How to Dress the Petite Curvy Body


The very lovely Jane from Work that Wardrobe sent me a plea to create a polyvore for her.

Jane is petite and curvy (and a decent bust0, with a lovely defined waist (X shape) . And she sent me a list of words that define who she is, which is what I’ve worked from with this set of outfits.

How to dress the petite curvy body

How to dress the petite curvy body – by imogenl on

Petite: I’ve worked with either colour blending shoes to the outfits, used knee-high boots (which I’ve noticed Jane loves), or chosen nude shoes to elongate her legs. I’ve also used mostly skirts/dresses, partly because I’ve noticed Jane seems to favour them, and partly because they make your legs look longer. Also, many curvy women find trousers very hard to buy as the fabric through the rise pulls and looks unattractive.

X Shape: Jane has a lovely tiny waist, so all these outfits take full advantage of that fact. They’re either belted or shaped so that this is a focal point of her body. Attention is drawn up to the face and away from the hips with scarves and jewellery.

Colour:Jane is blonde, and not afraid of wearing prints and colour, from her photos I think she’s got a warm complexion, so this is where I took the colours of the outfits. And notice – no black!

I’ve created a range of outfits to take Jane to prison (where she works, not resides!), to her PR job, as well as lunch with a friend, to a fancy dinner out with her hubby.

So do you think these would work for Jane?


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  • These are lovely outfits, Imogen!
    I myself am 5’10” and A shaped, or pear shaped, larger hips and bottom, smaller breasts, shoulders. I have been reading that it’s best for me to dress plain or dark colors on the bottom and prints or embellishments on the top to balance out the pear shape. This really does work well. I used to tend to buy prints or florals in skirts and capris but am trying not to do that now, keep the focus more above the waist. If you ever would have time to do a Polyvore for me I would love it! I work at a law firm but we are business casual and the weekends I usually wear jeans out and about and church on Sunday dress up a little more!
    Thanks for all of your great tips and pictures…I love your e-book too, by the way, and am learning a lot from your tips! I wish I lived near you to get your help in person!!

  • These are great outfits…I love the idea of eliminating black for us fair warm toned girls! I cant wait to see all of these on Jane’s blog.

  • Great outfits! I especially loved the use of nude shoes and tall boots to create length. And…I’m totally with ya about fewer pants and more skirts for petite curvy folks. Actually for petite less curvy folks as well. Somehow they create a better, longer lone.

    P.S. Check out Banana Republic right now for a great selection of nude shoes!

  • Thank you so much Imogen.
    After this week’s Michelle Obama challenge I will spend next week dressing based on these examples.
    It is such a privilege to have an expert like you cast an objective eye.
    I am so very grateful.

  • I am only 5’9″ and want to look like I am 5’10’ like Kelly. Will wearing beige/taupe shoes help me do it?

  • I can absolutely see Jane in the leopard print dress and red bolero or the dark blue dress with brown belt and knee-high boots. I think you nailed her style

  • Kelly – email me via my website contact page and we will talk.

    Sal – they said Jane to me as I was putting them together

    Too Blonde – I’m glad you like the lack of black! I hope many other try out this radical idea.

    Trish – I too love nude shoes and tall boots – even though I am not vertically challenged

    Jane – can’t wait to see your posts next week!

    Belette – absolutely the nude shoe will give you more leg with skirts – the concept works for everyone! In fact,I”m wearing a pair of nude peep toe wedges today and they are the bomb!

    Cat- thanks so much!

  • I LOVE this polyvore. This is my shape too and I note with interest that I do a lot of these things you suggest. Just by accident! Thanks so much for posting it.

  • I don’t know Jane but she is a lucky girl. And since I am petite, I am going to borrow these looks (hope you don’t mind Jane).

    Thank you!

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