If you’re an average size petite, it’s not always easy to shop. Within the industry standards “petite” is considered anyone who is 5 ft 4 inches and under. So, at 5 ft 1 inch my challenge is to find clothes that fit me properly with minimal (if any alternations) needed. My shorter stature also means I need to really need to try things on — not so easy during Covid times, right? And try finding an alterationist now? Not happening. Also, not all petites are size 2. I can run the range from 4 to 12 depending on the brand. So, don’t always assume sizing is universal.

Handy Tips!

If a brand offers up petite sizing go for it! Save yourself the hassle of spending extra to alter anything since petites are cut closer to our inseam and torso. Especially when it comes to pants. As much as I love the flowy pants if they aren’t cut properly, us petites can look like we’re swimming in excess fabric. Stick with more flattering, slim cut that will never go out of style.

Banana Republic

Dian Kroe – Endless

Should we wear bolder prints? Why not?  I fell in love with the Navy Lei pattern on this “Endless” piece by Canadian designer, Diane Kroe. In my mind I was thinking that the floral is just too overwhelming but Diane, who’s known for her high quality and versatile collection tells us there are really no rules when it comes to prints. “If you love it you will wear it. If you don’t it will sit in your closet. When you wear bold prints with confidence people are going to notice and compliments will follow. For a design like the Endless large prints work beautifully because it’s a voluminous cut. The strapless design as a sundress/cover-up is cutaway from the body and the flow of the fabric softens the boldness of the print.” Diane tells us the key to building a capsule wardrobe that includes prints is to always incorporate prints that have both black and white in them.”  Just like the one I chose! It’s important to choose prints that play well with all of your favourite basics.

Bold prints! Cassie Byrnes Camisole dress for Uniqlo

Watch the placement of the waistline. A little bit of elastic around the waist can help give you more definition. This easy piece by Miik is a modern classic that can go from work to weekend that will be cherished for years to come. The adjustable waist drawstring gives you options on how you want to wear it.  Toss on a light blazer for meetings.

Miik – Amy Dress

Knix’s latest Good to Go Collection of ultimate comfort includes this Shorts Romper that lives up to the description. Mondal fabric makes this an easy go-to for the summer for the cottage or running errands. The length is great for someone my height and hits mid-thigh. 

Old Navy tiered mini dress / Cougar Hibiscus Leather Wedge

Tiered dresses continue to be popular but pay close attention at just how much it billows. As comfortable as it looks – on a petite frame we can disappear if there’s just too much fabric no matter the length. Take a look at where the tiering begins.  And yes you can wear a maxi dress as a petite!

Banana Republic

What about that midi-dress that hits below the knee? Pull off this look by having a straighter or slimmer cut. A sleeveless option will help balance and lengthen the look on a petite.

Roots Canada (previous season)

Footwear is important as well. In summer I tend to go for more neutral colours in shoes to help elongate the leg when wearing something shorter. White sneakers are great with the floral dresses and t-shirt dresses for a more casual look. Ballet flats are great for a lunch on a patio. I still love a nice wedge heel for a casual night out.

Cougar Perla Lycra Sandal

Cougar’s Perla Lycra Sandals are designed to go with anything, and with a super soft lux-lining, we can slip these slides on and set out for the day. Sturdy grips on the sole ensure puddles or slick surfaces don’t upset the look. Paired with these outrageous acid wash denim overalls and you’re guaranteed to be the life of the pandemic after-party! Shown on Libby here.

I also discovered the Cougar Hibiscus Leather Wedge that has become a favourite already this season. The Napa leather and fabric elastic strap wedge is 2.5 inches and is super lightweight. What’s also great is these are water repellent and stain resistant. Comes in several colours.

For something a little more edgy, we turn to Dr. Marten’s Sandals for this fun style this summer. I admit I didn’t even know they made sandals! A few like this one has a slight platform but remains comfortable for slaying whatever you have planned. I love this style for it had a little more detailing.

As for your white sneaker? Go for canvas or leather looks. I still love my Tretorns, yes the brand that was popular when I was in high school. They are true conversation shoes as those who grew up with the brand love to stop and chat.

Ecco Multi-Vent Low GTX

I love the look and feel of these Ecco shoes that is made with soft and luxurious leather. These I had customized by graphic artists at MackHouse (stackt market) in Toronto for a more urban vibe.