Fake it ’till you make it, right? I’m pretty sure that’s how the saying goes? Except when you’re five foot nothing and in your twenties you know the “making it” isn’t really a reality anymore.
People are always surprised when they hear me say my height via twitter or YouTube – which is good, it shows the effort I’ve been putting in hasn’t gone to waste. However, meeting me in real life has most people coo-ing over how miniature I am – the illusion is shattered every time. Dammit.
I often get questions on where I shop for clothes and how I make myself not look too tiny in photos, so today I thought I’d note down a few points that might help answer some of those questions.
Sometimes I do find it slightly bizarre that I’m asked where I shop due to my height – the majority of my wardrobe is made up of generic high street stores like Topshop, ASOS, Zara, Miss Selfridge, River Island etc, with more high end high street like Whistles and Cos running throughout (and then the occasional designer bag and shoes – you can be any hight for those!)
“THE DIFFERENCE ISN’T WHERE YOU SHOP, IT’S HOW YOU SHOP.”
The difference isn’t always where you shop, it’s how you shop. For example, I generally only buy pieces for the top half of my body from Zara – coats, t-shirts, jumpers etc. Never dresses or trousers as they’re just too long! The same goes for Whistles and Cos – these shops seem to be made for 5’5″ and above. (However, this being said if you do find something you love – see if you can wonder-web it – that stuff is what dreams are made of!)
Topshop and Miss Selfridge are perfect for shopping for dresses, skirts, jeans – anything on the bottom half (this is why the majority of my clothes come from Topshop). Although Topshop has it’s own petite range I rarely ever have to use it as I don’t tend to like dresses that are super short now anyway, so the normal range is usually a very respectable length and their “ankle grazer” jeans are normal full length jeans on me.
However – if you’re someone who needs to shop in the petite range more frequently, these are some of my favourites for petite ranges (and other pint sized friendly stores).
Topshop Petite Range
ASOS Petite Range
“IT’S ALL ABOUT TRIAL & ERROR.”
So I generally shop like anyone else would – just being a little more mindful about where I shop for certain pieces. But I ALWAYS make sure I try everything on first – in different sizes and height ranges. I probably spend longer shopping for one outfit than most, but it’s all about trial and error – making sure the fit is the best it can be is so important – this ethos works across the board, whatever size you are!
It’s also important to know what lengths suit your body shape in terms of hem lines – I’ve been picking out my own clothes for well over a decade now, and I’ve learnt the ideal length for different styles of coats – I generally know how something is going to fall and where to straight away by looking at something.
Shopping is the makeup equivalent to foundation, you have to have the perfect fit to get things off to a good start, but it’s what you do from there that really brings everything to life. Play around with different lengths – short jackets/longer hems, long jackets – shorter hems ect. I find doing this and getting it right can really exaggerate the length of parts of your body.
Shoes also play a super important part in this. Black ankle boots that are tight around the ankle always help to elongate the leg when paired with black skinny jeans. I rarely ever wear chunky boots any more as it doesn’t flatter my leg length. Same goes for heels that have a chunky ankle strap!
Although it can be frustrating to have a smaller frame, there will often be times when you can work the length difference to your advantage: crop tops become normal tops, pea coats become trench coats and some dresses become midi dresses!
“FOR EVERY SHOT FROM BELOW – THERE’S A PHOTOGRAPHER BASICALLY LYING ON THE FLOOR”
Although I dress reasonably well for my height, it’s all down to the camera when it comes to how tall I want you to think I am! For every shot that looks like it’s taken straight ahead of me, my pal behind the lens is actually crouching on the ground and for every shot that looks like it was shot from below – they’re basically lying on the floor – I’m sure Alix and Joe could write their own post on what it’s like to be the photographer for a pint sized blogger.
I also spend my life on tip toe-ing slightly on camera – there’s also the good old “slide & twist” that old school photographers use. Lean back a little, twist your body to face the camera and slide one leg forward a little in front of the other. Sounds complicated – feels bizarre. I only pull that one out when on set, but the foot slide mixed with a slight tip toe works perfectly for adding inches to your legs in full body Instagram selfies – also makes for a great calf work out.
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