When you're short, shopping for clothing is a bit of a battle. As someone who's under 5'3", I've regularly found myself in fitting rooms trying on laughably long jeans or jackets that make me look like I've come straight from the '80s (such as the unintentional oversized shoulder). If you're nodding along in empathy, rest assured that I feel your pain. But it doesn't have to be this way.
While we should all embrace whatever size, shape or height we are, sometimes appearing and feeling a little taller helps with being more confident. Which is why I've looked to three petite street style stars (Courtney Trop, Lucy Williams and Aimee Song) to gather some tips on how to dress a smaller frame. Although they have their own takes on fashion, there's one thing they tend to avoid: Anything overly layered. Now onto the guidelines…
1. Cinch your waist.
3. Opt for cropped, fitted denim.
4. Wear high-waisted trousers.
5. Tailor your pieces.
6. When in doubt, go tonal.
7. Do oversized, but don't layer.
8. Invest in a long coat.
9. Don't underestimate small heels.
If you want to see these rules in action, keep scrolling for nine outfit ideas that are ready to steal—featuring some of the coolest petite pieces we've come across…
1. Cinch in Your Waist Where Possible
Style Notes: Keep voluminous layers in check by belting them at the waist. It's also a trick that can create the illusion of longer-looking legs.
2. Wear Short Skirts With Pointed-Toe Shoes or Boots
Style Notes: The beauty of this look is that it's so simple. There's just something about pointed-toe shoes that directs the eye down.
3. Opt for Cropped, Fitted Denim
Style Notes: While wearing cropped items may seem counterintuitive, the high-waisted, fitted cut and a clever flash of ankle give the impression that Aimee Song is taller than she is.
4. Wear High-Waisted Trousers
Style Notes: Anything high-waisted is a must for petite women, whether it's a pair of vinyl trousers, jeans or palazzo pants. The high rise gives the illusion of longer legs by emphasising your waist.
5. Tailor Your Pieces
Style Notes: When you’re vertically challenged, most suits end up being too long and too big, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take part in the trend—you just need to find a good tailor.
6. If in Doubt, Go Tonal
Style Notes: Tonal outfits are a go-to for shorter girls. Make like Ada and pair brown trousers with a colour match top for easy elegance.
7. Do Oversized, But Don't Layer
Style Notes: The one thing petite street style stars all know to be true? Layers are not your friend, as they tend to drown shorter people in fabric. If you want to do the oversized look, opt for one key piece and wear it over something sleek.
8. Invest in a Long Coat
Style Notes: Kim Kardashian West is a fan of this trick (she knows a streamlined silhouette is always going to make you appear taller). Bonus: A long coat will instantly make any outfit look smarter. Bonus bonus: Many of the world's midi coats will be long enough to do the trick, so you've got more options to play with.
9. Don't Underestimate Small Heels
Style Notes: We saved the most obvious rule for last. Of course, wearing heels will make you look taller. And if you can't bear high heels? Fear not—kitten heels are back.
This story was originally published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.