Last year I wrote about a petite online shopping site called Gambita by Carolina Misan Alvo. She had great success and continues to fill the gap of petite shopping so she decided to launch her own line with a Kickstarter campaign which ends August 28th featuring “The Perfect Petite Dress“. I asked her to share some of her petites fashion tips for shopping if you’re 5’4” and under (like me!).
The problem: Half the women in the US are considered petite, which is defined as 5’4″ and under, yet there are very limited petite clothing offerings. As a result, petite women have to find clothes by doing a lot of digging, paying a lot of money for alterations and occasionally shopping in the kid’s section.
With so few true petites options out there, shopping can feel a bit overwhelming for petite gals. However we’ve put together a list of the top pain points so you can easily avoid making a petite fashion faux pas:
- Prints – Don’t be afraid of prints, just keep away from oversized prints that can throw off your petite proportions.
- Armholes – When shopping for tops and dresses, make sure that the armhole doesn’t expose your bra.
- Shoulder placement – Make sure the top of your sleeves sit on your shoulder, rather than drooping down the arm.
- Neckline – Watch out for plunging necklines that expose more than you intended.
- Waistline – Tops and dresses will often taper in or have a detail on the waistline so make sure it lines up with your actual waist.
- Hemline – Ideal hemline length is very dependent on the style of the skirt or dress you’re wearing, but in general petite women tend to look best with hemlines at or above the knee (with the exception of tighter-fitted skirts and dresses)
- Pant inseam – Stick with pants that come with an inseam length as close to your correct inseam. Otherwise, you’re forced to hem off several inches, chances are you will have fit issues with the rise, the knee placement and any details on the bottom of the pant leg.
- Shape – Avoid anything too boxy or with loads of excess fabric, unless you can add some shape with a belt.
Thank you so much to Carolina for sharing these amazing petite fashion tips! Armholes and necklines are something I’m always careful to watch out for.
Carolina Misan Alvo is the CEO & Founder of Carolina Alvo, a brand of petite wardrobe essentials. At 4’9”, Misan Alvo has never had a shopping experience that wasn’t teeming with frustration. Ultimately, she decided that if no one was making the clothes that she needed, she had no choice but to make them herself. Be sure to check out the kickstarter campaign before it ends on August 28th and watch out for more exciting things to come out of this brand!