What To Wear If You Are Short & Chubby: Our 16 Best Style Tips

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If you’ve got plenty of curves to offer in a much smaller package, here are tips on what to wear if you are short and chubby.

Whether you’re tall with an hourglass shape, average height with a pear shape, or on the shorter side, you should still be able to express yourself through your fashion choices. Over the years, there’s been plenty of talk about what to wear and what not to wear if you are short and chubby, i.e., if you have short legs and a curvy or plus-sized body. 

At the end of the day, everyone should be able to wear what they want. But if you’re self-conscious of your curves and need some direction when it comes to styling, we can most definitely help with that.

If you’re not looking to make a big statement or want to be modest, certain clothing pieces should be avoided to minimize lumps and accentuate your glorious curves in all the right places. These tips will help you find cute outfits that make you feel confident.

What To Wear To If You Are Short & Chubby

1. Opt For Clothing With Vertical Lines

While the nautical style had a few moments in the fashion spotlight and is a Parisian favorite, horizontal stripes aren’t super flatting for those who are petite and curvaceous. Horizontal lines or patterns that go across your body can make you appear much wider than you are.

Instead, opt for vertical stripes or vertical patterns that go down your body, as the long lines will provide a slimming illusion. Pair the blouse with high-waisted jeans or solid-colored pants for a chic look.

As for the rest of your outfit, don’t skip out on highlighting your personal style by accessorizing with uber-cool bold jewelry, just like the Scandi girls.

Recreate this look
Barbour Marine Stripe Linen Shirt

Marine Stripe Linen Shirt

At Nordstrom

Reformation Mason Pants

Mason Pants

At Reformation

petit moments Gretchen Hoops
petit moments

Gretchen Hoops

At Revolve

2.  Tuck In Your Shirts And Blouses

If you haven’t seen Queer Eye on Netflix, you might not know about Tan France’s signature “French tuck.” By tucking the front of your dress shirt, sweater, or blouse into the waistband of your jeans or pants, you make your legs appear much longer, and it’s a great way to draw attention to the smallest part of your waist.

If you don’t tuck your shirt in, there’s a good chance that the hem of the shirt is hitting the widest part of your body. If you want to look a little taller, the French tuck should be your new best friend.

This also helps make your outfits more polished and put together, as it adds structure to the silhouette.

Recreate this look
NACKIYÈ Breakfast Club Stripe Oversize Cotton Button-Up Shirt

Breakfast Club Stripe Shirt

At Nordstrom

Reformation Liza Ultra High Rise Straight Jeans Es

Liza Ultra High Rise Straight Jeans Es

At Reformation

Stuart Weitzman Tia Calfskin Block-Heel Mules
Stuart Weitzman

Tia Calfskin Block-Heel Mules

At Neiman Marcus

3.  Invest In High-Quality Shapewear

SPANX Higher Power Shorts
Get this on Nordstrom

A high-quality piece of shapewear can smooth any bumps and lumps you may have around a particular part of your body, including your bum, thighs, stomach, and hips. 

Shapewear comes in all shapes and sizes, like bodysuits, high-rise shorts, tank tops, and high-waisted briefs. For those just entering the shapewear game, a good choice would be the Higher Power Shorts from the shapewear company Spanx; they’ve been making shapewear since before Kim Kardashian even had her TV show!

High-waisted shorts like these are great for a number of reasons. If your problem area is your stomach area, this will help provide a slimming effect. These are also great if you have big thighs which don’t always cooperate during the summer months, causing painful chaffing; shorts like these are the best solution to stop this from happening completely.

It’s more lightweight than usual shapewear and is perfect for everyday wear.

4. Embrace Monochrome Looks

Wearing one single color on your entire body can be extremely slimming. Think dark colors like black pants and a black long sleeve top or a long dress in one tone. 

It’s the best way for short and chubby ladies to appear stylish, taller, and even slimmer, and overall is an extremely classy look.

This is also a great opportunity to display any of your statement accessories, like a cute back or jewelry. Not only are these vital to highlight your personal style, but they also draw attention to the accessories rather than lumps and bumps that you might rather not have on display.

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Reformation Jamen Knit Dress Es

Jamen Knit Dress Es

At Reformation

Bottega Veneta Stretch Square Toe Sandals
Bottega Veneta

Stretch Square Toe Sandals

At Nordstrom

Chanel Shiny Crumpled Calfskin Quilted Jumbo Double Flap So Black

Shiny Crumpled Jumbo Double Flap

At Fashionphile

5.  Be Mindful Of Patterns

The general rule of thumb is the smaller the pattern, the smaller you’ll look. The first thing to note here is that chunky, loud prints and bold patterns can draw a little too much attention to the areas that you don’t want to highlight.

Clothing pieces covered in dainty, small patterns can make you appear slimmer while also making you look incredibly chic.

Or, you can use patterns in your favor, i.e. if your stomach is a problem idea for you, you can mask this by opting for a solid color top and a patterned A-line skirt.

Recreate this look
LAFAYETTE 148 Floral Belted Silk Shirtdress

Floral Belted Silk Shirtdress

At Nordstrom

Alexandre Birman Clarita Curve Suede Platform Sandals
Alexandre Birman

Clarita Curve Suede Platform Sandals

At Neiman Marcus

Ray-Ban Oval Flat Sunglasses

Oval Flat Sunglasses

At Revolve

6. Add A Belt

A belt holds the power to cinch in your waist, which is the slimmest part of your shape. Accentuating your waist draws attention to the belt instead of the areas you feel self-conscious about. You can even go for a contrasting color from your outfit to further break up the elements and add a fun element.

A fashionable belt can look rather trendy over dresses, with your high-waisted mom jeans, or even to cinch in a lifeless winter coat.

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& Other Stories Ribbed Cropped T-Shirt
& Other Stories

Ribbed Cropped T-Shirt

At & Other Stories

Alice + Olivia Elba Sequin Wide Leg Trousers
Alice + Olivia

Elba Sequin Wide Leg Trousers

At Nordstrom

Isabel Marant Moshy Leather Belt
Isabel Marant

Moshy Leather Belt

At Revolve

7. Wear Nude High Heels

Completing your outfit with a pair of nude heels or sandals is an easy way to instantly elongate your legs and give you the illusion of height. For best results, try to find a pair that matches the color of your skin, as this will create a seamless transition from your shoe to your skin.

Nude heels won’t draw attention to your feet or cut your legs off at your ankle. Wearing bootie-style shoes that hit right at your ankle isn’t a good option for short women, as these can drastically shorten the appearance of your legs. 

Similarly, you can incorporate this into your outfit by matching your shoes to your bottoms for that same elongating look.

Recreate this look
& Other Stories Cotton-Blend Bodysuit
& Other Stories

Cotton-Blend Bodysuit

At & Other Stories

House of Harlow X REVOLVE Sandra Skirt
House of Harlow

X REVOLVE Sandra Skirt

At Revolve

Fendi Cutout Metal Block-Heel Padded Leather Sandals

Cutout Metal Leather Sandals

At Neiman Marcus

8. Pay Attention To Necklines

When searching for sweaters, cotton tanks, and blouses, it’s a great choice to try tops that have a V-shaped or U-shaped neckline as opposed to a high-neck, like turtle necks. A square-shaped neckline is great for women who have large or small busts as well.

Instead of drawing attention to your tummy or hips, a top with a V-shaped or U-shaped neckline will highlight your upper body, including neck and collarbones, which is an extremely feminine and sexy feature.

Depending on your body shape, a high-neck blouse or sweater can make you appear heavier up top, removing any definition or shape from your chest, which is why it’s best to avoid this.

Recreate this look
REMI x Revolve Lauren One Shoulder Top
REMI x Revolve

Lauren One Shoulder Top

At Revolve

REMI x Revolve Lucy Maxi Skirt
REMI x Revolve

Lucy Maxi Skirt

At Revolve

Gucci Large Temple Logo Shield Sunglasses

Large Temple Logo Shield Sunglasses

At Neiman Marcus

9. High Rise > Low Rise

The resurgence of the Y2K trend seems to be here to stay, and so are low-waist jeans, though this isn’t a trend to suit everyone. As with everything we can suggest, if you want to follow a trend, go for it, but if you’re looking for something flattering low-waist jeans are one to steer clear from.

Low-waist jeans essentially hit right on the hips, so your stomach will be exposed and accentuated. In contrast, high-waist jeans not only accentuate your waist but also suck in your stomach, thanks to the thickness of denim.

Recreate this look
Rick Owens Crop Leather Jacket
Rick Owens

Crop Leather Jacket

At Nordstrom

Good American Good Classic Stacked
Good American

Good Classic Stacked

At Revolve

& Other Stories Squared Toe Leather Loafers
& Other Stories

Squared Toe Leather Loafers

At & Other Stories

10. The Rule of Thirds

This is a tried and tested styling technique that only those who really know fashion know to do; luckily, you have us. This isn’t only used in fashion but also in architecture, photography, you name it! It says that a ⅓ ratio to a ⅔ ratio is a flattering look. Don’t worry if you weren’t good at numeracy in school; we’ll explain what this means.

If you have a short torso or want to elongate the legs, a problem the short girls know all too well, you’ll lengthen it by wearing a 1/3 and 2/3 ratio. This means wearing a short or cropped top [like a baby tee]. This is your ⅓ ratio. Pair this with high-waisted pants or skirts; this is your ⅔ ratio. 

In the same breath, also think about balance. If you’re wearing a super flowy top, go for a tight-fitting bottom like leggings. Whereas if you’re wearing a tight-fitting top, a pair of wide-legged pants or an A-line skirt will work very well.

Recreate this look
& Other Stories Ribbed Cropped T-Shirt
& Other Stories 

Ribbed Cropped T-Shirt

At & Other Stories 

CASLON Wide Leg Pull-On Linen Blend Pants

Wide Leg Pull-On Linen Blend Pants

At Nordstrom

Converse High Top Sneakers

High Top Sneakers

At Nordstrom

What NOT To Wear Or Do

1. Don’t Try To Fit Into A Smaller Size

It’s not uncommon to try to fit your body into a smaller size as society has made everyone feel that the smaller the size, the better. But when you’re wearing a clothing article that’s too small, it can be very obvious to others as you’ll look (and feel) uncomfortable.

Instead of spending all day wearing a pair of pants that are two sizes too tight, go for your correct size. This way, you won’t feel the waistband cutting into your stomach, which can cause skin irritation and even a tummy ache.

2. Don’t Limit Yourself To Skinny Jeans

For petite, plus-sized women, straight-legged jeans are much more flattering than skinny jeans that suffocate your ankles. Straight-leg jeans can create a lengthening effect, making you look much taller.

If you really want to appear tall and slim, the best thing would be to pair your straight-legged jeans with a nude pair of sandals for a perfect fit. However, if you’re stuck on skinny jeans, try to pick a black or dark-washed pair, as these will make your legs look slimmer.

3. Don’t Forget About Accessorizing

Just because you’re opting for tops, bottoms, and dresses that are one solid color doesn’t mean you need to look boring. Statement accessories are all the rage, and this is a better reason than any to add some personality to your outfit.

If you’re wearing a plain black dress to a special event, we suggest adding a statement necklace to draw attention to your collarbones and some gorgeous earrings to frame your pretty face.

4. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of A Good Bra

Busty ladies should have several supportive bras in their underwear drawer as a good bra can lift up the area, giving you a more defined shape. Plus, a bra that fits you properly will make you feel much more comfortable and confident.

If you have trouble determining your bra size, there are now endless plus-size undergarment boutiques that have saleswomen who specialize in bra measurements. They can provide you with the correct measurements so that you never have to wear an ill-fitting bra ever again.

5. Say No To Oversized Clothing

While they are certainly comfortable, wearing oversized, baggy clothing when you are short and chubby is a big no-no if you want to appear stylish, taller, and slimmer.

Trying to hide your hourglass or pear shape in baggy clothes makes you appear larger than you are.

Instead of wearing oversized clothing or pieces that are too tight, try to find items that perfectly skim your figure.

If you have trouble finding pieces that fit your curves properly, we suggest visiting a tailor, as they can take in or let out the clothing that you’ve purchased.

6. Be mindful of frills

Frills and other flouncy details add weight to your figure, making you appear larger and shapeless. Though frills are having a re-birth with asymmetric frill dresses and tops rising in popularity. These design elements, which involve a lot of excess fabric, don’t really work if you have a small frame, and can make you look stumpy.

Plus-sized ladies should avoid excess frills, pleating, and ruching. Though when you incorporate our other tips with these elements, you should be able to still create a flattering outfit.

If you must have some frills, perhaps wear this so you aren’t drowning in fabric, like a one-shoulder top with frills or a frilled mini skirt with a cropped baby tee.

It’s important to remember that the tips in this list are suggestions and fashion tips, not rules. When shopping and deciding what to wear when you’re short and chubby, you should always purchase what makes you feel the sexiest and most comfortable, and that makes the right outfit for you no matter what.

The right clothes are what you are most confident in. If you’re wearing something that causes you discomfort, you won’t be able to be the happiest, best version of yourself.

We hope that you enjoyed our guide on what to wear when you’re short and chubby. For more plus-size fashion ideas and more, check out our related fashion posts below!

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