Style Down Under: The Perils of being the Petite One

If you’re reading my column, you only really know me through the medium of text and codes on a webpage, through a screen and perhaps the odd picture, so not very well at all. Yes, I’ve been describing my Australian experiences thus far, but it’s still all very one dimensional. I should let you know then, that something which I think describes me in the easiest and fastest way possible is my height. I am a mere 5ft (perhaps 5ft 1” but don’t want to push it too much) and I am 98% proud of it.

I expected to feel very small when arriving in Australia. Every Australian I’ve met has always towered over me in the past; there’s clearly something in those roo burgers that makes you extremely tall Down Under. There’s also the image I had imprinted in my mind about the typical Aussie surfer who casually walks down the street, carrying their board with a figure almost anyone would love to have. Thankfully, these preconceptions were only half-right, so I was fully prepared for some of the height related issues I have already encountered.

For starters, at college, I have earned the nickname ‘Twiggy’…because I look like a twig (I’m not offended). My hangover was one million times worse after a night out this week, because tearing up the dancefloor is now a battle in dodging elbows of happy clubbers who are simply having a good time, but manage to elbow me in the head in the process; that’s due to the ratio of 6ft Australians versus me. I could go on, but that would make this column seem like a sad rant about being petite, and that is definitely not the case! Petite and proud I say!

There are ways of dressing though, which I believe can easily give the allusion that you look slightly taller then you really are. Virtually every outfit I wear, whether day or night will involve either one piece of high waisted clothing, or tucking in my top. To uni, I often wear high waisted skinny jeans with a belt, and a tucked in t-shirt or blouse, and in the evening I can so happily do the same, but with shorts or a skirt. If you team this with some boots, which can either dress up or dress down an outfit (remember that I’m back to Winter at the moment), then your legs look longer and you instantly feel a little taller. Well I do anyway! The absolute best boots I have ever worn have been my ‘Vagabond Grace Heeled Chelsea Boots’. If you are thinking of preparing your Autumn/Winter wardrobe early and looking to invest in a pair of simple and unbelievably comfortable boots, then these are your new best friends. A day has recently passed where I’m sure they were on my feet for approximately 18 hours, and even when I took them off my feet weren’t hurting at all; that glorious feeling when you take your shoes off at the end of a long day just didn’t come. Now that is definitely the sign of a great pair of boots.

All of these tricks worked brilliantly this week as I was introduced to the first ‘High Tables’ at college. This means we all have to wear our gowns (think Harry Potter capes, or more generically, a graduation gown) to dinner amongst a whole range of college traditions. It was great fun, but the gown is not something which really works with a petite frame. Nevertheless, hopefully next summer I will be wearing a graduation gown, and I’ll know the ways to not feel small or swamped at all. Being petite rules so we should all just flaunt it!

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