How to Dress If You’re Short: 5 Style Tips Petite Girls Should Know

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While short girls may look eternally cute, there are a few disadvantages to being below 5’4″. Petite girls usually encounter style problems, from having to shop in the kids’ section to never having enough boobs to fill up a strapless dress.

Fret not, pretty little ladies, below are some helpful style tips that will help you look longer and leaner.

1. Keep hemlines short

Long hemlines are often too overwhelming for petite girls. While it is not impossible for those with smaller and shorter frames to pull off a maxi dress or a floor-length gown, these dress styles can be pretty risky.

A no-fail choice for a petite is the mini dress, which will accentuate a girl’s frame and lengthen her legs.

Nicole Richie, who measures 5′ 1” (155 cm), paraded her legs in an Anthony Vaccarello dress from the Spring 2014 Collection paired with Jimmy Choo Kalmar braided rope sandals. Do you like her intense lilac hair color?

Petite Nicole Richie with intense lilac hair colorPetite Nicole Richie with intense lilac hair color at the 2014 AOL NewFront at the Duggal Greenhouse in Manhattan, New York City, on April 29, 2014

2. Wear vertical lines

Vertical lines, such as stripes and details, will draw the eyes upward and create the illusion of a taller silhouette. Go for frocks that feature vertical stripes or details to add a couple of inches to your height.

Vertical lines, such as stripes and details, will draw the eyes upward and create the illusion of a taller silhouetteL to R: Rebecca Minkoff Aria Shirtdress, $268; Opening Ceremony Stripe Handkerchief Dress, $355; ONE by Elliott Dawn Dress, $118

3. Opt for low necklines

V-necks and plunging necklines can easily elongate short necks and open up your chest and shoulders, creating beautiful and longer lines.

Eva Longoria, who measures 5 ft 2 in (157 cm), hosted the American Latino Media Arts Awards (ALMA Awards) in a strapless Gabriela Cadena gown with gold embroidery. She styled her dress with a low ponytail and Martin Katz earrings.

Short actress Eva Longoria flaunted her legs at the 2014 NCLR ALMA AwardsShort actress Eva Longoria flaunted her legs at the 2014 NCLR ALMA Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, on October 10, 2014

To further create the illusion of a longer neck, it is best to wear your hair up or cut it short and let it graze your shoulders softly.

V-necks and plunging necklines can easily elongate short necks and open up your chest and shoulders, creating beautiful and longer linesL to R: Anine Bing Deep V-Neck Dress, $400; Tbags Los Angeles V-Neck Maxi Dress, $194; Norma Kamali Kamali Kulture Narrow Box V-Neck Dress, $92

4. Try tailor-made clothing

The secret to perfectly fitted clothes is having them tailored. While this service may be an extra cost, it guarantees a fit that’s made exactly to suit your body type, whether you are petite or plus size. You can also try styling services like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club.

You don’t necessarily have to tailor all your outfits. Instead, pick pieces that you can wear year after year — your favorite dresses that will look good on you regardless of the season.

5. Balance is the key

Balance is the key to pulling off a structured look for any size. Know your proportions, and adjust your wardrobe choices accordingly. If you are a top-heavy petite, opt for dress silhouettes that are fitted at the top and flares at the bottom.

This style will give you an hourglass shape. A skinny belt will also help cinch the waist for better shape definition. Salma Hayek, a petite Mexican beauty measuring 5’2” (157 cm), wore a stunning Gucci Première gown with an airy multi-layered skirt to the 16th Annual Warner Bros. and InStyle Post-Golden Globe Party.

Salma Hayek in a long blue dress at the 16th Annual InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globe after-partySalma Hayek in a long blue dress at the 16th Annual InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globe after-party held at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles on January 11, 2015

Credit: WENN / FayesVision / Ivan Nikolov

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