What's It Like To Be Petite In Paris?

Tips from France's biggest little blogger.

It began as all good ideas do: with a glass of wine. “I was in Boston having a drink with my friend. I told her I wanted to do a blog about my life once I moved to Paris, but I was stuck on the name. She was like, ‘Well, look at you, Diana. It’s got to be, ‘Petite in Paris.’ And I bought the domain that night.” Diana Coletta is the 4’11" fashionista who, in a just over a year, has captured the Internet’s heartstrings with her blog. We meet up at the Palais Galliera, basically a bite-sized, 19th-Century-palace-turned-fashion-museum, at her suggestion to talk about her journey from Beantown to the City of Light. 
“Well I didn’t speak any French. I just hit the ground running,” she explains about her move to Europe. “My boyfriend and I were just presented [with] this opportunity to move here about a year and a half ago, and, well I don’t think you can say no to that.” Apprehension just isn’t in Coletta’s genes, and if the blog began as a way for her to get motivated about exploring Paris, it quickly developed into an unexpected, international support network. “I found that the more relaxed I became about my content – about not having to [write] the absolute perfect caption, for example – the better people responded. Blogging teaches you to have a better eye, because, I mean, you just have to as it’s so competitive, but it also encourages you to just relax and share your true self with others. You also have to engage constantly, and I didn’t expect the intensity of the connection you make with this new community of people [in the blogosphere] to be so meaningful to me.” 

As it turns out, over 90k Instagram followers were eager to engage with Coletta about her sartorial adventures in Paris. “The French woman – the Parisian, really – is so effortlessly chic to me. I think my style has matured in a way since I’ve been here, and I find myself dressing up for outings that, like, I would’ve just thrown on a sweatshirt for in Boston. But the Parisian woman is always so elegant in an understated way.” Today, Coletta is wearing a structured white and yellow skirt that falls just above the knee. She's tucked in a boxy white blouse, paired it with a black belt and some strappy heels. You can't deny it: this is one American who wears Paris well. 
Between France and America, Coletta says, the former is the easiest place to shop for clothes: “I mean look at them, the French are just tinier than Americans,” she says with a grin. When it comes to dressing as a petite woman, she continues, there’s a minefield of misconceptions. For example, she rarely goes to a tailor. While many people assume that standard sizing means constantly adjusting new purchases in a drastic way, Coletta is content with subtle styling tricks that make all the difference. "I find other ways to ‘alter’ my clothes: I cuff my jeans, I tuck things in. I belt things constantly, because it creates a flattering waistline and silhouette. When you’re a petite girl you shouldn’t get things that hide your shape, but [instead] break up your outfit with a bunch of different elements. I throw jackets over everything, for example.”
For starters, she says, you’ve got to have a solid knowledge of proportion. “You’ll start to know your body and what looks good on you the more you try different lengths and cuts – and use the Internet as a source [of inspiration]!” As for her go-to accessories, Coletta prefers jewelry that adds interest to her outfit, such as delicate pieces that flatter the neckline, or long earrings to balance out an up-do. But when in doubt, she sticks to her mother's advice: "reach for a strand of pearls because they're classic and work with everything.”

Shop pieces inspired by Petite in Paris' style below: 
Zara Poplin Top With Frilled Sleeves And Buttons - $18
Floriane Fosso V Yaoundé White - €130
Anthropologie Sunny Day Skirt - $88
3.1 Philip Lim Stripe Pleated Mini Skirt - $350
Francesco Russo Strappy Sandals - $1,490
ASOS HURRICANE Lace Up Heeled Sandals - $28
Emperia Faux Leather Lock Clutch - $25
Karen London Say My Name Initial Necklace - $50

You can follow Diane Coletta on Instagram @petiteinparis or on her blog at Petiteinparis.com.
All images by Marwen Farhat