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Learning Proportions as a Petite Lady

July 7, 2011


On my quest to well-dressed, I need to do more than shop for new clothes.  I need to learn about styling and making my clothes look better on me.  I know this is going to sound simple, but it’s been a revelation for me.  I started tucking in my shirt and throwing on a belt.  This simple change really made me look more put together and polished.  Let me explain what happened.


Notice the different proportions in the photos above.  I marked each photo to show you the proportioning.  In the right photo, my untucked top makes me look like I have a longer torso.  It shortens my legs.  This proportioning makes me look shorter and less polished.  On the left, I tucked in my shirt.  Notice that my legs look instantly longer and my belt detail shows.  I look taller because my legs look longer.  I know I’m a very petite and slender person, but look how the tucking in and belting also makes me look thinner.


Let’s look at another example of proportioning with the tucked in look.  Recall that I debated between flats and heels with this outfit.

Proportions Heels

Let’s put our proportion meter on the photo.  Again, notice that the proportion is in favor of my legs.

Proportion Comparison

The yellow line shows you the proportion for the outfit in the photo with the heels.  The blue line shows you the proportion with the same outfit in flats.  Notice that the heels give me that extra leg height and more flattering proportion.  So even though flats and comfort are going to be more important on some days, the heels really do give me an extra edge when it comes to proportioning my body correctly.  I didn’t have to spend a single dollar on this change.  I barely even had to spend an extra minute getting ready.  I just needed to be armed with the information.

So now you know to tuck in your shirt and make your legs look longer, and knowing is half the battle (who can guess that reference?  Any kids of the 80s?). Or how about, now you know better, so you have to do better (who said that?).

Next time you check your outfit in the mirror, consider where your leg line is starting and what your proportions are.  If you’re a petite shorty like me, you’ll want your proportions to favor your lower body.

Has anyone else learned any proportioning tricks?


From → Fashion

  1. so relevant for me! i need to start building up my belt collection. do you have any favorite places for petite clothes? i buy from banana and ann taylor a lot because their petite sizes actually fit, but i’m looking for more variety!

  2. You know, I definitely need to start buying some more belts so I can try this trick out a bit more – I’m very petite and I hate to have my shirts tucked in so I never do it, but it makes a huge difference! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love that outfit on you– so sleek and stylish. The belt makes such a difference. I’m short plus curvy and it’s been a long (continuing) journey of figuring out what does and doesn’t flatter me. I’m still trying to figure it out! So these kinds of posts are super helpful– keep them coming!

  4. great post.. soo helpful 🙂 i love all the yellow lines details.. really help to make your point..

  5. Personally, I’ve become a big believer in pencil skirts/high waisted clothes. They hit me above the belly button/at the bottom of my ribs…right where my waist is the smallest. Always a good thing!

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