It occured to me today that most people wear clothes to cover themselves. You try on jeans, they fit okay, and you buy them. You try on shoes, they fit, you buy them. I could at this point go on a tirade and say, "IF ONLY I HAD THE LUXURY TO SIMPLY FIND THINGS THAT FIT!" but in all honesty, there are more things that fit me than I actually buy.
The reason is that I buy clothes that not only "fit" me, but also fit my body type. I know I am very short (4'10"!) and very slender. I'm in proportion, but because I am so thin, I have a VERY difficult time finding pants, jackets, and shoes that fit. I'm assuming there are other girls out there with my same problem! So, I thought I'd make a list of basics for super petites and squash some rumors about what you should and shouldn't wear to make the most out of your height.
The most important things to keep in mind with tops is the length and fullness. Either keep tops shorter (an inch or so past the top of your pants) or long (tunics that go to the bottom of your butt). I know long tank tops are in style now, but they do make us shorties look shorter because of the horizontal hem cutting our body line in half! In general, stay away from fuller tops. You want a balanced look on top and bottom so if you want a big fluttery top, wear a thin belt around your natural waist to pull the weight back in. Above all, you want the attention to go upward to your face, not down to short-looking legs.
Keep jackets to a "cropped" or "petite" length. This will help keep your torso in proportion and you don't lose your leg line. A jacket too long will make your legs look short and a long torso and short legs makes you look even shorter, but a nice-fitting jacket will make you look clean, professional, and put together.
Dresses should either be short or floor-length. Empire waistlines will give you added height, as well as any vertical lines in pattern or fabric draping. Just beware of too much fullness. Sheath and A-line dresses are always a good standby. Always go for a natural waistline over a dropped waist. Never wear a pattern where the main element is larger than your fist, but solids always look good.
Petite girls are lucky in that they can wear more styles of pants, but keep in mind balance. Try to stay away from a large flare in a light wash, since this will bring the visual focus downward. A light-colored skinny jean with a heel is okay, but darker, slimmer pant cuts are always a safer bet. Thin or wide straight-leg pants are good. For jeans, try to find one where the knee break is higher so your legs look longer. Go with either a very high waist or a low rise. Keep the length past your ankle, always!
Finally, keep a closet of good heels with some killer ball-of-foot and heel cusions. Heels always look good on short girls, plus we don't have to worry about being TOO tall like tall girls do. I have size 4 feet (actually more like 3.5) in womens and wear size 2 in kids and excellent stores for small feet are Nordstrom, zappos.com, Amazon.com, and Cinderella of Boston. For flats, I recommend the girls' section at Payless. They are actually pretty comfy and some styles are exactly the same as womens. Some styles do run a bit big, so try them on at the store but I usually fit a 1.5 there.
I hope this helps any of the shorter petite girls out there when they are out looking for what style of jean to buy or if they are getting a new jacket. Just keep in mind, you want the attention to go up, not down, and you don't want too much bulk. All of the examples are from ASOS.com which just goes to show you that many shapes are popular now, but not all are flattering! Now, some rules are meant to be broken but keep this general guideline in your head the next time you are in that fitting room. Good luck shopping!