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I'm a 5'4" Editor & These Are the 4 Most Flattering Petite Coats (Plus, 1 Style I’m Boycotting)

Remember: Length isn't everything

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petite coats universal
MEGA/Getty; Mint Velvet; David Becker/Getty

We short women are used to being particular when it comes to shopping for new clothes, since we’re at risk of swimming in sleeves, dragging hems and just drowning in fabric in off-the-rack styles. Sure, we have our styling tips, learn to cherry pick trends and shop pants designers that respect our curves-to-inseam ratio, but it can still be tricky. I’m thrilled, then, that this season, I’ve noticed something new—as a 5’4" editor—recently: more petite-friendly coat styles than in seasons past. Here are the four most wearable coat silhouettes to shop now, along with styling tips from petite style influencers and celebrities. From car coats and lined trenches to wrap coats and V-necks—you’re going to find something that turns cold weather into an opportunity for hot-looking outfits.

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1. Wrap Coat

The Inspiration: Hallie Swanson, 5’1

The classic wrap coat is a winner for petites since it can be cinched as tightly as we like, to better avoid a boxy look. And when styled over the shoulders like Hallie Daily blogger Hallie Swanson, a wrap coat lends an almost cape-like glamour to our outfit.

2. Lined Trench

The Inspiration: Christina Nguyen, 5’2"

We love a trench for its medium-structured design (that can also be cinched at the waist) and insouciant slouch. Just make sure to bring a cashmere to drape around your shoulders and/or a generously proportioned wool scarf, in case a 20-degree temperature drop catches you far from home (since your usual trench coat won’t cocoon you in winter warmth unless you add a lining or perhaps a thicker body material, like leather or faux leather).

3. Deep-V Wool Coat

The Inspiration: Grece Ghanem, 5’2"

This season a range of deep-V coats are showing up in petite lengths, with both fitted and oversize proportions. I’ve found the V-neckline draws attention up toward my face and away from my long torso, evening out my proportions and making me appear a teensy bit more willowy. Additionally, I’m taking to heart advice from 5’ 2 style blogger Hallie Swanson, a Vanity Fair best-dressed list alum, who advises that, when styling an oversize coat, we petite ladies should wear fitted pants, roll up any too-long sleeves and wear heels (but keep a pair of flats in our bag if we have to hoof it long distances).

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David Becker / Getty

4. Car Coat

The Inspiration: Emilia Clarke, 5’2"

The car coat is a no brainer choice for shorties, since by definition it is on the short side. The mid-thigh length was initially designed not to get in the way of all those gears and everything (the style first became fashionable in the early days of the auto). While a mid-thigh coat can make its wearer look a bit shapeless if worn over baggy jeans or slacks, when worn with tights or leggings and knee-high boots, the style becomes figure-flattering and sexy.

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Left: Raymond Hall /Getty; Right: Gotham / Getty

Also, Here's One Petite Coat Look I’m Boycotting

Kim Kardashian's Floor-Dragging Coats

Perhaps the woman who put velvet onesies on the map as daywear and sells a bra with visible nipples can make her own rules. And she’s certainly going for it this fall, having been spotted multiple times with the bottom of her leather coats dragging on the ground. But for the short-statured bods of the rest of us, I recommend buying scaled-down styles from petite specialists including Anthropologie and Ann Taylor. After all, unlike Kim K., we don’t have bodyguards to catch us when we trip on our dragging hem.


dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...

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