In this brand new feature, Bomb Petite will be interviewing two petite fashion stylists from luxury online retailers. We’ll be picking their brains for fashion tips, petite style advice and everything in between. First up is Sarah Stalder, who is working in the NET-A-PORTER online studio regularly helping to pull together up to 50 looks a day and has worked with global publications as an editorial stylist.
Whether she’s in the studio at NET-A-PORTER, styling her own editorial projects or enjoying all that London has to offer, Sarah Stalder is a walking reminder that petite fashion can always be chic. And chic is exactly how we’d describe Stalder. The Swiss-born, fashion-lover studied at the Swiss Textile College before starting her career as a fashion buyer in her native country. After travelling the world on buying trips and getting a full 360 view of the business, she moved to London where she currently lives and happily describes as ‘the heart of fashion’. At the moment she’s doing styling work for NET-A-PORTER as well as freelancing as an editorial stylist and working with like-minded creatives. From established brands to emerging designers, she can turn her stylish eye on anything. As a petite woman herself she has both professional and personal insights into dressing for your height and is sharing them with us below.
When & how you did know you wanted to be a stylist?
Fashion has always been a passion in my life and there are so many facets to discover. My time as a buyer allowed me to get involved with merchandising as well as styling decisions. The latter really caught my attention and decided to learn more about styling.
What’s your style mantra?
I always try to break the line. For example, I love to combine some feminine pieces with some clothing from my fiancé’s wardrobe. Some of his jumpers I actually wear more than he does.
What’s your workwear look?
It really depends on my mood, but a white tee as a base gives you room for lots of variations. Make sure you have this staple piece in your wardrobe.
What is the first step in putting a look together?
To be honest I don’t have a particular rule I follow. Sometimes I really want to wear my stripped culottes so this is where I start from. Especially for us petites we have to be careful not to wear several oversized items at the same time to not appear even smaller. I often wear my culottes with a plain tee tucked in, a navy waistcoat and some white trainers. Sometimes less is more.
Which essential pieces do you think just looks great on anyone?
A blazer – you can style a blazer so diverse if casual, business or combine it even with a sheer skirt and white trainers to create a cool contrast. For petite women, I do especially recommend high-waisted trousers which fit every shape and guarantee a great look.
Is there an Autumn/Winter trend you just can’t wait to wear?
I can hardly wait to wear oversized and cosy knits. There are so many new shapes and qualities I spotted on catwalks of late. Also watch out for checks which were centre pieces in the AW17 collection of many key designers such as Stella McCartney, Helmut Lang and Off-White.
How do you stay tuned on the latest trends?
I keep up with all the catwalk shows, brand newsletters and magazines. Nowadays, a stylist can get a lot of inspiration from fashion influencers via Instagram or other social media platforms. Some of my favourites are Amanda Shadforth () and Margaret Zhang ( ). Not to forget the streets of London which can tell you so much more about trends and styles than a pile of fashion magazines.
Describe your perfect ‘no heels required’ outfit?
In the past, I rarely wore sneakers or flat shoes. Since moving to London, I rarely leave home without flats. As a Londoner, you end up walking everywhere. At the moment, I am in love with my white sneakers from Carven. Combine them with wide-leg culottes or a flowy skirt to avoid giving the impression you’re on the way to the gym.
What are the go-to pieces you think all petites should have?
Cropped denim, short skirts and high-waisted trousers. All those pieces make you appear taller, every inch counts.
What important key styling tip do you think us shorter women should always keep in mind when putting together an outfit?
- Cinching your waist makes your legs appear longer, try it.
- Wearing high heels is not always the most comfortable idea so go for a kitten or chunky heel, it will give you height and you will make it through the day much easier.
- Invest in a good pair of high waist jeans, they let your legs look longer and your waist slimmer!
What do you love about being petite?
There is rarely something that is too small on me. And hey, there is more good news, the oversized look is continuing in Autumn/Winter. Even if this trend ends one day, there are so many cool ways to look good as a petite woman. I say style has no size.