Budget Friendly Fashion tips for Petites!

Given that I'm 5'1 (and 1/3), I can understand the struggle in finding flattering garments.  Due to my height, shopping for clothes can feel very limiting.  Nevertheless, here are some tips that will make the experience of shopping and fashion much more enjoyable and tailored to a petite frame!  

The 'Tall' Section.  Believe it or not, the tall section can be favourable for us petites.  I found that 'tall' sweaters and jumpers, for example, act as beautiful jumper dresses with a flattering fit.  More often than not, 'tall' garments do not compromise on silhouette, therefore, you won't look like you're drowning in the outfit.  Similarly, crop tops can be perfect 'normal' tops that can be paired with high-waisted jeans or leggings. You can definitely widen your shopping horizons.  

Belts and Ribbons.  The 'tall section may not always work in your favour. You could find yourself lost in what seems like oversized tees and dresses that are XS.  Unfortunately, I've owned plenty of pieces that resembled a potato sack.  This can easily be fixed with a belt or ribbon to help synch in the waist for a fitted appeal.  If you feel that a belt could ruin the appearance of your dress, as it is generally a more 'edgy' addition to an outfit, you can swap it for a dress ribbon.  This can simply be laser-cut fabric (cheap as chips) from a store that matches or compliments the patterns or colour in your dress.  A beautiful bow at the front could add a youthful vibe or tied at the back for something more sophisticated.  A personal favourite of mine are lace belts which tend to blend into the dress or top by subtly adding detail that is both elegant and classy.  

The Kid's Section.  This is especially applicable for sportswear brands like Adidas or Nike.  I understand that gearing towards the kid's section can be disheartening; especially with outrageous patterns and slogans.  It's hard to find elegant wear.  However, I found that sportswear for 12-16 year olds flatter my frame for a fraction of the price!  A majority of my sportswear and work-out clothes come from the junior's section at Adidas.  It's the same exact patterns and prints that can be found in their adult range so you do not have to compromise on style. To add, denim bottoms and leggings are always great finds in the kids section.  This rings true for brands I've personally tried such as Primark, ASOS, and Dorothy Perkins.  Finally, footwear in the kids' section (particularly Gazelles which are my guilty pleasure) is a major steal.  

Petite friendly Brands. Although 'petite clothing' appears to be a rarity, there are many high street brands jumping on the bandwagon.  The stores which consistently update their petite section, with styles for many and any, are: Dorothy Perkins, ASOS, TopShop, Primark, and H&M.  You do not need to break the bank to achieve a look tailored to your frame.  It's not uncommon for petites to be willing to spend more at higher end stores but this is not always necessary.  Furthermore, in my experience, brick-and-mortars tend not to stock as much petite clothing in comparison to their online shop.  If you found that a store isn't carrying particular pieces from their petite range, I recommend checking and shopping online instead.  

Layering.  This may seem counter-intuitive.  Personally, I am not completely supportive of layering as it can sometimes tone down or hide the outfit and staple garments.  Nevertheless, tucking in oversized or tops that are too big into jeans with a light-weight biker or bomber jacket could prove promising.  In addition, fastening the middle button on a trench-coat style cardigan can give the impression of a synched in waist.   This will not overpower the outfit.

Try before buy.  This is a must.  You may be surprised to come home to a gaping arm hole, a waist line that starts at your chest, or plunging neck lines that didn't appear to be present in store.  Always try on pieces beforehand and do a 360 in the changing rooms.  

Shrink clothing.  Certain fabrics shrink more than others and to different degrees.  For example, cotton, linen, and wool tend to shrink in the wash under certain conditions compared to polyester which is more stable.  This is said to be due to the fact that synthetic fibres do not shrink as much as naturally occurring fibres.  Hence, if there is something you desperately desire but cannot find in your size or wish to go through the hassle of tailoring, then it's worth a shot at trying to shrink it!  There are various articles present online with a step-by-step guide about shrinking.  I've never tried it before, so there is my disclaimer, but this option is always available.  If in doubt, there are plenty of resources readily accessible online in how to shrink clothing properly. 

I hope this helped at least one of you and these are tips (bar the shrinking one) that I do follow and bare in mind when shopping.  It has enabled me to have the same fashion options as someone above 5'4''!    Thank you for reading.  

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