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Petite Power

We all have unique body shapes, features and proportions.  Great style is about confidence.  A more positive self-image can be achieved when you discover how to create looks that are balanced, harmonious and authentically you. I haven’t met one woman who doesn’t have concerns about her physique.  A personal stylist can help you to understand, appreciate and embrace the shape that you have by selecting garments and accessories in styles and colours that elevate and enhance your natural beauty.

Styling a smaller bust doesn’t have to be a dilemma.  I should know!  I am a B-cup size and have learnt how to enhance this part of my body when I feel like it so that is it in proportion with the rest of me.  At the end of the day, I was born like this – this is me.  Of course, there will always be particular cuts and styles of clothing that do not suit a smaller bust, and yes, it can be frustrating.  But just as there are certain shoes that don’t fit, or waistbands or pant lengths that may not work for you, experience tells me that there are some great styling strategies that you can implement in order to provide solutions to dress your unique and beautiful shape.

What’s important is understanding that you are not defined by one body feature, rather, you are the sum of all your features.  Creating an aesthetically pleasing outfit to look and feel great is about ensuring you ‘know thyself’.  This means understanding elements like your vertical and horizontal proportions, height, weight, face shape, prominent features, to name just a few. When the sum of your features harmonises with the design and colour of garments and accessories that you wear, you will convey a beautiful silhouette.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Embellishments on pockets, ruffles and lace add interest and create the illusion of extra volume.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Flattering necklines combined with accessories will enhance a smaller bust.

If you wish to enhance a smaller bust, detract from it, or indeed show it off, and feel more confident, here are some of my tried and tested styling solutions for you.

  • A fabulous foundation is key.  When was the last time you had a bra fitting?  If it’s been more than two years since your last bra fitting, may I suggest having one.  Seek the services of a professional bra fitter and explore the various styles available to support your shape.  If you are sensitive to underwire bras like me and find them too uncomfortable, I recommend Calvin Klein’s Form Push Up Bra that has no underwire, yet creates a flattering silhouette using soft foam padding for natural enhancement and it is super comfortable.  You can check it out by clicking on this link:

  • Embellishments are your friend.  Being more petite means that you can wear an array of blouses, tops and t-shirts with beading, motifs, embroidered pockets, larger collars, those with neck ties, and other added details like ribbons, studs and buttons.  These design features will create interest and the illusion of extra volume.
  • Circular and curved design lines will add visual weight and a feminine shapely silhouette such as frills and ruffles in soft fabrics that drape fluidly over the bust area.
  • A top or dress with a cowl neckline will work wonders. You can wear high necklines too, like a fitted or semi-fitted turtle-neck knit, depending upon your personal preference.  Necklines that are gathered or have vertical pleats can add volume. Boat necklines accessorised with a scarf or necklace will detract from a small bust and focus attention on the shoulders, neck and face. Asymmetrical necklines are flattering and very effective in moving the eye up a garment, away from your bust to your face.  Halter necklines are also an option so your shoulders become a focal point. A well-fitting wrap-style top or dress forms a V-neckline which is figure hugging and creates a curvaceous and flattering shape.
  • You can wear double breasted jackets with confidence.  And when you wear a jacket that is internally waisted, or create waist definition with a belt, for example, this serves to convey a fuller bust and enhance your overall silhouette.
Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Scarves add another layer, colour, texture and volume.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Layering garments and defining your waist will create a lovely silhouette.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Add colourful necklaces, statement earrings, hats and sunglasses and enjoy exploring your personal style.

  • Dress your decolletage with an attractive necklace.  Longer and layered necklaces look especially sexy when worn over a plunging neckline; it’s a myth to think you need to be well endowed to wear a very open neckline.  Utilise statement earrings, and a bright lipstick colour to draw attention to your lovely face. Accentuate your eyes by selecting eye makeup in enhancer or intensifier colours.  Experiment with scarves, hats and sunglasses to add colour, higher focal points and have fun expressing your personal style.
  • 80% of what we wear from the bust upwards should ideally be in one of your best colours.  Wearing a ‘wow’ colour will immediately draw the viewer’s gaze to your face and eyes.  Light and bright colours are advancing colours which will enlarge an area to which they are applied.  Therefore, consider using these colours on your smallest areas. As well, depending on your particular colour direction, high impact colour contrasts will add a ‘wow’ factor.
  • Fabric surfaces can make all the difference too. Sequinned, shiny and luminous fabrics will emphasise curves and can make your bust look larger. The same effect can occur when wearing textured fabrics like corduroy and tweed, as this can add visual weight.
Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Wear your signature ‘wow’ colours.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

High shine fabric and metallics catch the light and accentuate curves.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Textured garments add visual weight.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Select colourful busy prints and patterns that complement your colour direction.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Spots, checks and stripes, collars and plunging V-necklines all work here – there are many options if you have a petite bust size.

Lucia's Personal Styling - Petite Power

Attractive bras, sheer fabrics and backless garments can be sexy, alluring and elegant.

  • Wear busy prints and patterns in colours that you love which complement your colouring including florals, paisley, checks, stripes and spots. Busy patterns keep the eye distracted and moving.
  • Layer multiple items in your correct colours and contrast levels. If you dare, a petite bust also looks super sexy in a lacy bra under a sheer blouse, or a more masculine, boxy jacket.  Distracting the eye from your bust and exposing your upper back in a cut out dress or backless top can be equally aesthetically pleasing, provided this is a style you are comfortable wearing. Strapless and camisole tops are also a favourable look and some of you may be lucky enough to go without a bra.

So please don’t lament over the size of your cleavage.  There’s lots of benefits to having a small bust.  You can play sport and exercise easily without worrying too much about squeezing into a sports bra.  As you age, gravity won’t effect you as much.  Sometimes, it’s the little things that can have big advantages (pardon the pun); you can comfortably wear straps like cross body bags, longer necklaces and car seatbelts without discomfort. You can often wear shirts without worrying about the buttons popping and most importantly, you won’t suffer from back pain.

Regardless of your physical features, the most important thing to remember about personal style is that it’s all about wearing your clothing with confidence and a positive attitude.  You need to be authentically you.  This will happen when you know all the garments and accessories that suit your shape, colouring and personality; they should be comfortable and make you feel good.  Then, you will shine brightly. The essence of great style is within; as my motto says, unfold your inner beauty and outwardly shine.

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