06/28/2012 06:35 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 06:46 EDT

Best Clothing Brands For Petites: Flattering Fits For The Vertically Challenged


Let's keep this short but sweet. It’s not easy to dress in up-to-the-minute fashion if you’re around the five foot mark.

It isn't for lack of available advice. Experts say shorties should steer clear of tight clothing, but also avoid overly baggy clothing. They should wear high heels, but not clunky shoes. Vertical lines, V-necks and straight pants seem to work well. Hem lines should show leg, but not cut the thigh too high. And what's the best look -- preppy petite, diminutive city hipster, mini-yet-funky, sweet and small? The many rules and options are often conflicting and confusing.

There is help available in the form of petite clothing lines tailored for shorter women, although according to Cynthia Cheng Mintz, founder of Shorty Stories (a blog devoted to petite fashion and fit) and editor-in-chief of Delectably Chic, an online lifestyle site, petite sizings tend to have fewer offerings. This “visibly invisible” group is on the margin of female fashion, without the same tremendous menu of looks to choose from. And as Cheng Mintz notes, “unlike plus size women, for some reason we not allowed to talk about our so-called woes.”

So what’s one to do, short of dreaming of Gisele Bundschen’s lengthy legs and supermodel height? How do small women develop a signature style and make a fashion statement with confidence? We got the low down (pun intended) from Cheng Mintz on what brands work best for shorter women.

Check out the brands she recommends to help petite women look their best, with a few of our favourites in the mix for good measure.

Brands For Petites

Look out for these short celebrities who always manage to seem taller:

Short Celebrities Who Dress To Look Taller