try on a range of different styles from different brands as the fit can vary.
3. Comfortable t-shirt
A plain white t-shirt is the kind of piece that will be in constant rotation. I love a crew neck style and wore one here, however a v-neck tee is equally as good. Start with white, however shades such as black, grey and navy and a good stripe are also a great addition to any wardrobe.
A white button down shirt is a classic staple in my wardrobe
4. Button down shirt
There’s a reason why a classic white shirt is at the top of most wardrobe basics lists — it’s just so wearable and can add a stylish touch to any look. One styling trick I like to employ is opting for a slightly looser fit when it comes to shirts as visually it can make your frame appear smaller.
5. High waisted skirt
A high waisted skirt is a go-to when it comes to office wear but it can also easily transition to your off duty wardrobe. Opt for a simple black or a fun print and pair with a tee or shirt for an easy, out-the-door-fast look.
6. Quality knit
Invest in at least one quality knit in a quality fabric (cashmere is luxe, but oh-so long lasting) and opt for colours such as grey or black as they’re easily paired with multiple items in your wardrobe.
This blazer has seen me through so many different occasions – it’s definitely a must when it comes to wardrobe basics
You can wear a blazer to work or out to dinner on a Saturday night and is such a must when it comes to wardrobe basics. Popping one on can easily dress up a look give it a stylish touch.
A scarf is the ideal trans-seasonal piece to add to your wardrobe. I have one that I like to wear when I’m travelling as I can use it as a wrap when the temperatures are slightly chillier.
Tell me—what are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without? Have I missed any on my list?
I think date nights are great. For me, I think they’re the perfect excuse to get dressed up and spend some quality one-on-one time together with Luke, much like we did back when we first started dating. And whilst the date itself is always special, often it’s the process of being able to plan an outfit and get all dolled up that’s half the fun.
Date night outfits are the ideal time to embrace pieces that dial up the glamour and make you feel amazing. Whether it be some knockout statement jewellery or a stunning pair of stilettos, it’s all about gravitating towards clothing and accessories that are a departure from your everyday look and have that magical sartorial power that make you feel like your very best self. Now you’ve got your outfit, your date and the location it’s up to you to BYO romance!
Scroll down to for 8 pieces that you can wear on your next date night…
This is the kind of thing I wouldn’t wear on an average day so they’re perfect for a night out—wearing something that’s out of the ordinary instantly makes them feel special.
Simple and understatedly sexy, a slinky slip dress is a great outfit option.
A cute 70s style mesh clutch brings a playful touch to any look. I love having a statement bag as an outfit accent when I’m wearing something that’s a little more subdued.
If you’re not a dress girls a great skirt can be a wonderful alternative. This skirt paired with a blouse or slip would be beyond perfect for a nice dinner.
If you’re not so much of an accessories fan, your clothes can definitely take on the mantle of showstopper piece. The balloon sleeves on this top and the sweet candy pink make it the perfect thing to bookmark for an evening out.
Killer shoes are a must. I love the bow detail on these shoes and the rich wine colour give it a luxe feel. There’s just something about the magical effect of a pair of skyscraper heels.
If you don’t like having to carry a clutch, a little shoulder bag can be a nice alternative. Black is always a practical option as it will go with virtually everything.
For those nights when the weather is a bit cooler, you’ll want a jacket to pop on and this blazer ticks all the right boxes. The cut is flattering, the colour versatile and the satin lapel really gives it a nighttime feel.
There’s something about spying people’s airport style that’s oddly satisfying as far as fashion goes. I think it’s because travel looks run the gamut of ultra glamorous for some to super casual for others and everything in between. Whatever your style, it is possible to look polished without compromising on comfort and bring the kind of sartorial A-game that would be worthy of being papped for a magazine. When it comes to your ensemble when you’re en route to a fabulous new destination, keep the following things in mind…
Invest in comfortable footwear
We’re in the golden era of practical, comfortable footwear where a pair of sneakers is considered the height of fashion. Invest in a great pair of on trend kicks and you’re not only going to be able to maneouevre your way around an airport in style, you’ll be supremely comfy while doing it.
Go for black
The shortcut to chic whilst flying? An all black ensemble. It’s the international code for “I’ve got my style game sorted” and it hides all manner of sins while traveling. Having a go-to flying outfit in dark shades such as black is a must.
A chic coat or jacket
Whether it’s making your way through the terminal or settling in for a long haul flight, airports and planes can get a little chilly so it pays to have a nice coat or jacket with you when you travel. Don’t be afraid to go beyond black and opt for a standout colour or fun print.
Stock up on cosy separates
When travelling, separates in all natural fabrics are the ideal option. Plus when you’re stuck on a plane for hours, there’s nothing better suited for the occasion than comfortable, breathable lounge wear to deal with the fluctuating temperatures. Wearing separates also makes it easy to incorporate them back into your trip wardrobe once you’ve landed.
Have a beautiful tote
A roomy bag to carry all your essentials is a must when travelling. Go for something that’s a good quality and will house all you need, but is also stylish enough that it can be your carryall throughout your trip. You get bonus points if you travel with quality luggage.
Always pack great sunnies
When you’re traversing different time zones you can often find yourself landing and departing at ungodly hours so a good pair of sunglasses is a necessity. A plain black pair is a great option, as they’re classic and versatile.
What are you wearing on Christmas Day? Whether it’s a family BBQ or a formal sit down lunch if you’ve yet to sort out your outfit and are quickly running out of time then you’re in luck because your ensemble could be sitting in your wardrobe right now. That’s right, with some new outfit inspiration, key pieces in your closet can be reworked and turned into a fresh new look. And the best bit is it doesn’t cost a cent.
Inspiration: A midi or maxi dress + sneakers
This is an easy place to start. If you’ve got a favourite dress in your cupboard that’s feeling a bit tired simply change up the footwear. A pair of sneakers is an easy go-to and looks instantly on trend without much effort at all.
Inspiration: Layering neutrals + a pop of colour
I’m betting you have a handful of neutral pieces in your wardrobe so why not bring them back to life again by opting for a tonal colour palette. Working your outfit within the same colour family results in a chic, considered look and the addition of a bright statement shoe instantly adds an element of interest.
Inspiration: A singlet + pants
If you have a trusty white singlet and a pair of dressy pants you have this look sorted. You could also swap the pants for a pair of shorts or culottes and it works equally as well. Add a pair of sandals or heels and you’re set.
Inspiration: A slip dress + scarf
Given how huge slip dresses have been of late I’m sure there’s a lot of you who may have one sitting in your cupboard right now. The key to refreshing it is in the accessories you pair with it. A scarf tied around your hair is very of the moment and looks bang on trend.
Inspiration: Basic tee + wrap skirt + slides
A trusty white tee is a given in most wardrobes so why not pair it with a dressy skirt for a high-low mix that looks instantly stylish. A wrap skirt is a current trend that looks fresh for summer and a pair of slides makes for instant cool.
Inspiration: Striped shirt + denim
A striped shirt paired with a denim skirt is the ideal ensemble for a family lunch that may end up turning into an evening event. You could also opt for jeans if a skirt isn’t your thing.
What are you planning to wear on Christmas Day?
A great pair of jeans is an essential in my wardrobe as they’re often a go-to for me whether I’m after a casual look for the weekend or a dressy outfit for work. I’m often on the hunt for new additions to my denim collection and I’m one to spend a lot of time looking around and trying on different styles to find the perfect pair. When it comes to denim these are my rules for ensuring I always end up with the most flattering fit.
Get them tailored
It’s important that jeans are always the right length for a polished finish—don’t just let them pool at the bottom near your ankles. I always make sure to get them taken up professionally. If you’re petite and hate losing the original hem of your jeans you can pay a little bit extra when you have them altered and often the tailor can reattach it for you.
The right fit
There are so many different styles out there when it comes to denim so it’s important to try as many as you can to find the right pair for you. Just keep these things in mind…
- If you’re going for a skinny leg that they are tight all the way down and fitted at the leg and not loose around the ankle. A cropped or ankle length is the most flattering length when it comes to skinny jeans.
- Boyfriend jeans are designed to be baggy but ensure that they don’t look to overwhelming—they should be slightly loose around the thighs but still taper down to the ankle.
- If you’re going to wear a boot leg or wide leg they should definitely be cropped to suit the shoes you’ll wear with them most. If you need to get them taken up bring your heels in with you to the tailor to make sure it’s cut to the right length and the hem isnt dragging on the floor.
Go for the most snug fit
I find denim always tends to “give” a little when you wear it repeatedly so to avoid my jeans getting too baggy I always make sure I get the most snug fit I can. By snug, obviously go for a size that you can still comfortably button up as you don’t want to cut yourself off at the waist and end up with a muffin top. It should feel firm but not overly tight.
My denim go-tos
Skinny leg jeans are my number one pick when it comes to denim. I always go for a lighter wash for casual wear and darker for a dressier look. I will do a ripped effect during the day and non-ripped at night.