What’s the Shorthand for a Petite Lady?

A petite lady is a term used mainly in fashion to describe a woman who is 5’4” or under. Being petite can make shopping for clothes a little more difficult than for taller women, but it also means that there is a unique set of fashion rules and tips to follow.

Best Styles for Petite Women

Petite women can find it challenging to find clothes that fit them correctly and give them the illusion of height. Here are some styles that work great for petite women:

High Waisted Bottoms

High waisted skirts, jeans or shorts can make your legs look more toned, elongated, and slimmer. Additionally, pairing high waisted bottoms with a tucked-in top can help create the illusion of height.

Cropped Tops

Although they may seem counterintuitive, cropped tops can work well for petite women by lengthening their legs. When paired with a high waisted bottom, they can not only create a flattering silhouette but can also elongate the appearance of the torso.

V necks & Deep Necklines

V-necks and deep necklines draw the eye upwards, elongating the appearance of the neck and torso. This style also helps to create the illusion of height.


Monochrome outfits, which are made up of one color, can help elongate the appearance of the body. All-black outfits, in particular, are a great way for petite women to create a stylish and slimming look.

What to Avoid When Shopping for Petite Women

Just as there are certain styles that work best for petite women, there are also styles that should be avoided. Here are some fashion mistakes petite women should steer clear of:

Oversized Clothing

Overly large clothes will drown petite women and make them look smaller than they are. This includes oversized sweaters, blouses, and jackets, which can make a petite woman look like she’s been swallowed by her clothes.

Wide Leg Pants

Wide-leg pants may seem like a trendy option for all body types, but they make petite women look shorter, especially if paired with flats. Instead, go for skinny jeans or tailored pants that create a sleek column effect and help elongate your legs.

Avoid Bold Prints or Huge Patterns

Large prints or patterns can overwhelm a petite frame and make a woman look smaller than she is. Petite women should opt for small prints or no print at all for a more balanced look.

Additional Tips & Tricks for Petite Women

Pick the Right Shoe

Investing in a good pair of heels is essential for every petite woman. Choose shoes with a pointed toe, which elongates your leg, and make sure they have a secure strap around the ankle for stability. Nude heels are also an excellent choice for elongating the legs’ appearance.

Get Clothes Tailored

One of the most significant challenges petite women face when shopping is finding clothes that fit them correctly. Getting clothes tailored is an excellent solution to avoid ill-fitting clothes. A tailor can help you adjust the fit of your clothes, making sure that they fit your body shape perfectly.

Go for Vertical Lines

Vertical lines work well on petite women as they can create an elongating effect, making them look taller. Stripes look great on petite women, just make sure they are vertical and not horizontal.

Avoid Statement Jewelry

Statement jewelry, like large statement necklaces or oversized earrings, can overpower a petite frame. It’s best to choose delicate jewelry that won’t overpower your outfit and look out of proportion.


Being a petite lady doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement with your fashion choices. By following these tips and tricks, you can make the most of your body shape and create a flattering silhouette. Remember, when it comes to petite fashion, it’s all about creating the illusion of height and balancing your proportions.

FAQs on ‘What is Short for a Woman’

  • Q: What height is considered short for a woman?
  • A: A woman who is 5’4″ or under is considered short.
  • Q: What styles should petite women avoid?
  • A: Petite women should avoid oversized clothing, wide-leg pants, and large prints or patterns.
  • Q: What styles are best for petite women?
  • A: High waisted bottoms, cropped tops, V necks, monochrome outfits, and vertical lines work well for petite women.
  • Q: Should petite women wear heels?
  • A: Yes, investing in a good pair of heels can elongate the leg’s appearance and make petite women look taller.


  • Mikell, K. (2020, April 06). How To Dress When You’re Petite: 8 Fashion Tips You Need To Try. Harper’s BAZAAR. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/style-files/a16461576/petite-fashion-tips/
  • Drennan, H. (2021, March 22). 10 Style Tips for Petite Women. Who What Wear. https://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/style-tips-for-petite-women–5ad3498c7f681
  • Korman, J. (2020, July 15). Shopping for Pants as a Petite Woman Can Be a Nightmare. Why? Racked. https://www.racked.com/2016/12/28/13897200/petite-women-clothing-tips

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