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Petite Figure Fashion Advice: Five Tips You Should Know

The word "petite" is a more complicated adjective than you'd think. Directly translated from French, the descriptor means "little" and people tend to associate it with both the very short and very thin. Which are hardly the same thing—especially when it comes to clothes.

For those equally diminutive in stature and girth, there are lots of smaller cut options out there (J.Crew, LOFT and Banana Republic all make great ones) but things are trickier for halfway tiny ladies. Since there are no special collections out there for those of average height with a slight build, or the under-5'2" curvy set, special measures must be taken. (Literally in some cases—see my first tip!) Click through the slideshow below to see what I advise.

Use your tailor for more than just jeans.

If something you love has a slight fit issue, consider your tailor's abilities. Can this baggy skirt be taken in? These jacket sleeves be shortened?

Once you start to see clothes for what they could look like—instead of how they appear on the rack—shopping will get easier. (And a lot more fun!)

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