You asked, I’m answering! Spilling all of my petite style tips & tricks for you all today. Let’s just all agree, it’s hard being a petite girl in a regular-sized world! Those “must-have” jeans extend for 5 inches past your feet, and the oversized sweater that looked so cute online somehow drowns you in person. And, not enough retailers (in my opinion), carry petite sizes of their most popular items. But, that seems to be changing. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed retailers providing more petite options. The only problem is is that most of the petite sizes are online only. Luckily, that’s where I come in!
Consider me your 5’2″ guide for how to find the petite items you desperately need! From my Instagram survey yesterday, there were a few reoccurring themes – the need for petite pants (not jeans), petite leggings, and petite jeans that can be worn with ankle booties. So, today I’m answering all of your requests plus a few more! Because this is a post on petite sizing and styling, I do think it’s necessary to give out my sizing for a frame of reference. As I said, I’m 5’2″ and usually between 105-110lbs. I wear XXS/XS in regular sized tops and sweaters OR, preferably, a SP in petite tops and 25P/0short/0petite in petite pants/denim. On the rare occasion, at LOFT in particular, I will size down one to a XSP or 24P – their petite sizes sometimes run large.
5 PETITE STYLE HACKS
our fave faux leather leggings now come in petite!
an example of how I cuff this regular length pair
- LEGGINGS: By far, my most asked petite style question is – where do you find your leggings? You know, the kind that don’t bunch for miles around your ankles? So, I’m not opposed to buying regular length leggings although I have a “hack” to make them shorter. I also have a few retailers I go to for petite leggings in general.
First, You gals see me where these leggings from Amazon and these from Nordstrom most often. Neither are petite. I find that the bunching around the ankles for these two are minimal. If I’m wearing high-top sneaks or booties, I’ll roll them under so you can’t see the cuff. For me, this works a majority of the time.
But, that’s not really ideal, right? The reason I have those two at the present moment is because I picked them up on major sale (anyone surprised?! lol). Otherwise, I have also purchased petite length leggings from LOFT, Express, Athleta and Spanx. These LOFT leggings are a great budget friendly buy but, be forewarned, they can be see-through when you bend over. Same goes for this pair from Express. Athleta and Spanx, although usually a bit pricier, will for SURE last longer, be more comfortable (didn’t believe this until my sister bought me my first pair), and will not be see-through. I recently found this under $60 pair from Athleta (Athleta labels leggings as “tights”) and our fave faux leather leggings from Spanx also now come in petite.
2. DENIM: And my second most asked questions is where to find petite denim that works with booties. Ideally so that you can actually show off that cute frayed hem 😉 I have another hack for this and then a retailer that always comes through for bootie approved denim!
The hack – If you’re looking for a “cuffed” look with booties, there’s a great denim trend going on right now that, if I didn’t know better, I’d say was a subversive attack by petites on the regular length world. Ankle length denim. But, the trick is to buy the ankle length denim in regular length. That way they fall right to the ends of your legs – like normal petite denim would. You can then cuff them 1-1.5 inches and wear with booties. You could, of course, just buy petite full length denim, but I always find it’s just a little too long to do this with for some reason. For cuffing, you want the denim to be almost too short when left unrolled that way you’re not dealing with too much fabric.
I like this “hack” because there are a lot more options for fashionable denim in ankle length since it’s trendy! Yesterday, I shared this brand by Nordstrom on stories again. Endless ankle length options and most are under $50. They do run TTS for the most part but some (like this pair) run large so read reviews!
And, if you’re looking for super cute petite denim that you don’t have to cuff, I HIGHLY recommend heading to this retailer. Their short sizes work for even the tallest booties, and they have tons of styles that are seemingly always on sale. The black pair you see me wear frequently (above) are from this retailer. These run TTS.
3. PANTS: Luckily, when I worked in the corporate world, I could get by with casual attire most of the time. And the few times I had to wear (petite) dress pants, they ended up being high-waters. 5-6 years ago, I refused to shop for dress pants at LOFT because of this issue. But, 2 years ago, I tried them again, and they fit perfectly! I can only assume they changed up their sizing a bit. What I love about their dress pants is that they’re in style, on budget (& on sale every other weekend) AND great quality! Another brand to try, that’s often forgot about, is Express. They have great workwear in general and their petite dress pants selection is no exception. And, they’re currently having a 40% off sale!
4. DRESSES: There’s no easy way around this one – I’ve found it’s a ton of trial and error. When you can, I always suggest buying dresses in petite sizes to avoid returns or alterations. In addition to Express, ASOS, a company I was first introduced to while living abroad, has a great selection of affordable petite dresses. Caution, just like Topshop, they run “small” because it’s UK sizing. So size up 2 from what you would normally do (I get US4 for example). I highly recommend using their “best fit” guide on the product’s page to find your best fit! And, FYI, if you are a Nordstrom card member, you have automatic credit toward their alterations department!
5. CREATE LENGTH: And the last petite topic I often get questions about is how I manage to wear oversized sweaters or tops without looking like I’m 2 ft tall. The struggle! Two hacks play into this.
First, boots and heels are your BEST FRIENDS. They don’t have to be high, but buy a style that sets you up an inch or two. Seems like a no brainer right? But, take it a step further. Pair your over the knee black boots, with black leggings, and it’ll make your legs look like they go on for days. Or, tuck your pants into your booties. That way it’s hard to tell where your legs end, thus, making them appear longer. And, lastly, I love the over the knee boot + dress trend, but that’s something not all of us petite gals can rock. As a rule of thumb, you should always have a full hands width between the top of the boots and bottom of your dress. And, because most OTK boots extend higher on us than most people, you may want to opt for knee high boots to avoid a dress that’s too short!
And, if you want to hop on the oversized sweater or top trend there are two things I suggest. One, if petite sizing isn’t an option, try to find a regular length top that’s cropped. It’ll be full length on most of us petites. Like this top I wore earlier this week that I found, by the reviews, to run short on regular people. Or, size down TWO in regular sized tops! Second, if you are wearing an oversized cardigan – petite or regular – try to wear something more slimming underneath and tuck it into a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans. We all know I love these camis for tucking in and also have this fitted tee on the way. By wearing a fitted top and skinny jeans with your oversized cardi, you avoid the risk of looking like you’re drowning in all of your clothes. And, by tucking your top into your denim, you’re giving the illusion of longer legs.
Whew! So many petite hacks! I hope you all found this helpful!
We’re off to spend the weekend with some of our closest friends! Be sure to follow along on stories!
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Nancy weigelt says
Qvc carries a lot of petites from xxs – 3x. A lot of plus size petite woman out there.
Hey Nancy! Great call! Love their prices and how size inclusive they are!!