Style advice for shorter women

As you all know, we love Winser London. Every season I try to tell myself that I do not need any more clothes from them. However after a visit to their shop in Marlow or a quick view of their website, I instantly change my mind. One of the reasons is that it is a collection that you build upon i.e. a dress I bought in the summer can be updated for the winter by adding a cardigan or a coat from their new Autumn/Winter range. The styles and colours are synergistic and I can’t, off the top of my head, think of any other fashion house that does this so well.

Style tips for shorter women

Now quite a few of our lovely readers have asked if we can show the clothes on a different shaped woman. Usually Grace and I model the clothes to show how they look on ‘normal’ women but, to be fair, we are both over 5’6″ and fairly straight up and down, albeit not as slim as we would like!

Style tips for shorter womenSo we asked one of our readers if she would agree to be our ‘different-shaped model’ and she accepted. Annie is 5′ (and a bit), an hour glass shape i.e. large bust with matching hips and a small neat waist. She dresses very well, making the best use of colours that suit her and always wears her co-ordinated coloured glasses. She was super patient throughout the morning as we tried endless outfits on her. Interestingly she ended up buying an outfit that she would not have even tried on if we had not asked her to. I think all of us get stuck in a zone with our styling, so a session with someone objective can be really enlightening.

Style tips for shorter womenFirst up we tried the Winser classic trouser in size 14 which has a straight leg and suits most shapes. Annie also put on a cashmere roll-neck in Blush Pink but it accentuated her bust, clung to all the wrong parts of her body and did not show off her waist.

Style tips for shorter womenShe then tried the cashmere V-neck in Hollywood Red; this was too long so appeared to shorten her legs BUT the colour was fab. So finally we tried a Merino V-Neck in Vintage Rose and we went down a size to 12. Since it was a shorter length it was perfect for her figure however the colour did nothing for Annie’s skin-tone.

Style tips for shorter womenWe then tried Annie in the new Miracle Emma Capri pant which has raised piping down the middle of the leg, both front and back, and is a slimming feature. We combined this with the merino wool roll-neck in black and ivory and again we went down a size in both the sweater and the trousers to a size 12. The wide elasticated waistband of the trouser is both comfortable and acts as a slimming aid. As with many older women black is no longer flattering but since it is the ivory of the sweater that is close to her face, the whole outfit worked very well.

Style tips for shorter womenWe then came onto the dresses and Annie was keen to try on one of the Miracle dresses. We chose the new short sleeved style in Moonlight, a favourite colour of Annie’s. Disappointingly there was just too much fabric around her bust and it made her look shapeless.

Style tips for shorter womenThen Grace persuaded Annie to try the Lauren dress in Pearl size 14 and we hit the jackpot. We coupled it with the tweed coat, which she instantly fell in love with. The dress is made in satin backed crepe, a fabric much used by Winser London, which is very practical as it does not crease. The line of the dress is fitted at the bust but then skimming the body until the mid-thigh, finishing with an A-line flick which suited Annie perfectly. She went on to try the dress in Midnight navy with a silk cashmere cardigan in Hollywood Red to give the dress a more casual look. The cardigan ends at Annie’s waist but does not cling so it implies her neat waist without showing it.

Style tips for shorter women

Annie ended up buying the Lauren dress and the tweed coat and was thrilled with her purchases. She said, “I would never have tried on that dress as I thought you needed to be tall and slim to carry it off and how wrong I was. The coat will be such a great addition to my wardrobe as I can wear it over the Lauren dress and, more casually, with trousers and a tee-shirt or polo-neck. I found the morning very enlightening as I let everyone else style me. I went away with so many ideas of how to flatter my slightly fuller figure.”

Thanks to the wonderful staff at the Winser London shop in Marlow for their endless patience and really helpful advice.

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6 years ago

Thank for for the very interesting article. It gave me some great ideas

Helen Zigmond
Helen Zigmond
6 years ago

I particularly like the last shot Annie wearing the blue dress and the red cardigan!
I think it is terrific, taking someone like Annie and working through various styles to suit her body shape……Short and low to the ground, I should know being her identical twin sister in Australia!
Thank you

Kate West
Kate West
6 years ago

I’m a similar shape and height to Annie and would never have dreamed of wearing a dress and short cardigan like that, but it really works and slims her down. Thank you so much for doing this feature, please do more of them. As we get older we can ‘lose our way’ a bit with what works and what doesn’t. This has been extremely useful for me.


Dulci Walker-Webb
Dulci Walker-Webb
6 years ago

Where does Annie get all her co ordinated specs. I look for bright coloured frames and can never find them

Annabel & Grace
6 years ago

Hi Dulci. We have tracked them down for you. They are made in Australia and are called Jono Limited Edition. Unfortunately their website isn’t working at the time of writing, but you could Google ‘Jono Limited Edition UK stockists’. Otherwise, we are planning to do a feature on them as we think they are super cool too! Best wishes, Grace x