Styling a petite figure – tips from Rachel Bilson’s rulebook

By Rosemary | October 19 2012 | 19 Comments

The first, and most important, question I must ask is: has anyone been watching Hart of Dixie? It is the most ridiculously twee television programme to ever be broadcast, but it is somehow also one of the most adorable – and with Rachel Bilson at the helm, who could have expected anything less? I truly think she’s at her best when she’s playing an adorable, slightly kooky character like Summer in The OC or Dr Zoe Hart in Hart of Dixie. Worth a watch, I promise!

Television aside, today I’m going to take a look at Bilson’s off-duty style! I often advise clients to look at celebrities when they’re thinking about styling themselves; it can be really helpful to find a sleb whose body shape is close (ish!) to yours and look at what they’re doing, especially if you’re stuck in a bit of a style rut.

Rachel Bilson’s off-duty style is really casual – and there are very few days that you’ll find her in anything other than her trusty denims, which is great for us Irish ladies because we love our jeans! And remember: she’s a teeny 5ft 1in, so her style is great for those of you who are super-petite.

To add shape and give bulk to her figure, Bilson is rarely seen without layers – she’s really fond of structured jacket over dark tees with flared jeans, or slightly clump footwear: block-heeled boots and wedges, knee-high boots and pointy-toed shoes, which are great for elongating the leg. But enough about that – let’s take a look at a few pieces that wouldn’t be out of place in her wardrobe!

Clockwise from bottom left, we have: printed cotton pussybow blouse, £65 by People Tree at; black suede and leather boots, €88 at Oasis; cream bouclé jacket, €29 at Penneys and available from the end of October; black and white dalmatian print dress, a bargainous £15 at; black single-button blazer, €24.99 at New Look; and dark denim Leigh skinny jeans, £38 at (and a total rip-off in euro, so try in-store and buy online!).

Y’know what’s especially great about this selection? Everything has sleeves, nothing is overly revealing (Bilson doesn’t really go in for the sexy look, except on the red carpet) and it could all be worn for summer, without top layers, and for winter with a scarf and jacket! Win-win!

Are there any stars whose style you love and would like to see us find high street copies of their wardrobes?

Life, Celebrity Watch , , , , , , ,

19 Replies to "Styling a petite figure – tips from Rachel Bilson’s rulebook"

  • LoCo says:

    I got totally sucked into Hart of Dixie, love Zoe and Lemon great characters. And then there is Wade siiiiigggghhhhhhhhhh.

    Rachel Bilson is one of my girl crushs, love her style and hair. If I was a slim as her I would wear everything in all the pictures above and love your selections.

    I’m a smally 5.2 and find that it about tailoring, so a lot of the petite ranges are good for sleeve and trouser length. And it’s really important to find a good alterations service.

  • elimare says:

    Hart of Dixie is my guilty TV… the girls on Go Fug Yourself do hilarious recaps of the show and always ensure to have a topless shot of Hot Neighbour Wade…

    George is a bit of a wuss to be honest.

  • EvieM says:

    I love love love that program and Loco I’m totally with you on Rachel being a girl crush, I took a photo of her to my hairdresser recently as a guide for my new ombre look and now I’m only gorgeous. I’m also a squirt and while I wouldn’t have quite the figure Rachel has I do tend to stick to a wardrobe of jeans, oversized tees (to hide the muffin top, not to look cool like Rachel =( )and blazers. Tailoring is great for the shortys among us.

  • witchgirl26 says:

    I always liked Rachel Bilson. Have only seen a few mins of Hart of Dixie but kinda want to watch it from the start now! I’m the same height & similar size to her so think I’ll use her as my celeb guide from now on. I love her styple & looking at those pics, I think I do a bit of it already. :)

  • lainey316 says:

    I love La Bilson. LOVE her. I love Hart of Dixie too, it’s just so adorable. And I love how they started mocking her formal shorts IN THE SHOW. It’s very stylish overall, lots of great clothes. OK, Lemon’s are mental but at least she has a look…

    Rachel Bilson’s style always looks so effortless and pretty and appropriate. Is it so hard to look appropriate?

  • Dawn says:

    I think I just found my new style icon! I’m 5’1″ as well, and I have found that tailoring makes all the difference in how my clothes fit me.

  • Corrie says:

    Love Rachel Bilson, herself and Mila Kunis are my girl crushes! I’m a similar height to her but unfortunately a fairly different size. Rosemary I love the boots featured above, only problem is I have fairly big calves and wonder would they make them seem chunkier, im on the look out for a pair of winter boots I can wear all the time!

  • LynnieDoll says:

    Well Rosemary you’ve shocked me there….Rachel is the same height as me, well never would have guessed that, she looks taller.
    I wear a lot of tailored bits because they do make me look as if my clothes fit me . Look at all her jackets though, sleeves are pushed up which is exactly what I do with my regular sized clothes.
    Definitely picked up a few tips there, thanks very much misses.

  • Donna says:

    Love Hart of Dixie!!!!!

    Wade all the way.

  • Eileesh says:

    Love Hart of Dixie, so much so that I’ve an alert setup for new episodes showing in the USA so I can get them online ASAP. Unfortunately I’m nothing like Ms bilson in size/shape :( though I do have one cousin who is even tinier but she has a personality that ensures you’d never realise it! As for George v Wade .. yummy to both, George’s singing voice is incredible while Wade is hot bad-boy ..
    Oh yeah and Lemon’s style .. OMG only in america.

  • EvieM says:

    Am I the only one who quite likes lemons style? Now I could never pull it off mind, but I do love the 50’s kookyness of it all…and the vintage jewellery and hair accessories = LOVE

  • *Aisling* says:

    Oh the Dalmation Dress – it shall me mine! GREAT picks Rosemary!

    5’1 – would NEVER have thought it

  • *caroline* says:

    Love that dress too. Am tempted to go online but I spent almost €200 on 2 coats this week. I find online shopping impossible as well. Only reason I bought this week is I need a new coat and have had no luck irl so far.

    Big fan of both Hart of Dixie and rachel (ever since the OC), she’s super cute.

  • Marianne says:

    Love RAchel’s style & love the pussybow blouse!! Now if only she could get pregnant right now so I could also see how i can copy her maternity clothes that would be even better ;). Great post, will be inspiration for when I can go shopping again!

  • Rosemary says:

    Marianne, I styled a shoot last year for maternity clothes and it’s amazing how many regular items can be worn while pregnant – I’ll root it out and maybe do a post on maternity gear next week!

  • Karina says:

    Thank you for this post, Rosemary-as a fellow shortarse, it’s so helpful! Love love Hart of Dixie-get sucked in every time, usually by her super-cute formal shorts!

  • EvieM says:

    Marianne, I wore a lot of normal clothes when I was pregnant. There was and still are a lot of slouchy tees and blouses around so I could wear those with my maternity jeans and my normal blazer worn open. Maxi dresses…if you’re short like me don’t need to be special maternity ones, I lived in a new look one that look great with flip flops in the summer but could be worn with boots and a cardi in the winter. Congrats on the pregnancy

  • Little Blue says:

    Loving all the fashion posts – they’re my new favourite thing on

  • Rosemary says:

    Little Blue, that makes you MY new favourite thing on! ;-p

Leave a Reply

Content © and partners