What To Wear If You Are Short And Chubby: Our 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 hour-glass shape, average height with a pear-shape, or on the shorter side, you should still be able to express yourself through fashion. These tips will help you find clothing pieces that make you feel confident.


What to wear if you are short and chubby: Floral jacquard dress

Get this dress on Pretty Little Thing


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. We strongly believe that 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 shopping, we can most definitely help with that.

If you’re not looking to make a big statement or want to be modest, there are certain clothing pieces that should be avoided to minimize your lumps. There are also several items that can be worn to accentuate your best features and assets in the right places. So, what are they? Let’s get right into it.


What To Wear If You Are Short And Chubby: The Do’s

1. Opt For Clothing With Vertical Lines


what to wear if you are short and chubby: vertical stripes

Get this on Shein


While the nautical style had a few moments in the fashion spotlight, 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 lines or vertical patterns that go down your body as the long lines will provide a slimming illusion. A striped button-up shirt like this one from Shein will elongate the appearance of your torso.

Pair the blouse with high-waisted jeans or solid-colored pants for a chic look.


2. Tuck In Your Shirts And Blouses


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Classic white button-up shirt

Get this top on Shein


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 shirt, sweater, or blouse into the waistband of your jeans or pants, you make your legs appear much longer.

If you don’t tuck your shirt in, there’s a good chance that the hem of the shirt is hitting at the widest part of your body. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but if you’re wanting to look a little taller, the French tuck should be your new best friend.

If you want a cute casual look with a blouse that provides a slimming effect, try peplum tops! Peplum tops are great, as they cinch at the waist to create a hanging frill or flounce, therefore accentuating your waist! This is also a great way to hide your belly!


3. Invest In High-Quality Shapewear


what to wear if you are short and chubby: Beige Spanx shapewear


Get this on Nordstrom | Spanx


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. We suggest buying shapewear if you plan on wearing a rather tight pair of pants or a bodycon dress as it will keep you cinched in all night long.

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  OnCore High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Short from the shapewear company Spanx.

It comes in several nude shades and provides the brand’s most powerful compression, making it an excellent item for short and chubby women to wear under occasionwear or other clothing.


4. Embrace Monochrome Looks


Black top with black pants

Get this on Pretty Little Thing


Wearing one solid color on your entire body can be extremely slimming. Think dark colors like black pants and a black long sleeve top or dark brown faux leather pants and a brown sweater.

By doing this, it’s the best way for short and chubby ladies to appear stylish, taller, and even slimmer. If you want to play around with a bit of color, wear the same colored pair of bottoms with a matching jacket, adding a pop of color with a blouse or sweater underneath the jacket for a classy look.


5. Be Mindful Of Patterns


Ditsy floral blouse

Get this on Shein


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. Floral blouses, like this one from Shein, covered in small flowers can provide your outfit with a wonderful pop of color!


6. Add A Belt


Fashionable white belt

Get this on Shein


A belt holds the power to cinch in your waist, which is the slimmest part of your shape. By accentuating your waist, everyone’s attention will be drawn to the belt, instead of the areas you feel self-conscious about.

A fashionable belt can look rather trendy over sweater dresses or with your high-waisted mom jeans. We particularly love this Western Leather Belt from Anthropologie as it’s covered in details, making it appear as an accessory to your outfit. It comes in seven different colors so there’s a belt to suit everyone’s personal style.


7. Wear Nude High Heels


Nude high heels

Get these shoes on ASOS


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 skin.

Nude heels won’t draw attention to your feet or cut your legs off at your ankle. We suggest not wearing bootie-style shoes that hit right at your ankle if you are short and chubby, as these can drastically shorten the appearance of your legs.

If you’re not a seasoned professional when it comes to walking in heels, these nude sandals from ASOS are a good place to start. They only have a four-inch heel so that you won’t look like a baby deer when walking into the party.


8. Pay Attention To Necklines


White v-neck tee

Get this bodysuit on Pretty Little Thing


When searching for sweaters, cotton tanks, and blouses, try to find 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 your best 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. 


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.

If you’re unsure of your proper sizes, ask a salesperson for help in the change room as they can assist you with measurements.


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’re really wanting 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.

Madewell’s Perfect Vintage Raw Hem Jeans feature a straight leg and are available in plus sizes.


3. Don’t Forget About Accessorizing


Just because you’re opting for tops, bottoms, and dresses that are one solid color doesn’t mean that you need to look boring. 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 that will frame your pretty face.

No matter what your body type, accessorizing is a key part of the getting ready process.


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 your tatas, 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 tons of plus-size undergarment boutiques that have saleswomen who specialize in bra measurements. They can provide you with your correct measurements so that you never have to wear an ill-fitting bra ever again.

For those who don’t feel like visiting a lingerie store, the Playtex 18 Hour Ultimate Lift Support Wirefree Bra was voted the best plus-size bra for everyday use.


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 hour-glass or pear shape in baggy clothes will actually make 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. No Frills Or Heavy Fabrics


Frills and other flouncy details can actually add weight to your figure, making you appear larger and shapeless. Frills, pleating, and ruching should be avoided by plus-sized ladies at all costs. When it comes to fabric, avoid sheer, clingy, and heavy fabric as these won’t be super flattering.


*Final Note*


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.

Shopping as a petite and plus-sized lady can sometimes feel disheartening in terms of selection so once you find a store that carries pieces that make you feel good, visit them on a regular basis! Everyone should feel fabulous when getting dressed up, despite their shape or size.

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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  1. Claudia Shukis says:

    This was a very helpful article! Thank you.

  2. Ka Murphy says:

    Thank you for the great advice

  3. I really appreciate your advice, thank you

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