It’s been over a year now since the pandemic changed so much about our day-to-day lives, especially when it comes to work. For the safety and wellbeing of everyone, countless businesses have closed their doors and offices have had no choice but to adjust accordingly, allowing their employees to work from home(WFH) until it becomes safer for people to return. Now that the world is slowly starting to reopen, so are places of work. Let’s face it—a lot of us shorties are getting ready to head back into the office after so many months of working in our PJ’s. Plaid drawstring pants and oversized tee’s probably weren’t part of your work wardrobe, and if they already were.. are you hiring?? Hah!

All jokes aside, getting back into the swing of regular work life can be a really hard adjustment. So how can you make it feel better? By feeling damn good in what you’re wearing! Today, we’re utilizing some petite hacks we know best and are incorporating them into your work wardrobe, helping to elongate your petite stature to boost your confidence, which can literally make you walk a bit taller too! These are classic and timeless styles, so you can rest assured knowing that investing in these staples will go a long way.


Open Neckline Top

Open necklines expose more skin, instantly giving you a bit of added height, no matter what the rest of your outfit looks like—yes please! However, open necklines can be tricky depending where you work and your individual body type. If button-down shirts pull too much at the bust, stick to flattering V-necklines that still provide a smooth look to how the fabric falls on your body. If you need your chest covered, try out a scoop neckline or boatneck that will still open up your top half while staying more modest.

Short Story Tip: If you’re more on the conservative side or have a larger bust that becomes overexposed in v-necklines, try a split-neck style instead! You’ll still get a bit of skin showing and the narrow opening will lead the eye down in a vertical, lengthening direction.
photo: Angelica, 5'3" (The Strong Suit)

High-waisted Trousers

The trouser—an absolute business-casual must. Varying in colors, silhouettes, and fabrication, a solid work wardrobe needs a good pair of trousers to anchor it. Sleek and always sophisticated, high-waisted trousers can take you throughout each season and can be worn with just about anything. In the spring and summer, pair it with your favorite light and flowy blouse for some movement. In the fall and winter, French-tuck a chunky sweater with a high collar. You can even take your trousers into the weekend with a basic white tee, a denim jacket and printed flats for some fun. The possibilities are pretty much endless, so if you haven’t invested in a pair yet, think again!

Short Story Tip: If you have a shorter torso and high-waisted styles easily overwhelm you, like coming all the way up to your bra line(yikes!), go for a mid-rise style instead, but keep the hem full length and style your top tucked in to maintain that long, vertical line that will make you appear taller.
photo: Sydne Summer, 5'3" (SYDNESTYLE)

Open-front Blazer

Maybe you work in a more casual setting or you’re a girlboss entrepreneur who can pretty much wear whatever she wants! Whatever the case, a good blazer is another absolute must for your work wardrobe. It’s a sure-shot way to elevate almost any outfit, adding a more professional and down-to-business kind of vibe to your look. It doesn’t have to be too uncomfortable and stuffy either! Go a little more relaxed but still polished in an open-front blazer. Want in on a secret? The open-front style also gives us shorties a bit more height since the open design provides a vertical line that’s front & center.

Short Story Tip: Longer blazer styles that hit you below the hips can sometimes throw off the proportions of a petite stature. Wear these with exposed high-waisted bottoms to prevent your legs from looking shorter.
photo: Brooke, 4'10" (Pumps and PUSH UPS)

The Suit

With more and more tech companies adopting a more casual and laidback atmosphere, suits have been put on the back burners. Often associated with super professional and “serious” careers, suits have a long history of strength being associated with them. So, if you do happen to work somewhere you can throw on a suit without looking or feeling our place, go for it! We know that monochromatic looks help us shorties instantly look taller, so a matching suit will do the same. During these warmer spring and summer months, a suit in a lighter fabrication, like seersucker, is perfect to keep you comfy while still looking oh so polished.

Short Story Tip: Keeping it classic and timeless, go for vertical stripes to trick the eye into seeing added length. Like a good menswear inspired look? Try out a pinstripe pairing for a strong and sophisticated vibe.
photo: Sheryl Luke, 5'2" (WALK IN WONDERLAND)

Nude d'Orsay Shoes

Wrapping it up with some accessorizing, tone-on-tone shoes are an all-around staple for any petite wardrobe. Did you catch our post on petite-perfect shoes? Be sure to check it out for more tips on petite-friendly shoes! Blending into your skin, nude shoes add length to your looks by simply creating the illusion of more skin being exposed. If paired with a skirt or dress that shows off your stems, the length extends all the way down to your toes. When worn with maxis or pants, nude shoes give a seamless transition from the ankle down, especially if you opt for some sort of heel, no matter how short!

Short Story Tip: Whether an actual d'Orsay shoe style or not, do your best to stick with some sort of pointed toe style to give your petite stature the best boost in height.
photo: Jean Wang, 5'0" (EXTRA PETITE)

Heading back into the office and need to freshen up your work wardrobe? Take the Style Quiz to get started!

Already took the style quiz and want to order a box? Shoot us a message at hey@shortstorybox.com. We can't wait to style you!

*cover photo credit: Pinterest