If you were to poll the members of the M.M. Styling Team (aka the lovely humans who help you out when you email, chat, text, or call M.M.s customer service), I guarantee theyd all tell you the same thing: The request we get most often is for more petite-friendly options. And yet, when I look around the office on any given day, I cant help but notice that my petite coworkers are not only incredibly well dressed, but alsoyou guessed itdecked out in head-to-toe M.M. I am, admittedly, 55, so in my quest to unlock the secrets behind the impeccably dressed M.M. petite, I turned to M.M.s brand stylist, Nyjerah Cunningham, and two of my ultra-stylish teammates who work in our Bryant Park Showroom: Ismelka Gomez and Joanna Puccio (both of whom are 52). Read on to learn how they make M.M. work for petite frames (and give me major outfit envy on a regular basis).
Try an Unexpected Pairing
If you self-identify as petite, theres a solid chance you instinctively shy away from longer layersespecially when theyre as attention-grabbing as the intricately designed Carmen jacket. Shy away no more! A tailored jacket like the Carmen adds definition to a loose-fitting shift dress like the Maaza, which stops it from feeling overwhelming. A pro tip from Ismelka: If you tend to struggle with shift dresses (think: the Maaza, Doris, and Marilyn dresses), try adding a belt to reduce volume and length.
Play with Proportion
Advice you never thought youd here when it comes to dressing for work: Embrace the crop. No, Im not talking about rolling up to the office in cutoffs and a crop top (which sounds like a stress dream Ive definitely had). Im talking about harnessing the power of strategic layering to maximize your wardrobe possibilities. Case in point: the Arbus sweater, which is your ticket to pulling off elongating, midi-length styles like the Gwen dress. As Nyjerah explains, The shorter sweater breaks up the dresss long silhouette, which keeps you looking proportional and makes your legs look longer. It also doesnt hurt that these pieces are comfortable enough to snooze in.
Keep It Tucked and Tailored
Before you decide something doesnt work for you, try tucking it in. As Joanna says, Tucking is my savior. Since Im petite and have a straight body type, tucking gives me a bit more shape and helps define my proportions. If youre putting together an outfit, Nyjerah recommends starting with tailored pieces that you can build on, like the Celeste top and Crosby skirt. Once you have a solid base to work with, use accessoriesa belt, a sweater draped over your shoulders, a faux fur stole (we see you)to make it your own.
Embrace Volume and Length
That being said, theres no reason to fear long or oversized styles like the Dougherty coat. In the wise words of Nyjerah: Dont shy away from volumemaster it! As a general rule of thumb, choose one oversized statement piece per outfit, then pair it with fitted styles (tucking helps, too) to balance things out. When your heart tells you to Go long! (yes, thats a football reference, and yes, I regret it), opt for a shoe with a heel to balance the length of the hem.
Final words of wisdom: Rules are meant to be broken, and if you feel great wearing it, you should.
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