Fashion & Style

Sophisticated looks for petite fashionistas

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bette midler
This tiny little gal certainly hasn't had any problem being a fashionista
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Liz Taylor, Bette Midler and a host of other petites are serious fashionistas

Just because you're not five foot nine without some serious platform pumps doesn't mean that you can't find sophisticated looks for petite fashionistas. In the fashion industry, petite does not mean "tiny"; it means a woman who stands less than five feet four inches (or, in some cases, five feet three inches) tall.

The average American woman is just shy of five feet four inches tall and weighs 152 pounds. Those models that you see on Project Runway are aberrations. They certainly do not represent the average woman, who is the majority consumer that keeps the economy going.

Power to the sophisticated petite!

Contrary to what we have been led to believe, you do not have to be statuesque to be fashionable and beautiful. Good things come in small packages. Good fashion comes in small packages, too, with a wonderful variety of sophisticated, fashionable looks for petites.

Elizabeth Taylor, the epically legendary beauty, is five feet two inches tall and full figured. No one is going to accuse her of being dowdy. Another bombshell, Rita Hayworth, was considered tall for her time: All of five feet, six inches. Joan Crawford, another unforgettable screen siren, was between five feet three inches and five feet four. Bette Davis was another shorty, measuring in at five feet three. And what about Bette Midler, who has more style and moxie in her little finger than most people have in their entire bodies? She is a whopping five feet, one inch tall!

So the nonsense that you cannot be fashionable and sophisticated unless you are six feet tall is just that - nonsense. Sophisticated petite fashionistas have long been around and have done just fine in their small packages.

Not all petites have the same body shape. Take into consideration your shape when you are purchasing clothing. If your hips and thighs are wider than your shoulders you are a pear shape, and can even be considered a "plus size petite." If your shoulders are significantly wider than your hips you are an inverted triangle shape. An hour glass figure has a small waist and shoulders and hips that are equal in width. A rectangular body is a straight shape with very little waistline and an apple shaped body is wide in the middle.

Select clothing that emphasizes your assets and conceals your less desirable parts. If you are a petite who is narrow on top and larger on the bottom select a top that makes your shoulders look broader so that you have a balanced look. If you have a defined waist, show it off. If you have great legs, wear your skirts a little shorter. Wearing high heels will definitely make you look taller and thinner.

You can create illusions with your clothing, slimming down areas that you want slimmed down and elongating areas that you wish were longer, as well as concealing those parts that are not exactly assets. This is achieved by choosing the right colors, patterns and length for your particular body.

When selecting

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