If you are a plus size woman and happen to be on the shorter side, it is important to only wear the right clothing style that flatters your shape and stay away from anything that doesn’t. Since I am 5’2″ myself, I learned from my own trial and error of a decade that dressing the right way can make a short girl look taller and leaner, while wearing the wrong styles do exactly the opposite.
This is especially true if you are a plus size woman. In this guide, I’ll go over with you everything you should use caution (or avoid) because they are not the best choices for your unique shape. But first, let’s take a deep dive to fully understand your body features.
- You’re petite and you stand 5’4 and below.
- You carry more weight, specifically in your stomach and limbs.
- You have an ample bust size.
- Your hips are beautifully curvy.
- You may have little to almost no waist definition due to your midsection bulge.
- You have a voluptuous and perky bum.
Sure, ruffles are pretty charming and they make simple clothing pieces more eye-catching. Now they won’t mean your outfit any harm as long as you steer away from ruffles that are too dramatic and visually heavy!
Ruffles can cause a visual distraction as they can create a lot of visual movement that will immensely draw attention to the flounce details, potentially drowning the shape and curves of your body. Ruffles also add visual weight, so if you wear anything with dramatic ruffles, it will add extra volume to your plus size figure and make you look even bigger.
High Necklines and Turtleneck
Did you ever notice how you seem to look shorter and visually cramped when you wear tops or dresses that cover so much of your upper body? Well, this is because high necklines and turtlenecks visually shorten your neck, and this apparently creates the perception of a shorter overall height. For someone who is already on the shorter side (and being a plus size girl as well), this can accentuate the lack of vertical space in your figure.
Generally, short plus size women should have a style goal of elongating their frames and that can be done by opening up space in your decolletage area.
On the contrary, high necklines, most particularly turtlenecks, can add bulk around the neck and shoulder area, and I’m telling you that this is the very last thing you’d want for your short plus-size figure. This extra fabric can make your upper body appear larger and wider.
Loose Oversized Shirts
I always believe in prioritizing comfort and I’m pretty sure many of you also think the same, but this shouldn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style! This is the issue with loose oversized shirts – they are comfy, sure! But if you’re petite and have a plus-size figure, wearing this type of shirt with such a loose fit will be an absolute fashion mishap.
The main concern here is the potential lack of definition and structure that these shirts have as they can conceal the natural contours of your body. The excess fabric brought by the loose fit will definitely overwhelm your shorter frame, making you appear smaller and possibly contributing to a less flattering silhouette.
Also, as you may instantly notice, loose oversized shirts will inadvertently create the illusion of additional weight because the volume of fabric can add bulk, particularly around the midsection area.
Voluminous sleeves like those that are puffed or those that come with ruffles have been quite trendy in the fashion scene in recent years. While those bell or bishop sleeves might look utterly stunning on the hanger, they are not always the most flattering for short plus-size women as they can sometimes add a bit more drama than we bargained for!
So why avoid voluminous sleeves? Simply because they can unintentionally create extra volume around the arms and upper body, which are the very areas plus-size women would want to downplay. This unnecessary volume could potentially steal the show and make you feel a tad bigger than you are.
Just like what we have previously discussed, you’d want to stay away from anything that causes unnecessary bulk as much as possible and yes, you guessed that right – baggy clothing is one of them!
Baggy clothing can create creases that will instantly add unnecessary bulk to your overall silhouette, potentially overwhelming your shorter and heavier frame. This will definitely disrupt the natural balance of your proportions and make you appear larger than you actually are.
Excessive bagginess in clothing might give off a sloppy and frumpy appearance because how it gives off that vibe as if you borrowed someone else’s clothing! Meanwhile, well-fitted clothing not only looks more put together but can also give you a neat and balanced look from top to bottom.
Cinching your waist can be a total game-changer because this alone can perfectly bring your proportions together. When it comes to defining your waist, one of the quickest go-to of many women would be wearing belts!
And yes, belts are great in giving you that much-desired waist definition, but when you are short and heavy, wide belts can be a total style catastrophe. Wide belts have the tendency to visually divide your body into two distinct halves and this isn’t going to be flattering at all when you have a short frame to begin with.
For short plus size girls, this obvious division can create the illusion of shorter legs and stubbier overall figures.
Slouchy blazers are also somewhat of a kind of baggy clothing as they tend to have a loose fit and droopy shoulders, which can overwhelm a shorter frame. The excess fabric is also something that can visually add bulk and create the perception of a larger size.
In addition to this, I always say that plus-size women should always go for styles that define and accentuate the waist. Slouchy blazers, on the other hand, may camouflage the waistline because of their loose fit and this leads to a lack of definition.
Billowy tops are also full of volume and as we already know at this point, excess volume from fabric isn’t the friendliest choice for short girls who are also plus size. Their billowy silhouette creates the illusion of added width and the extra fabric and volume can make you appear stubbier rather than enhancing your curves in a flattering way.
So, to complement your petite and plus-size figure, it’s recommended to opt for more tailored and structured tops that define the waist and provide a streamlined look. Styles with strategic seaming and fabrics that drape gracefully should look great without overwhelming your body.
Thick Horizontal Patterns
The goal of someone who’s short and heavy should be to keep their frame elongated and this can be done through keeping the vertical lines uninterrupted. Whenever you wear clothes with very distinctive, thick horizontal patterns, they draw attention to the width of the area where they are placed and when these patterns are particularly placed across the torso or hips, they can make those areas look broader.
Clothes with these patterns can absolutely disrupt the natural balance and symmetry of the body, making you appear wider and potentially less shapely. For your gorgeously short and plus-size body, this emphasis on width can contribute to a sense of compactness and this will visually reduce your height.
Bodycon dresses are specifically designed to fit tightly to the body, which of course, looks quite sultry and sexy, right? Unfortunately, this snug type of dress may pose some style disadvantages that need careful consideration, most particularly for short plus size ladies out there.
One obvious drawback when you wear a bodycon dress is the lack of versatility as they are designed to tightly follow the contours of the body, instantly accentuating areas that you’d want to minimize, especially if they have a curvier body type. For petites with fuller figures, the tight fit may draw too much attention to areas like the midsection, hips, or thighs, potentially leading to a disproportionate appearance.
Cargo pants are absolutely edgy and in recent years, I have spotted so many different ensembles featuring cargo pants which only further prove how stylish they are! But well, they are not really the best for my plus-size girls out there, especially when they are short like me as well.
Cargo pants come with multiple pockets and extra details, and as you can already tell – they add bulk! This extra volume can make you appear even wider and shorter, especially because this extra bulk happens in your lower body.
Moreover, they can also create an imbalance in your proportions, especially if they are too baggy. This will surely not complement your petite height and heavier figure.
Tiered skirts feature multiple layers or tiers of fabric, which can look very voluminous and overwhelming for someone who’s already plus size to begin with. This volume can weigh your figure down and make your legs look shorter and your lower body look heavier.
Tiered skirts are pretty, sure. But if you’re a short plus-size beauty looking to downplay the broadness of your hips and thighs, skirts that have a more streamlined silhouette should be a way better option.