How to dress a petite body

In need of a wardrobe update? Dressing for your body type is a straightforward way to find styles that complement your figure perfectly. Here, we’ve got some key tips and tricks from the experts for when it comes to dressing a petite body. Remember, petite means 5′ 3″ and under in height and includes all kinds of body shapes and sizes.

Tips from your fellow petite, Dannii Minogue

At 5′ 2″, Dannii Minogue knows all about the struggles of styling a petite frame and has launched her own petite-focused clothing and jewellery collection here at QVC. We recently caught up with her to hear her top styling tips and to find out a little bit more about the range.

Particularly for my shape, an hourglass, the trick is to make things come up to the waist or to draw things into the waist, because it makes the legs look longer, and then you look taller. Now, that’s not going to work for everyone, for example if you’re apple-shaped or pear-shaped, but there are other ways.

Say with the shirt dress from my collection, it has a soft belt you can use or take off, as well as buttons down the centre front to optically elongate you. It also cuts away at the neckline where the collar is to create a V-shape and as soon as you do this, it creates length in the neck.

3/4 length sleeves work well too because, traditionally, if you can show a little bit of wrist, it looks great on a petite. With the whole collection, I’ve tried to sift out things that traditionally work and don’t work, so you can have a beautiful shopping experience and not have to worry about anything.”

Tricks from our Presenter Stylist, Stine Wintlev

Stine has been working as a stylist in fashion and television for many years and does a wonderful job behind the scenes with our presenters here at the Q. Here’s a summary of her top tips for dressing a petite frame.

“When choosing a patterned fabric, think smaller prints rather than larger, overpowering ones. Same thing goes for stripes, think a vertical pinstripe rather than a horizontal prison suit!

Get the length and width right. I.e. for trousers, an oversized, baggy style will make you appear wider and smaller, whereas a fitted, high-waisted style will do the exact opposite.

When colour blocking your outfit, don’t be afraid to go bold, but stick to fewer colours – you want people to notice you first and your outfit second, not the other way around!

A tonal, column-styled look is very flattering on a petite frame and will help elongate your silhouette. Finally, when in doubt, a heel will always help add to your height and elevate your look, if that’s the effect you desire.

But, at the end of the day, rules are meant to be broken. As long as you love what you’re wearing and you feel empowered and confident in your own skin, allowing your personality to shine through, that’s the most important thing – you can quote me on that too, should you feel so inclined!”

Thanks, Dannii and Stine!

For more tips on dressing for your body check out our guide on different body shapes here and if you’re on the search for the perfect petite pieces, head over to the Dannii Minogue Petites and Dannii Minogue Diamonique collections.