Best Petite Spring & Summer Dresses for Every Occasion

Finding the perfect summer dress is hard enough, but when you’re petite, it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are lots of dresses that leave you drowning in fabric, with too-long sleeves, and waists that sit at your hips, but where are the ones made to fit your pint-sized proportions and make you look chic?

There are several great dress brands that cater to Petites, with Maggy London and Eliza J being two of my favorites! The other great news is, now is the perfect time to buy a summer dress. We’re in that sweet spot where stock is flowing in and everyone and buying season is just beginning.

Have a look at these fabulous petite summer dresses that are guaranteed to look wonderful whatever you are doing.


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1. Petite Summer Dress For the Office

Amp up your office chic look with this polished, modern sheath dress. This royal blue sheath dress with a gold ring cutout neckline and a flattering fit adds a new spin to business savvy.

Continue reading “Best Petite Spring & Summer Dresses for Every Occasion”


How to Wear Capri Pants with Confidence

If you’ve almost given up on capris because you think they make you look frumpy, there may be some truth to that. Capris have a bad reputation for a reason. They tend to shorten your legs (especially if you are short, to begin with), and they highlight wide or muscular calves.

However, there are ways to get around this. Finding the right style and fit of capris, crops, pedal pushers, or whatever you want to call them for your body type can make a world of difference to how they will look on you. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to look great and feel confident in capri pants.

Continue reading “How to Wear Capri Pants with Confidence”


Stylish, Petite Loungewear For Staying In

With everyone stuck inside, loungewear chic is the latest fashion.  Loungewear sets, dresses, and flowy, soft tops are flying off the shelves, but where are the petite sizes? When a few of my petite readers asked, I went looking, and put together these stylish, petite loungewear looks for staying in. Have a look!

P.S. These loungewear outfits that also come in regular sizes too!


Cozy Petite Loungewear Set 

Causal women's petite loungewear - taupe sweater set

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When you want to feel cozy but look pulled together,  a petite loungewear set is perfect. I like the refined look of this lightweight gray cardigan with matching wide cropped pants. It’s super comfy too because it is made from  5% spandex and 95% modal – a super soft fiber fabric made from beech tree pulp.


Petite Knitted Loungewear 

Causal petite women's loungewear -peach shift dress

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Eileen Fisher is a brand known for its relaxed styles and comfy clothes, and they make Petites! When you are staying at home, and you feel like lounging in a dress, reach for one like this. This petite shift dress skims the body and is made from a soft and stretchy ribbed knit. The pink color is very flattering on all skin types, and the high low hem adds a touch of style. This dress would also work great worn over leggings.


Petite Loungewear Pants

Casual Petite Outfit

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Sometimes the best petite women’s loungewear pants are a pair of black leggings. These snuggly leggings look great worn with a long shirt like a menswear-inspired striped silk blouse. Petite sizes ensure that the sleeves won’t be too long, or that the top won’t drown your tiny frame.  Wear this shirt untucked with leggings or tuck it into your favorite petite jeans.  This is a great outfit for puttering around the house or enjoying a little self-pampering.


Here are a few more women’s petite loungewear outfits for you to wear now and later.

Holiday Dressing

Head Turning Holiday Party Clothes for Petites

Get ready to stand out in the crowd in these petite-friendly picks that will have you rocking your holiday party look.

No need to browse the kids’ section of your favorite store or allow time for your tailor to re-size your dress. Amazon Fashion has a wide selection of holiday party options for Petites, from dresses and skirts to tops, pants, and even jumpsuits. Take a look!

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1. Ruffle Collar Sheath Dress – If you’ve got a holiday party at the office, this is the dress to wear. Whether the celebration is in the office or everyone is heading to a restaurant, this conservative sheath dress with a fun ruffle collar says you can be professional and enjoy a party at the same time. Continue reading “Head Turning Holiday Party Clothes for Petites”


How to Wear Culottes and Not Look Awkward

They’re not a skirt; they’re not pants, they’re something in between. Are you a fan of Culottes?  This throwback to the ’70s is an exciting trend, even though it can be awkward to wear.

Wondering how to wear Culottes and make them work for you? Here are some style tips.

What to wear with white cullotes

1. Skirt Like Culottes Look Chic

Culottes have an unusual shape and are known to make you look totally frumpy or fabulously chic; there seems to be no in-between.  The newest and most elegant way to work this trend is to choose culottes with a flowy look and feel that are quite full in the leg. Think of women’s culottes like a long, full, swingy skirt, but with a modern twist. These feminine white culottes are exactly what I’m talking about.

Continue reading “How to Wear Culottes and Not Look Awkward”


Fall Update for Petite Fashionistas

It takes a bit of work to figure out the fall trends and decide which ones are right for you. When you’re short and small, you’ve got the extra challenge of finding something that fits right too! So, to help you out, here’s a look at some petite fall styles that have been styled just for you.


Green Sweaterdress

Here’s a gorgeous dress that’s a great choice for Petites for a couple of reasons. First, this stunning Evergreen shade is the most popular new fall color. It’s dark, like black, so it’s slimming, which helps make you look taller. Plus, the cut of the dress follows your curves. There’s no extra bulk to drown your small frame.

Wear this dress with tall riding boots and a plaid scarf. Add a small bucket bag to balance things out, and you have a warm, cozy fall look that’s smart and sophisticated.


Romantic Ruffles

Ruffles have been trending this fall and are a  great way to inject some softness and femininity into your wardrobe. Large ruffles can overpower Petites, and dainty-colored ruffles (such as pink) can make a mature petite woman look too junior.

The solution is like this: a tailored coat in a deep, rich shade with a modest ruffle. The streamlined cut and the dark burgundy color help balance out the ruffle’s sweetness, so you still get a pretty feminine feel, but you don’t look like a little girl.

This is a great everyday coat over jeans and a pretty blouse. Suede booties with chunky heels help add some height and accentuate the nice long, lean lines of this coat.


Statement Sweater

Chunky Knits, especially turtlenecks, are trending this fall, and this rust-colored one is a beauty. Maybe you’ve heard that if you are petite, you shouldn’t wear tops longer than your hipbone, or your legs will look short. There’s always an exception, and this sweater is it.

This is a petite-sized sweater, so it is cut to fit your tiny figure, and see the slit? Even though the top is longer, it still shows a lot of your leg because of the slit. This optical illusion makes your legs look longer than they are. This is a great look to go with suede booties and a fringe bag. It’s casual but classy- a great weekend look!

Fashion bloggers over 40

Fashion Through The Decades From Petite Over 40

Sometimes you need to take a few steps backwards in order to be able to move forward. Sherry Dryja from Petite Over 40 can attest to that.

Petite fashion bloggers over 40

The Seattle, Washington food writer was stuck in a style rut before she came up with an unusual idea to try on decades of fashion in search of her signature style.  Today Sherry is one of many petite fashion bloggers over 40.  Her specialty? Sherry researches and models iconic fashion looks and then blogs about her discoveries.

Readers love to follow Sherry on her fascinating journey through time, a journey that has helped shape how she dresses today.

I recently got a chance to chat with Sherry about her unique approach to fashion blogging. Here’s my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.    Continue reading “Fashion Through The Decades From Petite Over 40”


How to Wear Tunics With Pants – A Guide For Every Body Type

Summer is almost here, and a lot of you have been asking me for tops with sleeves that are cute and lightweight.  If you like comfy and casual with a laid back feel, then a tunic is perfect for you. blue tunic and white pants

Tunics date back to Ancient Greece and epitomize the bohemian glamor of the  60′ and 70’s. Today they’re popular as ever due in part to designers like  Tory Burch, who has made tunics a key silhouette of her signature style. Tunics are typically colorful, fun and have an ethnic/boho feel to them.

orange tunic and jeans

Not all tunics are created equal. Some are baggy and can make you look frumpy. Here’s a guide for how to find one that is right for your body type.

Pear Shape – You have a small waist, but you are wide on the bottom. Choose a tunic that:

  • is more A-line than straight up and down
  • falls below the widest part of your body, not right on it, so as not to emphasize your weight
  • has some detail or embellishment at the neckline to draw the eye up
  • has side vents so your tunic does not cling


blue stripe tunic white pants


Apple Shape – You have a large tummy and chest, but great legs. Choose a tunic that:

  • does not cling
  • is not big and billowy
  • has an open V-neck top to show some skin and reduce top-heaviness
  • if possible, has vertical lines to lengthen you out

Inverted Triangle – Your shoulders are wider that your hips. Choose a tunic that has:

  • minimal detail/embellishment at the neckline so as not to emphasize your broad shoulders.
  • an open neckline to soften your broad shoulders.
  • no horizontal lines which will make you look wider.

Hourglass – Your hips and bust are about equal, and you have a small defined waist. If you are very curvy, this look might not be for you because it hides your cute figure. Sometimes you can find a more fitted tunic that nips in a bit at the waist that can work or you may want to belt your tunic.

taupe tunic blue jeans


Rectangle– Your bust, waist and hips are about the same. Tunics were made for you!

Petite  – The shorter you are, the shorter the tunic should be. Ideally, it should hit at the hip. If you are average to tall, it can hit below the hip and as low as mid-thigh.

Once you have the right shape, what do you wear a tunic with?

What style of pants should you wear with a tunic?

Relaxed on top + relaxed on the bottom is a recipe for frumpy. Since tunics are a little looser than most be sure to wear a fitted bottom to balance that out. That means no wide leg pants, boyfriend jeans., or huge flares. Instead, wear slim or straight cut dress pants, or skinny jeans or leggings. For a more boho look, you can wear a small flared jean, so long as the tunic has a bit of a taper and jeans are very fitted above the knee.

What Shoes should you wear with a tunic?

Ballet flats, sandals, block heels, even pumps, they all work. Natural materials like canvas, rope, wood and metal are in particularly in sync with the laid back style of tunics. In winter, a tall flat suede or leather boots worn with leggings/skinny jeans and a tunic is near perfection!

Did you see my new tunic? Take a look. Would you wear a tunic? Comment below.

Short With A Pear Shaped Body? -Here’s What To Wear

Pear Shaped Body

If you are short with a pear-shaped body, you can easily look bottom heavy. Meet Debbie who has this problem and emailed me for help.

Hi Deborah,

I am 5’2″ and weigh 120. I’m not heavy, and I work out, so I have a nice looking caboose. The problem is that when I wear tops untucked, they don’t lay right. My top is smaller than my bottom. Help!

Thanks, Debbie

Hi Debbie, It sounds like you have a short-medium build and are pear-shaped – hence the reason you have some problem with things untucked. Your shirts are probably fitting fine across the bust, but as they reach your curvy hips and rounded bottom, they splay out and don’t sit right.

You don’t want to go with the larger top because then it will be too loose up top, so I suggest if you are going to tuck out, which is a good thing, buy tops with some stretch in them so that you can get them over the top of your hips.  Continue reading “Short With A Pear Shaped Body? -Here’s What To Wear”

Petite, Pear Shaped? Fashion Tips to Look Grown-Up and Sexy!

Hi Deborah,

I’m a 5′ tall  – petite pear-shaped woman. My problem is that I always look like I’m playing dress-up, even when I’m wearing tailored traditional suits and dresses. I like classic, but I also want to look sexy with a touch of inner spitfire thrown in. Can you help? Janice

short pear shaped woman

Hi Janice,

My first thought is your hair and make-up. Perhaps your clothes aren’t working because your hair is too little girlish. Try getting a chic, grown-up cut, and be sure to wear some make-up.

The second thing is, I  think traditional clothing can work on a petite woman, but maybe it doesn’t work on you because it doesn’t suit your personality.  You said yourself you need something sexier.

So, here’s some fashion advice for short women, like yourself, who have a pear-shaped figure and want to look grown-up and sexy.
Continue reading “Petite, Pear Shaped? Fashion Tips to Look Grown-Up and Sexy!”


Short – Can You Wear Cropped Pants?

When long pants are too hot, shorts make you feel to exposed, cropped pants are the perfect answer.

There are pedal pushers that come to just below the knee, capris that hit mid-calf, and cropped ankle pants that graze the ankle bone.

But the question is… can you wear cropped pants if you are short or will they just make you look shorter?

Yes so long as you follow these guidelines:

1. Choose a Slim Cut

Wide cropped pants make you look wider and shorter. If you stick to slim pants that fit close to the leg- tapered or straight leg, you’ll be o.k.

2. Go for a Neutral Color

Closest to your skin color-If there is no big contrast between your leg and your pants, your legs won’t look cut in two. Light skin gals can try white, tan, or light gray, and dark-skinned gals can wear black, brown, or khaki


3. Avoid Large patterns

Solid cropped pants are most slimming or if you wear a pattern keep it small so it doesn’t overwhelm.

4. Wear a Heel or Wedge

It will add a few inches. Flat shoes with cropped pants can make you look short and squat. A shoe can elevate your frame and make your legs look longer than they are.

5. Keep the top of the foot open

Wearing sandals or low vamp shoes to expose skin and elongate the leg.

6. Stick to tops that skim

By wearing tops that skim the top of your capris you show more pant and give the illusion of a longer leg

7. Wear Tops with a Wid Neckline

These will also help draw the eye up balance you out and make you look taller.

Just because you are short doesn’t mean you have a tiny figure to go with it. Here are a few other tips for camouflaging problem areas.

8. Tummy – Be careful of drawstring waists

These drawstring cargoes cropped pants look great on this gal because of her gorgeous pancake belly and thin legs; however, if you have a midlife mommy tummy, the drawstring waist, massive pockets, and baggy legs will make you look like you are wearing a laundry bag. Choose something that doesn’t put all the attention on the tummy. (Nordstrom

9. Go for a Wide Waistband 

Black is always Audrey Hepburn elegant, and also figure-flattering to a woman’s bottom half.  This wide waistband pulls in and camouflages that midlife middle. The tapered leg is slimming and sexy too. (Nordstrom)

10. Big hips and Thighs -Avoid Cuffed cropped pants

Don’t want to looks shorter? Then don’t wear pants with a cuff. You may think the roll-up looks cute, but it will only cut you down and make you look stubby, and if you have an extra few pounds on you, wide too. These pants are best for med-tall gals with average legs. Any gal with bulky thighs should definitely stay from these, as the huge pockets will only accentuate them.

11. Buy Flat front cropped pants

Let’s face it. For a lot of us, the answer to wearing pants and looking good in them is to wear your shirt tucked out, and these stretchy cropped pants are perfect for that. There are no buttons, zippers, or stuff to get in the way, so you have a seamless tower of white for which to place a pretty top over.

12. Test Low Rise Cropped pants

O.K. loose and slouchy and cool on the right gal. You need a flat tummy and a low waist to pull these off.


Petite And Can’t Wear Heels?

Flat shoes for petite womenQ. Hi Deborah! Can you give some advice to a short women who can’t wear heels anymore. Because of foot and knee problems I’m married to flats for life which has me wearing slacks all the time. What’s a girl to do? And being only 5 feet tall makes it even more difficult to look and feel fabulous…Help!!!  Thanks Janine

Hi Janine,

Do you have good legs and slim ankles? If so, you can still wear a shift dress and flats and look FAB!  If not, you should stick with pants, but you can really still have fun with your shoes even if you can only wear flats. Here are some tips:
Continue reading “Petite And Can’t Wear Heels?”