Nikki’s Inbox: From Cute to Classy

Hey Nikki! I’m a particularly short girl (149 cm) with a really young appearance. No, it’s not the good kind of young that makes you look youthful and refreshing, but rather the type of young where a stranger looks at you and thinks you’re a 12-year-old. I don’t know my exact measurements but I can tell you that I barely have a bust, I have rather thick thighs, and a very round face. I also wear glasses, but I’m not sure if they make me look childish or more professional.

I’m attending university and am looking for a job, but it doesn’t really help that I don’t look my age. I really love cute fashion trends like overalls, jumpers, shirtdresses, oversized hoodies, midi skirts, heart prints, pastel colors, etc. even though I know that they don’t suit my height and make me look like a kid. I really love skirts too, but I find that if I wear anything other than a plain dark-colored skirt then I look childish instead of cute. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to wear these types of cute clothing but still look mature? Thank you so much in advance!

Amber, 19/USA

Hello Amber! I hope my suggestions will help you be more confident with your everyday style and job search.

Best Foot Forward

I know all about comfort dressing. And yes, it is difficult when people don’t take you seriously (or too seriously) if you don’t look your age. However, this is my question for you: Are you willing to make a compromise?

Some jobs may have minimal dress codes — you can show up in your pajamas and no one will care. But most workplaces do have a basic dress code for employees. Are you willing to abide by that? While some might say following a dress code means they can’t express themselves fully, I see it as a way to be more creative with one’s personal style. You’re seen as more versatile and flexible, more open-minded. That makes it a win-win situation in my book.

Make Pastels Pop

I don’t see why you can’t wear pastels for work. You can give them a more elegant, womanly twist by pairing them with neutrals tones and deeper shades. That way, the pastels will be the statement instead of just being in the background. Make your outfit monochromatic by mixing your pastels with deeper colors from the same color family, e.g., lilac with royal purple, sky blue with midnight blue or cobalt, mint with kelly green. It has the added benefit of making you look longer and leaner, too!

Mix Cute and Classics

Pairing your cute pieces like sailor-collar or heart print tops with flattering flat-front trousers upgrades your style instantly. Adding these pieces to structured outfits like a typical blazer–and-pants combo softens the look and adds a touch of whimsy. Finish with oxford pumps or T-strap heels to pull off a schoolgirl style.

A classy belt can instantly transform your shirtdress from shapeless to shapely! Pair with some kitten heels or even wedges, and a dress cardigan that hits your waist.

Girly to Grown Up

An A-line skirt that’s knee-length or a couple of inches above your knee is more suitable for your height, Amber. Go for a pleated design to make it look refined. For jumper dresses, choose one with a modest V-neckline and layer over a puff-sleeve top or a collared blouse with long sleeves. You can finish it with a necktie or a smart twilly scarf under the collar.

P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!

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