Style Dilemma: Wardrobe essentials for a slim woman who is 5ft tall

A|Wear €55

I am 25, 5ft tall, a size 6/8 and 32A bra. My major problem is knowing what to wear and what suits me. Can you please give me a few suggestions? I want to look smart/casual and sophisticated. Joanna, via Twitter

You are petite by definition. Kylie Minogue, Eva Longoria and Rachel Bilson are all petites, so you're in good company.

Your shape is perfect – just slightly smaller than the average, which means you need to ensure that you're not swamping yourself with clothes that are too large.

Proportion is key – always buy petite sizes or have items tailored when needed. The shape and cut of your clothes is very important, too. Most clothing is made for taller heights, but many of the big high-street chains have specifically designed ranges with considered cuts and shapes for petites.

Zara's sizing tends to be on the smaller side, so it's a good first port of call. Skirts and dresses should come to just above the knee, which will elongate your shape. Zara's black-and-white printed skirt (1 €39.95) and tartan skirt (2 €27.95) and River Island's green skater skirt (3 €24) are a trio of eye-catching pieces that you can easily dress up or down.

For a night out, style any of them with River Island's black embellished crop top (4 €51).

With regards print, don't go too wild as anything overwhelming will engulf your small frame. The same goes for accessories and hair.

Straight lines will also create a longer silhouette, so A-line dresses and pencil skirts are worth trying. H&M's three- quarter-sleeve sheath dress (5 €29.95) is cut in a straight style with a soft monochromatic print.

For something really feminine, try Alwear's belted tapestry dress (6 €55).

Elsewhere, the Asos Petite range has an impressive array of styles, including a bow-front detail playsuit (7 €59.65), which is perfectly proportioned for the most flattering fit.

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