How Petite Women Can Look Taller

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Raise your hand if you’re petite and plus size! Believe it or not, most women are as the majority of American women are currently plus size and stand under 5’4”. 

While most plus size women are actually petite, most plus size clothing is made for taller, longer figures. Oftentimes, petite plus size women are stuck wearing clothes that are too long for them or don’t fit their bodies proportionately. There are also many misconceptions about how to dress for your body type and the styles you should avoid if you are curvy and petite. But have no fear! We are here to dispel the myths and share a couple of styling techniques you can use to elongate your frame and make your clothes fit better. 

These style tips and tricks will have you feeling taller, while skyrocketing your confidence! Shall we get started?

full figure woman wearing a yellow jacket

Crop It

While shopping for clothes at your favorite plus size online boutique, there are certain pieces and fits you should prioritize if you want to elongate your figure. From jackets to tops, a cropped fit is going to accentuate your curves while lengthening your silhouette. When adding cropped styles into your wardrobe, avoid bulky clothes and stick to something that hugs the curves a little closer for a flattering style. 

Maxi Dresses

A common misconception that many petite and curvy people have is that they have to stay away from longer garments and maxi dresses. But this isn’t true! Here’s how to wear a maxi dress if you are short and curvy. Maxi dresses with a high slit do so much for a petite frame. Not only are they gorgeous, but they can lengthen your body by showing off your legs. Off the shoulder maxi dresses are ideal for shorter figures because they allow you to show some skin so you aren’t drowning out your curves.

full figure woman wearing coulda been the one dress royal

Duster Cardigans and Coats

As mentioned above, longer clothing pieces are not off limits! If you love a good maxi or duster cardigan or coat, pair them with shorts or a pair of high-waist jeans with a fitted cropped top. This will make your legs look longer. A common mistake petite women make when styling these pieces is that they allow the duster cardigan or coat to cover their whole body, which can drown your curves out. Create emphasis with a cropped top and lengthen your legs with high-waist jeans. 

Tuck It in

High-waist bottoms are your best friend–that is, if you wear them right. Instead of letting your favorite t-shirt or tank top cover the top of your pants, tuck your shirt in to instantly elongate your figure. 

full figure woman wearing fire and rain kimono blue

Defining Your Waist

When it comes to dresses or other flowy items you may love to wear, it’s important to accentuate and clearly define your waist. Choose garments that cinch at the waist just below the bust. This will lengthen your torso. Avoid jumpsuits, rompers or dresses that come in at the middle of your waist. 

full figure woman wearing proof of sass top grey

Mini Fits

This may be a given, but anytime you can wear a mini fit—whether it’s with dresses or skirts—you will instantly elongate your figure. Because this style will make you look taller all on its own, feel free to get adventurous by experimenting with wrap skirts and dresses or ruffled hems. If you can find a high-waist mini skirt, that will make your figure appear even longer. Just make sure to tuck your shirt in or wear a crop top. 

full figure woman wearing nothing like you shorts mauve

Go Monochromatic

When you piece together a look that is all one color or shade, you will create an illusion that lengthens your entire body. If you mix two different colors for tops and bottoms, you break up your figure and the outfit will actually make you appear shorter. An all-black look will be flattering and lengthening, but also try the monochromatic style with more hues.

full figure woman wearing embrace the elegance jumpsuit black

In the Nude

Finally, as we work our way down, the kinds of shoes you wear can also make or break your look if you are trying to lengthen your figure. Stick to shoes that match your skintone as much as you can to give the illusion that your legs are longer. Of course, adding a heel—even if it’s just an inch—can add some height to any look! 

The most important pointer we could give you is that you can always wear whatever you want. You don’t need to fit into society’s impossible body standards. So just have fun with your style and wear what makes you feel vibrant!