Petite Ladies: Three Rules to Know to Style Like an Expert

Abi Khait
6 min readApr 12, 2019

For all the petite ladies who need a little bit of guidance on how to expertly style your outfits, read my highlights from the two articles from the industry’s fashion gurus. Recently, my dear friend asked me to help her get a few new items for her closet. She is petite at 5'2 feet. I had no prior experience styling a small figure, so I decided to do some research.

I had to start with the fundamental question — what is petite? I typed my keyword search, and the results surprised me, a lot! According to Wikipedia, one is petite if she/he at or below 5'3 feet. I am a petite?! Being at exactly 5'3, I am, by definition, petite. Wow.

“In fashion and clothing, a petite size is a standard clothing size designed to fit women of shorter height than the average, typically 160 cm (5 ft 3 in).” Wikipedia.

Suddenly, this topic became more interesting than I originally anticipated. Before, I never thought to shop in petite’s section or read articles on how to style if one is small. This discovery added new motivation and energy to my research.

I rushed to my laptop in hopes to read as much as I can on this topic. Right away I noticed many similarities across various articles and posts. Most of them stressed the importance of garments’ length (which makes a lot of sense). Skirts and dresses have to stop at or above knees; pants and jeans should be high-waisted and must be cropped revealing ankles.

There is an essential point that comes up a lot and I think is crucial for petite styling. There is 1/3–2/3 rule. I have never heard of it, but the rule makes sense and is easy to implement. Pants, skirts, or any bottoms should cover the 2/3 of your lower body. A top, sweater or blazer should cover the top 1/3 of your body. The main idea is to avoid dividing your body into halves as that highlights the short figure.

I quickly scanned my mind identifying whether or not I follow any of these basic rules. Right away, skinny cropped jeans came to my mind. I love the look of cropped pants with high heels. It is my go-to easy to pull-off look. Also, very often I tuck in my tops or blouses which helps to satisfy 2/3–1/3 rule. Perfect!

Let’s now focus on the two articles that stood out to me the most.

The first article is Simple styling tips for petite girls by Jess Edwards, Cosmopolitan. The article is full of suggestions and tips on what NOT

Abi Khait

Fashion & Beauty Enthusiast. Organization Freak. Chocolate Lover. My Blog: