Shopping for petite clothing comes with its challenges, but there are certain styles that can flatter your figure quite well. If you’re ready to breathe new life into your wardrobe this winter, Shop TODAY consulted with a few fashion pros to get their expertise on the figure-flattering items to look out for (and avoid). Plus, we’ve found a few essential pieces to get you started!
Petite t-shirts for winter
- What to look for: Lightweight sweaters that can be tucked in; quarter-length sleeves and roll-up styles; lower cuts; off the shoulder styles
- Why they work for small things: “Styling can be a challenge, especially when it comes to sweaters. We recommend a lightweight or medium sweater with a fine, sturdy weave,” said Isabella Sun, founder and CEO of Short Story, a personal styling service for petite women. . “Stay away from oversized sweaters or sweaters with bulky knits. Tuck your sweater into jeans or pants at the front to accentuate your shape and elongate your torso.”
INTEMPO Long sleeve top with off the shoulder
“Whatever the weather, an off-the-shoulder neckline can work well. For the warmer months, consider an off-the-shoulder dress and…why not cozy up with an off-the-shoulder knit sweater?” John McCormack, head of global fashion trends at Primark, said.
Available in four shades including an alluring teal, this ribbed top looks like your favorite sweater but has the light feel of your favorite blouse. And the price is pretty hard to resist!
Sincerely, Jules Ottoman Stitch Long Sleeve Pullover
“When shopping or styling clothes, look for tops that don’t go below the ribcage, as this will instantly make your legs look longer,” suggested McCormack.
Something like this waist-length jumper is ideal for petites as it can easily be tucked into trousers or skirts, and looks just as good when worn over bottoms. We especially love pretty pastel shades!
Vineyard Vines Striped Sankaty Simple Crew Neck T-Shirt
A classic collared shirt will never go out of style and is a wardrobe staple that you can wear in multiple ways. This one is extra special with its UPF 30+ sun protection, making it ideal for all seasons and has bracelet length sleeves that are great for the petite.
Magic Linen long-sleeved linen T-shirt
“Sleeve length is very important when considering your proportions and to avoid clothes that look bad,” said McCormack. “Quarter length sleeves or regular length carefully rolled up will elongate your arms to create the illusion that you look taller.”
With its button-up sleeves, this sunny linen top is a great option for petites. A gathered waist adds extra visual appeal.
Petite pants for winter
- What to look for: High-waisted, dark-colored pants
- Why they work for small things: “High-waisted pants should be one of your style staples. Whether it’s a great pair of jeans or tailored suit pants, the style gives the instant illusion that the waist is higher than it really is,” said McCormack.
Vintage navy blue super-skinny high-waisted jeans
At just $30, these jeans are an affordable addition to your wardrobe, but they certainly don’t skimp on quality. The high-waisted design is universally flattering, and the built-in stretch makes it easy to get through your day.
INC International Concepts Petite Ponté-Knit Creator High Waisted Pants
“Darker shades come with the season and give shorter figures a big advantage. Opt for a longer inseam with a straight or flared silhouette paired with boots to create a streamlined look,” said Sun.
With its stretchy knit fabric, these pants are a stylish find that also prioritize comfort. We’d rock them with heels and a sheer blouse on a date or boots and a chambray top at the office.
NYDJ Barbara Bootcut Jeans in Petite
Not a fan of skinny styles? Bootcut jeans are a great alternative. These are made with a neat slimming panel that helps flatter your shape and elongates your legs with its bootcut design. So basically, it’s a win-win!
Spanx Petite Faux Leather Leggings
Whether you’re an XS or a 3X, these petite tights come in a size that fits your unique figure. The faux leather bestseller provides lift, compression and shaping. The high waist leggings are also made without a center front seam to help you avoid that dreaded camel toe look.
Petite dresses and overalls for winter
- What to look for: Mini dresses and jumpsuits with a belt
- Why they work for small things: “Mini dresses allow you to create the illusion of mile-long legs. Amp up the illusion by pairing your mini dress with black opaque leggings and chunky platform heels,” said Poshmark Curation and Merchandising Expert Chloe Baffert.
Loft Petite sparkly sweater dress with animal print
“Choose a mini sweater dress with a hem just above the knee to accentuate your legs and balance your proportions,” said Sun. “Style it with thigh-high leather boots and throw on a plaid double-breasted boyfriend blazer to complete your look.”
We can’t decide which we love more about this soft sweater dress: the sassy leopard print or the added bit of sparkle. Fortunately, we don’t have to choose!
Old navy practical collarless coveralls
Jumpsuits can be intimidating when you’re petite, but they can actually help elongate your body when you find the right fit.
“If the goal is to elongate your body, an all-over jumpsuit can be a great must-have! Take the time to try them on and find the perfect fit for your body. Top it off with a belt to cinch the waist and break in the material panel,” said McCormack.
Whether you’re wearing this neutral number with heels and a blazer to the office or ballet flats and statement jewelry on a date, you can’t go wrong. We love everything about it: from the round neck design and hidden zipper to the elasticated drawstring waist and numerous pockets.
Draper James Lee Ann dress
Don’t want to give up floral prints just because the weather is a little cooler? You do not have to! This beautiful shade of blue is ready for winter and the knee length dress is quite beautiful too. We love the puff sleeves, the layered skirt, and the soft, stretchy knit. The babydoll silhouette is also universally flattering!
White House Black Market Petite Waist Satin Blouse
Mini dresses can look a little out of place on a taller frame, but petites can rock them without skipping a beat. This beautiful green dress has a versatile smocked waist and satin material that can be dressed up for a special event or dressed down for a day at the office.
Petite jackets for winter
- What to look for: Cropped and wrist-length styles
- Why they work for small things: “Cropped jackets are a great way to make your legs look longer and your figure taller. The classic black leather biker style is a surefire wardrobe hero that will see you through the seasons,” said McCormack.
Athleta Hanover hybrid jacket
“The key is finding a cropped hem that accentuates your waist. I like to pair that boxy silhouette with more tailored bottoms like vintage-inspired jeans for balance and top off the look with ultra-pointy boots to add some height,” Baffert said.
With its cropped length and semi-fitted silhouette, this velvet jacket from Athleta is ideal for a petite body. It’s made from recycled insulation, making it a sustainable option, and has Theromolite fibers to help defend against winter weather. Plus, it’s available in petite sizes!
Truth + Style knitted jersey jacket
“Balancing proportions is key for small clothing. Cropped and slightly boxy jackets allow you to tap into the oversized menswear-inspired trend without sacrificing a flattering silhouette,” said Baffert.
Not a fan of denim or moto jackets? This dressier style is great for work and weekends and has an open front that allows you to display your favorite blouses.
Lands’ End Petite Fleece Quarter Zip Pullover
Available in petite, regular and tall, this square zip pullover comes in a range of sizes to help you find the perfect fit. It is available in six colors and is made of super soft, anti-static material.
Venus lace-up jacket made of artificial leather
“A good moto jacket can easily give you structure without adding bulk,” Sun said. “One thing to watch out for is sleeve length. Definitely go for one that’s just a little longer than your wrist but doesn’t swallow your entire arm. Moto jackets are a great way to add a little texture to your look while still looking polished.”
This sleek faux leather style comes in two shades – black and rose gold – and features a cropped cut with lace-up details that add a nice edge. The wardrobe staple can be paired equally well with mini dresses or tights and a sweater. In addition, it is also available in sizes XS-3X.