Reader Request: Building Confidence Beyond Stature

“Sometimes because I am so petite, I feel like a kid compared to the “grownups” at my workplace. Have you ever had that feeling? Do people ever say you look younger than you are? I get it a lot and it definitely lowers my self esteem. Could you do a post about confidence?” — Anonymous


Dear reader – I can relate. Being extra petite and youthful looking can definitely hinder one’s confidence. I work with tall, well-spoken and put-together individuals, and at times it can feel daunting. When I first started working, I was asked my age several times by clients…mortifying.

It’s rumored that taller people may be more successful in the workplace than their shorter counterparts, due to greater self-esteem and social confidence that possibly comes with height. Although I somewhat agree with this theory, it only means that petite women like us need to put in a little extra effort to find our confidence and achieve our own success. I’m still learning as I go, but here are some things I personally keep in mind:

Look your best, carry yourself well, and be a valuable contributor.

1. Look Your Best

First off – take care of your appearance. Groom yourself. Wear clothes that make you feel good. What works for me:

  • Use makeup to enhance your natural features. I’m a huge believer in using makeup to help one look more mature (especially on Asian eyes). 
  • Wear apparel that fits and flatters your figure. Fit is the premise of my blog, and the most important aspect of an outfit. A woman can look striking in a cheap black suit that fits her to perfection, or could look like a mess in an ill-fitting designer ensemble. Front, side and back view photos can help gauge the true fit of something. 
  • Have a “go-to” ensemble. Everyone has “off” days and lazy days, so prepare simple, foolproof combinations for those days. My go-to work outfit is a ruffled blouse tucked into a pencil skirt, plus Ann Taylor perfect pumps. 
  • Wear heels. Without a doubt I feel longer and leaner—and subsequently more confident—when wearing heels. 3.5 inch heels are the perfect height for me. Practice walking and make sure the shoes fit (use inserts if needs be), as nothing feels worse than shoes slipping off with every step.
2. Carry Yourself Well

The way you carry yourself transcends size or age. The points below are things that I’m working hard on to improve. Sometimes you’re not aware of these things unless someone else points it out (usually, however, only someone who truly cares about you – like a parent – will point out such things): 

  • Stand up straight. Good posture is critical for petites. A straight back, shoulders, and neck can instantly add inches.
  • Project your voice. Many petite women whom I’ve met have delicate little voices that accentuate their size. I’m not suggesting shouting at the top of your lungs, but it’s important to speak confidently and audibly. Also factor in the height of whom you’re talking to, because taller people are further away (no joke… I speak louder to taller coworkers or else they have to bend down to hear).
  • Be engaging and participate. Try to maintain eye contact during conversations, listen actively, show genuine signs of engagement, and encourage yourself to actively participate and contribute vocally to meetings and discussions at work. 
  • Greet with confidence. Everyone appreciates a warm smile and a firm handshake. During a mock interview, my college career counselor pointed out how my weak little handshake may be mistaken for a lack of confidence.
3. Be a Valuable Contributor

Despite the above two sections, the bottom line is: If you’re good at what you do and bring value to your team, you will command the respect of others –regardless of how tall you are or how you look. There’s an executive at one of my clients who is shorter than me, is hopelessly unfashionable, slouchy, and soft spoken. But those who work with her have the utmost respect for her.

When opportunities arise to ask questions, give suggestions, or share an experience – try to push yourself to say something, even if you’re shy. People remember and respect those who contribute. When you have the respect of those around you, confidence should come naturally.

Readers –  Can you relate? Please share your own experiences or advice.

Leave a Comment


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I totally agree with your post. Women should not slouch at work and should stand up tall. She should dress professionally in form fitting clothes as they give others a first impression. I find it nice to wear a little makeup and always dress business casual and professionally for work. I don't ever wear jeans on Friday to work even though our company allows it. You never know what patients or customers you have to interact with daily

    Posted 11.25.13 Reply
  2. Jennifer H wrote:

    I'm only 5ft tall and no one will believe I'm 20 years old. It does really dent my self esteem, especially when guys tease me about my size. I laugh it off or ignore it but the teasing can be really annoying. I have a tall friend who is really stunning but hates being a healthy UK 12 and says she's "fat". She says she would love to be "petite and pretty like Jen" but guys admire her, not call her names.

    Posted 11.13.13 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    Moderated the original comment on 9/7/13 as I haven't visited this post in a while and did not see it. Sentiments like that are not respectful to women of different body types, and certainly don't reflect what this blog is about.

    Posted 10.29.13 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Very good advice! I'm only 5'1'' tall, and also just generally tiny. People always think I'm 12 even though I'm actually 15 years old. It's comforting to know that there are lots of other females out there as short as me!

    Posted 8.28.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    It is true the other way around too. At 5'10'' I often find myself surrounded by people – a lot of boys too – who are noticeable shorter than I am. Used to be a big issue for me because I always looked much bigger next to my smaller friends. Understandably, a tall woman will have a wider frame than a short woman. Due to this, even though I was underweight during my teen years, I still looked much bigger in pictures and felt bigger than other people and this added to my lack of self-esteem. Happily, I found a tall sportive boyfriend next to whom I can wear heels comfortably and that added to my self esteem greatly.

    Posted 8.21.13 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    This advice is so helpful, something I have been looking and waiting for, for many years. Thank you!

    Posted 7.13.13 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I can totally relate to this too. I am 34 and pregnant and have taught degree students but only look like i am in my early 20s. Recently i met a guy in his fifties who completely ignored me and talked to my friend about her career. It was at a casual do so wasnt dressed up but i was really annoyed to be disrespected like that because i look young. It does knock you back. I have also had the " you are too young to be pregnant" stare. Great blog!

    Posted 6.13.13 Reply
  8. Caitlyn Wu wrote:

    I can totally relate. I'm 29 but everywhere I've worked people think I look like a teenager! I work in the wine business and customers will say to me, "Are you even old enough to be drinking wine or working here?" I even had a customer who refused to believe that I was a wine buyer for the store. It really is a gun shot wound to your self-esteem! Thanks for the post 🙂

    Posted 4.17.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Wonderul post! I'm 25 but am mistaken very often for being in highschool due to my size. It can be very discouraging to be new to your career and constantly be given reminders about how young and green you look. And I feel that I have to work harder than most people in my field to look pulled together so that my clients will have confidence in me. Thanks for the great tips. So happy to have found this blog and know that there are other petite people out there!

    Posted 4.12.13 Reply
  10. Bonnie wrote:

    Great examples with your pictures! I just want to say I enjoy reading your blog. The before and after pictures really illustrate a point.

    Posted 2.24.13 Reply
  11. Davina wrote:

    After reading this blog I am so inspired to do more about my fashion style. You rock!! Hope to meet you one day.. 🙂

    Posted 11.23.12 Reply
  12. Karen wrote:

    Hey Jean, I just wanted to say thanks for this post! From the looks of the picture, I'm pretty sure we both work for the same firm and I definitely have had a similar experience with clients asking my age when I first started working. After a while, with all the hours I was working, I didn't wear much makeup or take the time to buy flattering clothes, and generally didn't pay much attention to my appearance. But after my first year, I was assigned on a client in NYC in the same building as ralph lauren and the experience of riding the elevetor to the top floors along with very stylish RL interns snapped me out of it! Having my go to flattering work clothes and taking an extra fifteen minutes to put on makeup definitely makes a difference in how partners, managers and clients treat you. And being only 5'3, always wearing heels definitely makes me more confident. I've only been a reader for a few months, but I've definitely enjoyed reading every week! Thanks so much!!

    Posted 10.20.12 Reply
  13. Thank you so much! I was looking to learn more on this subject. So glad I found your blog!

    Posted 10.15.12 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    I look just like your before picture! I've decided to do something about this and I'm so happy I've found your blog for inspiration.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    I LOVE your blog and this post is great! Could you do a tutorial for people just starting out professionally in terms of what business casual means vs. dressing very professionally, etc? I think you do it seamlessly but it's not so easy for me without looking like a lady politician.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    As a person in the medical field who has to walk around all day in the hospital, I prefer flats to heels. I do understand the need for more height, and I'm pretty petite myself (5'2" and 95lbs). However, I can't imagine walking in heels all day long in the hospital. I think you can make flats at the office work nicely with your outfit if you style correctly. You have amazing suggestions, but you can exude confidence wearing flats. I'm sure you know that confidence comes from within and that you're just trying to show what's inside on the outside (sorry to be trite), but flats can exude confidence even though you're petite.

    Thank you so much for you blog. I just had to get that out there. I really do enjoy reading it!!

    Posted 6.2.12 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for this great post.

    Posted 5.28.12 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, I hope I don't come off as rude, but I've always wondered what you do for a living, if you don't mind sharing.

    Posted 3.10.12 Reply
  19. Angee P-B wrote:

    This is really helpful! As a student teacher in a high school, I am often mistaken for a 15 year old instead of a graduate student. (I've had detention slips and asked to the prom consistently!) the students there tower over me and the girls look older than I do (I'm 25 year olds, Asian and 5 ft)

    I love the style techniques that you bring because although I am young, I like to show my youth and vibrancy without looking like a teenager and your style does just that. It exudes confidence and professionalism with a hint of style. It is not overbearing but it definitely creates a statement and leaves a lasting impression. My students look to me as a role model and I like to show them that through my teaching, style and personality.

    Thanks and keep up the good work. =D

    Posted 2.16.12 Reply
  20. Sharey21 wrote:

    I can totally relate. I'm 20 years old, asian, 4'11'' and 85 pounds. I get comments saying that I look I'm 12, which is the most rudest comment I have ever heard and could never imagine saying to someone else. However, when I meet people that actually get to know me, they think I'm very mature for my age. It just shows how ignorant people can be. I absolutely LOVE your blogs and you make me feel as if I'm not alone. You probably won't see this comment since this post is rather old. But I am such a fan <3 thanks again.

    Posted 1.12.12 Reply
  21. Janet W wrote:

    Catching on the Best of 2011, since I started reading later this year . .

    I found purchasing a nice shoulder bag/purse helped significantly. This is the bag to carry my laptop, files, etc. to work and between meetings. I had previously used a more "manly" laptop bag that kept me looking off-balance, and short. I also found carrying stuff in my arms, also made me seem smaller in stature. I got some compliments on the bag, but more importantly, I received compliments that were general in that I looked more confident.

    (I bought a Coach Chelsea Leather Shopper and it is jus the perfect size)

    Posted 1.1.12 Reply
  22. Krecipe wrote:

    You are an awesome person with greater thoughts:) I love to read your blog as it feels like I find a real friend.
    I have 9years of work experience and people treat me as 1 or 2years of newbie. If I tell them about those 9years, they ask me " How old can you start working in Korea?(10 years old??)"…Seriously???? seriously!!!!! Duh!! 23 after graduated from colleage…dudes…What I do is try to ignore that worst feeling and focus on my job so that I can be the best. I believe sooner or later people will only care about my job not about my age(not real age though) or my looking. and who knows?? When we turn to 40….we might still look like 30 🙂 That's gonna be awesome!! Isn't it??

    Posted 12.26.11 Reply
  23. Thanks for the article. Bookmarked to my wife she really low this i'm sure.

    Posted 7.3.11 Reply
  24. Vivian wrote:

    This is probably my favorite post of yours thus far…
    I don't mean this in the wrong way, but I'm glad there's someone out there that I can relate to… I thought I was the only one who gets mistaken for a younger age and is always called small or short or skinny. Now, I know how to fix that and get others words like professional or put together. I can really tell how a tailored look looks like & I think I'm gunna go & find a go to tailor of my own now.. LOL. Please don't stop empowering petite women like us… Thanks Jean! (=

    Posted 6.22.11 Reply
  25. I've been following your blog for a little while now and you've inspired me to make my very own blog. This post was definitely one of my favorite since I am 4'11, weigh 97-100 lbs, and have an hourglass shape. It's definitely very annoying being constantly asked about my height or hearing comments like, "Oh you're so tiny!" You feel like you should try to act lighthearted about it but sometimes you just don't want to hear it! I'm glad you posted this because I love looking as polished as possible at work and i'm very confident in myself and my work, but it's nice to hear that someone else out there feels the same way! It gets tiring at times trying to constantly have to "keep up" just to feel like the rest of your average sized colleagues.

    Posted 5.30.11 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi. I just found this post and it's very good. I'm petite and especially older people think I'm younger than I am. I've noticed that people in my age (I'm 26) does not seem to care so much about the relationship between age and being petite. Thank you for your tips. It's very helpful!

    Posted 4.10.11 Reply
  27. Fancy wrote:

    I love your blog and wanted to let you and your readers know that I think your tips are just as applicable to older women who are small and work in professional offices. High heels don't have to be too high; just high enough to give you that sense of a "lift" without hurting your feet too much. And to give your feet a break, a platform shoe or wedge can work well if it's not too casual. I have a closet full of Elie Tahari suits, but I've noticed lately that the quality is not as good, and that Theory makes a higher quality suit, so I'm switching brands. I buy whenever there's a really good sale. You look wonderful and have a great fashion sense!

    Posted 4.9.11 Reply
  28. Clarissa wrote:

    Oh my goodness. The first "before" picture is exactly what I look like. No make-up, pants that don't fit, flats and regular blouse. And I'm 5'3! Thanks for the tips!

    Posted 3.11.11 Reply
  29. Trish wrote:

    Great post, and I agree that confidence is everything. Being in nursing school, I only wear scrubs and yoga pants all the time so my appearance is still of a bum during college years but my friends tell me that when they first met me they were intimidated by me because I have so much confidence. Bahahaha for some reason I laughed because I know I can be awkward in front of people. But I have now come to terms with my petite self and my personality that I'm very comfortable in myself. Yay for positive self confidences!!

    Posted 3.10.11 Reply
  30. Monkey wrote:

    This was such a great read for me and from looking over the comments it seems to have struck a chord with many others also! I'm of average height, but projecting confidence at work is something I struggle with as well, particularly when giving presentations. I have a naturally soft voice and it's hard for people to hear me during normal conversations even though I think I am speaking quite loudly. So my goal for 2011 is to start speaking up! On another note, dressing better (ie. no tshirts, jeans, sneakers) helps a great deal in how people perceive me as well. I work in a lab environment so casual wear is perfectly acceptable, but I've noticed a big difference in how people treat me when I dress one way vs another. For me I just have to find a balance between well-dressed yet still be functional and not look like I won't get my hands dirty.

    Posted 3.8.11 Reply
  31. moxy wrote:

    This post is interesting, as I seem to have it the other way around. I stand 5'8" and tower over most of my colleagues; and from the country where I hail from, there are times when it feels like they don't think you're good enough when you're NOT petite!

    Posted 3.8.11 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Great post! I'm 5'0". 🙂 I want to add a bit on elocution: project, use a deeper/serious register where appropriate, and frame your thoughts so they are purposeful and concise. Don't ramble! Also, banish the terms 'uh' and 'um' and 'you know' and 'like' from your general work manner, if you can train yourself out of it! Goes a long way towards making each phrase you speak seem more mature, and well-thought-out. Good luck, ladies!

    Posted 3.5.11 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Great advice! I've just started my first professional job out of school and your blog has been very helpful to me in terms of not just how to dress, but how to act and to make the most of the 59 inches I have. One subject I could really use more guidance on though is makeup! Especially concealer; no matter what product I try, I don't seem to notice a difference. Also: doing a neutral eye-make-up look for daytime.
    Anyway, wonderfully done post; I look forward to reading more.

    Posted 3.4.11 Reply
  34. Rose wrote:

    First time visitor, and this post really caught my eye. Great advice, love your before/after pictures 🙂

    I also love your sense of style! Very inspiring! I've added to my feedreader 🙂

    Posted 3.3.11 Reply
  35. Brandon wrote:


    I just want to say that this is a very interesting article (my favorite i've read on here). The comparison photos are AMAZING! It is exactly what I was telling my girlfriend. I should point out I'm a guy, but I enjoy reading a lot of your posts. For some reason I really just like the idea behind women's fashion, it seems to have much more "power" then men's fashion. Not to say I don't like dressing myself, but for some reason the science behind a womans dress is just so interesting. It's an odd thing i've recently noticed about myself, but hey it's interesting nonetheless :).

    Perhaps I should explain how I got here. I have a girlfriend who is very petite and we often had discussions about the very thing this post is talking about. She'd always be telling me that she could never find clothes to fit and didn't know what to do. I'd tell her i'd see other petite women pulling it off, and that she should look at others. She has just had a lot of self confidence issues, and when she moved to the city she was feeling mortified whenever we'd show up places. So one day we just searched on google for information for petite style and we found your site! It's been very informative reading this stuff. She seems a lot happier lately. She's found some local tailors, has been buying shoes, and began shopping much smarter. Sounds odd me posting this, I just want to say thank you. It's like she's been given a second life, she is so happy lately. I'm glad you share this information with the world, it truly is helpful, and I hope others have benefited as much as we (she) has.


    Posted 3.3.11 Reply
  36. PetiteXXS wrote:

    Wow lots and lots of comments! Looks like this struck a cord with a lot of petite professional women out there. This is definitely one of my absolute favorite posts of yours, and I realized the same things through experience, but I wish someone had told me earlier! I'm a sloucher & soft-spoken by nature, so have to constantly remind myself to work on it. And the makeup thing, you already know that I've only just begun to work on that as well, but I agree that a little can go a long way to help us to look more pulled together. Thanks for braving to share your bare face to illustrate the point! And geez I'm always a little shocked to see how we must look next to our 'regular size' colleagues! You look perfectly polished and well-proportioned though, and that's exactly what we're all trying to achieve! 🙂

    Posted 3.3.11 Reply
  37. Hi,
    i have seen a very nice blog. i really like this blog. This is very important post for clothe shop.

    Thank you,

    Posted 3.2.11 Reply
  38. Vicky wrote:

    The rules apply to everyone, not just petites. I agree with them all. What I really don't get reading some of the comments here is why everyone think looking younger is a bad thing? I have NEVER ever in my life thought so, even when I was in my 20s. I have always taken it as a compliment when I was carded in the liquor store. So embrace!

    Posted 3.2.11 Reply
  39. A.Li wrote:

    Great post! I can relate to this as I am also petite. I agree with all the tips. Confidence does play a huge role!

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  40. Maddy wrote:

    Great post! This is something I struggle with as well so thank you for the post. I just hate the initial shock you get from strangers when you tell them your age. You wouldn't tell a fat person he/she is fat so why do they insist on telling us we look so much younger than we are.. It's like I don't already know it or something. >_< It gets annoying. Oh well, we can't change it so got to love it, right!

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  41. Irene wrote:

    What a GREAT post – I definitely don't feel my age. I find that people treat you differently depending on how you carry yourself (sometimes I even lower my voice when I mean BUSINESS!!!)

    Thanks for these great tips Jean…I definitely can't feel lazy about dressing better at work, there is a reason people say "dress for success!"

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  42. Rinny wrote:

    Thank you for the great post Jean. I love the comparison photo – clothing and makeup definitely makes a huge difference in the perception of age. As far as petite bloggers go, I'd probably be considered "tall" at 5'2", but I still feel very under confident in the workplace, especially since I'm going in for a lot of job interviews right now. And you have a great point about the smaller voices. I have to start reminding myself to speak more loudly – my bf always says I'm about as loud as a mouse =.=

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  43. aquav87 wrote:

    I absolutely am dying to find this Theory Joanie tweed skirt that you're wearing. I tried to contact Nordstrom Rack to help me find it, but they need a UPC code(I think that's what it called). By any chance you know what is this code? I have the jacket already, and I would be in heaven if I can find the skirt to match!

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  44. aquav87 wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  45. April wrote:

    What an amazing blog post! I really loved the before and after pics! You still look fantastic without makeup, but even the little amount of products really brightened up your face! I'd love to have skin like you! Please make more posts like this! Soo much fun to read! <3

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  46. I am Khatu wrote:

    great post Jean. Are those ill-fitting clothes yours?

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  47. Petite-ish wrote:

    I love how holistic your blog is and what great advice. I totally look like your before picture, but fortunately for me, I get to cover it up with a white coat.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  48. Oh my goodness – reading this could not have come on a better night. I just lead an executive group meeting that went less than stellar and I was actually referred to as "little Lilly" by one of the executives – clearly a way to demean me and make me feel even smaller and less powerful than I already feel. I loved hitting him in the face with, well, I have my doctorate when he asked me what qualified me for the activity I was leading today. Though it helped a bit, I'm sure being taller and older looking might have also minimized his need to make me feel inferior!

    Thank you for these tips, Jean! Great blog!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  49. kileen wrote:

    these are great tips jean and the pictures are very helpful. i agree that dressing in clothes that look fitted for your body makes a huge difference as well as just standing and presenting yourself with confidence. thanks for the tips!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  50. Beans wrote:

    I am short (4ft 10) but it has been commented that when I walked into a place, it was like I owned the place. To show self-confidence do like many had mentioned before, carry yourself tall, firm handshake, speak low and deliberate and most importantly, know your stuff inside out. I find yoga helped w/ my posture.
    To ladies who are in your early twenties, at some point, people will stop asking you about your age :). Trust me on this. I know that you want to be taken seriously NOW and not having people focused on your age, if you implement all of what Jean talked about, you will see differences in how people treat you.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  51. Anonymous wrote:

    best post ever!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  52. This was such a great and thoughtful post Jean. I actually just struggled with this yesterday – My friend, her mom, and I went wine tasting and the server told me he thought I was trying to pull a fast one on him. I was so offended! Just because I'm short and look young doesn't mean I have to be treated like a kid. It's something I am trying to overcome. I've been sort of insecure about my height my whole life and I don't want to be anymore. This post definitely helped =)

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  53. Carolyn wrote:

    what a great post! especially love the before and after pics

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  54. Kandice wrote:

    Hi Jean, excellent advice. At 5 ft tall, I certainly share the same experiences. Two things that helped me include taking diction/speaking voice classes and weight training. I learned how to speak more clearly,
    lower my pitch, and speak louder from the diction and voice classes that I took. Speaking well is so important for a successful career. I’ve already taken many classes, but there’s still room for improvement. I may take
    more in the future.

    The other thing that helped me tremendously is weight training. As a result of weight training, I went from H&M; size 2 to size 4. Clothing now fits better and looks better on me. So clothing shopping has become a little bit easier (of course it’s still difficult for petites, as we all know). I also have a bigger presence now because I am bigger. Lastly, another benefit is that I feel stronger, which is a wonderful feeling to have. I currently weigh about 98 lbs and I would like to gain a few more, if I could. It’s going to be hard though as it’s not easy for women to gain muscles; it’ll take some serious training. Anyway, I highly recommend weight training; can’t say enough good things about it!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  55. Ping wrote:

    jean– what a great post! i love before and afters. i totally agree with you on the makeup! it makes such a difference and a little will do the trick. people will ask me if i'm tired/sick if i don't wear makeup to work. lol yes its that bad.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  56. calcho wrote:


    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  57. Stylepint wrote:

    Great post Jean and as shallow as it sounds, appearance and carriage is important in how you present yourself. You hit it right on the money!

    I have had experiences where people assume I'm young just because I'm short, but once we start a conversation they realize that I'm older than they thought. I try to be more social in group situations and it helps make me feel part of the crowd of peers instead of being the "child" that's seen but not heard. LOL.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  58. Peebees wrote:

    Wow! Who knew a little styling could make such a big difference. I have to give a presentation tomorrow so I might pay myself a little visit to Ann Taylor after reading this 🙂

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  59. Other tips from Aubrey:
    1) Walk down the hallways of your office like you own it (envision Olivia Palermo of the Hills)
    2) Dress for the job you want, not the job you have
    3) Drive a truck and see who dares to question your badass-ness then

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  60. Great tips Jean! All of this makes such a difference, especially the first before and after pic. The after pic looks a lot more sophisticated and work ready. You always look so work appropriate and chic!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  61. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm 21 and recently i went to a new place to get my hair cut. the woman cutting my hair looked at me questioningly and asked my age. to relieve her of shock, i told her i was 17. So much for that…she thought i was 13!!! it's hard to feel confident when people compare you to a pre-pubescent kid.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  62. kali wrote:

    Great post! I can relate too since I'm usually the "tiny one" of my friends and people I know. But confidence does help.. A LOT. Of course being overly confident is another thing though. =P

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  63. Karen wrote:

    I love your blog and while I rarely comment, I read it almost everyday. I felt the need to comment on this as it really struck a cord with me and related to something that happened to me this weekend.

    I was at the Ann Taylor factory store picking up a few key pieces for my work wardrobe and as I'm waiting to be rung up, the manager at the counter offered the woman ahead of me a huge discount on a sweater (90% off!). I had the same sweater in hand and when I asked for the same discount as the customer ahead of me, the manager scolded me and actually raised her voice and yelled at me like I was a child! It was mortifying to be yelled at like that. I realized it was because the woman ahead of my looked like a grown up, and standing at 5'1, I looked much like a teenager.

    Hopefully this is not a reflection of the Ann Taylor corporation, because I truly do love their clothes and everything else they produce!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  64. Erin wrote:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post! I have personally overcome all of these issues, since I'm naturally very introverted and shy. I am actually a fill-in trainer at my company and often present to military customers. I find that the biggest thing that helps me is "Think Powerfully." That is, I think that I'm tall and powerful and commanding, and that helps me to act that way 🙂

    Thanks so much for this post!!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  65. Anonymous wrote:

    I just want to chime in that Queen Victoria was petite, around 4' 11" or 5' and we can be sure she carried herself with confidence and authority!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  66. Itsher wrote:

    I can definitely relate! I need to work on projecting my voice and showing the people around me that I can do the work. I'm a college student in my junior year and I am actively seeking internships, which luckily enough I actually landed myself one! Every time i go on interviews with men, I get intimidated. They're all relatively old -lol and TALL! I feel so intimidated and I feel like I cannot connect with them during the interview, which is probably the most important thing.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  67. Great post!

    I totally agree with your suggestions. I used to work on construction sites, in Portland, Oregon (where they don't see many Asians). A lot of contractors would ask me how old I was, they thought I was 17 or 18 and they would be shocked to find that I was 25! Unfortunately on construction sites, its mandatory to wear their one-size-fits-all safety vest and there are no safety boots with heels, but wearing makeup definitely does make a difference! How I carried myself was important too, especially since I had to tell big burly construction workers to do things my way!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  68. J-ezzy wrote:

    i know i have a napoleon complex just so people can listen to me! haha

    I love this post! I'm forwarding to my gf's 😉

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  69. Anonymous wrote:

    Just when I've been dealing with people questioning my age (and my maturity) these days, I see your post! I'm not petite height-wise, but I have a small figure and look more youthful than most people, and it drives me crazy sometimes when people ask me how old I am… especially when I'm trying to give a strong first impression. Your post is very inspiring. I've been reading your blog for some time now and I especially love these kinds of posts. Keep up the great work, pics, advice, etc!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  70. Julie wrote:

    I'm actually NOT petite at all, but I still think that this post is worth reading for all women. The advice you give carries well across the board (though I suppose heels might not be AS critical for tall ladies). Great post!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  71. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm not petite. I'm 5'9 but I love your style and the advice you give. Im straight out of grad school and I can relate to your situation. I am very young looking and I work at a University. It's hard enough not looking like one of the students but it doesn't help when male administration introduces you as " this is ___, she works in the ___, doesn't she look like she could be a student?" Dressing more business-like is very important to me – it sets me as an authority figure for the students and makes me feel more confident in meetings. I wear brighter colors than most and try to be style so I can be a little more relatable to students. Thanks for your great post!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  72. Paige wrote:

    I'm so happy I've found your blog! Your advice is amazing. I'm a physics professor and I've had students that are a foot and a half taller than me! Dressing well definitely helps me feel more authoritative and helps keep the line between student and professor from blurring.

    I do struggle with the heels dilemma–I love how they look, but in a laboratory class, I'm on my feet for hours at a stretch. I've ordered some of the perfect pumps that you recommended–I hope those are my solution.

    Another thing I struggle with is dressing for the cold–I have a half mile hike across campus and I have a very drafty office–it's hard for me to figure out how to be stylish and warm at the same time. How do you deal with the winter cold?

    Thank you for putting all the time and effort into your posts, they are a huge help!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  73. CynthiaC wrote:

    The voice is very important. I've found many petite women, perhaps from years of being seen as "young" or "cute" speak with very young-sounding voices (Note: I see this more with women of Asian descent who watch a lot of movies/television from their ancestral countries, likely because this type of voice is the equivalent of MallRat Speak/UpTalk/Valley over there) or go uber-extreme with the American MallRat/Valley Speak/UpTalk ("like, I'm sooooooooooo not going to text him back…EWWWWW".) Not a good thing. Speak slower, slightly lower and enunciate your words. If you aren't sure what you sound like to others, record yourself.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  74. Thank you so much for this! I may not be petite, but I'm very shy and soft-spoken and it sometimes seems like I get overlooked because of it. People cut ahead of me in queues as if they just don't notice me, and I often have to repeat myself to be heard. I also slouch, have trouble with eye contact and probably have a weak handshake… not good! Your tips are a great reminder that how we carry ourselves matters, regardless of size.

    (Ironically, I slouch because I used to hate being tall! I'm comfortable with my height now, but back in my self-conscious teen years it didn't help that I was noticeably taller than most of my peers… and a lot of my teachers. I guess it goes to show that no size guarantees confidence.)

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  75. A GREAT post and so many can relate. And you're so right, bottom line is if you're really good at your work, you'll always get respect.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  76. Tara wrote:

    This is a great post…when I first started teaching, I was in a big school district and constantly being asked if I was a student or a teacher. I still get annoyed, not only at work, but in my personal life when people think I'm a lot younger then I am…it can be really annoying!!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  77. I teach high school kids so I have always felt a need to put more effort into my appearance in order to stand apart from my students and command respect. A few of my own style rules include wearing heels of at least 2" every day (usually 3+ now) and never wearing jeans on casual Fridays. Even though we can wear jeans on Fridays, I have only done so twice, and both times I felt really uncomfortable around my students. I also notice that when I wear jeans (even though I try to dress them up with blazers, scarves, heels and jewelry) the kids seem to give me less respect. The more "dressed up" I am at work, the more they respect me. The average teenager apparently picks up on the fact that an adult who closely resembles them needs to set herself apart to be an authority figure.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  78. nice:)

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  79. Informative insights. Glad to bookmark this one. The tips looks easy and very simple, really boost my confidence.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  80. Anonymous wrote:

    Great post! Like many others, I can relate to this post. Sometimes I even go as far as lying about my age. The other day a lady asked me how old I was and I said "20". Her eyes almost popped out of her socket. FYI- I am 24. Imagine if I told her my real age- her head would've fallen off! She thought I was still in High school. All I really want is to look 21 (legal). I dont want to be in my 40s to finally look legal! I don't want my life to just begin then… Sorry just had to say that.

    Anyway, great post! Just had to leave a comment =)

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  81. NikkiSho wrote:

    wow!! this is the truth…u said it all and i love the pictures cos it tells more…good job!!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  82. Though you're shorter than the blonde woman in the photo, you definitely command more attention (imo) as your clothes fit like they were made speicifically for you; hence your rule #1. 🙂

    This was a great post. I'm so glad to be reading about so many others' experiences; I've always kind of felt like I was the only one that felt like a kid among adults at times.

    I've been eyeing my closet lately wishing I hadn't spent so much money on flats… Haha.

    Thanks Jean! You're gorgeous.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  83. Lucia wrote:

    It's quite surprising how much confidence a pair of heels can lend! I'm still in college, so I generally stick to flats, but on the rare occasion that I don pumps or wedges, I walk with definitive purpose.

    Your "before" pics are always so amusing!

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  84. This is such a great and helpful post. Although my work environment is not as formal as yours but I can relate to some of your points here. I've never had any problems with my petiteness. One thing for sure is that when I took time and dressed my best in the morning, I felt great that day. I totally agree with you on very points. I also am working on my posture. Sitting all day in the office doesn't help either. I am sure everyone will find this post very helpful. It's all about the attitude and the way you carry yourself. BTW, I am just curious, how tall is your co-worker :)?

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  85. What a great post Jean! I agree with all of your points. And I have to say that for me, my youthful look/small stature has never been a factor. I worked in the IT world for many years before I went into consulting, all of my colleagues were men in their 30's-40's and now all of my clients that I work with are VP's and COO's who are in their 50's. I never once felt intimidated by them. Actually, I've been told that I've intimated quite a few of my colleagues because I have such confidence in my work and my abilities. (which in turn gives them confidence in me) I've never been questioned about my age. I went from graduating college to managing a team to managing an entire region to becoming a Director in all of 5 years (and in a very large corporation, not some small business where moving up the ladder is easier). Not many people, tall or small can say they did that. I never allow people to think "oh she's so young" because the moment they hear me talk, all they know is that I have my sh*t together and I know what I'm talking about and trust me, people do listen. It's ALL About the way you carry yourself. I can tell you from the amount of people that I've managed there are people no matter what, too tall, too short, overweight, or whatever it is that they are self conscious about, allows that to hinder them in their career. Your tips are fantastic for everyone, not just petite ladies.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  86. Jen wrote:

    Thank you for another incredible post! Great advice and photos. :] I don't feel self conscious about my height (I'm 5'2") but contend with a young Asian face, looking like a teenager when I'm really 26. Still need to practice more with makeup, so looking forward to your upcoming post. :]

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  87. Angie wrote:

    thanks for this article jean – it is very hard to live with people calling us "bonsai" and all sorts of other things that may start out endearing but honestly can bite. you carry yourself well and now realize what a difference good posture makes!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  88. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments…I read and appreciated every one of them! I enjoyed hearing about your personal perspectives and absolutely loved reading your anecdotes : ) We come from many different backgrounds and have many different career paths, but seem to all be able to relate on one point or another.

    And thank you first time commenters (Dianna, Small Attorney, and others) for saying hello and leaving a note.

    @Anonymous Glad you came back to read this! After getting your comment I thought hard about this topic and jotted down notes every day for the past week to share in this post. Best of luck to you as you further your career : )

    @Anonymous and RL – I'm still embarrassed by my rudimentary skills, but I'm expecting an eye makeup lesson in a month and will come back to post step by step tips : )

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  89. prosephina wrote:

    Very true! Dressing one's best automatically make that person feel more confident about herself, and that sense/attitude is then conveyed through body language. Being assertive also helps, but it takes practice.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  90. Thank you for all the useful advices. I've always felt a bit lack of confidence and a bit shy in front of people. But I will definitely try all your tricks!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  91. Jackie wrote:

    I am excited to see this post here! Yes, I can totally relate and I agree that dressing the part is the key to looking one's age (or thereabouts).

    I like to wear lipstick to look older.

    About confidence; it is a little intimidating to be the ONLY little women in the room. I find myself in that environment ALL THE TIME, and not only am I the smallest, every one else is about 20 years older than me =* It's scary, but just like any other fear, the only way to beat it is to face it. Also, being a martial artist helped me a lot with my confidence. My body is different, that doesn't mean it's weak or lesser than anyone else's.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  92. Elle wrote:

    This is such a great post and you made some really excellent points. I am still trying to learn to apply makeup since I didn't grow up wearing it but I've been trying to dress better for my shape since I do get asked about my age a lot especially because I travel for trade shows and people often don't take me seriously because of my appearance. It's really frustrating but I have been using firmer voices and my professional knowledge to demonstrate my competency. It is frustrating because for some people it comes easier but I hope one day I'll get there. 🙂 Thanks again for this great post.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  93. Anonymous wrote:

    This was an excellent post. I'm in my late 20s and people still question my age occasionally. I sometimes wonder if I'm taken seriously at work. I will definitely be trying out some of the tips, especially the makeup one. Jean, as someone who has minimal experience in makeup, can you post step by step instructions on how you did your eyes? I love the look but finding good makeup tips for asian eyes is hard.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  94. Great tips! You're awesome, Jean. <3 : ) You look so cute in the "before" photo! Feminine, fitted clothing really DOES make a big difference for any woman! It really affects anyone's self-esteem. You're completely right - the first step is to properly groom yourself because as bad as this sounds, most people won't take you seriously if you're not looking up to standards.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  95. Isela wrote:

    I am petite, and last year I learned to dress accordingly to my size and body type…and what a difference!
    Some people believe that putting attention to the clothes is very superficial, but actually pays off really fast, people looks at you differently.
    By the way, I love your blog.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  96. Wonderful post! I can also relate – every summer I inevitably get asked if I'm an intern. When I was pregnant, I got dirty looks from people bc (I'm assuming) I looked like a teen mom. Even now when I go out with hubby, son, and mom, people assume my son is my mom's son. I appreciate (kind of) looking youthful but hate when it's used to undermine / judge my person.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  97. Chloe wrote:

    What a great post, and it's definitely something I grappled with as I worked up the ladder at my customer service job. When I was hired at the age of 21 I was not only the youngest in the entire team by 15 years, but I was immediately made a manager so I was in charge of people much, much older than me. I was also in charge of handling all training–so I was teaching people that were much older than me!

    I cannot even tell you how many times a customer would immediately head straight for my 45 year old co-worker and ask, "ARE YOU THE MANAGER?" and my co-worker would always have to laugh and say, "Nope, she is!" and point at me. Shocking!

    It was always amusing, but also a slightly horrifying reality-check that first impressions and appearances count…and people would much rather take their issues to a 45-year old that works there five hours a week versus a petite blonde girl in her 20's that works there. We always assume that the older person is the one in charge and knows everything, even if they aren't and don't.

    You gave *fabulous* tips in this article. I used to struggle with wanting to dress my age (because come on – we're only in our 20's for a small time!) but also wanting to look professional to have people take me seriously. It's definitely a challenge, and I'm glad to finally be hitting the age of 30. I can wear nice things and no longer feel like a kid dressing up in her mom's old clothes- whew!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  98. What a great post!

    <3, natasha @ twenty-something blog

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  99. Great points! I work with teens, so it's definitely tough being so petite because it's easier to be mistaken for a teen. If I hear an older woman say to me "someday you'll appreciate looking so young" again… I'll punch them in the knee! I don't find that to be a compliment at all. It's actually kind of belittling.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  100. Winnie* wrote:

    This is undoubtedly my favorite post of yours, Jean! As I started working at this place since about 3 months ago, I believe people still think I am interning there or some sort. It's a casual working environment where nobody wears heels or dresses up. So I cannot do much about it either. Sometimes they just call and ask me to do random things – I feel as though if I "looked" more like them they would not do the same to me. Reading this makes me further realize it's still a long way for me to learn to express myself and contribute in a way to make people feel that we are all "equal".

    This post really cheers my up. Thank you 😉

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  101. DSK Steph wrote:

    This is such an amazing post J! Eprops!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  102. Anonymous wrote:

    Long time follower, first time commenter. Great post. As a young, small attorney (27, 5'1", 93lbs) in a male-dominated practice area, I often find myself giving advice to clients and presentations to colleagues who wonder (outloud[!]) why they are getting advice from a girl. Whenever I have to speak in public, I try to stand tall to project my voice and, even though it can be daunting, I avoid hiding behind lecterns/podiums whenever possible because it is dwarfing and makes me disappear. That said, I believe that being prepared and mastering your area of expertise is the single best thing you can do to boost your confidence. It works for me- every day. d.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  103. Claud wrote:

    Jean, thank you for a great post!!!

    I agree with above post, being told that I look younger than my age, is such a compliment for me. We should embrace our younger look and be proud of it.Confidence comes from within regarless of how short, young, cute we look. ^.^

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  104. Anh wrote:

    You make such valid points, Jean! It's amazing the difference in the two pictures, and I know that it is so, so, so true. I do have my sloppy days at work sometimes but it hugely impacts how I feel and so I've learned to limit them.

    Before I can conquer the world, I have to look the part, right?! 😉


    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  105. Anonymous wrote:

    i was the anonymous person who asked for this post and let me say THANK YOU. It was definitely comforting to read your post as well as well as everyone else's comments. I agree with the person who said this post deserves some sort of award. I think having confidence is the most important thing and reading your blog definitely helps me! Thanks so much again 🙂

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  106. Tisha wrote:

    Love the before and after pics.:)

    I'm the editor of a magazine that is known to cater to an older crowd, so it's a little tough sometimes that I look younger than I am. I just let my work do the talking. I work in Manila, but when I'm at our New York office, I hear things like, "Oh, you're so cute!" or "You look like you're 22!" (I'm 31!) I've learned to take it as a compliment. I know many older women who are flattered when people think they're younger than they are so I shouldn't really complain.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  107. Thank you so much <3

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  108. Dianna wrote:

    Hi Jean! Although I'm a longtime reader of your blog, I don't believe I've ever commented, but this post really struck a chord in me for a few different reasons. The first is the post's relevancy to my own situation at work. More specifically, I work in a white male dominated environment and have struggled at times to find a confident voice. Your post was very helpful in reaffirming certain goals I have set for myself in my pursuit of building greater confidence in a personal and professional setting. The other thing that I just have to say is how self assured and charismatic you come across in your videos. There's a quiet confidence that comes across that is just great! Your videos are also a wonderful reminder to me on the importance of speaking clearly and slowly. Something I've struggled with since I was a child is the tendency to speak way too fast. Thanks for writing up such a great post! I am certain many readers will benefit greatly from it.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  109. Justine wrote:

    Great post! And thank you for reminding us to stand up straight. I forget all the time

    Just Better Together

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  110. R.L. wrote:

    I agree with the ladies before me! Such a wonderfully helpful post, Jean (as usual)! I wish I had some useful advice to contribute but I'm still on #1 of #3. I've learned so much about fit and shopping smartly from your blog and the petite community.

    My very Asian mother instilled in me the "virtue" of being low-maintenance, which has its advantages, but I'm now in my early 20s and sometimes feel overwhelmed at the amount of make-up knowledge I need to catch up on. I know you don't consider yourself a make-up guru, but I'd love to see more beauty videos as well if you ever get the chance. Your make-up especially here looks so sophisticated yet natural 🙂

    This is definitely one of my fav blog posts!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  111. Edwina wrote:

    Great post! I wouldn't consider myself as petite, but I'm the "average" asian girl, about 5'3 with quite typical body structure. Heels make the biggest difference at work. I wear my uggs to work during winter and change to heels when I'm there. One time, I changed back to my Uggs for a coffee break because we had to walk outside and it's freezing cold in canada. I was too lazy to change back to my heels when I got back and figured that I wasn't going to see anyone special. When I took a washroom break later on the day, I bumped into my boss and it's obvious that he noticed something different about me lol.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  112. Doris wrote:

    This blog entry deserves some type of Award.

    It was extremely well thought out and effectively delivered. Thank you for sharing.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  113. Ms. E. wrote:

    Love the pictures. I am a teacher and sometimes parents do not seem to want to take me seriously. (eerr why is a teenager teaching my kid?).

    My students are almost as tall as me (or maybe even as tall as me) I have to wear heels EVERYDAY even on casual days…uggh my feet always hurt..haha I really need to get some pants/skirts tailored after this post!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  114. Jen wrote:

    Fantastic post! I'm asked this question SO often as well so I'm glad you made a post about it that clearly points out small things that make a big difference. 🙂

    I agree 1000% about the makeup, speaking clearly, clothes that fit, heels, and of course the confident body language and attitude!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  115. Naomi Eve wrote:

    When I started my new job a few years ago I made the effort to dress quite nicely (for me!), even though everyone in the office wore jeans and sneakers. When I wear jeans and sneakers, I look 12 – but heels (usually just the 2" box heels on my boots) and well-fitting clothing makes me look more like 27, apparently (I'm 30). My favourite story about being mistaken for being far too young was when someone asked me when I was finishing (high) school. I had a lot of fun asking in return "well I finished my Bachelors in 2001, and my Masters a few years ago, but I don't expect to have finished my PhD for a few years yet…"

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  116. Mindy♥ wrote:

    Awesome tips! 🙂 Thank you for sharing. With the help of your blog, I've been able to start loving my "petitness"! <3

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  117. Thank you to post ideas I can relate myself this topic. I am asian and working at Nursing home where not allowed to wear high hell & sandal That usually I wear a normal shoes & scrubs. when my first day at work in state Can't believe they starring me and annoyed asking my age. they don't believe 27 Mom and Married . they give me a new name: either Tiny & short stuff is kind I don't like it but i answer them back. Yeah Im short but cute :-)…lol… I have trouble to go shopping w/ size for me…. hehehe… when i found your blog and now little confidence to do something to make me happy… Good luck extra pettit. ur awesome

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  118. Banhannas wrote:

    There was this really deflating experience at the Clinique counter when I was in high school. My best friend and I went to get makeovers and all of a sudden the makeup artist asked if I was her child. First of all. I'm definitely Asian and my friend is definitely not. She thought I was adopted. OMG…
    I still get comments like, "Oh aren't you supposed to be in school?!" I really feel like punching someone in the neck whenever that happens but I just usually give them a warm smile instead. Every time I meet someone new I want to energetically pump their hand and go, "HI I'M HANNA AND I ALREADY GRADUATED COLLEGE SO PLEASE NO REMARKS ON MY AGE!!!!!!!!"

    I really love your post! Please make it into a sticky post for future reading. The commentary on the before and after photos makes it look like I'm reading a magazine issue. Heehee. I find it also interesting that the photo of you and your friend's skirts hit at different lengths. It shows that a properly placed skirt that is proportional to your body can really enhance one's figure!
    I really agree about your comment on eye makeup, that it can really brighten up your entire face. I also want to add that for rounder faces (like me) bronzer and blush are staples for me.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  119. Jessica wrote:

    These tips are extremely helpful and thus important. Everyone should follow your advice, even those who are not petite(I am 5'7"). Great advice! 🙂

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  120. I absolutely LOVE this post! The before and after pics are great. Thanks for the helpful tips 🙂

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  121. Fabulous post! I'm so glad to read this and see that other people feel the same 🙂 It's comforting! I worked at a bank for three years and people would always make snark comments about me looking "too young" and it always bothered me. Althought, I am not overly short, but the age factor always came up with clients. But everything you have described here is so true! If you look more professional and put together people will give you the resepect you deserve. I found that out really quickly. I'm so glad you posted this and and the photos really help too. Thanks for sharing!


    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  122. JCHokie wrote:

    Great post, I love the before and after. I'm not always good at finding pieces that fit perfect and settle for the "boxy" fit. I've started shopping at ATL & BR's petite sections more to help revamp my wardrobe. I also have trouble finding the perfect heels since I'm a size five and can't wear anything over two inches tall or I fall over. 😉

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  123. Cher wrote:

    I don't really feel that my height affects my self-esteem. I'm short, but I don't think that's something to feel bad about. I am envious of tall women though. They command attention like no short woman can. But I agree, how you carry yourself can really do a lot (whether you are short or tall). Stand straight, wear clothes that give you confidence (they don't have to be expensive). A little make-up can really help one look polished and put together, even if it's just a little blush and lip gloss. I don't necessarily endorse a full face of make-up if you don't need it, but I almost never leave the house without a little powder, blush, and some eyeliner. Eyeliner is key for me to not looking 12.

    I do get asked about my age, but it doesn't bother me (I am in my 30s now, so being told that I look young is pretty awesome. LOL), besides when they realize that I'm attorney they've got to assume I'm at least in my mid-20s. My voice does get me in some "trouble" though. I have a pretty young voice, which I've always hated. Depending on the situation and not that I purposely control it, I can get it to sound a little bit deeper but I'm sure it doesn't sound like that of a grown woman's. Once during a phone interview (for an attorney position), I was asked how old I was. Really?

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  124. Shen Dove wrote:

    This is an excellent post! I can definitely relate to not always feeling confident because of my size. I've been asked my age and even my height in work environments more times than I can count…

    But I do think that looking younger/being smaller is not always a hindrance in work environments. Making good eye contact, speaking up/contributing your ideas, and having a sense of humor about your youthful looks definitely help (because you will be reminded of it regularly)!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  125. Anonymous wrote:

    This is awesome and so true. As the co-op student in my office AND being petite, it was really hard to not be looked at like a kid. Dressing well is definitely the best tip, I find that when I dress well with more feminine clothes, I have a lot more confidence in myself. I haven't been able to make myself wear heels yet and the odd day that I try to, I get comments like "hot date tonight?" and it's not because they're trying to be mean, they just know by now that it's not my style to wear heels. Your third point is really key. I've noticed that everyone's confidence in my abilities has skyrocketed since I started because everything I've done has been to perfection so no one hesitates to give me a project now. Building my work wardrobe is still in progress!

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  126. grace wrote:

    Excellent advice Jean. I loved those before/after tips.

    I can say I can take these words to heart given that I'm so short. Luckily, it's not so bad since I work with a whole bunch of engineers, but I find just dressing right gives me the confidence I need to walk straight. I tend to slouch though looking at computer monitors all day, so I need to fix that…

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  127. Great post! I need to learn to not slouch so much.

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  128. It's interesting I've always had people assume I was much younger than my age but it has never affected the way I carry myself or present myself in the workplace. Of course my industry does not require a strict dress code and it's a pretty casual environment which is not as highly competitive as some. I think your points are dead on. As petites we definitely have to put in a little bit of extra effort.

    My experiences are that as a petite I do not get noticed as much. Usually this is a good thing LOL but there are situations where standing out or being "memorable" is important. These are occasions where I try to not "blend" into the crowd as I find for me personally it is very easy to be overlooked.

    What is VERY interesting is that my 6'5" tall husband is in an industry where the older you look the more seriously you are taken and while he definitely looks like a grown up he is much younger than his colleagues and is always looking to prove himself. So, it's not necessarily a problem just for petites 😉

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  129. I can totally relate especially in a very highly competitive work environment!!! I liked your before are so funny:)

    Posted 2.27.11 Reply

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