Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chic Fall Styles for the Petite Girly Girl

Elizabeth asks:

Dear She She: I am a 25 yr old girly girly, who loves the newest trends, but alas, I am petite but curvy and I feel like many of the new looks for fall just aren't for me (aka skinny jeans?!?!?!?!) How can I still be chic in my own little petite way? - think pink

Hi Elizabeth!

Yes, it is frustrating that all the latest, hottest fashions seem to be geared toward girls of statuesque proportions. However, most of us here in the real world deal with real girl issues (like hips and thighs and gravity). Take heart, however! There are still oodles of gorgeous styles out there for the chic and petite! First and foremost, find a great tailor! It's all about the fit. More often than not you will find the perfect trousers, dress, or skirt but it is 3 or 4 inches too long. A good tailor can take care of that in no time at all and keep the overall proportion and effect right. Also, many of the better department stores offer in-house tailoring at little or no extra cost.

Some general rules of thumb for petites:

*Stay away from anything oversized. No big shoulders, no chunky belts, no wide trousers, no bulky sweaters. You'll end up looking like a box.
*Stay away from cropped trousers and cropped jackets. Instead, go for a capri style.
*Stay away from big, busy patterns or bulky clothing.
*Skirt length: As a general rule, either 3 inches above the knee, at the knee or 3 inches below the knee. Try several on to see what looks best on you.
*Low-rise pants are fabulous. They tend to elongate the torso and give the impression of a little more height.
*Subtle patterns, vertical stripes, herringbones, all good.
*Heels! Embrace the girly girl look and feel of a great high heel. Luckily, platform pumps are all the rage this fall, along with girly Mary Janes.
*Boots: stay away from the knee-high styles - they tend to make a petite girl look like she is a doll on a display base. Opt for ankle-high or calf-high.
*Jeans: for a curvy petite, go with a straight leg style. Stay away from most boot-cut jeans because they tend to make your thighs look heavier and your legs shorter. Joe's Jeans Provocateur is one exception - they are more straight leg than boot-cut and they are specifically made for petites. Buy jeans in a darker wash, watch out for distressing in places you don't want to draw attention to i.e. thighs, hips, etc. Blue Cult's Kate is a good choice.

Some great sources for petites: Anne Taylor, J. Crew, La Redoute, Nordstroms, Gap, Macy's, Bloomingdales's, Banana Republic. Also, keep an eye out for these designers or lines: Kenzo, Miyake, Ellen Tracy, INC, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Mango.

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