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If you’re petite, shopping may not be your favourite pastime. There’s not only the dilemma of finding clothes that are the right size for you and flattering to your figure but also finding a range that is on-trend and affordable at the same time.

To put an end to your shopping nightmare, we’re going to take you through how to dress for a petite body shape and the most affordable places to shop.

What is petite?

Before we take you through where to shop, let’s first define what petite actually means. Petite generally refers to women 5’ 3” and under, and can be used to describe a variety of different body shapes.

Some of the most common are rectangle, hourglass, pear and apple. To see if you fall under any of these, check out our blog.

Petite range

A few high street stores carry petite ranges* – here are some of the most affordable we’ve found.

Range Sizes Shoe sizes


UK 2 - UK 20

From UK 2


UK 4 - UK 16

From UK 3


UK 4 - UK 30

From UK 2

Dorothy Perkins

UK 4 - UK 22

From UK 3


UK 4 - UK 16

From UK 3

Miss Selfridge

UK 4 - UK 16

From UK 3

New Look

UK 4 - UK 16

From UK 2


UK 6 - UK 18

From UK 3

Tesco (trousers only)

UK 6 - UK 20

From UK 3


UK 8 - UK 20

From UK 3

As you can see, most petite ranges cater to a variety of different sizes – some even offer a range of different leg lengths as well. The same stores are often a good option for smaller feet too – those we’ve featured start their collections at a UK size 2 or more commonly a UK size 3.


Remember though, you don’t have to just stick to adult collections. Certain kids’ ranges go up to 15 or 16 years and as they can carry similar designs to adults, it could be worth checking out. Stick to basic items when you do this, as it tends to be less of a giveaway that these are from a kids’ range.

The same goes for shoes – you can pick up children’s shoes for a fraction of the price of adults and if you choose wisely, no one will be able to tell the difference.

You don’t necessarily have to buy your petite clothes new either. Charity shops can carry a range of different sizes, so it could be worth hitting a couple to see whether you can find any bargains. For tips on how to get the most out of shopping at a charity shop, check out our blog.

Our top 5 rules

To give you an idea of how to style your petite frame, remember these five rules.

1. Go for high-waist: whether you’re shopping for jeans or a skirt, a high-waisted design is a good option as it will help to lengthen your legs.

2. Tuck in shirts and blouses: loose fitting shirts or blouses will swamp your smaller frame so always tuck these in to achieve a more flattering look.

3. Follow the two thirds rule: stay away from outfits that split up your body in the centre. Instead, stick to the two thirds rule – your bottom half should cover up two thirds of your body and your top half the other third.

4. Wear vertical stripes: vertical stripes can lengthen your figure – so give them a go.

5. Say yes to a V-neck: whether it’s a top or dress, a V-neck design can help to elongate your neck and flatter your frame.

* Information correct at time of writing – 24/04/16

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