Petite Women Can Wear These Bold Winter Trends — Here's How

Like the way plus-size women make up less than 2% of the images we see in the media, petite women are admittedly used to seeing the season's latest trends on models close to six-feet-tall. It's an all-too-familiar feeling to pick out an item while shopping online, picture how good it will look on you, only to actually receive it in the mail and realize it fits totally different (read: you're drowning in it). Plus, there's the whole idea that ladies under 5'2" shouldn't (or just can't) wear certain trends — especially in the winter: A duster coat might swallow us, bell-bottoms might drag across the floor, sweater sleeves might be miles too long. We've heard it all — and that's exactly why we're flipping the script this year.

With puffer coats dominating winter trends and over-the-knee boots refusing to become irrelevant any time soon (or ever), we're proving that the petite among us can go big instead of resorting only to skinny jeans, bodycon skirts, and shift dresses. Since there's way more to cold-weather dressing than simply playing it safe, we recruited four petite Refinery29 staffers to prove that no piece is too difficult to conquer. Click through for a reminder that big style can come in petite packages.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
The Puffer
Listen: We get that wearing a full-on puffer coat as a petite person can make you feel like you just left your bed wearing your comforter (although that look is kind of "in" right now, according to Marques Almeida), but there are ways to modify this trend to make it feel less overwhelming. Take this Acne Studios vest, for example. Though it's more of an accessory than true piece of outerwear (we wouldn't recommend facing a blizzard in this sleeveless number), it tackles the look in a way that doesn't engulf smaller frames. Pro tip: You can always find more affordable options at ASOS or Uniqlo.

Acne Studios
top and vest; Zara Pinstripe Trouser, $50, available at Zara; Tiny Om Drop Earrings, $427, available at Tiny Om.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
As for styling this trend, go with more fitted under-layers, as shown here on our associate project manager/producer, Ryen Williams.
A tailored trouser and sleek, pointed-toe flat will help balance out the top's proportions, and allow the puffer to be the focal point of the look without totally dominating — this way, you're wearing the outfit, rather than the outfit wearing you.

Acne Studios
top and vest; Zara Pinstripe Trouser, $50, available at Zara; Manolo Blahnik BB Leather Point-toe Flats, $645, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Tiny Om Drop Earrings, $427, available at Tiny Om; Tiny Om Hoop Earrings, $290, available at Tiny Om.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
The Thigh-High Boot
When you're petite, it's normal to hold up an over-the-knee boot and ask yourself, "Is this the length of my entire leg?" And, oftentimes, it probably is. But, there are options out there that work: We've found that a fitted, sock-boot style is best because it can be subtly scrunched down to your desired height, if needed.

Zara Oversized Jacket with Pockets, $70, available at Zara; Maiyet Full Skirt, $550, available at Shopbop; Charlotte Olympia Infinity and Beyond Embellished Stretch-velvet Over-The-Knee Boots, $698, available at Net-A-Porter.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
Boots this high tend to look best with a skirt-length that shows a sliver of skin above the knee, so your entire leg doesn't get totally lost in fabric. Since a pair like this can feel dressy, add some interest with a printed turtleneck, an oversized pastel jacket, and some blingy-in-a-good-way earrings. "I might actually buy some over-the-knee boots now!" our executive creative director & co-founder, Piera Gelardi, said on set. Our work here is done.

Zara Oversized Jacket with Pockets, $70, available at Zara; Rebecca Taylor Snake Print Turtleneck Tee, $250, available at Rebecca Taylor; Maiyet Full Skirt, $550, available at Shopbop; Charlotte Olympia Infinity and Beyond Embellished Stretch-velvet Over-The-Knee Boots, $698, available at Net-A-Porter; Ashley Williams earrings.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
The Knitted Co-Ords
Layered knits (we've seen a lot of these coordinating sets in recent years) can look droopy and heavy, and just plain frumpy on petite women, likely because they're just not hitting you where they hit on the model. Instead of shapeless pieces, look for more structured cuts. Plus, a more uniform ribbed knit (rather than a super-chunky one) will have you giving off those Céline-esque Olsen-twin vibes.

Pixie Market sweater and skirt; Alumnae Turban Slide, $575, available at Alumnae.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
Shown here on our senior brand manager Samantha Yu, go bold-but-subtle when it comes to accessorizing this look. A furry flat will add some texture to the ensemble (and remind you that, even if you are petite, you don't need to wear heels all the time), and a single earring emphasizes the outfit's It-girl caché.

Pixie Market
sweater and skirt; Alumnae Turban Slide, $575, available at Alumnae; Closer by Wwake earring.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
The Patterned Wide-Leg Pant
"Long, wide-leg pants make you look taller [when worn] with heels, whereas you might feel like a cropped pant can shorten the appearance of your legs," our senior audience development editor, Rebecca Smith, admits on set for this shoot. And while we generally love a cropped pant, we're all about petite ladies embracing a full-length bottom in all its glory.

Aritzia
trench coat; Eloquii Ruffle Mock-Neck Sweater, $60, available at Eloquii; Eloquii Tie-Waist Button-Down Shirt, $60, available at Eloquii; Eloquii Wide-Leg Trouser, $100, available at Eloquii; KATKIM Cosby Ruby Necklace, $800, available at KATKIM; ASOS Curve Ring Pack of 10 Faux-Pearl Open & Mixed Rings, $12, available at ASOS; stylist's own shoes.
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Photographed by Jason Rodgers.
With a higher-waisted pair, keep the styling long and loose: A classic trench coat and button-up maintain the feel of the look, without seeming like too much fabric. This shows a three-layer look can be totally flattering and not just bulky. Plus, it reminds petite women that there isn't a pant silhouette they can't try. Win-win.

Aritzia
trench coat; Eloquii Ruffle Mock-Neck Sweater, $60, available at Eloquii; Eloquii Tie-Waist Button-Down Shirt, $60, available at Eloquii; Eloquii Wide-Leg Trouser, $100, available at Eloquii; KATKIM Cosby Ruby Necklace, $800, available at KATKIM; ASOS Curve Ring Pack of 10 Faux-Pearl Open & Mixed Rings, $12, available at ASOS.
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