Being short causes no end of fashion drama: I have to hem everything—from trousers to jackets, no sleeve or leg is ever left untouched. Myriad problems create quite the shopping and styling obstacle course: For petite girls, flares become skinny jeans in the flash of a pair of scissors and midi skirts are easily more like maxis. Don't even get me started on re-creating purposefully frayed edges. Nightmare.
Which is part of the reason why I'm thrilled to see Emilia Clarke (aka Game of Thrones' Daenarys Targaryen aka the leading lady in new film release, Me Before You, aka the most smiley girl in Hollywood) smashing it out and about on the promo circuit.
It's great to see this pint-sized beauty (she's just 5'1.5", the very same height as me), in conjunction with her über stylist, Kate Young, breaking some style rules and scooping up plenty of outfit accolades along the way. Her most noticeable tricks? Clarke has an impressive roster of dresses—from princess-like frocks courtesy of Russian couturier Ulyana Sergeenko through to classic body-hugging numbers from Dolce and Gabbana—all with clever, subtle differences that make them petite girl–friendly.
So, if you ever experience #shortgirlproblems like me—or simply love the look of Emilia's red carpet style—go through the gallery below as we decode her pretty, petite ensembles…
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Style Notes: This Ulyana Sergeenko dress does very clever body-lengthening things thanks to its classical décolletage-scooping neckline and fitted bodice. The peplum and graduated lace also help subtly draw the eye down. Barely-there metallic heels are also a wiser choice for petite girls than anything chunky.
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Style Notes: A lot of petite girls feel like this length of midi dress is out of bounds—but I'd beg to differ. With a flash of skin both at the top and bottom of this look, plus a fitted, flirty skirt style, it's totally doable. Same-colour pointed pumps also help stretch the look out. She has Dolce & Gabanna to thank for this fashion moment.
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Style Notes: Again, the graduated lines of ruffles and detailing on this stunning Alexander McQueen dress do all the hard work for us short girls. A sliver of ankle also does wonders and a waist belt is forever a good idea—especially when it's embellished with the brand's madcap symbolism.
Style Notes: Body-skimming column dresses, like this divine velvet number from Erdem, are ideal after-dark wear: The expanse of flesh up top instantly lengthens the look while simple two-strap sandals don't fight for attention.
Style Notes: This look proves you can wear a voluminous dress when you're small—the slim slip underneath balances out the frothy tulle, and Emilia's favourite two-strap sandals are back out to play.
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Style Notes: Are you starting to see a recurring theme here? Bodice top + midi skirt = a very good idea. This knockout number is from Bottega Veneta.
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Style Notes: Sometimes, as a petite girl, I find short sleeves can look stunted, but there's something about the deep V-neckline on this Roksanda dress that does the opposite—10/10 again.
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Style Notes: Even the more daunting prospect of a trouser suit is no match for Emilia: The slim, tailored fit of this Altuzarra number, worn with sky-high heels sans top, works a treat.
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Style Notes: This Chloé dress is a stunner, but potentially a swamper, too. So props to Emilia for ensuring that despite plenty of ruffle-action the waist is snugly fitted and that you can see a her metallic sandals peeking out from under.
Style Notes: This is the ultimate shape for petite girls everywhere—the classic sheath dress. And in red? Just jaw-droppingly good.
Style Notes: By choosing a shift that features detailing on the top and bottom—not in the middle, which shortens—this pretty Peter Pilotto dress is just right.