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Secrets to Looking Professional & Polished

Q: What's the secret to looking professional and polished when you're a petite?

A: Don't fall into the trap of wearing scaled-down versions of styles suited for taller frames. Instead mix and match pieces that help elongate your silhouette, suggests Michele Bohbot, the designer of the new petite line for Bisou Bisou for JCPenney. "Choose V-necks or tops with details above the waist, like ruffles or ruching, since the design will draw the eye upward and make you appear taller." Fitted shirts work better than full or blousy ones; the latter can overwhelm your figure. Opt for slim-fitting, tapered-leg pants and keep hems long, no more than half an inch from the floor. Pick your patterns carefully. "A simple rule of thumb: If the repeating pattern is larger than the palm of your hand, it's too big for your frame," says Betsy Thompson, a fashion expert at Talbots.

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