A Suit That Fits Blog
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Tag >> petite
I feel it's appropriate to begin my first post in several weeks with a confession. So here it is - I am short. Really very short - 5'1'' on a good day. On the rare occasions that I confess this statistic to acquaintances, I am often met with surprise - sure, people know I'm short, but most don't seem to realise quite how short I am.
Why is this, you may ask? Well, I have to confess that big hair, big heels and a direct personality certainly help, but it's also down to what I wear.
If, like me, you are on the more petite side then there are lots of dressing tricks you can use to disguise this fact. Dressing a short or petite body can be challenging if you are shopping on the high street, but it's not as hard as you might think. Here are my top tips for the vertically challenged (a lot of these tips are also appropriate for slim builds, regardless of height). 1) Fit
This is absolutely crucial. Wearing properly fitting garments is the single most effective thing that you can do to downplay the fact that you are lacking in the height department. One of the biggest 'give aways' that you are short are garments that are too large and long - perfectly cut and fitted tailored items will do more for you than a pair of 'lift its' ever will.
- Always go for a slim fit shirts, jackets and trousers even if you are not used to it. Don't drown your smaller from frame in too much fabric - keep it tailored and neat. Our bespoke suits and shirts are made exactly to your measurements are and ideal.
- Too-long sleeves, trousers and, most importantly, jackets will draw attention to your size; conversely correct proportions will conceal.
- A petit man in a too-long jacket will always look like a teenager in a hand-me-down - make sure that your jacket comes no lower than your crotch in front only just covers your seat.
- avoid low waisted trousers, as they shorten the legs.
-trouser hems can be 0.5 longer than 'standard' to add extra length to the legs, but should under no circumstances bunch up at the back! Similarly, suit sleeves can be a little longer than the standard so long as you maintain that perfect 0.5 of cuff.
2) ProportionAn oft-forgotten contributor to overall look, the proportions of your garment should be considered second only to fit. If all the details of your clothing are proportional to your frame then it's harder for the frame to look small.
- avoid any outsize details such as chunky belts, big buttons or wide lapels. A lightly narrowed lapel is flattering on a compact, slim gentleman.
- Petite ladies should consider short, hip-length jackets and high-waisted skirts to lengthen the legs; tall heels paired with long trousers will also give you inches. Generally I find straight trousers (wide or slim) more leg-lengthening than bootcut.
3) StyleAlways think neat, clean, and streamlined - don't overwhelm your small frame with extras.
- For jackets, stick to one or two button fastenings; their longer lapels lengthen the torso. Ladies should go for a sharp, nipped-in one-button blazer.
- Slanted pockets on the jacket lengthen the upper body.
- Chose 3 rather than 4 buttons on the sleeve to maintain proportion with arm length.
- Avoid ticket pockets that clutter the torso.
- Chose side adjusters on your trousers. Wearing a belt shortens the legs and creates an unwanted horizontal line right across the torso; beltless trousers with no loops create a cleaner look and allow the eye to run right down the body, creating an illusion of extra height
- Flat-fronted slim cut trousers lengthen and streamline the legs.
- No more than 2 pockets on waistcoats! As always, avoid extra horizontal lines
- ladies - avoid frou-frou styles with lots of fabric
4) Colour and fabricIt's a myth that short people should wear only dark colours - it doesn't add any inches! However, I do recommend that shorter people avoid large, busy patterns and stick with more subtle alternatives and plain colours (for example, I own very few printed items).
- patterns with vertical details, such as a herringbone, work better on shorter frames than other patterns such as birdeyes and checks; I recommend our RTallwool-100215 range
- patterns should always be proportional - so look for smaller herringbones and closer, finer pinstripes. Large patterns can overwhelm small frames.
- for shirts, chose a stripe over a check
- generally, avoid heavy, bulky fabrics
5) WardrobeAll these tips are all very well but what about putting it all together? Careful wardrobe planning is the icing on the cake for the perfect petit look.
- Keep it clean and uncluttered - don't have too much going on in your outfit at once. A patterned suit should be paired with a plainer shirt and tie, and vice versa
- Similarly, don't bring in too many colour families. Keeping things in the same 'tone' adds a lean, uncluttered air
- Exercise careful use of accessories.
- A tailored suit is an ideal garment for a petit man, simply because having the top half of the body matching the bottom lengthens things out. Ladies - this tip goes for you, too!
- For jeans, stick with more slim, tailored styles. Avoid both low-rise skinny jeans and bulky, baggy styles with lots of pockets.
- Be wary of the garment layering that is oh-so-popular in modern times - it breaks up the body.
- A simple sheath dress is a great choice for ladies
- Match your socks to your trousers, and some advocate matching your shoes as well. (Personally, I like an interesting shoe so I disregard this tip with relish).
For further advice and help with wardrobe planning, just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment with me in our City Road branch.
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