If you’re 5’4 or under, you know by now that finding the best petite clothes is not easy. Between too-long pant hems, too-big armholes, and skirts and jackets that make you look like you’re a kid playing dress up in your mom’s clothes, being petite can certainly present some challenges on the fashion front—which is why we’re shocked that more retailers haven’t jumped on the issue and hustled to create clothing to suit small women.
“I’m 4’9, so shopping has always been this total nightmare for me,”said Caroline Misan Alvo, a petite fashionista and founder of Alvo Wellness. “I grew up thinking it was only because I’m exceptionally short that I had these issues, but I was having enough conversations with my petite friends who were a little taller than me—but still under 5’4—and they were all complaining about the same thing.”
Misan Alvo said she’s done her homework and has worked hard to figure out exactly how to dress as a petite woman.
“Petite women can pull of anything as long as they pay attention to proportion and fit. You can definitely wear a loose-fitting blouse as long as it’s like tailored in the right way.”
That said, Misan Alvo offered up 8 petite shopping tips—and we made a Pinterest-ready checklist to make sure you’re always buying pieces that suit your small frame. Read on, and be sure to Pin the chart below!
Originally published December 2013. Updated July 2017.