July 10th, 2008
The key to finding flattering business formal clothes for petites is to choose pieces that elongate your silhouette. You want to look as tall as you can, especially in a business setting, and you can do this by making your legs look as long as possible.
The notch lapel is classic, and the low stance (the point where the two sides of the jacket cross in front) creates a nice vertical line that makes you look taller. Single button closures are best for creating this vertical line.
Simple Fitted Tops
Cotton Ruffle Front Top | $58 at Ann Taylor
When you’re petite, fitted garments tend to look better than oversized ones. We’re loving this cotton voile ruffle top. The delicate cotton voile fabric is lightweight (great for summer), and it complements the decidedly feminine ruffle and pintuck details.
Fluid, Drapey Fabrics
Petite Silk Sleeveless Shell | $29.99 (sale) at Ann Taylor
Add some shine to your wardrobe with a silk shell. Fluid, drapey fabrics look great on petites, and in small doses, they complement business formal outfits. Add a scarf for extra sophistication.
Wide Leg Trousers
Petite Martin Cuffed Wide Leg Pant | $89 at Banana Republic
This wide leg pant is a great counterbalance to a fitted top, and the fact that it sits just below the natural waist helps to visually elongate your legs.
High Waisted Skirts
High Waisted Pencil Skirt | $89 at Banana Republic
High waisted skirts and pants make your legs look as long as possible–and in turn make you look as tall as possible. If you don’t like thin, tailored skirts, you can also try (nearly universally flattering) a-line skirts. How long should your skirt be? Knee length skirts are not only the most flattering, but they’re also safe for work.
Belted Textured Dress | $150 at Banana Republic
Shift dresses are as slimming as they are work appropriate. They’re
fitted without being too revealing, and they elongate your figure, especially when they feature a knee-length skirt.
Finish off your business formal outfit with medium height shoes (you’re petite, and you’re not fooling anyone with sky high heels, so just be comfortable), a reasonably sized work bag (no gigantic bags for you, since they’ll overwhelm you), and minimal accessories (since you don’t want to clutter your clean outfit).
Have a great tip about business formal for petites? Share it with us in the comments!