After numerous customer requests, Shepherd's Style Director, Samantha Poole, curated an information-packed "Put On the Kettle" session with advice for those standing tall at 5'4" and under. Being a 5'2" rounded hourglass, Sam is all too aware of the fashion challenges faced by petites. "I wanted to show colourful pieces with a springtime feel, all worn by different body shapes," she says. "The key to dressing a petite is remembering that her arms, legs, and every other part of her, is condensed in a lovely little package. Nothing must overwhelm, be it a print, texture, or fuller cut. The elements and details that taller girls take for granted, we must be so careful of."
Keeping Neat And Tidy
Kathie's stats: Height: 5' tall, Size: 8-10, Body Shape: rounded hourglass
As a public speaker and seminar and workshop leader, Kathie Donovan views her appearance as an extension of her positive message. "I have fallen in love with my body; for everything it does for me on a daily basis. I have come to terms with any figure flaws I may have, especially since learning to dress my shape." As do most hourglasses, Kathie loves dresses that accentuate her defined waist and feminine curves. Although the dress pictured on the left is fitted beautifully, it's massive-sized floral print is all the eye can see, so it overpowers her petite frame. May we suggest dresses that are:
- Neat And Tidy, meaning that there are no confusing details that detract from the garment's figure-flattering cut. As a result, Kathie is in the spotlight!
- Ultra-flattering asymmetrical hemlines give the eye an upward direction to follow.
- Nude footwear does wonders to elongate the leg as it does not draw undue attention to the foot, making the eye revert back to a higher point on the body.
- A tapered or straight hemline that sits just below the knee is on trend and elongating. Anything shorter on a curvy hip will add weight and shorten the legline.
Dressing a Silhouette's "Danger Zone"
Nelly's stats: Height: 5'2", Size: 14, Body Shape: Inverted triangle, with a fuller mid-section and great legs Our ever-youthful looking Nelly feels that her strong shoulder-line and fuller midsection require attention. Extra details on the shoulders and/ or fitted tops will make her appear wider and shorter. Nelly's recipe for success includes:
- Tops and tunics that offer a relaxed fit on the tummy are ideal. One must be cautious of exaggerated A-lines and /or too much fabric, which will drown a petite silhouette.
- Tunics in longer lengths - as pictured in the centre - can work when paired with a monochromatic straight cut or fuller bottom.
- Creating a strong vertical line on a longer tunic is slenderizing and using a long necklace that is proportionate to the wearer's height (about 1 inch above the belly button is ideal) can help greatly.
The Long And The "Cropped" Of It
Lorraine's stats: Height: 5'4", size 4, body shape: inverted triangle[/caption] Lorraine is right on the cusp of petite and 'regular' sizing , which does afford her greater options for dressing. She masterfully combines multiple textures and colours, and accessorizes with scarves and hats ("I am easier to find on the sales floor when I wear a hat!") . Some of her favourite pieces? Longer skirts and duster-length cardis. Key to balancing the look:
- A maxi-length garment should be paired with fitted pieces to suggest or show shape, such as the fitted underpinning and cropped denim jacket worn on the left, and the slim legged jean worn on the right.
High, Low, Here We Go!
Navy separates from Joseph Ribkoff
Did you know that the eye tends to stop wherever a hemline sits. For this reason:
- Tops with soft, and modern hemlines such as high-low, rounded, and asymetrical hems are a petite's dream!
- The eye picks up the shortest section of a hemline (not the longest).
- A full length pant lenghthens the silhouette, whereas a cropped hem shortens.
Mix and Match
A few more suggestions to take on board:
- Select prints that are smaller in scale, such as the one pictured in the centre. Larger prints will engulf a petite frame.
- Consider mirroring colours in both your top and bottom (which is the common element in the above three pictures); creating a head-to-toe harmony in hues, will keep the eye moving vertically along the body.