Petite Women and Style: Does This Make Me Look Fat?

By on August 29, 2012


“Top 10 Styles That Make Petite Women Look  Fat,” they are amongst some of the worst style offenses a petite women can commit if you want to look elongated, thin or in shape that will likely make you look fat, or out of shape and ultimately shorter. Some of these styles may work for you and for others they won’t due to your proportions, so take into consideration your body type when selecting any of these styles.

The first 5 style offenses to avoid to look your best!

1. Skinny Jeans:  Lets face it ladies, we can agree that skinny jeans should only be worn by skinny, fit and maybe curvy women (depending on the top you choose).  Yes, I know they come in “all sizes,” but that doesn’t mean they are flattering to “all” petite figures.

For instance the curvy pear-shaped framed petite celebrity 5’1″ Kim Kardashian is wearing all white paired with a peplum top and jeans. The problem starts with the color choice, white makes you look heavier, the peplum top curves out at her widest point and the jeans are too tight, all together making her look shorter and heavier.

2. Skin Tight Dresses:  First rule of style is to understand your body type and what best suits your shape.

Here is a perfect example of 5’2″ Chirstina Aguilera wearing a skin tight bandage dress.  The dress is all wrong, to start it appears to be a size to small causing her stomach to look rounder, spurring thoughts of pregnancy.  To boot it is too tight in the breast area and it grabs and gathers at her waist and thigh area making her look thicker.  If you own a dress that feels tight, wrinkles appear or bumps and lumps are visible throw it out of your closet.  If you are “skinny” wear spanx for sure!

3. Capri or Cropped three quarter Pants: Most all petite women will look shorter, wider and more heavy by wearing these styles.  Basically, they cut cut your leg length off and this will only emphasize your height and generally this will make you look bottom heavy.  Often the tight fitting cropped or capri make your legs appear shorter and body longer, which looks odd.

It seems to me that every Summer the capri (peddle pusher or clam digger) pant has been drudged up since, it’s introduction in 1948 by European designer Sonja de Lennart and still doesn’t look good, so it should be avoided at all cost! I know that some may disagree, but hey, this is my humble and educated  opinion. Take a look at petite celebrity 5’5″ Alicia Keys shown in the below graphic.

4. Full Skirts:  A guaranteed fashion faux pas is a full skirt whether long or short on a petite woman mainly due to a widening effect that tends to happen.  Definitely the poodle skirts from back in the day (50’s) and gathered skirts that create fullness around the hips.  You should avoid wearing a full skirt that is wider than it is long.  The 5’1″ Kim Kardashian looks wider and immature in the dress shown in the below graphic trio of looks. Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!

5.  Patterned Pant; Jean, Pajama and Trousers:  Many tall women like celebrity 5’7″ Christina Hendricks have issues with wearing plaid pants, so you can imagine right off that this only gets worse for the petite woman.  Whether it is a pant, jean or pajama style in a patterned fabric that is striped, floral, plaid or print other than a solid color they will give the illusion of looking fat, frumpy, or out of shape, simply because you need dark solids or subtle patterns (small or light check in a neutral tone) for a slimmer look.

The exception to patterns being tiny pinstriped pants that hang straight from your hip causing no distortion of the vertical lines. The next 5 Styles That Make Petite Women Look Fat (Part III)


Petite Fashion and Petite Model Coverage:

Does This Make Me Look Fat: Part ONE  and Part THREE

10 Tips For Petite Women To Do To Help Inspire Fashionable Change 

Bella Petite Model Search News

Bella Petite Magazine Petite Fashion Model Editorials

Bella Petites Give Back! W Hotel Event Coverage

BELLA PETITE MAGAZINE: Enter the Bella Petite Magazine Model Search WIN a trip to Hawaii and a high fashion spread to appear in Bella Petite Magazine.  Petite models get discovered today!  Bella Petite Magazine is Fashion, Entertainment and LifeStyle for Women 5’5″ Tall & under. ”Petite is fit and full figured.”Free to subscribe to Bella Petite!


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  1. Meara

    August 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Gosh this is really helpful fashion advice and so funny to me because I always ask this very question to my husband and he hates it!!! This article goes a long way in answering! Thanks Ann! :)

  2. Betty

    August 30, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I totally agree with many of these styles looking poorly on many of us petites I am 5’3″ and find that you are right on target with picking clothes that have the right scale for it to look good on me. It is so funny to see petite girls who wear these super tight and short dresses it always makes there figures look out of shape when they are not and I learned this too the hard way! LOL :) Good advice thanks for it!

  3. Freida

    September 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I soo agree with skinny pants looking awful I can’t wear them well because I am 5’2″ and curvy they do make me look wider than I like and def don’t want to look shorter either. I think because they are trend we try to fit in when that is not best always. I real appreciate this so I will stop asking if I look fat to my girlfriend she will be so happy haha! nobody likes to give you the real truth anyway ;)

  4. lolita

    September 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I feel so weird in skin tight short dress to slutty for me besides they make little girls look stumpy too :(

  5. Joanie

    September 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    LMAO right on with the skinny jeans! I never feel that I look very good in them must be super slim i think. that is why I prefer the straight leg boot cut!

  6. Sandra

    September 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

    lol all these things I already knew. I actually have no problem wearing skinny pants though. It really depends on how you wear them… you need the proper shoes and the proper top. and tight dresses? omg I’m obsessed with sexy tight dresses and never seem to have a problem with them.. but again, you need to know how to wear them properly. I’m 5’0″, somewhat curvy, but more lean since I work out obsessively…. but everything else I totally agree with.. and what’s with Kim Kardashian breaking all the fashion rules? That girls sucks at everything doesn’t she?!!

    • bellapetite

      September 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Sandra, thanks for your commentary! You my dear seem to be one of the lucky ones, but really it’s not luck it is your passion to be fit and that should be applauded! The more fit you are the better you feel and the more options you have when it comes to fashion! And as we noted, some of these styles may work for you and for others they won’t mainly due to your proportions. Have a good one! Best, Ann Lauren

  7. Buttercup

    April 29, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Good grief, what a load of body shaming drivel masquerading as positive fashion advice.

    I’m petite and fat. What’s more I’m short waisted to boot. God forbid I should look like myself in my clothes. The horror! I wear skinny jeans, full skirts, patterned trousers (and leggings), statement necklaces, gladiator sandals and ankle straps, and bulky sweaters when the weather demands.

    Ladies, wear whatever the eff makes you feel fabulous.

    • bellapetite

      April 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Hey Buttercup, I guess you think that when we are asked a question by our readers we should just lie to them, or give them no advice at all, LOL! And hey, it’s your prerogative to look like a clown…As we always say wear what makes you feel your best (and most confident, fashion advice is subjective). Have a good one!

      • Nicolette

        November 23, 2013 at 5:10 am

        Have fun contributing to petites being proud!

  8. Joanne

    October 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I wear skinny jeans. Those are the only types of jeans I wil wear because I know they look good on me. Not all skinny jeans are created equal. What may fit you at one store, but if you go to a store for that same size my it differently. You know what else I think make fat peeps look fater is floral.

  9. Sadia

    July 26, 2014 at 8:05 am

    This advice is fantastic. Im fairly petite and always on the look out for good fashion advice to look my optimum best. I have always worn skinny jeans because i love them ! Lol ! However they have never looked right on me and now i know why, thanks to this article. I’m sorry Buttercup, although it’s your choice what you wear, you could have made the same point in a more dignified manner.

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