The term ‘Petite’ refers to the height of a person and not their weight. We've been inundated with requests from petite teachers to design workwear with them in mind as they are most conscious of looking like a child because they work with children. Petite teachers in secondary schools claim they've faced difficulty exuding authority amongst teenagers twice their size.
Many petite teachers choose to work in primary schools and admit that their height is a problem as they actually don’t feel good in any kind of workwear worn with flats. 'Heels are not an option' say two of our customers (both teachers) who prefer the comfort of brogues. Imagine a petite teacher: she has to manage a whole lot of children who may be taller or bigger than her. In such cases, wearing premium quality workwear that differentiates her suit from the school uniform and exudes curves and femininity will give her the confidence and self esteem to have control over the class so children are more likely to take her seriously.
Let us see what kind of workwear and style can make our petite teachers stand strong and confident before the class as well as feel good about their attire and personality.
Awesome workwear tips for petite teachers
Define your signature look – If you're a history teacher who loves A-line dresses, make that your look and find the same cut and length in every print from polka dots to flowers, ensuring the motifs are smaller than your fist in size and the hemline is at the knee.
If you're a PE teacher, choose tracksuits in dark hues if you want to look taller; navy and black with stripes down the sides elongate the body.
If you prefer trouser suits, buy a slim fit one with straight leg trousers in five different colours to define your look and keep the look fresh by mixing and matching with shirts, blouses, scarves in different colours.
If you prefer the pencil skirt and cardigan combo, make sure your outfit looks polished with a fitted/tailored pieces and accessories with jewellery to avoid the school girl look. Think Victoria Beckham -wear a belt over your cardigan to cinch the waist and choose muted colours which match your array of pencil skirts that cut off at the knee.
If you prefer shift dresses, with or without sleeves, ensure the neckline isn't gaping and hemlines are at or above the knee and in one uniform colour. Buy single colour dresses not color block ones which will only make you look shorter. Look for fitted silhouettes which have at least 3% stretch in the fabric (seen as elastane or spandex on care labels) to ensure they're comfortable to wear even if you have to sit on the floor with kids.
Invest in a sharp blazer – tailored for petites of course! This will ensure the sleeve lengths cut off correctly between the wrist and thumb knuckle and the blazer doesn't droop at the shoulders. Choose cropped jackets that cut at the pelvis to make you look taller with narrow lapels and preferably V necklines rather than closed crew necklines.
Invest in a smart, petite suit -one which is well-cut to fit your proportions perfectly. Every teacher needs a staple navy or black suit for the annual prize giving ceremony or school open day to reflect professionalism and to ensure they look mature, credible and authoritative.
Choose slim fit – As the rule of thumb goes, if you are petite, you should avoid loose-fitting, oversized or billowy clothing. It will make you appear even smaller. Rather, choose clothes with a slim fit to make your body look elongated. When it comes to pants, pick skinny or straight styles. You can wear a V-neck sweater with dark colored skinny jeans and heeled boots on school trips.
Monochromatic is ideal – Monochromatic clothing is the ideal option to make your petite figure appear leaner and taller. In other words, choose the same shade right from head to toe to create a long line to increase vertical proportions. That doesn’t mean that the entire outfit has to be in the exact hue, however, the pieces must belong to a single color family i.e. cobalt blue blouse with navy trousers.
Empire waist - An empire waist can create the illusion that a petite woman is a little taller. As the empire waist hits right below the bust, it gives your torso an elongated look so choose dresses in this cut if possible. Wearing a colorful empire-waist top with a scoop or V-neck along with slim cut trousers is perfect during pregnancy and beyond.
Stay Small Scale – As far as patterns and accessories are concerned, petite women must choose small scale items that appear proportional to their frame. Large patterns can overwhelm a small frame. So, choose subtle and delicate prints. Besides, don’t use oversized handbags such as a bucket or hobo style. Instead, pick small shoulder bags or rather a large clutch so as to keep your frame balanced.
More tips on Petite Clothing and Fashion
Are you a tall petite? In the 5'2"-5'4" range? Well, you can still pull off average sized clothes; however, you have to apply a few styling tricks that help you appear taller as well as help you choose the best clothes suiting your height. You may need clothes that draw the eye of the beholder up and down; tricking the eye to believe that you are taller; choose streamlined shapes and styles like vertical stripes and pleats, above the knee hemline and V-shape necklines.
The important factors to bear in mind when you shop for normal size clothes (when petite clothing isn’t a choice for you) are the hemline, necklines, cut, and the size and shape of prints.