For a long time, plus size fashion was made exclusively for women who were both curvaceous and tall. However, because the average American woman is now a size 18—which is plus size—and she also stands just under 5’4”—which is petite—brands have begun to diversify their clothing offerings to accommodate plus size women of all shapes, sizes and heights. But petite plus size options currently available are slim. Meaning short, plus size women are having to get extremely creative in the way they shop for and style clothing because there really isn’t clothing out there that fits a petite and curvy body. While the industry gets up to speed, here are some ways you can embrace your favorite trends and make them stand out on a curvy, petite figure.
The Best Fitting Bottoms
Plus size, petite women run into the biggest problems when it comes to finding plus size denim, pants, skirts and dresses that aren’t too long. While you can make friends with your local tailor and have everything hemmed, that can get expensive. Instead, opt for a pair of bottoms that are styled to be shorter on other body types and follow these hacks for style success.
- Did Someone Say Capris?–Luckily for the shorter girls out there, capris and ankle pants are having a huge moment. While they won’t fit you like the average capri, they will make the perfect, full-length pants. You could always roll or cuff the leg once or twice for an ankle or capri look. Hey, that’s a win-win. Tall people can’t take capris and turn them into two different styles of pants!
- Mini Skirts All Day–Mini skirts aren’t always the most practical, but petite women can pull them off for almost any occasion. Plus size mini skirts are the perfect length for a fun and flirty look, and they almost always fit a petite figure better than the midi and maxi hemlines.
Tops That Enhance Your Figure
It’s easy to drown out a plus size, petite shape because most things run too long or baggy on a shorter woman. Luckily, there are so many different ways to style a top that can work to your advantage.
- Tie it Up–Rather than going for a crop top, try plus size tie tops. While not all of these tops come in a shorter length, the tie creates a point of emphasis that brings the top up a little bit in the front naturally. This feature can elongate a figure without making you bare it all in a crop top. You can also tie or knot any other plus size tops and blouses for a more proportionate look.
- Curve the Hem–If you’re not fond of showing off your lower belly with shirts that are a bit shorter than average, try tops with a curved hem. The curved hem is great for petite, plus size figures because the very front and back of the shirt dip lower than the sides, which elongate and flatter your figure!
Turn Heads with These Dresses
Similar to finding the perfect bottoms that fit your curvy, petite figure, dresses follow a similar rule. If you’re looking to elongate your figure, these are the plus size dresses you need to have!
- Can’t Go Wrong with Mini–Again, a mini fit is best when dressing a petite plus size figure. Plus size mini dresses are also fun, flirty and they can be dressed up or down with plus size jackets and vests as the winter months creep in. If you love showing off your legs, indulge in this style and add inches to your height!
- The Midi Way–If you’re not into mini skirts and dresses, try plus size midi dresses. The big difference between mini and midi is length. Midi dresses fall just below your knees, and while they aren’t the most flattering for shorter women, they can be modified with accessories—like a belt—to create a beautiful silhouette. Midi dresses are typically more appropriate for formal or office environments, which also gives them more popularity points than mini dresses. If you’re not sure about a midi fit, try a midi dress that cinches at the waist for something a little more fitted and perfect for a petite plus size body.
It’s important to remember that no matter what kind of body type you have, you can wear whatever you want! Don’t let any style “rules” hold you back from embracing the trends that pique your interest. Who runs the world? Petite, curvy girls! ...Or at least we think that’s what Beyoncé said.