Petite Fashion Challenge: A Petite "Don’t"

“A petite should never wear ankle strap shoes. They cut the leg line and make you look shorter” – typical petite fashion advice


Top: Banana Republic, size petite XXS (altered in this post) (similar here)
Tank: Banana Republic Factory Store, size petite XS
Skirt: LOFT, size petite 00 (altered in this post)
Jewelry: Pearl cluster earrings (which you can’t see) (similar here)
Shoes & Belt: Vintage

What do you think? Did I pull it off?

I think these work for two reasons: 1) They are a neutral color, similar to my skin tone, so they don’t stand out too much. 2) I have a short torso and long legs, so it’s harder to make my legs look stumpy, petite or not. It’s all about body type!

See the rest of the entires hosted at Extra Petite here:

More outfits with the Ann Taylor LOFT pencil skirt:
Review – Goodies from the LOFT Friends and Family Sale
Adventures in Alteration – Slimming a Skirt
Petite Outfit – Feeling Lofty

More posts with this pair of vintage shoes:
Petite Vintage Shoes – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore…

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Bianca

    I think they look very nice, and I tossed that caveat out the window a while back LOL.

    I mean, hello, I am NOT going to look shorter because of a shoe LOL – I look short because I am short! I don't care at all about any advice that is given to make me taller. :-)

    Those are some great shoes!!

  2. says: PetiteXXS

    I definitely agree with you! Ankle straps are fine as long as long as they're neutral… in fact, I just bought a new pair during my last Endless spree (got my cashback re-instated btw, yay!). I love the blouse too, did you buy it in multiples again? :)

  3. says: Alterations Needed

    Thanks Bianca! A lot of those "petite don'ts" are totally dependent on body type, so I think a most of them are hogwash too. =)

    PetiteXXS – I hope we'll be seeing the ankle-strap shoes you bought in an outfit post soon! Yup, I bought this shirt in white and black/white print. =P

  4. says: Diana Lien

    Agreed with everyone else! The shoes aren't making you look shorter, only because they're nude. I love this outfit, especially how the color of the shoes match your belt. Details, details, details!

  5. says: Erin

    LOVE em! I have a pair of crazy high ankle strap heels and I don't think they stumpify me at all – and they are a dark color! Maybe I'll post a picture up… I wonder if it's too late to enter… hmm

  6. says: AubreyOhDang!

    I think the neutral color is key to not visually cutting off the legs on petites.

    But to address the issue of wearing ankle straps on petites as a general rule-of-thumb, would higher ankle straps in black still work on petites, even petites w/longer legs? what about thick ankle straps? (see link below)

    Ok ok, the above link is not the most attractive pumps, but to someone they might be. Overall, I still agree w/the rule in most cases, but I think you have clearly shown us a great example of how petite ladies can make ankle straps work. Great entry!

  7. says: snowjulie

    I think they look great! I have a pair of black ankle strap shoes and I love how they look. I think if the heel is high and paired with a slim skirt, it's great.

  8. says: PetiteLittleGirl

    I think you pull it off quite well. Like you said, the key is wearing neutral color ankle-straps shoes. Because the color of your shoes match your belt, the outfit is pull together nicely.

  9. says: Lisa - respect the shoes

    I think you look fantastic! A heel makes all the difference too. I also am loving the rest of your outfit – nice!

  10. says: Elle

    Love this outfit, the shoes look great and do not make you look stumpier. I actually think ankle strap shoes don't look that bad on most petites…well, or maybe what I am trying to say is that it looks equally as bad as when an average-height or tall person wear them. Ultimately it comes down to proportions, like you said.

  11. says: Kiki

    Great outfit! I used shoes that impinge upon the ankle region as my petite fashion challenge, too… although I sort of cheated a bit in how I styled them. I'd say you conquered the challenge beautifully!

  12. says: Nelah

    You look very polished from head to toe. Those type of shoes only look good on people with lean legs in my opinion (and of course yours are lean, I am jealous).

  13. says: curls-and-pearls

    Yes you totally pulled that off! I agree with you about the neutral colour or colour to your skin tone working best. But I think petites with slim legs or really long legs can throw that rule out the window :) Looking forward to the next challenge!

  14. says: Jackie

    I say yes! I think you look good in them.

    @Bianca totally. Short is short…not like my shoes are gonna make it worse.

  15. says: Tiffany

    you look great! You totally pulled it off. I've always worn ankle strap shoes, I didn't even know it was a petite don't. LOL.

  16. says: Abby

    Definitely don't make you look stumpy or short at all! I love ankle strap shoes. All my heels are ankle straps. First I'd heard it was a don't, but I think it makes me look ok. Love the outfit!

  17. says: PetiteAsianGirl

    I love this look of yours…yells summer office chic to me. It's nice to see the vintage pieces in action. It's funny I'm kind of wearing a rendition of your cognac belt and shoes in my post today as well : )

    And how did I not remember this top? I thought we knew your entire wardrobe by now, hehe. I had no idea you got it in white too…in my opinion it's much nicer than the print! I wish I got it now too, darnit.

  18. says: aradhana x3

    I love this outfit!

    I honestly never knew the ankle strap thing! But I guess the "they cut your legs" thing makes sense… even though I still feel like it depends on the shoes!

  19. says: CCE

    i didn't know ankle straps are a petite-no, I think I wore ankle straps in my challenge outfit without even realizing but good to know it still works! You always have the nicest shoes!

  20. says: Alterations Needed

    Thanks everyone!

    Aubrey – Hmmm…higher ankle straps could pose a problem. I don't own any to compare, but I could see those being way worse than the lower ankle straps I'm wearing. Especially in a high contrast color! Very good point!

    Nelah – LOL…the grass is always greener. I've always been self-consious of my scrawny little legs and jealous of girls some meat on their calfs! =P

    Vicky – LOL. Your blouse is almost exactly like mine!

    PAG – I told you guys I like to buy in multiples! LOL. I recently fell back in love with this top, so it's been getting a lot of wear this summer.

  21. says: Hanna

    I think the shoes also worked well because you have really nice legs! This is great because I always have worn ankle straps with long skinny jeans to cover up the strap itself. I also think it is due to the fact that the toe is more "pointed" it elongates the look.

  22. says: Petites Tops

    I think you’ve pulled it off just fine, and look great! I read in your bio that you are 4’ 11” but you certainly do not look anything close to this height in most of the photos on this blog. I guess like you said, you have long legs and a short torso so it does make you look taller, and these shoes certainly don’t make you look any shorter.

  23. says: Anonymous

    Looks great! I have short legs so don't know if I could get away with that but hey, who knows I may try it! Fun blog you have! Bonnie

  24. says: Kim

    Great blog!  I started following your blog not too long ago.  I discovered you thru Jean of ExtraPetite.  I didn’t know this was a no-no.  I have really bad feet and I have to wear ankle straps for the extra support. =(

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