How to Look Stylish in Oversized Clothes When You’re Petite

Woman in a baggy sweater

As you know, finding stylish clothes that fit when you’re petite can be a challenge. Shopping at stores that carry petite sizes tends to result in a generic wardrobe that doesn’t breathe a lot of life into your style. But for those times when oversized clothes are in fashion, it can make it a little easier for us petite ladies to create a chic, put-together style.

Wondering how to look stylish in oversized clothes when you’re petite? Read on to learn things like:

  1. Don’t let your figure get lost in oversized clothes
  2. Add structure to your look so that you look polished
  3. Use contrasting pieces for balance
  4. Select colors and patterns of oversized pieces carefully
  5. Make sure the details are in the right places
  6. Layer longer pieces over shorter if you want to add length
  7. Wear heels to help counter the shortening effect of oversized pieces
  8. An oversized look you can’t go wrong with

Oversized doesn’t mean frumpy, at least not if you do it the right way. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be able to create a put-together look with oversized pieces that are completely on-trend. In this article, we’ll take you through each of these guidelines so that you have everything you need to know to create your next stylish outfit of the day.

1. Don’t Let Your Figure Get Lost in Oversized Clothes

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when putting together an outfit that includes an oversized piece is that you can’t let your natural figure get lost in the clothes. This is the farthest thing from stylish and will only leave you looking like you have given up on fashion altogether.

Let’s go over some of the ways you can let your figure shine through even when you’re wearing oversized clothes.

Show Some Skin

This doesn’t have to mean you need to be immodest. If modesty is important to you, you can show skin in whatever way feels comfortable for you. Here are some ideas:

  • Roll up your sleeves
  • Wear cropped pants that reveal your ankles (Just be sure to follow our advice so those cropped pants look flattering on your petite frame)
  • Wear shorts
  • Opt for V-necks or plunging necklines
  • Open the neckline by undoing buttons and opening collars
  • Wear crop tops or allow your midriff to peek through
  • Pull your hair away from your face, especially if it is long

These suggestions might not work with every look, so be sure to test out each option you feel comfortable with to see how it works with your style.

Accentuate Your Waist

Simply adding a belt can do a lot to make an oversize outfit work when you’re petite. Some fashion gurus claim that petites should avoid belts altogether, but we have busted that myth.

Belts can be used over oversized blazers, sweaters, or dresses to highlight the waist so that it doesn’t get lost beneath all that fabric.

If you don’t want to draw attention to your middle or you want to lengthen the bottom half of your figure, place the belt higher on your waist.

2. Add Structure to Your Look

Many oversized pieces will be formless or rounded. Think of the classic oversized sweater. If you tossed it on the floor, it could be described as blob-like and a blob is the last thing you want to look like when you’re trying to be stylish! Usually, it is our bodies that give pieces like this their form, but if the piece is oversized, that just isn’t possible. To combat this problem with over-sized clothes you can:

  • Select oversized pieces, like blazers and button-up shirts, that include some straight lines and structure, or
  • Pair formless pieces with more structured pieces. For example, you can pair an oversized sweater with skinny jeans and cinch with a belt at the waist to give the look some structure.
  • Keep in mind that lines matter. Look for items that have simple lines in areas like collars.

Just be mindful that, if you select a look that doesn’t include any structure, it is probably going to look less-than-flattering, unless you employ a few fashionable tricks.

3. Use Contrasting Pieces for Balance

Contrast is essential to creating any balanced style, but you want to use contrast intentionally because, if overdone, it will look like a bit of a mismatched mess.

Here are some ways that you can use contrast with oversized pieces:

  • Oversized and fitted. Even though you’re going for that oversized look, not every article of clothing should be oversized. Mix and match oversized pieces with fitted pieces to avoid looking sloppy.
  • Loose and tight. Similar to oversized and fitted, you want to play with loose items and tight items. For example, boot cut pants that are fitted at the top and wider at the bottom can be paired with an oversized button-up shirt successfully in most cases.
  • Masculine and feminine: Many oversized looks include a blending of the masculine and the feminine, usually with an oversized masculine blazer paired with a pretty feminine top.

Playing with contrasting pieces is one of our favorite ways to get creative with petite styles. Always remember, fashion is supposed to be fun!

4. Select Colors and Patterns Carefully

How you choose patterns is something that every petite needs to be mindful off and this is doubly true when it comes to selecting colors and patterns of oversized items. You’ll find that the most successful oversized looks are muted and neutral. If you choose an oversized piece in a loud color, consider some of the following tips when creating your look for the day:

  • Flashy pieces should be balanced with very subdued pieces, and even then, it might be just a bit too much.
  • Generally speaking, a masculine piece in a loud color is going to scream louder than a feminine piece.
  • A classic pattern won’t be as loud as a trendy pattern. For example, a flannel pattern might not be as loud as a zig-zag pattern.

However, we would like to stress that if you absolutely love a piece, you should go for it. Pair the piece with clean lines and muted colors, and it might just work out. It’s just a bit more of a bold choice.

5. Make Sure the Details on the Piece Align With Your Body

Oversized or not, one of the most important things when selecting clothes as a petite person is making sure the details on the piece align in the right spots on your body. Things like darts, knee holes, and distressing should be in the proper location.

If they are not in the proper location, you could end up with a sloppy look. When shopping for an oversized piece, it is usually just easier to avoid items with this kind of detailing altogether unless you’re shopping a brand that has petite sizing.

6. Layer Longer Pieces Over Shorter Pieces for Length

This isn’t something often talked about when styling as a petite person, but the way you layer your clothing is going to make a huge difference to your look.

  • If you place a longer piece over a shorter piece, like a blazer over a button-up, it is going to look polished, and it is going to give you lengthening lines.
  • But if you layer a shorter piece over a longer piece, like a cropped jacket over a long sweatshirt, it may make you look shorter, and it could be a little sloppier looking too.

So, if you want to add length, then you should go with long over short. Of course, this is only if you’re looking to add length and are going for a more polished look.

7. Wear Heels to Add Height to an Oversized Look

It’s not surprising that when you’re petite, oversized pieces can emphasize your petiteness. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. It really just depends on the kind of style you’re going for.

Many petite women find that wearing heels helps counteract the shortening effect of oversized wardrobe pieces. These don’t have to be stilettos or four-inch heels. A boot or a wedge can do just as much to add a little height and offset the effects of an oversized piece.

8. An Oversized Look You Can’t Go Wrong With

One of the easiest and simplest oversized looks to pull off is pairing high-waisted pants or a fitted skirt with an oversized shirt. To achieve this look, you tuck the shirt into the pants or skirt in the front and let it drape on the sides and the back. It is a versatile look that can be used in any situation, and you’ll look great!

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