How Should Petite Ladies Dress for an Interview?

As a petite woman, it can be frustrating trying to find clothing that flatters your frame and shape. Your frustrations may be intensified when trying to find an outfit to wear to an interview, as most business attire is designed with women taller than 5-foot-4 in mind. Choosing form-fitting clothes and garments made in petite sizes will complement your natural build while ensuring you look polished and professional.

Shirts and Blouses

When it comes to shirts, try to keep it simple. Choose trimmed, well-fitting button-ups or light blouses over loose, flowing tops. Solid colors are always appropriate, and simple patterns can add personality while keeping your outfit professional. Avoid horizontal-lined knits, plackets or stripes -- they make your torso appear shorter and wider. Instead, opt for a top that features vertical lines, as they make your torso appear longer. Light-to-medium weight fabrics complement petite frames better than thick, bulky ones.

Slacks and Pants

When choosing a pair of slacks or pants to wear to your interview, invest in a pair that is specifically made for petite women. Petite pants are not only shorter than regular-sized pants, they also feature different proportions, making them more flattering overall. Solid-colored or pin-striped pants are best and will project a more professional image than patterned pants. As with shirts, choose pants that feature vertical lines over horizontal ones and that are made from a lightweight fabric that will work with your shape.

Skirts and Dresses

If you want to wear a skirt or dress to your interview, choose one that is an inch shorter or an inch longer than knee-length. Any shorter is inappropriate for an interview, and any longer will drown out your lower body, making you looking even smaller. Choose solids colors for skirts and simple patterns for dresses.

Jackets and Other Outerwear

Jackets and blazers should be purchased in petite sizes for the best fit. Choose something that cuts off at the hips and fits well in the shoulders, as shoulders cannot be altered. Your jacket should have sleeves that fit right -- whether they are three-quarter sleeves or full sleeves -- as sleeves that are too long look unprofessional. Consider wearing a jacket that is the same color as your pants because this creates a continuous line and the illusion of length.

Shoes and Accessories

You don't have to wear heels to your interview, but if you choose to, don't choose a pair that are too tall or are difficult to walk in. If you're wearing a skirt or dress, avoid shoes that have ankle straps, as these make your legs look shorter. Keep your accessories small and simple, such as a small clutch and a small necklace. Large accessories are not proportional to most petite frames.