Clothing Styles for Short, Heavy Women

Dressing in all one color is a great way to make your body appear taller and thinner.

Photo: Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When styles cater to the long and lean, hitting the stores as a petite can feel downright crazy-making. Add in some extra wiggle and jiggle to that vertical equation, and looking fab becomes even tougher. If you're sick to death of wearing clothes that drag and cling without doing your bod any real justice, it's time to learn the cuts and styles that will make the most of your pint-sized curves.

The Petite Section

Curvalicious or no, if you're 5'4" or shorter you should be shopping in the petite section. Petite clothing isn't just for skinny minnie's with teeny dimensions -- many brands take their petite line from double zero clear up to a size 16 or even 20. Clothing designed specifically for petites is not just shorter at the wrists and ankles, either; it's cut to reflect an all-around smaller package. So even if you have a big booty or generous bust, shopping in the petite section means you're more likely to find clothes that work with (not against) your bod.

Go Monochromatic

A hodge podge of colors may look cheery, but it won't do your petite figure any favors. Going top to bottom with one color is your best bet for achieving a put-together look that makes the most of every square inch. While black is every bountiful girl's BFF, the idea of monochromatic dressing is to create a longer (and therefore leaner!) line with continuous color. So feel free to venture beyond the old black standby and go bold with color -- just take it head-to-toe and pay attention to fit and you'll reap the rewards.

The Straight Leg and the A-Line

While certain looks -- skinny jeans, boot cut pants and calf-length skirts -- fall into the definite "bad idea" category, other options are so universally flattering that you should seriously consider putting them into daily rotation. A pant that falls from your hips to just above the floor in a single, straight line (or even a bit wider in the leg) is a can't-miss style that will make you look both taller and thinner. And if you want to take it a little dressier, an A-line skirt that hits at the knee is your best bet to balance out your bod and hide any lumps and bumps in the booty area.

An Open Neckline

When you're petite and full-figured, you may find yourself gravitating towards loosey-goosey tops that conceal more than they reveal. Instead, devote your fashion energies to making the most of that precious cleavage. So, while turtlenecks should be avoided like the plague, V-necks that dip deep and low or square necklines that reveal plenty of skin are always a good bet.

Build Your Wardrobe

The truly fat-free can afford to shop for pennies on the dollar, but if you've got a figure that presents some serious challenges, you should take the time to build a wardrobe stocked with high-quality tried and trues. Cheap, clingy fabrics and ill-fitting clothes will just draw attention to problem areas, but well-made clothes designed specifically for your size is the best way to make a consistently good impression. Sure, it'll take awhile to build a great wardrobe, but looking like a million bucks day in and day out is its own reward!

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