How to choose a suit for Petites?

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

There are many fabulous pastel coloured suits available on the high street. It's not just about selecting one that is in 'petite sizing' but it's about understanding what suits you ... sorry no pun intended !! There are a few basic checks the colour, the cut and the quality.

Colour

The colour that you select depends on the season, and what colours actually compliment your natural skin tone, eye and hair colour. In Autumn/Winter, you can opt for shades of greys, burgundy or black, you may find that pastels are too summery. I do like to wear tonal greys, and I do have a few black suits as well, but as my hair is dark, I try to break up the 'blackness' with a white top or colourful coat. In Spring/Summer, I opt for pastel hues, like mint green, pale blue or pastel pink. But here comes the tricky part, there are many shades of pastel, and one shade that of pink that looks fabulous on someone you know, may not suit your skin tone. A friend of mine is Asian too, with dark hair and slightly paler skin. She was wearing a blush coloured blouse that looked amazing on her, but when I tried on the same blush blouse, as my skin is slightly darker than hers, there was no contrast between the blouse and my skin, so it simply washed me out. So you need to make sure that the colour you select compliments your natural colouring, the easy way to find out, is to hold the garment up against your face in natural light.

Cut

The cut of the jacket, trousers and/or skirt have to work for your body type. If you are petite, we need to opt for 'shorter length jacket' depending on the bottom half that you have selected. So a cropped jacket would look great with wide legged trousers or pencil skirt (mini or midi), but might not work with skinny trousers, as the proportions aren't right. You can try and play around with different jackets and bottoms and see what works for you. I have opted for a slightly longer jacket style that sits just above my bum, with a single button fastening. This style jacket suits me as I have quite large boobs, and I don't want to draw attention to them. The single button also helps to synch in the waist. If the jacket is not for petites, then get the sleeves shortened by a tailor, as wearing a jacket when the sleeves are a tad too long resembles a child starting secondary school in a sibling's oversized blazer.

Double breasted jackets can work, if they button up quite high on the neck, you don't have the sweeping V shape created from a single button blazer. They do look great, open and unbuttoned, but for work you need to button up jackets for an important meeting, you may find that a single button blazer preferable.

Once you have decided on the jacket, you need to focus on lower half. So you can select trousers, that can be slim fit trousers or straight wide leg, however very voluminous trousers as can overwhelm a petite frame when wearing as a suit. As for skirts, they need to be close fitting pencil skirt, the length of the hemline can be mini, on-the-knee or midi. However, if opting for a mini skirt, make sure that the length of the skirt is longer than the hem of the jacket otherwise it looks like you aren't wearing a skirt. When you are young, its fun to wear short skirts, and so you should celebrate your youth and beauty, but very short hemlines in the office do distract. Now, you can argue thats a failing on them, rather than you, but men and women are designed to be attracted to one another - thats biology, but in our society just not at work!!

The Quality

The best quality suits are handmade using exquisite woven fabrics that tend to be bespoke and out of most of our prices range, however you can get surprising good quality suits made from manmade fabrics at a fraction of the cost. My favourite suits, that have lasted for many years tend to be 100% Virgin Wool from higher end high street stores such as Ted Baker and Karen Millen, these are getting harder to find. The one that I am wearing here is from Topshop in mint green, its composition is a viscose/polyester mix so will not be too warm in Spring/Summer and doesn't crease too much. I do like a crisp, cool linen suit but in reality, the crispness is swiftly replaced with creases. not a good look for the office!! The weight of a fabric and its weave helps it keep its shape.

This tweed suit is by &other stories tailored tweed jacket with a cropped silhouette and centre front metal button closures, from their sustainable range.



This suit is from Zara, and was an incredible price point, the entire suit is under £50, the basic blazer is £29.95 and the trousers were £19.95



This was last year from Topshop


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