There was a time when the term ‘petite’ referred to short and slim women. But the word has expanded its meaning to include other body types with curvy being one of them. However, this didn’t make dressing for petite and curvy women easier.

The petite and curvy demographic is said to be one of the most ignored by fashion designers and brands. Women with these body type often have trouble finding stylish clothes that fit to begin with making styling even harder.

Here are some tips on how to dress and look good for the petite and curvy body type.

1. Visual balance is key.

Curves usually come with big breasts as well which can make petite women look stockier than they are. The key here is to create a visual balance. It is recommended that short women gifted with big busts wear empire waist style. Clothes in this shape nip the wearer just below the bust line and flows widely down which balances the top with the bottom.

2. Go for monochrome.

It’s been proven that wearing black (and other dark, tonal colors) can make the wearer appear slimmer than they actually is. This is great news for curvy and petite women. By wearing dark, well-fitting clothes which streamline the body, they can look leaner and longer in an instant.

3. Accentuate the waist with A-lines.

Another tip to look longer is to accentuate your waist which could be achieved by wearing skirts or dresses with A-line shapes. Just make sure that your skirt or dress end a few inches above your knees where your legs are the thinnest. This will make your legs appear longer and slimmer.

4. Tuck shirts in.

‘Normal’ shirts can often fit too long for a petite woman’s torso which then tends to cut off their legs at an unflattering place. Solve this by tucking in the front of shirts to show off more of those legs.

5. Wear shoes and pants of the same color.

Matching the color of pants together with shoes is another great tip to elongate legs by eliminating the visual distraction of color change. Petite and curvy women could also wear heels or flats that are a similar color with their skin to look longer.

6. Shorter skirts are better.

As mentioned earlier, pick skirts and dresses that end up a few inches above the knees. This may sound counterintuitive but they’re proven to work. Two or three inches are the rule of thumb. Just be sure that they don’t go high up pass the tops of your inner thighs as the upper thighs is usually the place where cellulite begins to show. So if you’re a petite, curvy girl, go for miniskirts and shorter dresses.
7. Avoid shoes with ankle straps.

Shoes with ankle strap buckles tend to cut the wearer’s leg visually making them look shorter and stockier. Remember, the goal is to look taller by elongating the legs. However, one can still find flattering ankle straps by choosing shoes with lower ankle buckles.

Being both petite and curvy can make it hard to find clothes and style them as well. But it isn’t impossible as proven by these seven styling tips. Remember that the ultimate goal is to look slim and elongated. Do these by creating visual illusions through opting for short skirts, avoiding ankle straps and accentuating the waist.

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