I'm on the Shorter Side, and These Spring Trends Will Flatter My Frame

French woman wears a white cotton poplin shirt dress.

(Image credit: @frannfyne)

When you’re on the shorter side (I’m 5’3) there are some unwritten rules you follow when shopping for clothes. First, tops or outerwear that hit mid-thigh are never a good idea, unless you’re into the cut-off look, and by “cut-off” I don’t mean jean shorts. Second, buying pants off the rack almost always means a trip to the tailor. While I will say the cuffed jean and puddle pants trends as of late have been nice, I typically still have to shorten my pant legs. And third, oversized items are tough unless they’re tailored correctly; if not they either make us look larger than we are or crop our bodies in a way that’s best described as being no bueno.

Suffice to say, it can be annoying to shop ready to wear when you’re smaller than “average” height (what is average, anyway?) Thankfully, however, there are several spring trends that are particularly flattering on petite frames. I've found that the key to dressing when you’re shorter is finding pieces that elongate the body and highlight the waist. The trends that I’ve outlined below are all focused on helping to achieve length and highlight your best assets, which, no matter your height, is always a good thing in my book! 

Flowy, Wide-Leg Pants

British woman wears flowy brown The Row pants and an oversized sweater.

(Image credit: @monikh)

Contrary to popular belief, flowy, wide-leg pants can actually be complimentary on a petite frame. The trick is to keep them from becoming overwhelming by getting a pair that’s a little more fitted in the hips and a leg that errs on the moderate side.

Micro Shorts

French woman wears white micro shorts.

(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Anything that makes our legs look longer is a yes in the petite-statured book and micro shorts achieve that tenfold.

Minimal Cropped Jacket

French woman wears a cropped leather jacket, pleated mini skirt and Miu Miu kitten heels.

(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Cropped outerwear that hits at or slightly above the hip work well on short frames because they won’t cut you off mid-thigh like longer jackets will. The minimal lines and clean tailoring we’ve been seeing help to define the waist as well.

90's Mini Skirts

Woman wears a grey mini skirt and sweater.

(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Similar to micro shorts, a nineties inspired miniskirt with a mid rise elongates the legs. Pair it with a top that shows off the waist for the full effect. 

A-Line Midi Dress

French woman wears a white cotton poplin shirt dress.

(Image credit: @frannfyne)

An a-line silhouette looks good on pretty much every body type, but it’s especially attractive if you’re on the shorter side. It both draws attention to the waist and elongates the body - a win win for us petites!

Freelance Contributor