Small-stature women, you’re in luck. There’s a crop of fall trends that, thanks to savvy styling and careful tailoring from petite-friendly labels, are going to look perfect on your frame. Here are six styles you’ll want in on, from ones you thought might be too tough to pull off (think: overalls) to styles that are so obviously perfect, you’ll wonder why they weren’t popularized years ago (looking at you, belt over coat). To help translate the latest looks into petite-friendly outfits, we asked celebrity stylist Molly Dickson for help. She’s the go-to stylist for petite celebs including Camila Mendes (5’2”), Sadie Sink (5’3”) and Sydney Sweeney (5’3”), all of whom served as inspiration for pieces in her new denim collaboration with Madewell.
6 Fall Fashion Trends That Are Perfect for Women Under 5'3"
Cropped jackets to denim, here’s what works
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Meet the Expert
What are General Tips for Dressing a Petite Frame?
“Tailoring will always be your best friend,” Dickson says. “It's about finding the right clothes that work for your body and building your wardrobe around those pieces. Find the thing you most appreciate about your body—Waist, arms, legs—and then focus your outfit on that. If you like your waist, I’d recommend you find pieces that accentuate your waist (i.e. seams at waist that can be belted) and build your outfit around that.” The stylist/designer counsels that ”it’s about finding clothes that work for you, not the other way around. Once you embrace this, getting dressed will be way more fun… trust me!” As for specific pieces, she hared styling tips on the six fall trends below and added one final style to shop your closet for: “For fall, think about a great blazer that you can throw on jeans or a sleek pant for dinner out.”
“Overalls are inherently larger at the top which can make them tricky to style, but adding a belt gives them more structure without making them too fitted. This also creates a visual point of focus and breaks up the body which is super flattering,” says Dickson. “I love layering a vintage, cozy sweatshirt underneath this pair with a belt. They feel personal and truly perfect for wearing every day.”
2. Cropped Ladylike Jacket
The shape and length of a cropped jacket is perf for petites—for example in this Dickson-styled cover shoot with Sadie Sink. “Whenever you wear something cropped, you’re playing with proportions, so the rest of your pieces need to balance out. If you’re wearing a cropped top, think about balancing with a trouser, but remember the tailoring! Or go with a mini of similar proportions which is more bold but very cute!,” Dickson says.”We want to create clean lines of separation for each piece, so you’re never lost in the clothes. Here. the cropped jacket is textured and lays perfectly with the waist of her jeans. The other thing to note is that the colors are all cool and complement each other so it feels very seamless, the bit of rip on the jeans gives just enough edge to the more structured jacket.”
3. Big Belts
“I think belts are great to bring an outfit together and of course, accentuate the waist,” says Dickson, who last fall styled Sydney Sweeney in a Miu Miu look, punctuated by a belt. “Looking ahead to fall, consider a belt over your jacket for a more elevated look. I also love a belt on a trench coat or a car coat to give your outfit more definition.”
4. Head-to-Toe Red
Can we keep the la dolce vita of tomato girl summer happening into fall, and would a petite want to wear the trend’s signature red hue in a head-to-toe look? “Absolutely,” says Dickson. “A monochrome outfit creates the illusion of one line which can make you look taller. Red is a bold choice, but if you’re open to it, I’d say go for it!”
5. Ballet Slippers with Socks
“I love this look purely because of the boldness and if we’re being honest… who doesn’t love Miu Miu.The socks with the ballet flats add texture which I love and this look embodies the cool girl after class gets out in high school.” Dickson quips. “I love flats for anyone. I think shoes are less about adding height and more about completing the look. If you’re looking for something more casual, a straight leg jean, ballet flat or even a sneaker, and a fitted tee is a perfectly composed outfit. We don’t always need lots of layers and especially need to be mindful when dressing a petite frame.”
6. Matching Knitwear
Dickson endorses the ease of pre-paired separates. “Matching sets take the guesswork out of pairing pieces and give you an immediate look. I love a set, whether it’s denim on denim or a monochrome set, it looks effortless and inherently cool. The bonus is you can have fun with your accessories if you choose,” she says.
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