I'm 5'1"—Here Are All the Autumn Trends I'll Actually Wear

Oh, to be tall! Your outfit options must be endless, right? Well, I'm sure that the super-tall people would disagree with me, and I know there are fashion struggles on that end of the height spectrum too (don't even ask a 6-foot person about jumpsuits), but when you're petite, the available trends you can easily throw on and not be swamped by are limited. There are some petite-friendly autumn 2022 trends, and I'm here to share them with you, short person to short person. I stand at 5'1'' and have a more curvaceous, hourglass figure than a straight-up-and-down or pear-shaped body. I am normally between a size 10 and 12, depending on the brand, the day and how I feel. So not only is it tricky enough finding trends that work for an ultra-petite frame, but it's even harder finding the looks that don't instantly fight against my boobs or cling to my thighs and gape around my waist at the same time.

I spend a lot of time at my local tailor's (or begging my mum for sewing assistance—she understands being even smaller than me!), but this season, I'd like to circumnavigate some of those trips and the additional cost and just get straight down to the good stuff. So I looked again at the runways, this time with a filter of "will I be able to easily throw this on without worrying it doesn't suit me?" and "is this going to have to be altered?" which led me to the following five petite-friendly autumn trends that I believe you can invest in not only for this season but beyond. There are looks here that adhere to classic short-person dressing principles, such as finding ways to elongate your look—think of knee boots under midi dresses rather than ankle boots that can "cut" up your leg line. From tube dresses to belted coats, these are the fresh ideas you can rely upon.

1. TONAL SUITING

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Jil Sander)

There are probably rules around wearing one color head-to-toe in order to appear taller, but I believe the same can be done with a carefully selected range of tones from the same family, like in this chic Jil Sander look. I'd opt in for a skirt suit rather than a trouser suit, as they're trending. Plus, I would undoubtedly have to take the trousers up.

2. TUBE DRESSING

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Loewe)

Formfitting dresses are anyone's friend, but they are particularly good for those of us who don't want to be swamped in clothing. You can currently find great tube dresses, skirts and body-con tops that all do the job nicely. This Loewe style has been particularly popular.

3. MAXI HEMLINES

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Altuzarra)

Most midi skirts and dresses that I put on are far longer than they're supposed to be, so this season—as maxi hemlines are back in fashion—I'm going to make the most of this mishap! I'd suggest slimmer-line silhouettes like this Altuzarra skirt, as the fuller-skirted maxi options are a lot of fabric and quite hard to style as a shorter person.

4. BIG BELTED COATS

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Stella McCartney)

You can still wear oversized pieces when you're short; it's all about balance! If you want a dramatically big coat, then you can either look for something that hits the knee and belts in at the waist or try a shorter style to be worn with slimmer bottoms. I'll go for the former, as I hate being cold! 

5. KNEE BOOTS

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(Image credit: Courtesy of Isabel Marant)

I find that ankle boots or chunky flat shoes can make my legs look even shorter when worn with dresses or skirts, so my trick is to rely on knee-high boots instead. It just so happens that they're a major shoe trend for the season, so your options are plentiful.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.