I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All ideas expressed are from my own blogger brain#ThisisStyle
I’ve always had a bit of a body complex about my height. Now, at 32, I’m perfectly content in my size and stature, accepting of what I was given and how to work with it and embrace it. Flats flood my closet, shorts are a summer staple, and I’ve developed a lasting relationship with a slightly shorter hemline. But it wasn’t so long ago that it was all very different. So, when I was asked to go shopping at Sears and highlight their affordable, summer fashion, and how Sears style can work for you, I was reminded of a time when that might not have been the easiest feat to accomplish.
Back then, I didn’t know any tricks of the trade, or how to help my cause, all I knew was, I’m little, and in order to look better, I have to be taller. I wore platform sneakers everywhere, even softball practice, and was constantly teased for my “nurses shoes”. I had the last laugh as 2 words changed the course of platform sneakers forever; Isabel Marant. But 17 years ago, before the Isabel Marant, there was Soda, and Hot Topic, and fashionistas weren’t dropping over $500 to rock them. I wore severely baggy pants ,and jeans with crop tops which only helped to dwarf my size even more. To me, it was less about finding ways to look better and more about having a certain look, and that look had absolutely nothing to do with flattering my body or my size. If I wore platform sneakers I’d be taller, and if I wore crop tops, at least I could highlight some part of myself that looked okay, which at that time was actually having a flat stomach. Ah, I remember those days fondly….
Back then, the extent of my fashion knowledge was mostly likes and dislikes, some instinct, and didn’t surpass the walls of my own personal taste. Today, almost two decades later, I’m still the same size in stature, but I’ve surpassed those walls, and finally learned how to embrace that which formerly stunted me.
Every petite person knows they’re petite, but we all work it differently. Some of us are comfortable wearing flats, some wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than a 5 inch heel, some work a shorter hemline, and yet others, like the old me, hide their size all together. But all of us have at least one thing in common; the power to find our best body, and our best self, and though that power may come from within, it begins on the rack.
When I arrived at Sears, I immediately noticed, not only the array of clothes, colors, and styles, but the huge KK symbol upon entering the apparel section. Although I have to admit to not being the biggest of Kardashian fans, they’ve surprised me twice. Once, at the Sears Style blogger brunch, and then again on this day, when I realized that some of the dresses I had beelined for, were in fact, from their eponyomously named collection.
I scoured the colorful racks, from Kardashian, to Bongo, amazed at all the affordable fashion literally at my fingertips, and like a detective working a case, I was careful to investigate every little detail. If finding fashion to flatter your body type is a mystery we still strive to solve, then I wasn’t leaving until I broke this case wide open, and highlighted some pertinent, key clues, which you will find below.
1. An Accentuated Waist
A dress with a slight drop, or elastic waist, accentuated with a belt can help a shorter girl appear to have a slightly longer torso. Whether you want to accentuate the middle or not, I have many friends around my height and almost all of them have at least one dress like this.
I love this dress from the Kardashian collection, and since the tea length was a little long for me, I added a pair of heels with some height to counter balance the length. There are many shapes that work for petite women, but if you’ve read any magazines at all, then you know that tea length, or a length that cuts at around the calf is definitely not one of them. Always go for slightly above the knee, or at it, and if you love something that is longer, get a hem, or get some height. Buy the dress on sale for $34.95 at Sears online here.
2. inVEST in a ….
I personally love vests; I’ve been wearing mens, thrifted ones for years, but with the vest trend being huge right now, you can pick up one to suit your style pretty much anywhere. I saw a few cute ones, but immediately grabbed this cute, floral, denim Bongo version as soon as I saw it. I loved the cropped style, and feminine look, and when paired with a dress, or maxi skirt, it seems to create the illusion of length. Buy it here, on sale for only $18!
3. Rock shorts
Although not all of us have the confidence to rock shorts, or a short skirt, and I was one of them for the longest time, I’ve learned to embrace both things. It’s not that I exude the confidence that once alluded me, it’s more that I’ve grown accustomed to saying what the hell, and realizing that things might not look half as bad as I once perceived them to be. Lets be clear, I’m not in any way condoning the pockets are longer them my shorts look. I think some things should remain hidden, no matter how confident, or what age you are. But, a shorter look, that I once thought only stood to embarrass me can actually do quite the opposite. And for the petite woman in summer, who has also learned how to say what the hell, not only is the shorter hemline best, but it can flatter the body and help to visually elongate it.
Sears has a million shorts in a million different fun colors, but when I found these tropical print silk style ones, I knew they were for me. I love the laid back, vacation look, and on sale for $15 they were a steal. True Freedom, $15.
4. Add Some Height
If you want a little more height or to add some sexiness for a night out, wear your shorts with a pair of heels or wedges. I paired mine with my silver platform sneakers. Obviously, this isn’t a new tip. Women have long been creating the illusion of height by adding a heel, whether it be wedge, kitten, or stiletto, and though I now realize that you can still have confidence without it, there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little leaner, and taller then usual.
5. Create Unity in your Fashion
When you’re on the shorter side, it’s all about a symbiotic relationship between your clothes and you. Things should fit right; nothing should be too long, and that doesn’t solely mean hemlines, but also the upper region. Not counting comfort, or certain styles, most of the time, things should line up, for the same reason a high waisted skirt would look better with a crop top, then a bulky sweatshirt.
I found this orange laced top, with a slight crop, and though I would never wear it to show off my stomach, it hit the shorts at a perfect angle. Just enough to illustrate a unity between top and bottom. Not too long, not too short, and when the bottom of your top hits the top of your bottoms, that is a style relationship match made in heaven. Top, Derek Heart, on sale for $12. Buy it in coral, or another color here.
By the end of my shopping excursion, not only was I happy at how many selections I’d been given to work with, and how many fun styles I had sifted through, but, as is usually the case, that climatic moment when the register rings up that magic number did not disappoint. When everything rung up on sale, I was happy, and that turned to ecstatic when the cashier presented me with an awards card of $10, plus 10, 000 bonus points for my purchase. As a Shop your Way rewards member, which is a free membership, you earn rewards for literally every single thing you buy not only at Sears, but Kmart, Lands End and more. The idea of signing up for yet another club card might sound like the last thing you want to ever do. However, the feeling of earning a free $10 gift card, plus $10,00 points, simply for shopping for clothes, and adding more points to my account even when shopping the routine boring things, like cat food, and toiletries, well makes it worth the five minutes you will spend signing up for the card. Become a member here.
If this was in fact, a case, then whether you’re into detective work or not, Sears makes it pretty easy to find a solution for whatever mystery you’re trying to solve. And with sales like this, you can catch some fashion red handed, pinpoint your culprit problems, and solve them with ease and style. From one petite private eye to another…..
To see more on my shopping experience in store, at Sears, and how I found all the looks above, take a look at my google plus story.
All photography by John Turck