Curvy Petite Classics

Q. I love your website. I have gotten rid of a lot of things in my closet and seriously need to build a new wardrobe. I was wondering what basic pieces I need to have. If you could add a section to your site that shows great basic finds would be great. I am a curvy petite.

-Shapely Figure

A. First off, make it simple and shop from designers that cater to your size so you don’t have to spend even more money heading to the tailor. offers pants in both petite regular and petite short, plus stylish dresses, suits, tops and more. J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne, Gap and Jones New York also make petite sizes.

The classic list of items every woman should have in her wardrobe hasn’t changed much in 25 years, but it’s what you add in that injects your own personality. It can mean colors that brighten or deepen your skin tone, tops with added details or accessories that help liven up a white button down.

I consider the top 10 classics to be:

  1. Well fitting white button down shirts.
  2. Long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, primarily v-neck which is most flattering.
  3. Trench coats. For your size be sure it doesn’t overwhelm your height. Look for belted versions to help define your waist and a style that you can wear with suits, dresses and jeans. A truly versatile style will also have a zip out or button out wool lining.
  4. Black pants. Nowadays, it’s also good to have navy, chocolate, khaki and white for choices all year.
  5. Dark denim jeans. A pair that can be dresses up with heels for evening and ballet flats to run around doing errands.
  6. Turtleneck, v-neck and cardigan sweaters in black and other various colors.
  7. One good suit, but if your career doesn’t require a suit, then just buy a good blazer that you can pair with trousers and jeans. It is a polished look to wear a button down shirt, blazer and dark jeans.
  8. Dresses. Go for a wrap style and a v-neck dress that is fitted on the top half and has an a-line bottom half.
  9. Skirts. For a curvy, petite figure look to score a-line shapes and avoid full skirts and straight up and down pencil styles.
  10. Additional tops that have flirty features, but are not laden with ruffles and bows. Too many girly features on a petite figure can make you appear like a little girl rather than a woman.

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