The Best Winter Jackets for Petites

If you're short in stature or have a slight frame, finding warm and stylish winter wear that doesn't overwhelm your frame can be a challenge. You don't want anything to look immature, but some of the affordable and smaller sized designer coats aren't all that warm. However, you can find winter coats fashioned to suit your sense of style, keep you cozy and make the most of your small size.

Petite Sizes

Find a more tailored fit with coats designed for petite sizes. Many brands have petite lines and most major retailers have petite sections where you can find coats designed with smaller proportions in mind. These coats will help define and flatter your figure, with better fitting armholes, shorter hemlines, belts at the correct waist level, and abbreviated sleeves to create proportion. (If you're short and size 12 or up, some brands and stores offer petite plus size coats, jackets and outerwear options.


Opt for coats that end at the knee or higher. A hemline that isn't too long is especially important for petites because the more leg you show, the taller you'll appear. Factor in what you'll be wearing underneath the coat. If you wear skirts, suits or dresses, consider how they'll look with the length and shape of the coat and if you're buying a winter coat for a special occasion, bring that outfit with you when shopping and have it on when trying different coats.


Look for sleek and simple cuts that aren't too boxy or voluminous. A long, lean line will create the illusion of height. Wearing simple coats that have minimal embellishment and scaled-down details also help create the illusion of length. An empire waist is perfect for petites, creating the illusion of long legs. Fur or faux fur coats that add a bit of volume are fine if you are small and slight, as long as they fit well and aren't too long. If your build is short but fuller, look for accents that add flair without adding bulk, like a fur collar or fur trimmed sleeves. Avoid puffy coats like parkas, and trapeze style coats that add weight and could overwhelm your figure.


Wear a single color from head to toe to add the most height. Coats in neutral basic colors, such as black, cream or white go well with similar shades of pants, skirts, hosiery and shoes to create a longer silhouette. Or choose bright colors that help petites stand out in a crowd. Hues such as yellow or red help make the most of your small stature by bringing your figure to the fore while adding a pop to more neutral outfits underneath. Pair winter coats with statement necklaces or bright scarves that lead the eye up, taking the focus off your lack of height by highlighting your face.

About the Author

Hilary White is a professional writer and editor based in San Diego. White has been writing articles on fashion, style, fitness, nutrition, movies and entertainment since 1994. Her articles have been published in "Westways" magazine, "Pages" magazine, "Book Street USA," "Magill's Cinema Annual," and numerous titles from Visible Ink Press. White holds a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University.