Saying Goodbye to Old School Rules, Part 2

Baby Max, arrived August 16! Isn’t he precious?

Wow! Things have been crazy around here! New grand-baby and trying to help out the new mamma, keeping up with my homework and health issues and a hundred little things that seem to keep dropping in my path… you know… LIFE! School would normally be starting today and this is the first time in 25 years that I didn’t have someone to send out that door this morning. I feel like I should say that makes me a little bit sad, sentimental or melancholy. But, the truth is, it doesn’t! I’m thrilled! I love it! I love that I don’t have school supplies to buy, teachers to deal with, schedules to worry about and that the only person I have to get on about doing their homework is ME! Maybe that makes me a strange mom, a weird mom or even a bad mom – I’m ok with that! I gladly pass the baton on to the next generation. I’ve done my time!

Last week we started a series on Breaking Old School Rules, and we looked at the beginnings of print mixing and how starting with a simple leopard print makes that first step a little easier. Today’s Old School Rule may not apply to everybody out there, but I’m sure it hits home for a lot of us, it certainly does for me:


A midi skirt is considered a skirt that falls below the knee but above the ankle. Some people use to refer to them as 3/4 length skirts when I was growing up. Being quite the short-y myself, I stayed clear of midi’s pretty strictly for some time. I always felt, as was the prevailing thought, that they “cut me off” and made me look shorter and stockier – especially when I was overweight.

Well, if we “petite flowers” turned our backs on midi skirts, we’d be turning away a whole bouquet from the trend garden right now! Midi skirts are hot! And gorgeous! And totally do-able for us shorties… if you know how to wear them to your best advantage!

Midi skirt Do’s and Don’t for Petites:

Keep it simple. Stay away from skirts or tops that are too fussy (lots of ruffles,excessively busy prints, etc.) They can be overwhelming on a small frame. In this same line of thinking, consider keeping your color scheme simple, possibly even monochromatic. It will create the illusion of one long, lean body line.

I’ve kept my outfit in simple black and white and used my shoes and my purse and scarf to bring in pops of color.


Put Your Best Foot Forward. As Cinderella taught us, shoes can save the day, or the outfit, so stay away from booties or ankle straps. Since your hemline already comes further down your leg, you don’t want your shoe line to come too far up your leg breaking the flow of the dress and making you appear “legless”.

Can I just say how much I LOVE these shoes?! I’m pretty sure that on the 7th day God rested so that on the 8th day he could create RED shoes! AND they’re outrageously comfortable!


 Stay on the “A” list. Consider choosing an A-line skirt. The downward cut of the skirt gives an elongating look to your body.

Watch Where You Land. Where does your hemline “land” or end? It matters. If it ends at your calf, you are accentuating the part which can make your legs appear short and stumpy. Let your hem fall just above or just below your calf’s center.

Look Center. Draw the eye center, to the waist. Keep your tops relatively form-fitting and do not allow them to cover the waistline. Keep things tucked or wear something short or cropped to present the longest, leanest possible line. You could also add a belt and create a waistline.

Now you may be thinking, “Wow, Ronnie, that’s a lot of rules for a post about breaking the rules!” And, it’s true, it probably feels that way. Remember, when you’re working with a stylist, usually one of women’s main goals is to look leaner, and if you’re petite, to look taller. If that’s what you’re looking for, these guidelines will help you achieve that. But, if you’re like me, some days I don’t care how short I am – I’m 4’9 – I know it and I own it. And I don’t care if I look a pound or two heavier. I know that number all too well, also! So, yes, there are days that some of these guidelines will be thrown right out the window, also, and I’ll wear something just because I like it and it makes me feel happy! Still, I’m honest enough to admit that I know I feel happiest in my clothing when I feel I look my best in what I’m wearing.

How about you? Are you conscious of whether your clothing makes you look taller or shorter? Thinner? Heavier? What are some tricks that you’ve learned to help, especially if you’re a petite woman?

2 Replies to “Saying Goodbye to Old School Rules, Part 2”

  1. Thanks, Jodie! I couldn’t agree more! I would love to see people throw their body issues right out the window! But, the fact is, as I’ve had more and more people asking my help and advice, the #1 thing I’m asked about is how to look thinner (or taller or create a waist…) Right now it’s just the way society at large has our minds programmed. But, that’s one of the things I love about fashion and why I love being part of it. You can take something as seemingly innocuous as a blouse or skirt or pair of jeans and renew someone’s confidence, their sense of beauty, by helping them find the ones that make them feel that little bit better about how they look in them. That’s an amazing thing!


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