Most women are 5'4 and under, and yet I don't think we are represented well in the fashion industry. Some companies have come around though and I have seen an increase in retailers accommodating petites. For instance, Express now has a selection (albeit limited) of clothing suited for petites. As an avid shopper of the store, I was thrilled to see that section on their website. Other petite friendly retailers include Ann Taylor, Loft, Banana Republic, and ASOS.

However, I am petite AND curvy so oftentimes I struggle to find a good fit. I'm not even talking perfect, just good enough. For reference, I'm 5'2 and currently a size 8. I'm larger on the bottom, but I have big arms so tight sleeves are usually an issue.

I've never considered myself an expert on petite shopping or sizing, because I think any good tailor can solve most of the frustration. My philosophy will always be to wear what you want and what makes you feel confident, regardless of any "rules." I know midi lengths don't flatter my body, but I wore them consistently a couple years ago because they made me feel feminine. Plus, I love a good throwback to different fashionable eras.

These days, I'm sticking to what works best for my body and I think these general tips can help anyone who is also petite but curvy. They aren't rules! Just formulas I use when I don't want to bother to think about what I'm going to wear.

1) Use jackets, blazers, long cardigans etc. to cinch the waist and smooth things over.

* Tip: I wear these spanx boyshorts underneath ALL of my dresses. Nate laughs and calls me a grandmother but if they are good enough for the movie stars, they are good enough for me! Little lumps and bumps are magically gone.

2) Nude shoes elongate your legs, making them appear slimmer.

3) Pointy toe shoes also create a similar effect no matter the color and even if they are flat. As much as I love the classic shape of a round-toe ballet flat (see below), I've discovered that pointy toe flats are more flattering.


4) If you're going to wear a trendy of-the-moment dress that doesn't offer much shape, make sure the accessories are simple and structured. Showing a little skin can't hurt.

5) Skinny denim in a dark wash is your bum and thighs' best friend. I love some distressing, but clean looking jeans are universally flattering. 

* Tip: Dress to enhance the smallest part of you. For me, I like to accentuate my waist and legs. For you, it may be your shoulders and back. Dressing to play up your favorite features is a lot more fun and mentally boosting than dressing to cover up what you don't like.

Favorite jeans here & here
Favorite jacket here
Favorite pumps here 
Favorite nude sandals here

Do you have any tips that you swear by?


  1. these are some great tips, agree with all of them.


  2. I love these tips! They're excellent and spot-on! And I love the way you illustrate each point with one of your own examples. Bonus points because a couple of my favorite outfits from this year are included in this post and I forgot how much I love them. I think I need a summery white dress to wear with one of my olive jackets!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  3. Noelle this is such a great post. Your fellow petit and curvy ladies are so lucky your blog exists. I think tips no.4 and 2 are great tips for everyone.

    I am still trying to find blogs with women who share my body type. Tall-ish, hourglass, not skinny but not chubby lol! When you look up curvy blogs, all you get are plus size women. While I'm slim curvy and in between sizes 6-8. When you look up tall bloggers you get women who are 6' tall....while I'm only 5'7" so kinda bordering tall...the struggles!

    Anyway I love your blog despite our different body shapes because your style is real. You don't wear outfits that are too casual for everyday and are within my price range. YOu also don't push sales based on season and what's trendy which I really appreciate

  4. Pointy toes shoes and dark jeans are my go-tos! I love your tip about Spanx boyshorts, too. After having my daughter, my tummy just isn't the same and while I can disguise it with pants, I can't with dresses. I need to get a pair!

  5. Thank you for this! I'm 5'2 as well and never know how to pull it together. Just want to say that you are a beautiful person inside and out. Been reading since 2013 and love your blog. I'd love to see more of these types of helpful posts.

  6. These are some great tips...and I totally agree with you about ignoring rules and wearing what you love ...I like everything to be below the knee...even though technically I know above the knee is meant to be the "rule" for my frame....but it's what I love so I go for it ;-)


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