How to Look Taller: Style Tips Every Petite Woman Should Know — What To Know Before Buying A Coat Online
The other day I found this question from a customer in my inbox —
Winter is coming (and that's not just for GOT fans)! If you are petite (i.e. 5'5" and shorter) looking for a new coat for the incoming cold weather, you probably have the same question too.
So I thought I would share with you my response and tips to this customer in case that's helpful to you.
What To Know Before Buying A Coat Online
"I want to buy this trench coat but I am not sure if it will work for petite women. What do I have to know before I buy a coat online?"
1. Coat Length
In general, petite is defined as 5’4” and shorter by the fashion industry. A brand that sells regular size tailors their measurements for women 5’5” and above.
Use The Model As A Guide
For the specific trench coat this customer is interested (see trench coat here), the model is ~ 6 feet tall, size M.
If the coat is hitting below the model's knees, it will definitely be hitting lower for you (probably around your calves depending on your height).
You’d want to keep in mind on the styling of this coat since it falls below your knees. I have written style tips on this post for a longer trench coat length.
Sizing Down Does Not Make It Necessarily Much Shorter
In general, when fashion brands scale down a size (say, from M to S), the horizontal dimensions (e.g. bust, waist and hips) decreases more than the vertical dimensions (e.g. length from shoulders to waist or hem). Just because that’s how human proportion changes.
So even if you choose a smaller size to compensate for the length, the overall length of the jacket will still be pretty long for you.
If a long trench coat is what you are going for, then go for it! But if that’s not something you desire, I would say to just watch out for the length. After all, if something doesn't fit you well, you will end up avoiding wearing it. Then, what's the point of buying it after all?!
Trust me, I have made many of this self-deciding mistaken and regretted it. Don't repeat them for me.
2. Shoulder Width
Brands don’t usually provide this measurement but I think that shoulder fit is key for petites because. A coat with proper shoulder width just makes your whole look that much fitted.
You don’t want to wear a coat with the shoulders fall outside your shoulder bones. It will make you look like you are playing dress up mommy's clothes as a little kid.
Despite what most people think, the waist placement is not too critical when it comes to an outer wear. It's more visually critical with layers that are closer to your body.
Yes, a defined waist is important to looking proportional — a shorter top (above waist) and a longer bottom to create an illusion of longer legs. But you can always put a belt or wear a crop top.
For this particular trench coat, it seems to have more a crop feature so that is petite friendly.
More about playing with vertical proportions visually on tip #1 on this post.
4. Other Practical Considerations
Can You Try It Out in Their Store?
The Internet is convenient. But if you live close to the physical store, try the coat out in person. It make take a little time but it will save you time from having to return (going to the store or the post office). It will also help save time and agony for the store's staff.
How Much Do They Charge for Shipping?
In the case of this trench coat, looks like they charge 10 euros for shipping, and returns is only for store credit or exchange.
So consider how much risk you are willing to take for paying for shipping and to only get store credit if you end up returning it. Free shipping is such an important life and time saver that I strongly believe in, which is why I offer free shipping and exchange for my store.
I hope these points help you find your next perfect coat online.
If you have questions like this one, email me or comment below. I'd love to help and hear from you. You question may get turned into a blog post like this that will be shared with many other petites.
Posted on 11 October 2018