Tag Archives: petite fashion

Back with a Bang!

23 Sep

The Petite Shopper Blog has moved to an all new address at http://www.thepetiteshopper.com (Yes, WordPress had me at “Go Premium”)

I’m delighted with the response this blog has given me and wouldn’t want to lose a single one of you followers! So please spare a minute and hop on to http://thepetiteshopper.com/ and stay hooked to TPS!



Kick High Heel Pain Goodbye

24 Dec

After years of speculation, we survived a non-existent doomsday on 21 December 2012 … We’re alive and we’re all going to look our best, party hard and dance away the woes of a year gone by this New Years Eve… As always, in a gorgeous pair of high heels. But what about aching, bruised feet and joint pain to add to your hangover ? Shudder.
My mother always said that what happens to you on the 1st of January happens to you all year long… Hence, having painful, calloused feet isn’t recommended the morning after. So here are my top ten tips, learnt from personal experience, to minimise pain from long hours of high heel usage…


1. Petite is beautiful. You don’t need audaciously high heels of the Lady Gaga variety. Choose a reasonably high pair of heels that don’t arch your foot too much. If you can’t raise yourself on your toes to an inch while wearing them, they are too high for you. Save the towering variety for dinners out where you will spend most of your time sitting down.


2. Platform + Rocking Heel is a great combination to look for when buying heels. This type of structure allows you to wear higher heels without arching your foot too much and giving you more comfort than old fashioned, flat sole stilettos. Platform Heels have a raised platform below your toes, and a rocking heel is the slight curve in the platform front which lets your step “roll” forward a little. This makes stilettos, block heels and wedges easier to walk in. Always go for such heels, they let you stand taller and be comfortable at the same time.

Normal Stiletto vs Platform Stiletto

Normal Stiletto vs Platform Stiletto

2. Wedges Rule. They are the most comfortable type in the high heel family and complement dresses as well as skinny pants. Platform wedges in eye-catching colours like electric blue or shocking pink look glamorous and party-perfect. Wedges in high-street footwear stores like Steve Madden and Aldo are beautiful and of great quality, or you can go for more economical finds in the nooks and corners of street-shopping hotspots like Linking Road and Hill Road in Bandra.

Blue Wedges vs Platform Blue Wedges

Blue Wedges vs Platform Blue Wedges

3. Block Heels, that recently came into fashion, are also surprisingly comfortable. I walked around and stood in my black, block heel pumps from Catwalk for more than 8 hours and didnt experience any acute pain or discomfort. Additionally, I also used insoles for these. Wedges and Block Heels are usually a more comfortable alternative to stilettos.

Block Heel Pumps from Catwalk

Block Heel Pumps from Catwalk

4. Gel-Filled Insoles are an awesome invention. They make wearing heels so much easier and comfortable. These insoles from Scholl are easily attached, transferrable and available in a lot of varieties to deal with different areas of discomfort such as the heel or the ball of your foot. Cushion areas that apply too much pressure or friction. These insoles are affordable and available in most supermarkets such as Hyper City, and footwear stores like Bata, Metro and Mochi.


Gel Insoles from Scholl in Bata

6. Walk Smart. This is very important. I’ve seen girls drag and trudge their feet along with their body when wearing heels, like their shoes weigh two kilos. Also, a lot of girls slouch in heels, although it gives you a momentary illusion of being more comfortable, you’re actually putting even more pressure on your calf muscles which will result in worsening the pain. When walking, have a straight posture and imagine the sole of your heels to be the bottom of your feet – which means you have to place your heel down first, right before your toes. Don’t plop them both down at the same time.


7. Practice walking at home in advance, a day before you intend to wear them to get accustomed to the posture. This is beneficial for women who wear heels only on special occasions. This tip applies for brand new heels as well as girls new to heels – it’s called ‘breaking in’ to your new heels to make them softer and make you more comfortable in them. Practice walking fast, walking slow, dancing, etc so that you’re prepared beforehand for every thing you’ll have to do in heels.

PS: To prevent shoe bite from new heels, apply coconut/castor oil to hurtful parts of the shoe three days in a row prior to wearing it. Apply some petroleum jelly on the areas of shoe that are likely to cause a shoe bite and let it stay overnight before wiping off the excess jelly. You can also wear a band-aid before wearing them or stick a band-aid to areas that prick


8. Take it Off and Sit Down. In most desi DJ Nights, no matter how posh the setting, high heels come off a few hours into the party so we can jump and balle balle around them. If you’re tired, don’t hesitate to join the brigade…It feels lovely to have blood circulation in your feet again. However, avoid doing this every time you sit or take a break. Some women’s feet swell which makes it more painful to wear them again. Sit, sit, sit whenever possible and just relax your feet without taking them off. The lesser strain you give your feet, the longer your high-heel life span when you walk, stand, and dance.


9. Cut your toenails. When you wear pumps (closed shoes with heels), long toenails put a lot of pain and pressure on your feet and make it very difficult to walk. Trim them or go for sandal-type heels to give your feet more breathing space.


10. Pamper Le Pied– fatigue and mild aches are inevitable. Treat your feet to a warm water soak with some aromatic bath salts or simple sea salt used in the kitchen. Salt has therapeutic properties which relieve tiredness and soften calloused areas. You can also indulge in a last splurge for the holiday season- a foot spa treatment at any local spa or salon. Contrary to popular belief, all spa treatments are not exorbitant.

Stay Away From These

17 Oct

Just like plus sized women evade skin tight clothing that makes them look more flab than fab, there are some fashion fads that just don’t work for petite frames. To a lot of my plus sized friends, being thin is a world where there exists no outfit that does not suit you. If only that were true. Unfortunately, this is a completely wrong notion. Flattering outfits are all about enhancing what you’ve got and taking attention away from what you don’t. Here are some looks which I think petite women should stay away from… OUT OF SHAPE CLOTHING I went through a phase when I would dig Batwing tops and loose, asymmetrical stuff like that. Possessing an old habit of standing on my toes whenever I check myself out in the mirror, I always had a taller, leaner image of myself in my mind than the real thing. One day, I happened to treat myself to a batwing crochet poncho from Vero Moda, only to realize a bit too late that it looked like I threw over a tablecloth. Sigh! Blame in-store lighting for deceiving the best of us! It was a rather disheartening feeling. This one was the last piece in stock, and my generous heart yearned to give it a home (or a wardrobe). That’s why they warn you against impulse buys. Oversized, asymmetrical and baggy tops like the one in the picture drown petite figures and look unflattering on small frames. However, plus size petite women can carry this off pretty well if the sleeves aren’t too roomy. Opt for well fitted, structured looks such as belted kaftans that flaunt your proportions instead of hiding them. The point is to have clothing that skims your body and does not form extra billowy volumes of fabric around it.

Roomy, out of shape tops like these drown petite figures and look rather unflattering

BROAD BELTS I was a big fan of the broad belted look when it just arrived on the fashion scene, but soon discovered that it doesn’t suit me at all. Broad belts when wore at the natural waist on petite frames break a figure into two and often turn out to be broader than even the curve of the waist. They break the vertical illusion that adds to your height in the eyes of another person, thus you sort of end up looking like two small chunks instead. Go for thin belts, they suit petite figures especially when they are the same colour as your top. Monochrome gives an overall longer and leaner effect to your body. So if you would like to opt for belts, try thin belts in colours that imitate or complement the colour of your outfit.

The huge belt with its even huger buckle looks unsightly on the slender, small busted wearer and makes her figure look rather odd

EXTREMELY WIDE LEGGED TROUSERS Extremely wide legged trousers look good on long legged tall women, but they tend to swallow up petite figures and make them look bulky. A flattering option for petite women would be high-waist palazzos that have a well-tailored fit. Anything high-waist elongates your legs and makes you look leaner, taller. So far, I think AND has the best palazzos in town because they’re well-cut, they fall beautifully, and they fit and flare in just the right places. Plus, the patterns are to die for. They’re also available in solid colours, I especially dig the electric blue. Trousers that are only slightly flared below the knee and have an overall slim fit as compared to really wide, roomy  palazzos look really good on petite frames when paired with heels of similar colour. When it comes to palazzos and wide legs, its all about the right amount of flare.   BROAD HORIZONTAL STRIPES Big, Fat Horizontal stripes makes the eyes of the beholder go from side to side which doesn’t help in elongating a figure. They have an astonishing way of highlighting fat that you never even knew existed 😛  However, skinny stripes look pretty cool. I dig  nautical stripes, and a good place to find some basic tees would be Zara. They have lovely fitting, long-lasting quality and are highly versatile as style pieces. One can also note that petite women can create a much better illusion of height with vertical stripes or details such as ruffled blouses which also make your upper body look fuller. Plus, there’s something super edgy about vertical stripes.

LONG TOPS Long tops make your legs look shorter, whether you are skinny or plus sized. Even more so when you are plus sized, in fact. These can drastically appear to reduce your height and the most common mistake I see women and girls make is pairing long tees with jeans. If you really like long tops, pair them with tights or lace stockings or skinny jeggings, as long as you’re not very heavy around your thighs. Because skin tight leggings on heavy legs can look very vulgar as tights have a nasty habit of being so much like second skin that people can see your cellulite. Regular denims that are loose around the knee and ankle look pretty awful with long tops. If you are plus sized petite and have big thighs, I would suggest you to ditch long tops altogether and go for A-Line or Anarkali patterns when you are buying traditional wear.

The Curious Case of the Copy-Paste

14 Oct

Nobody knows better than petite women about how being tall gives you a decidedly vast range of options in the What-Looks-Great-On-You department.

I’m a novice in matters related to the international fashion scene, but seems like one thing fashion bloggers and tabloids are actively chirping about these days  is the seemingly frivolous subject of Emma Watson’s unsuccessful peplum and cigarette pants pull-off from the Raf Simons for Dior Couture Fall 2012 show at a film premiere this year.

Dior’s creative head Raf Simons -who made his debut with this line- is said to have blown away the fashion world with this iconic piece in particular. The front rows gushed in awed silence when 5 ft 11 inches-tall model Suvi Koponen glided down the ramp in the simple black peplum top and cigarette pants combo, paired with pointy black heels and a statement neckpiece.

To me this clean, monochrome ensemble seems like a pretty straightforward choice of attire which any girl having the required means could make if peplum was her type of thing.  An ordinary person would think, “Whats the big deal about a black peplum top paired with black pants ?” I’m yet to find an answer to that. However, on petite Emma Watson at an average 5 ft 5 inches, this outfit has a pretty dismal effect compared to what it had on the tall, lean model.

Emma’s strapless bra modifies the neckline of the peplum top which doesnt look as flattering as the original geometrical design. However thats an excusable tactic, since she’s better endowed and likely to have a wardrobe malfunction without one. The more important lessons of petite fashion that one can learn from this blunder is explained by the major difference in the look of the outfit on Suvi (the model) and Emma. A British tabloid quoted, “Did you forget to take your pants off, Emma ?”

Now thats nasty, but its spot-on.

  • The Peplum Top looks like a dress on petite Emma Watson, and the difference in hemline is obvious. Suvi’s peplum ends at the crotch, while Emma’s peplum ends mid-thigh.
  • The cigarette pants on Suvi are ultra-slim, sexy and end gracefully at her ankle. Was Emma too lazy to try her pair of pants on and notice that they need alteration ? Or did she just not think it necessary ? For her pants bunch up rather unattractively almost below her ankle and camouflage the pretty heels.
  • Her choice of pants is very unbecoming on her, they are too wide to be worn below a long top. If she had gone for slim fitted ciggy pants just like those Suvi sported, this look could have had a glimmer of hope.

Accessorization is non-existent, and though I loved the choker, I wouldn’t recommend it on petite Emma’s already overwhelmed frame. This look surely sets an example on how a complete runway pull-off is a risky, difficult and challenging decision that can only prove fruitful if you look like a runway model.


Natalie Portman also joined the club of Dior Runway Pull-Off Celebs, and at a bonafide petite 5″2, ended up looking like a little girl trying on momma’s big wedding dress. This stunningly beautiful gown is supposed to be a tea (mid-shin length) dress, as seen on the model. But on petite Portman it skims the floor and looks overwhelmingly bridal. The dress is spectacular and if she wore this to her wedding she would look lovely and endearing – perfect bride material with a dash of bling. But for an event appearance this wasn’t one of her best choices.

Full length dresses that have a slim fit all the way down lend a lean, elegant look to petite frames as opposed to poofy, A-line dresses like the Dior gown in question. Mid-shin dresses are not flattering on petite women because they make legs appear short, stocky and stout.  A short, knee length or full length dress with a slim fit can be carried off artfully by most petite women.

The point of this rather pointless subject of who’s wearing what is that being a fashion victim never did anybody any good. Clothes we see on runways are beautiful and often inspiring, but to imitate those fashions in real life is not easy. Break down the elements of the designers outfit, and add your own personal touch to the look according to what works for YOUR body and YOUR sense of style. Indian women sometimes make wrong choices when pulling off runway looks. International designers are trying to woo buyers with tastes very different from us. Such outfits are Western in their sensibilities, and suited more to the bodies and attitude of broad proportioned, tall, sometimes skinny women that generally inhabit the Western Hemisphere and as a majority represent the fashionable circles of glamorous capitals.

The secret to a killer sense of style is finding out what works for your body, enhances what you’ve got and helps you look your best and feel your best. People will always have different opinions, but what matters is if YOU love yourself and what you represent through your style.

Life’s too short to blend in. So be original, be uniquely you, look your best every day and always remember to love what you wear. Because every day is a new page of your fashion story…