Style tips when you’re short and curvy

Checking fashion blogs can sometimes be a bit depressing, when you’re not that tall and actually have boobs and a butt. I’m too short and small for plus size and too short and curvy for most regular clothes. And when I try on petite I find that the length of the items is alright but since I’m broad shouldered and large chested nothing ever really fits right from those lines either. I stand a whooping 5″ tall (that’s 156.5 cm) and am quite blessed in the chest department. I have a short torso but long legs. I have an average size generally, but since I’m not average height and am not shaped like a 12-year-old shopping for clothes took some time for me to become something I enjoy. After some years I’ve seem to have found what does and what doesn’t work for me. Where I usually abide by those rules, I very often also love throwing them out the window, but here are some tips if you’re short and curvy.

First of all I wrote an article almost 2 years ago on style tips when you’re short and stocky. This post is an addition to that, so read my previous 10 tips by clicking here. Since my style keeps changing I thought I’d pop in some things that I try to keep in mind when I buy clothes and style my outfits. But like I said above: this is not foolproof and I definitely do not stick to it all times to it myself. Just wear what makes you feel comfortable, that’s half the trick.

1. Wear dresses

Wearing a great dress can make all the difference. I’ve found in the past 1.5 years that a dress actually suits me better than pants. It will allow you to play up the curve or tone it down if you wish to do so. Also, I hear a lot of tall people complaining about the fact that dresses are so awfully short these days. No problem for me: dresses tend to hit me halfway my thighs or just above the knees mostly which is a perfect length for when you’re short. I try to stick to skater dresses mostly as they singe in your waistline and hide any curves you do not one to share. I also like my share of A-line and curvy dresses. A-line (also known as shift dresses) also hide any bumps and lumps you wish no one to see whereas curvy dresses (as I like to call them) follow your body’s curves to a T. My curvy dresses all tend to have a fitted top with a round or v-neckline, a singed in waist and a tulip skirt which is wider at the hips but more tapered at the bottom.
2. Pay attention to length of shirts and skirts

I briefly mentioned skirts length above as well as in my original article, but I cannot stress this enough. If your garment cuts you off at an awkward point you will look out of proportion and that will not help you. This goes for dress skirts, but also any shirt your wear. A too long shirt (which most of them seem to be nowadays) will look like you’re wearing a dress, if it’s just too short you will look like a roll of ham. For shirts I like to have them hit right on my hips and if they’re too long I simply tuck them in my pants or skirt.
3. Roll or fold your pant legs when they’re too long

This only works for skinny jeans, but that’s the type of pant I like most. Since I’m bulkier on top I prefer to wear baggier tops and tighter bottoms. So skinny jeans it is. And all my jeans are too long when I buy them in The Netherlands. What I do is roll, fold or tuck my pants as much as possible. Problem easily solved.
4. Play up the curve by wearing bodycon dresses of a sturdy thick material

I already mentioned the benefit of wearing ‘curvy’ dresses, but a bodycon dress can be a good look if you’ve got natural curves. Just let your body do the talking or get one in a sturdier material that is cut out in a curvy shape. It won’t streamline your body but it can work if you feel comfortable in it. I prefer to buy bodycon dresses with a bold print as they are more forgiving than a solid color.

5. Invest in good ‘underwear’

Not sure if this goes for everyone, but my curves aren’t in all the places where I’d like them to be. I tend to have a bit more ;-). And some things you’d just like to hide from time to time. I’d suggest you buy yourself some good under garments to hide those things you do not wish others to see. I’m talking bandeaus to cover up bras in backless dresses, underskirts  and plain stretchy shorts to wear underneath skirts and dresses and of course corrective underwear. I’m still a bit stuck on the latter myself. Because I’m so short, the corrective bits are never in the right place which makes it extra uncomfortable.

6. Wear heels

Some things can be so easy. Teach yourself to walk in high heels. Today! It adds an instant 2 – 5 inches and it will fool anyone. I had colleagues who had worked with for an entire year go: oh but you’re actually really short! when I stood next to them in flats. Just make sure you give your feet a break and you alternate heels and flats or your legs will not be nice to you in the future.

7. Baggy, sheer tops on skintight pants

This goes with my baggy on top, skinny on the bottom rule. you can also turn it around: tight on top, baggy on the bottom, but I find that makes me look shorter. If I play up my legs that automatically gives me 1 – 2 inches extra in my and people’s heads. I like to wear flowy button up shirts mostly, made of a chiffon type material. It can be a feat to find a button up shirt that fits around the chest area sometimes, but I tend to like my shirts oversized and so I simply size up and there is no problem there.

8. Forego ruffles & lapels on the bust area

Where I adviced you not to accent your shoulder area when you’re stocky, you should also forego any ruffles or other decorations on shirts that add volume to your shape. This also goes with lapels on blazers, of pintucked seems across the chest and pockets over boobs. It’s just not always a good look to add bulk to a part of you that’s already bulky.

9. Get yourself at least one pair of skin toned/ beige/ tan pair of shoes (be it ankle boots, strappy sandals or high heels)

Again similar to something I said last time. That’s when I told you to get a good pair of black heels. Now my tip is to get a pair of comfy nude shoes. This is especially great in summer when you tend to show more leg. It will elongate your legs instantly (especially when you go for high heels) and make you look taller.

10. Play with color & prints

If there is one thing you can do when you’re curvy is wear fun prints and colors. Like I said above, prints can be more forgiving if the print and the fabric come together with your body shape. And bright, bold colors sometimes look better when you’re a bit bigger, simply because they can be so overpowering, but that won’t happen if you’ve got a bit more to work with.

Please share any additional tips for dressing when you’re short and curvy in a comment below!

2 responses to “Style tips when you’re short and curvy”

  1. Killer heels have been my strategy of choice. But two months ago I broke my ankle (badly), and I was told on Tuesday that I may never wear heels again. ACK!!! For now I am digging the Doc Martens + leggings/skirt look, but people I’ve known for years are beginning to realize how short I really am.

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