Dressing For Your Body: Petite AND Curvy (Frequently Overlooked Fashion Issues)

Beauty + Fashion

Again, I am speaking from personal experience – this is a body type that is rarely discussed in fashion magazines.  The clothing specials often have sections on “petite” and “plus-size”, but never troubleshoot for those of us who happen to be short in stature but also have lots of curves.   For those of you who don’t know me, I’m barely over 5 foot.  I am fit and in good shape, but I have boobs, a butt, and muscular legs.  It’s just the way I’m built, no matter what I do.  Magazines always show petite women as being built like 12-year-old boys.  This is usually not the case!  We come in all heights, shapes and sizes, thank you very much.


It is actually quite common for shorter women to be curvy – we are crunching a lot into a smaller place, after all.  It is also harder to keep off weight, and every little pound shows!

What do you do when all the magazine suggestions for short, petite girls are too narrowly cut and tight, and all the options for “curvy” ladies are too long and cut for someone larger in frame than you?

–       Accept that there is not much general advice for those of us who have normal, average builds and learn to use your own judgment.

–       Look for stores that carry pants with waist and inseam sizes.  It is much easier to find pants that fit when they are sized this way.  Even if a store provides short, regular and tall lengths, that is extremely helpful.  Express is a good, affordable example of a clothing store that sizes most of their pants this way.

–       Look for cuts that skim the body:  not loose and baggy, but not too tight or bunchy either.

–       Get your clothes tailored!  Don’t be afraid to invest a little more money in a good item that you will wear often.  Sometimes it can be as simple as getting something hemmed, which is quite inexpensive.

–       Look for skirts that hit in the range of mid-calf on most to be your ankle-length maxis.

Appreciate the advantages that your height does give you!

–       Shorts will never look scandalous – booty shorts on other girls fit you just right.

–       You will always wear smaller sizes, even if you look curvy for your height.  You are just smaller in general, overall.

–       Your boobs look bigger than those of the taller girls who have the same cup size.  Take advantage!  Show off your upper body.  Wear those cute shirts that fit you better than anyone else.

–       No matter what, you can ALWAYS get away with wearing heels, and they can be as high as you want!  They give a nice shape to those muscular legs of yours too.  They also allow you to wear those cute jeans that are still a couple of inches too long.

Happy Shopping!

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Amy Horton
I am a writer, free spirit, and fairly functional human living in Los Angeles. I tell it like I see it and I don't hold back. I hope to connect with my readers through our common experiences and touch some hearts and souls!
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  1. Great tips! It can be hard for us more petite women to shop and read about fashion when all designer clothes and the latest trends seem to be aimed to women with supermodel proportions. But let’s just remember that extremely hot women like Kylie Minogue, Anna Kendrick and Hayden Panettiere are also kinda short and that “expensive perfumes come in small bottles”!

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