It seems that petite women are constantly being told what they can and can’t wear. No oversized sweaters or coats. No large prints. No maxi dresses. The list goes on and on.
Take the pencil skirt for example, one traditional piece that looks great on any height, shape or size. Lately, however, the hemline for this office and Friday-night-out staple has dropped significantly. Celebrities and models have been caught wearing longer, tighter, and high-waisted pencil skirts. Petite women have been told to stray from this new and improved pencil skirt because hemlines that cover the knee make you look shorter and or frumpy.
Luckily, high-waisted pants and skirts were practically made for us. What is so great about bottoms that hug the waist is that it elongates the rest of the body by drawing the eye downward starting at the hips.
Here are three different examples of below-the-knee, high-waisted pencil skirts and how to make them work:
Hemlines that fall slightly under the knee have been seen occasionally, but still avoided by petite women everywhere. Petite actress and singer Selena Gomez (5’4″) wore this particular skirt with a long-sleeved crop top to accentuate her waist without showing too much skin. The slits in Gomez’s pencil skirt trick the eye into thinking the legs are longer by showing peeps of skin. Petite celebrity Jennifer Lopez (5’5″) tucked a light, flowy shirt with billowed sleeves into her white skirt. A pointed heel, which Lopez is also wearing, is another good trick for petite women to lengthen the limbs.
For those pencil skirts that hit about mid-calf, celebrities have been seen wearing more casual looks. This length is perfect for laid-back styling because it tones down the harshness of the hemline. If knees are bad for petite women to keep covered, the calf is probably the second worst because it can make your bottom-half disappear.
Petite celebrity Nikki Reed (5’2″) wore a leather medium-length pencil skirt with a striped cotton tee. The light fabric of the top contrasts with the heavy leather on the bottom, while a strappy open-toed heel keeps the feet from looking stumpy. Kim Kardashian (5’2″), otherwise known as the “Queen of Tight High-Waisted Skirts,” wore her casual skin-tight skirt with a side of cleavage. By not showing any skin on the tummy, Kardashian was able to show more skin on the upper and lower halves of her curvaceous body to avoid losing it entirely.
Petite stars have even rocked the red carpets in the longest a pencil skirt can get without becoming a maxi skirt. The self professed twerker Miley Cyrus (5’5″), for example, had fun with her long metallic pencil skirt by pairing it with a majorly cropped top and cheetah print heels. What makes this look work is not only the singer’s confidence, but the proportion of the long skirt with a shorter top.
The always elegant petite actress Amy Adams (5’4″) chose a bold red color for her high-waisted skirt, wearing it with nude pointed heels and a cream off-the-shoulder top. The skirt is perfectly tailored to Adams’ hips, which is extremely important in order for a petite woman to make a long pencil skirt work.
As long as you keep proper scale, proportion and style in check, petite women generally don’t have to avoid anything when it comes to ridiculous fashion rules, especially if the fashions are cut proportionally right for your petite frame and body type.
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