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(note: this was originally published on our new site:

Q. I’m 12 weeks pregnant with my 6th child! I’m a petite athletic 5ft tall post pregnancy weight of 105. I’ve always had a hard time dressing my petite frame with all my pregnancies. I continue to run 30 miles per week and continue weight training but since I’m short I tend to look chunky anyway! I would like some tips on how to elongate my torso and look cute for once during my pregnancy. I have very toned arms, shoulders, and legs, how would I go about focusing on those areas rather than on my mid section which tends to hold a lot of my weight gain. Hope you can help!

A. First of all - your 6th child? Wow, congratulations! How you find the time or strength to run 30 miles a week and weight train is beyond me, but good for you!

It can be very tough for petite pregnant women to find clothes that are flattering, since most clothes tend to make you look like you’re all belly. Since you’re fortunate enough to have toned arms, shoulders and legs, you should flaunt them! Look for sleeveless tops, above the knee dresses and skinny pants or jeans that show off your slimmest features. Look for silhouettes that are sleek and form-fitting, and avoid extra fabric like ruffles that will overwhelm your figure. When possible, wear a sturdy heel or wedge to add height.

Some outfit ideas:

  • Skinny pants, fitted t-shirt and a cardigan
  • Short shorts and a bohemian printed top or loose tunic
  • Short sleeveless shift dresses
  • Long maxi dresses with or without a little jean jacket
  • Leggings and a slim fitting tunic top

Here are some pieces to get you started:

Q. I know I’m two years late on this trend, but I am in a desperate search for black riding boots. I’m 5’3, so I don’t want anything too tall. Please help!


A. It’s never too late to buy a pair of riding boots - they are a classic look that you’ll wear for years and years. In fact, it’s the perfect time of year to invest in a pair since many are on sale. Since you are petite, it’s important not to choose a pair of boots that are too tall. Look for a shaft (the height of the boot) that hits an inch or more below your knee. A shaft that is too high and close to your knee can visually shorten the look of your legs. You may have to try on several different boots to find the most flattering shaft height for you, but try a 14” or 15” height to start. Here are some options that are 15” tall or shorter:

Q. I would love to invest in a pair of Frye Harness boots but I can’t decide between the shorter 8R or the knee-high 12R style. I’m only 4’11 so I’m concerned that I might look silly if I paired the 8R with a loose dress or skirt.

A. We are huge fans of the classic Frye Harness boot with its motorcycle styling and rugged good looks. Not only are they great looking, but they are built to last for years and only look better with age. We love them with jeans, leggings and yes, dresses and skirts.

Since you are 4’11, you are right to be concerned with the height (shaft) of the boot and how it works with your proportions. Depending how long your legs are, the 12R with its 12” height should hit below your knee, making it our top choice to wear with your dresses and skirts. If, however, the 12” boot hits higher than 1” below your knee, your better choice would be the shorter 8R boot.

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left: Frye Harness 12R, $222 at

right: Frye Harness 8R, $192 at

Q. I have two questions in one: I just got this cute but basic dress from Target in Charcoal. I am not great at accessorizing but would love to know what your suggestions might be. Also, could I wear knee high boots and tights with it? I’m short (5’3”) and curvy (size 12-14) and I have finally found a great pair of leather knee high boots that fit my thick calves but I’m afraid they make me look even shorter. Can short, curvy gals wear knee high boots without looking stumpy?


A. Your dress was a great score for less than $20! It’s a simple, timeless and flattering silhouette that you’ll likely get a lot of use from. A necklace would be the perfect accessory to brighten up the monochromatic look. Look for one that doesn’t hang too low or it will compete with the button details at the waist. A fun patterned or textured tight can also add interest to your dress.

For shoes, opt for a nice leg lengthening pump or yes, your knee high boots. Petite curvy women can absolutely wear the knee boot trend. For the most flattering look, follow these leg lengthening tips:

  1. Opt for a boot with a 3” or higher heel that isn’t too chunky. Flat boots can be a tough silhouette for petite women to wear.
  2. Look for a shaft (the height of the boot) that hits an inch or more below your knee. A shaft that is too high and close to your knee can visually shorten the look of your legs. You may have to try on several different boots to find the most flattering shaft height for you, but try a 14” or 15” height to start.
  3. Wear your boots with a similar color tight, legging or jean for a monochromatic look. Black boots worn with black tights creates one long line, rather than “chopping” your leg in half with a different color.

Q. I loved your feature on how to wear leggings last year. I was wondering if you could do a more current feature on how to wear leggings this fall, preferably for a mix of temps. Are leggings still current or should I skip them and move on to denim leggings?

A. Leggings are not only current, they are hotter than ever. Everything from basic black to denim to wild patterns and colors were shown all over the fall runways. Leggings look best worn with longer tops like a boyfriend blazer or chunky knit sweater; or worn in place of tights with a skirt or dress. This season, pumps or ankle boots are the hottest pairing for your leggings, but you can also wear knee high boots and even flats.


Here are a few leggings looks for inspiration:

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