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Petite women, unite! With warm weather here, I know you’re ready to start wearing petite casual dresses for the season. I’ve got some of the best petite style tips to help you dress your figure effortlessly. Being a petite woman is something to be proud of – seriously! I know it can feel like a frustrating thing sometimes, when it comes to finding clothes that really flatter, but work with what you have. It’s so much more fun when you embrace your petite figure, plus it’s a whole lot easier to see the positive and dress accordingly when you begin enjoying being petite.

I don’t know about you but I live in casual dresses during the warm weather months. They are just SO easy to wear because they’re one piece. Casual dresses give you a lot of ease with your style, without sacrificing fashion – that’s a double win if you ask me.

If you are looking for petite size dresses this season, I have you covered with 7 tips to choose the best casual dresses for short girls. I’m breaking down a few of my must know tips so you can select casual dresses with ease. 

Photo: Carly (5’3″, IG@carlygala) wearing Belinda dress from Petite Dressing
Know Where to Shop for Petite Casual Dresses

When you have a petite frame, the reality is that standard sizing doesn’t fit you quite right. Sure, there can be exceptions to everything, but more often than not standard sizing is going to be too long on a petite body. When it comes to shopping for casual dresses for petite women, length is a big (ok HUGE) deal. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, most of us petite women have had experiences trying on standard sized dresses and finding that they’re WAY too long on us.

Length is not the only issue. Since standard sizing are designed for taller women (over 5’5″), you are likely to have other problems with the fit too. Have you ever felt the V neck on a regular size is too deep for you? How about the wrap dress has a belt at the wrong place? Perhaps you even felt the dress looked like a drop waist on you when it’s not meant to?

If any of these sounds familiar, now you know what the cause is. So, your best bet is to choose the casual dresses from the petite selections. Before you roll your eyes and get frustrated, the good news is brands and retailers everywhere have started to offer much wider ranges of petite sizing.

Michael Michael Kors Petite $81
Style &Co Petite $39
Style & Co Petite $35

STYLIST TIP: Many retailers offer a broader petite selection online. Don’t be afraid to order online! If you haven’t purchased from different stores or brands check their return policies and order multiple sizes to make your online shopping experience a more successful one.

To save your time, we have done the research and complied a list of the “Best Petite Size Designers and Retailers Online and in Store”. At Petite Dressing, we also offer petite dresses (including maxi length), and our goal is they should not only fit you, but also flatter you (how about making you look taller and leaner?)

The Belinda Petite Wrap Dress $139 (Petite Dressing)
Petite Dressing $79
Select Color and Print Accordingly

Chances are you are going to want quite a few petite size casual dresses to choose from this spring/summer. Since they are such a great warm weather wardrobe staple – you won’t want JUST one to wear. One of the fun things about casual dresses is they come in such a wide variety of colors, fabrics and prints. If you’re in a place where you are looking to build your casual dresses wardrobe, I suggest adapting a variety for yourself. For example having one solid, one printed, etc. This will give you more styling options and help you from feeling like you’re wearing the same dress over and over throughout the season.

To really get the most versatility from casual dresses for short women, choosing neutral colors is going to be your best bet. But that’s not to say you can’t have fun with other colors – just make sure that you have some of the staple neutrals as well.

Photo: Shelby, 5’4″ in collaboration with Petite Dressing (IG@shelbymoroney)

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of petite sized casual dresses come in prints and patterns. Sometimes it seems like they’re ONLY in prints and patterns, doesn’t it? This is definitely a fun route to go when selecting your casual dresses, because prints are such a fun way to add your personality to your wardrobe. However, as a petite woman, you’re going to want to choose prints that flatter your petite frame. Sound confusing? Let me explain.

When you are petite, large prints can feel as though they’re consuming your entire body and lead to the dress looking as if it’s wearing you, rather than you wearing the dress. This is exactly why anytime you are looking at casual dresses in prints, it’s essential that you’re sticking to prints in scale to your body size. The reason I didn’t say smaller is always better is that petite women can have different shapes and sizes too. Petite doesn’t necessarily mean skinny. If you happen to be a skinny short girl, then the smaller print will be in line with your petite frame and provide a lot more flattery for you. If you are on the curvy side or are a plus size, then just choose something in scale to your size.

The rule of thumb? Normally if the prints are smaller than your fist, then they are good to wear.

Petite Dressing $99
Petite Dressing $119
Opt for Either Long or Short

It’s nothing new that length of dresses is a key attribute petite women need to pay attention to. Right? I get it! I’m a petite woman myself and I’ve learned over the years that the length can make or break the entire look of a dress on my body. Chances are you’re going to find petite casual dresses in a wide range of different lengths and I want you to have fun when selecting the best casual dresses for you. But I will say that the best, most flattering casual dresses for petite girls like us are either short dresses or long dresses.

Let me explain. When they are short, a couple of inches above the knee is ideal. Shorter length in a casual dress helps to create a more elongated vibe for your look in the dress.

Charter Club Petite $30
Style & Co Petite $41
Michael Michael Kors Petite $98

However, I understand not everyone wants to only wear short petite dresses all the time. It is totally understandable there will be occasions and times that you just prefer to wear dresses that are longer. That is why I suggest you could also go with really long dresses- I am referring to maxi dresses.

Petite Dressing $119
Petite Dressing $129

Now, I know it sounds tricky with long dresses. That seems to be a look harder to pull off by short girls and it can be harder for a petite woman to appear flattered in long casual dresses. It is possible long casual dresses can sometimes feel fussy. Who wants to feel weighed down by their casual dresses? I don’t know anyone! But, here is a big BUT. Once you know the hacks to wear maxi dresses as a short girl, you will find them totally irresistible. They all of a sudden become your favorite weapon that can make you look taller, even in flats! This is Nicole Richie below and she is known for wearing ankle length maxi. Can you tell she is only 5 feet? So, read our guide on “How to Choose Maxi Length Dresses for Petites“.

Photo: Getty Images
Consider the Necessary Alterations

Building off of the length factor with casual dresses for shorter women, let’s chat about getting them altered as needed. You may find that even if you shop from the petite department, some alterations may be needed. This goes for women who aren’t petite also – buying clothing off the rack isn’t always going to provide the PERFECT fit regardless of your height.

Photo: Shutterstock

As you’re shopping for the perfect casual dresses, think about how alterations may play a role when selecting dresses for your wardrobe. Don’t count a dress out just because it doesn’t fit perfectly right off the rack. Taking the dress to the tailor for minor alterations can make the world of a difference. Look at things like the arm holes, length, etc. to determine whether or not the dress can be altered into the perfect petite casual dress.

Think About the Versatility

Petite casual dresses are casual, obviously. But I’m all about versatility with anything in your wardrobe. It’s hard to get excited about investing into something you can only wear one way in one kind of occasion. So while you’re on the hunt of casual dresses, think about how you’re going to be able to wear it. My rule is that you should be able to think of 2-3 different ways to wear a piece before buying. This way you know you will have plenty of ways to wear one piece, making it a worthy investment.

Photo: Jesi, 5’4″ in collaboration with Petite Dressing (IG@jesipepperminting)

To expand that idea, think about the transitioning period between seasons. If your dresses are versatile enough, you should be able to wear them more than just the spring or summer. You will need to wear jackets or scarves with your dresses to transition into fall, so make sure the color of your dresses go with the jackets or scarves in your closet.

Highlight Your Proportions

Oversized silhouettes (or “gender neutral”) are a huge trend right now. Unfortunately they aren’t the best way to highlight a petite woman’s proportions. When it comes to dressing to flatter your petite frame, working with your body’s proportions needs to be a main focus. I know a lot of women love flowy, shapeless dresses for their petite casual dresses, but I suggest skipping those shapes and sticking to something with more structure. The flowy, shapeless options are going to swallow up your petite frame where options with structure are guaranteed to flatter a petite woman.

If you are in love with a flowy and loose fit dress, then try to add some structure to it. For instance, wear a cropped jacket over it and create a 1/3 and 2/3 (read more about Rule of Thirds in our post on the 9 Best Petite Fashion Hacks of All Time), which will make your body proportion look much better.

Cinch Your Waist When Possible

Petite casual dresses are notorious for providing that free-flowing type of style vibe. I mentioned above that petite women should focus on petite casual dresses that have structure to avoid overwhelm, but one of the loopholes around that is to cinch your waist. This means that if you see a free flowing type of casual dress that you’ve fallen in love with, but the silhouette is really overwhelming to your body, you CAN make it work by cinching your waist. Adding a belt to the waist of a petite casual dress is one of the best style secrets to making a non-flattering dress flattering.

Petite Dressing $109
Lauren Ralph Lauren Petite $87

All that said, you don’t want to have all of your petite casual dresses requiring you to add an additional belt in order for them to flatter your body. In general, I recommend searching for petite casual dresses that have a built in waist cinching detail for this reason. This can be done with a tie at the waist, elastic, or anything else.

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If you have wedding invitations rolling into your mailbox, you’ve probably started thinking about what you need to wear to the occasion(s). The wedding day is the biggest event but we all know there are quite a few events leading up to the big day. Between the wedding shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner, quite a few outfits are needed and each calls for a different type of outfit. Today let’s take a close look at what to wear to a rehearsal dinner. We also have posts on how to choose the best petite wedding guest dresses.

With so many different pre-wedding events to get dressed for, the rehearsal dinner can provide a whole other level of confusion in the wardrobe department. To keep your anxiety at bay, and help you to enjoy the pre-wedding events, I’m sharing some tips so you know exactly what to wear to a rehearsal dinner.

What is a Rehearsal Dinner

Before we get into style hacks, it is helpful to go over what this is so that you know what to expect. According to Wiki, a
rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding ceremony in the United States tradition, usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding ceremony. 

So, who are invited to the rehearsal dinner?

Photo: Pexel

Since the rehearsal dinner takes place after the rehearsal, the guest list can include just the bride and groom to be, their immediate families, the wedding party, and the officiant and his spouse.

Or, it can be a larger event, including all the out-of-town guests (or at least all those who will have already arrived in town for the wedding).

Whether you are family of the couple. one of the bridesmaids or one of the out of town guests, since this isn’t an event everyone is invited to, naturally you want to dress properly for the occasion.

Take a Note From the Invitation

We have said this many times, and we are going to say it again. Whenever you are considering what to wear for a wedding related party, the first thing you should look for the guidance is always the dress code on the invitation. Now, what if the invitation does not have dress code? Or there is no printed invitation at all?

Well, that is a very good point! While wedding invitations always tell you the dress code such as “black tie optional”, “cocktail attire”, etc, rehearsal dinner is a little different.

Photo: Pexel

Some rehearsal dinners provide actual invitations while others don’t. Regardless, you will (should!) be provided with some information about the rehearsal dinner. Information like the time, location, etc. – you get the point. Believe it or not you, can gain a lot of outfit inspiration and insight in knowing what to wear to a rehearsal dinner based on the invitation. Use this information to your advantage!

For example if the rehearsal dinner invitation states it will be taking place in the evening at a nice restaurant you should have an idea as to how formal or casual the event will be. 

Calvin Klein Petites $134
Jessica Howard Petite $37
Calvin Klein Petite $89
Dress for the Rehearsal Dinner according to the Location

Let’s get into the location a bit more because just like the weddings themselves, the rehearsal dinners can take place in a wide range of locations. Knowing where the rehearsal dinner is taking place gives you a ton of information around how to actually get dressed. Your decision about the dress (or otherwise), shoes, jewelry and to wear to the rehearsal dinner should all depend on the venue.

Even though indoor dinners are not necessarily more formal than outdoors, you do need to consider some practical factors if the event is outdoors. Is your dress going to be too long to be sweeping the grass everywhere? Is the venue by the beach so it could get windy? You don’t want to be busy fixing up your dress all night and do not have enough time to really enjoy the dinner. Wear something that is not only pretty but also practical is key.

Petite Dressing $119
Petite Dressing $109

If the dinner is taking place in a garden, you probably want to avoid stilettos so that you can walk more comfortably on the grass and the tiny and sharp heels don’t get stuck somewhere on the ground. Dressy flats or wedges are better for outdoor events.

Badgley Mishka $79
Earth Yarrow $112
Jcrew $119

If the rehearsal dinner is in an upscale restaurant, you may want to go with a cocktail dress and feel free to wear your favorite kitten heels. Still, bear in mind comfort is key, because most rehearsal dinner will last more than one hour and you want to make sure your shoes won’t start to hurt half way. Block heels or shoes with a slight platform works perfectly in that case. If you want to know more about how to pick the right shoes, read our post on “How to wear high heels comfortably all day”.

Sam Edelman $99
Steve Madden $79
Circus by Sam Edelman $33

Besides shoes, if the dinner is outdoors at night time, you may want to consider bringing a light weight pashmina in case it gets chilly.

INC $36
INC $27
INC $27

I suggest, if you’re not really familiar with the rehearsal dinner’s location, personally do some research! Thanks to the internet we can gain a lot of insight into a venue from a simple online search. Check their social media pages to see what patrons wear when they are there, get an idea as to how formal the dress code is, etc. The point is location isn’t something to look over when you’re figuring out what to wear to a rehearsal dinner.

Less Formal Than the Actual Wedding

Even if the rehearsal dinner is on the formal side, you never want this outfit to outshine or be more formal than what you plan to wear to the actual wedding. Keep in mind that the wedding is the most important event of ALL the wedding related events, so that’s the look that should be the most formal and stand out the most.

Photo: Pexel

What if the rehearsal dinner dress code is formal? In that case, you should honor that dress code just think about what you’re wearing to the wedding and think about whether or not you need to make some adjustments so you’re not dressing up more for the dinner than you are the wedding.

Express Yourself with Class

Because rehearsal dinners are less formal than the actual wedding it does give you an opportunity to express your own personal style when choosing an outfit for the occasion. Have fun with the dress (or pants!) you decide to wear for the rehearsal dinner by choosing something that you feel really comfortable wearing. While you should use it to express your personality, it’s important that you aren’t showing too much skin at the rehearsal dinner.

Even if the venue of the rehearsal dinner is formal and calls for you dressing up (or not), showing a lot of skin can have you running the risk of not dressing appropriately for the event. Keep in mind that the rehearsal dinner is a wedding related event which means that family members will be in attendance and you want to honor the bride and groom’s special night. This isn’t to say you can’t wear a dress that shows a little leg or a neckline that shows a touch of skin – but it doesn’t mean you want to find some balance between showing skin and just plain showing too much. If grandma wouldn’t approve its probably best to skip it!

Connected Petite $70
Adrianna Papell Petite $219
XSCAPT Petite $219
Don’t Wear the Bride’s Color

This may go without saying but I wanted to make sure we touch on the color you decide to wear to the rehearsal dinner. Truthfully, you can really rock any color you enjoy wearing to the rehearsal dinner. I suggest choosing according to the season. So if the rehearsal dinner is taking place in the spring or summer, choose an outfit that’s in the light and/or bright color scheme.

Vince Camuto Petite $148
Connected Petite $79
Calvin Klein Petite $129

On the flip side if the rehearsal dinner is in the fall or winter, go for darker hues. This will help you to feel like you’re dressing properly for the season AND occasion which is the ultimate style win.

Petite Dressing Fiona Dress
Petite Little Black Dress $89 (Petite Dressing)

The one color you definitely should NOT wear to the rehearsal dinner is white. Unless a wedding event invitation specifically requests for guests to wear white, it should be avoided for any and all wedding events – yes even the events leading up to the big day. To put it rather simply, the color white is really meant to be reserved for the bride. All of the events leading up to the actual wedding are about the bride and groom and allowing her to stand out in white, if and when she chooses, is respectful.

I’m sure you’ve heard that you should never wear white to the wedding but don’t forget to trickle that same rule into the other wedding festivities. If you want to know more about dos and don’ts regarding wedding events, read our post on common fashion mistakes to avoid for petite wedding guest .

Style a Completed, Appropriate Look

More often than not, dresses are going to be a great style choice for a rehearsal dinner. They’re easy to wear and require minimal matching when styling the outfit. Hello one pieces! On that note, I so often see that women will find a great dress to wear to a rehearsal dinner and miss the rest of the details. Ladies! Remember that you’re styling an ENTIRE look when getting dressed for a rehearsal dinner. Don’t break the look of the dress with the wrong accessories and shoes.

We’ve all heard it – shoes can make or break an outfit. I’m not going to give you a whole lecture about how to select your accessories and shoes but I will say that you should look at everything you’re wearing to the rehearsal dinner as a cohesive look.

Generally speaking, less is more. Avoid overstyling yourself by wearing too many accessories like big earrings, a necklace, statement bracelet, etc. If you’re wearing a dress that’s a stand out you don’t need a lot of over the top accessories to look great. On the flip side, if you’re wearing a simple dress to the rehearsal dinner you can add a little more of a pop with your accessories.

Dana Rebecca $275
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Wedding season is about to be in full effect! Do you have weddings on your calendar? While it’s always exciting to celebrate love with the people you care about on their wedding day, knowing what to wear to said wedding can cause some anxiety. Now when you add a beach wedding to the mix…it causes even more confusion. What’s a woman supposed to wear to a beach wedding? No need to worry, I’m going to break down some tips to consider to help you know exactly what to wear to a beach wedding so you’re fully prepared if/when you get invited to celebrate nuptials on the beach.

We also have other posts on “What to Wear to Weddings if you are Petite” which talks about the common mistakes you should avoid as a wedding guest, and how to choose the “Best Wedding Guest Dresses for Short Girls” .

Know the Dress Code of the Beach Wedding

Beach weddings are, obviously, different from a more traditional wedding venue because of this the dress codes vary a bit. Once you receive an invitation to a beach wedding you’re going to want to get an understanding of the expected dress code for the occasion. Yes, just like any other wedding beach wedding dress codes can range. The invitation should specify the dress code to help you avoid major confusion when figuring out what to wear to a beach wedding.

Photo: Pexels.com

I’ll break it down for you to make it easy:

Formal – this is the most ‘dressed-up’ dress code for a beach wedding. When dressing for a formal beach wedding you should stick with long gowns. If your invitation says formal, be sure to read our post on how to choose evening gowns for short women.

XSCAPT Petite $219
R&M Richards Petite $139
R&M Richards Petite $139

Semi-formal – this dress code is often the most confusing for attendees because it can seem unclear. Since a beach wedding is located on, well…the beach I suggest opting for a more formal cocktail length dress or a long dress that isn’t quite as formal as a traditional gown. This will give you a good happy medium. The bonus of a shorter length dress for a beach wedding is you won’t have to worry about the dress dragging in the sand!

Calvin Klein Petites $134
XScape Petite $189
Adrianna Papell Petite $219

Casual – while this is the most relaxed dress code, I always stress to remember you are still attending a wedding so make sure you aren’t TOO casual. I know it’s easy to feel like you can go total vacation mode when it’s a beach wedding but resist the urge. Great options for a casual dress code are maxi dresses and/or shorter dresses that aren’t quite as dressy as your cocktail attire.

Petite Dressing $129
Petite Dressing $119
Rethink the Fabric

When you’re deciding what to wear to a beach wedding one factor many forget to consider is the fabric of the dress they wear. Beach weddings are outside, often in warm weather. This means you aren’t going to want fabric that’s very heavy. Wearing heavyweight fabrics to a beach wedding is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you be uncomfortable but chances are you’ll be sweating up a storm.

To be comfortable in the dress you wear, and appropriate for the beach location stick with lightweight fabrics. Think fabrics like cotton, chiffon, linen and lace. These are all breathable fabrics so you won’t have to worry about overheating while you’re enjoying the ceremony and they all match the beach aesthetic.

Connected Petite $70
R&M Richards Petite $79
Connected Petite $79
Consider the Fit of the Dress

I often talk about the silhouette of dresses, and choosing the best options for petite women. But when it comes to deciding what to wear to a beach wedding you have to take some other fit factors into consideration. Think about it this way…when you’re at the beach there’s a lot of wind. Catch my drift? (pun intended) Ok, ok I’ll just get into it – you don’t want to wear a dress that’s too loose in fit or flowy so you don’t get caught in the wind. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re on guard the whole day worrying about whether or not your dress will fly up from the wind.

Photo:Unsplash

Since you are going to want lightweight fabrics for the beach wedding, it’s important to find a balance with the fit of the dress you choose. As you try on different dress options make sure the wind factor is in the back of your head.

Bonus tip: don’t forget to follow the classic petite style tips when choosing a beach wedding dress! Avoid anything that’s too overwhelming for your shape.

Swap Your Color Story

Most of us tend to stick with black and other dark colors when choosing a dress for a wedding. However, when you’re attending a beach wedding those dark colors aren’t always the best choice. In fact you will probably want to avoid those classic dark hues. Why? Well think about it, when you’re dressed in dark colors and spending time outdoors you get pretty hot – right? Yeah, that’s why you will want to skip that black dress for this particular wedding.

Since you’re going to skip the go-to dark colors you wear to most weddings, for a beach wedding you’re going to lighten it up! Just like with the fabric you choose you want lighter and brighter colors. Not only are they warm weather friendly but they also feel so much more appropriate for the beach setting.

Vince Camuto Petite $148
Connected Petite $79
Calvin Klein Petite $134

Of course you won’t want to go TOO light and wear white to the wedding…unless there’s a particular dress code/color restriction in place that allows for it. It’s tradition for the bride to be the only one in white at a wedding. Like I said, unless it’s otherwise specified.

The good news is when you’re deciding what to wear to a beach wedding it’s an opportunity to mix things up a bit. If you ALWAYS wear dark colors, it’s a chance to step outside the norm and go for something bright and light.

Think About Footwear

Footwear is another factor to think about differently when knowing what to wear to a beach wedding. To help ensure that you select the right footwear for the wedding it’s helpful to know exactly where the wedding will be taking place. Some beach weddings take place on grass near the beach, some in the actual sand at the beach, or elsewhere. I don’t have to tell you each place calls for different shoe requirements so try to get the inside scoop to help you out.

If the wedding is taking place in the sand at the beach, flat sandals are perfectly acceptable. Honestly, you probably won’t want to try to attempt to wear heels in this situation. I know as a petite you’re used to sticking with heels but sand + heels = disaster. Do yourself a favor and stick with flat sandals. Instead of traditional flip flops which are really (too) casual, opt for dressy flat sandals. The key to make your flat sandals more stylish and appropriate for the celebratory occasions like wedding is the go with metallic colors, jewel accents and skinny straps.

Badgley Mishka $79
Katy Perry $48.95
Splendid $67.95

On the other hand, if the beach wedding is taking place in grass or somewhere else near the beach you can go with a heel. That being said, the terrain is still going to be a bit rocky (most often). In this situation I recommend going with wedge heels if it’s a casual dress code, and block heels or something thicker than a stiletto for a semi-formal or formal dress code beach wedding.

Jcrew $119
Earth Yarrow $112
Aerosoles $100

Whichever dress code and/or location the beach wedding resides, light neutrals are often the best bet for beach wedding shoes. Plus, they’re super flattering for a petite – they elongate your leg line to help you look longer and taller!

The post What to Wear to a Beach Wedding appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Ready for warm weather? Ditto, girl! Whether you’re getting out of town for a beach vacation or you’re getting your summer wardrobe on point, you will want to keep reading. When we think of cruise wear, we often think of vacations, cruises, etc. But the truth is what you wear to a cruise can translate into your casual spring and summer wardrobe. It’s a great way to maximize your wardrobe, too! Versatility is key after all.

Knowing where to invest with cruise wear can be tricky. When you’re traveling, you want pieces that pack easy and transition from activity to activity easily. To make your shopping a bit easier, I wanted to give you some tips on the best pieces to wear on a cruise, specific for petite ladies! I’m sharing a few must have items on a cruise that every petite woman needs to have in her wardrobe. Every piece is versatile and can be worn on a cruise, vacation or even when you’re out and about during the summer months. Of course, each piece will help you to build a great foundation that allows you to establish a better vacation wardrobe from here.

On that note, let’s dive into it!

Cruise Wear 101: Petite Friendly Sundresses

I’m a big believer in dressing being a big part of every petite woman’s wardrobe. They’re SO easy to wear, being that they’re just one piece (no matching required), and dresses tend to fit a petite frame much easier than separates. That being said, sundresses are a cruise wear must. As much as I would like to tell you all you need is one petite sundress in your vacation wear collection, the truth is you will want more than one. Because sundresses are so easy and comfortable to wear, I’m willing to bet you will be reaching for your sundress(es) often.

There are, however, a couple of tips to keep in mind when choosing sundresses for cruise or other vacation as a petite woman. We have another post on “7 Best Sundresses for Petite Girls” which talks about everything you want to know about petite sundresses. For starters, these are the most important things you should keep in mind.

Photo: Shutterstock
1 Consider the length of the sundress!

I don’t have to tell you length is the biggest struggle for petite women, especially when it comes to dresses. Now don’t be confused, petite women can wear a variety of different dress lengths. Short sundresses never fail a petite girl. But, you don’t have to limit yourself to just short dresses. Yes, petites can definitely wear maxi sundresses on a cruise! If you are still wondering how short women can pull off the maxi look, read our guide on how to wear maxi dresses if you are petite.

Petite Dressing $119
Aileen Petite Dress $159 (Petite Dressing)
Charlotte petite gingham dress $89

Whatever you choose, I suggest sticking to dresses specifically made for petite women. Fortunately, there are a ton of designers and brands that now offer petite sundresses. The length is going to be much more accommodating to your petite frame right off the rack. But don’t be afraid to get dresses altered to flatter your petite shape. Length is an easy fix for a seamstress and can make a huge difference in how flattering something is on you.

2 Don’t overwhelm your petite shape.

This is HUGE when you’re a petite woman. The downside of sundresses is that many of them are very flowy and loose fit. As much as those styles are “comfortable” they can overwhelm a petite woman. When your shape is overwhelmed by an ill-fitting dress it does the opposite of flatter. That being said, focus on choosing sundresses where we see YOU. Opt for dresses that have a defined waist, figure hugging silhouette, etc. This is going to allow you to play around with different sundress lengths without the dress completely swallowing you up!

3 Choose versatile colors/patterns.

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to resist a statement making sundress. Something about the warm weather always has me drawn to bold colors and prints. Sundresses are an opportunity to have a lot of fun with colors, patterns and prints however you will want to make sure sundresses you are choosing are versatile. There’s nothing worse than having a gorgeous cruise wear dress that can only be worn one way or to one occasion. Focus on colors that mix into your existing wardrobe seamlessly to maximize the versatility.

Petite Dressing $129
Petite Dressing $99
Petite Dressing $79

We also have another post specifically talking about How to Choose the Best Sundresses for Short Girls.

Wide Brim Hats

Spending time on a beach, outside, or on a cruise means you will be outside in the sun. Obviously you want to enjoy the beautiful weather while you can but it’s important to protect your face from the strong sunshine. That’s exactly why wide brim hats are another cruise wear essential. Well that and because they’re SO cute. One of my favorite style hacks is throwing a hat on. Even if you have a pretty simple outfit on, adding a hat to the mix instantly transforms the look and makes you look put together.

Photo: Shutterstock

The reason you want a wide brim hat is to keep yourself a bit more covered from the sunshine. Now, just how wide brimmed the hat is up to you and your personal style preferences. However I find panama hats to be one of the more wearable type of wide brim hats. When you start to get into hats that are very large with extreme brims it gets harder to wear them on an everyday basis.

In terms of choosing the right color for hat to wear on a cruise, I suggest sticking to neutral colors – for obvious reasons. Think tan, beige, black, brown for your cruise wear hats. The only thing I’ll say to consider when selecting a neutral color hat is how often you will be in the sun. Black can make you feel TOO hot, particularly when it’s on top of your head, when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. If you’re thinking about what you should wear on a cruise, I’m going to assume you will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, which is why you may want to skip an all-black hat. If you like black, think about choosing something like a panama hat in a beige color with a black ribbon around it. This gives you the best of both worlds!

San Diego Hat Company $44
Lauren Ralph Lauren $
Betmar $33
Rompers and Jumpsuits

The thing about cruise wear is you want pieces that are really easy. No one wants to feel fussy in their vacation look! That’s why dresses are so great. But I know that you won’t want to wear a dress every single day, that’s wear rompers and jumpsuits come into play. One of the things I love about rompers and jumpsuits is they really give you the same ease of a dress being just one solid piece. Plus, petite rompers and jumpsuits can easily be transitioned from day to night. Hence why you will definitely want to add a romper, jumpsuit OR both into your vacation wardrobe.

Petite Dressing $109
Petite Dressing $119

Petites should consider similar attributes choosing a romper or jumpsuit as you do with a sundress. They’re very similar in that way. In order for short girls to pull off the jumpsuit look on a cruise, the fit is key. You want to make sure the jumpsuit is well fitted. I want to clarify that well fitted does not mean tight. In fact, the best jumpsuits for cruise are probably the wide leg ones, which make sure you are comfortable and not too hot during your trip. Those made with linen, cotton or other light weight fabrics are perfect for you to wear on the cruise, because they are breathable and flowy.

Petite Dressing $109
Petite Dressing $115

In terms of the color, you can never go wrong with a pastel or neutral hue. If you want to up your style one step further, then opt for tropical prints, which will fit the theme of your cruise like no others!

Petite Dressing $119
Jaden Petite Romper $99

I suggest, much like with sundresses, sticking with rompers and jumpsuits made for petites to ensure the right fit. It’s rare you will need alterations when choosing a romper from the petite clothing stores. We have another post talking about where to find and how to style jumpsuits for petite girls.

Rompers come in all different shapes, styles, etc. but as a petite woman you will want to focus on rompers that have a defined waistline. If there is no definition in the waist it’s going to be shapeless and, in turn, won’t be very figure flattering on your shape. Plus, when there is a defined waistline on a romper it makes the look feel much more put together.

Neutral Sandals

Sandals are a clear must have for cruise wear. You don’t want to wear boots! When you’re selecting sandals for your petite vacation wardrobe, it’s essential that you choose a neutral color to have as one of the foundation pieces. Now, neutral sandals can mean a lot of things because there are a lot of different colors that are associated with being a neutral color. I believe every petite woman needs to have a neutral sandal that’s close to their natural skin color. Why? When you have a sandal that matches your skin color it gives the illusion of a longer line on your legs, instead of your leg getting cut off by the shoe. As a petite, the longer the lines the more flattering it is for us!

As a petite girl, I personally wear heels as much as possible, for obvious reasons. But I understand when you are on a cruise, comfort is key. You will be walking to explore local excursions and perhaps dance as well. So, you want to avoid heels that are too high. You want to choose shoes that can add a couple of extra inches but can also sustain some walking without killing your feet. Wedges, block heels and padded sandals are great choices to bring to your cruise.

Naturalizer $78
Naturalizer $109.95
Sam Edelman $119.95

Everyone’s neutral sandal is going to be a different color. Some women are confused when they hear the word ‘nude’ in relation to a shoe color and often think it’s a very light beige tone. This just isn’t the case, and it’s the reason I stress focusing on finding a color that matches closely to YOUR skin tone.

Read our post on the “Best and Worst Shoes for Short Girls“.

Beach Tote Bag

Let’s face it ladies, we always need a bag with us! There are necessities we need to have on hand at all times. In terms of vacation wear, a beach tote bag is going to be your new BFF. Tote bags are great for cruise wear needs because of their size and ease. You don’t want a bag that feels fussy or is hard to get into. Plus, when you’re in vacation mode, you’ll likely be carrying more than you do in your typical daily life. Totes have adequate room without a ton of fuss.

I know you’re probably think ‘ok, well what color tote bag should I get?’ I’m glad you asked! I suggest opting for a neutral color for your beach tote bag. Similar to selecting a hat to wear to the cruise, you want your tote bag to go with everything you wear so you don’t feel like you need to have 10 different bags for each outfit. Light toned neutrals are a great option for beach tote bags.

Hat Attack $82.99
Brighton $255
Sakroots Artist $87.95

Another thing to take into consideration when choosing a beach tote bag is the fabric it’s made of. The reason most beach-specific tote bags are less fussy is because of the lightweight fabric they are made of. Keep that in mind when choosing yours! You don’t want to feel weighed down by your back when you’re enjoying a vacation.

Swimsuits

Don’t worry I didn’t forget about swimwear! Cruise wear can’t be completed without at least one swimsuit on the list. As much as so many women dread the thought of shopping for swimsuits, it’s a necessity to round out your summer wardrobe. Personally, I like to have at least a couple go-to swimsuits that I always feel comfortable wearing. It’s important to feel as comfortable as possible in your swimsuits – I know it’s hard but it allows you to enjoy the moment so much more when you are!

Photo: courtesy of our favorite petite blogger, Carly, 5’4″ (follow her instagram@carlygala)

To find the best swimsuit(s) for you and your petite shape I suggest trying on a bunch of different styles, colors and fits. There’s a little trial and error to finding the suits you feel the most comfortable in but once you find it, it makes wearing a swimsuit so much more enjoyable. We have a post talking specifically about the “Top 10 Swimsuits for Short Girls“, which shares with you the hacks and tricks you need to know to find the right swimwear for petites. For starters, choose high waisted and high leg bottoms for the best leg elongating..

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It’s wedding season! You’ve probably got at least a couple of wedding related events on your calendar at this point. Bridal showers are one of the first events to kick of a couple’s flow of wedding events. Regardless, I know that attending a bridal shower is another special occasion with a whole other set of style rules. Cue the overwhelm. Before you get too worried about what you’re going to wear, keep reading because I’m dishing on a few of my must know tips on knowing what to wear to a bridal shower. You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging so let’s get into the details!

Start with the Dress Code of the Bridal Shower

While most bridal showers are fairly informal, the first step to help you with what you should wear as a guest to a bridal shower has to be understanding the expected dress code. More than likely the bridal shower invitation will state the dress code, or at least the location/theme of the occasion. Once you know the dress code you can move on to deciding the best attire to a bridal shower from there.

Credit: Unsplash

Here’s my hot tip on the dress code front: even if it’s a casual dress code, don’t go too casual! It’s a special occasion, So, you should dress up a bit for the bride to honor her first pre-wedding event. Skip your everyday clothes and step it up a notch for the bride-to-be.

Choose Something Feminine

Bridal showers are all about the bride and the women in her life. It’s the perfect opportunity to tap into your ultra feminine style side. Most of the time you’re going to be surrounded by women at the bridal shower and enjoying a lot of woman focused games and activities so dress to the theme! Think soft colors, fabrics and silhouettes to really get into the bridal shower aesthetic for your outfit. Light and bright colors are amazing choices for a bridal shower.

Photo: Shelby,5’3″ (IG@shelbymoroney) in Chole dress from Petite Dressing
Skip Black and White

While we’re on the topic of dressing to embrace the feminine nature of the bridal shower let’s talk about color a little more. I know that black and white are easy go-to colors to wear. They’re classics but when it comes to what to wear  to a bridal shower I suggest opting out of these two colors. Let me elaborate a bit.

Photo: Shutterstock

White is the brides color. I know it’s not the official wedding but the bride MAY want to wear white to her bridal shower and that color should be reserved for her on her day. Now you may be wondering what exactly is wrong with black. Well, bridal showers are happy occasions and traditionally black is a color of mourning…sadness. Feelings that you don’t want to bring into the bridal shower. So for that reason I suggest finding another color you feel good wear – sorry ladies who live in black!

Pro tip: wear the colors of the season! Here is why. It’s very likely the theme of the shower is designed with the seasonal hues in mind. If the bridal shower is in the spring or summer, you can’t go wrong with pastel or floral prints. If it is in the fall or winter, then metallic or jewel tone are hot hues of the season.

Petite Dressing $119
Petite Dressing $109
Make Sure You Don’t Show Too Much

Bridal showers are where family members gather for the bride and her day. That being said, air on the side of caution when it comes to showing skin to the bridal shower. In general, I say stick to something more modest. Even if you’re not a particularly modest woman, let the bride have her moment at her bridal shower and stay covered. This isn’t to say you have to be in a sheet. In essence skip any dress or skirt that’s VERY short, any tops or dresses that are too low cut…you get the point.

Dresses Are Your Friend

Ok, I’m just going to say it. Whether you like it or not dresses are one of the best things to wear to a bridal shower. They’re one of the easiest style staples to go to when you need something that’s feminine, flattering and in a silhouette that isn’t too revealing. Of course not all dresses are created equally but chances are you’re going to have a much easier time finding a dress that works for the bridal shower you’re attending than trying to find separates that work. Do yourself a favor, avoid the hassle and get yourself a dress to wear to the bridal shower.

In fact, for petite women, dresses should be your go-to for any social event. The reason is the continuous pattern or color of dresses forms an unbroken line, which elongates your short body frame. Read more in our post on “Best Dresses for Short Girls“. This is especially true with maxi dresses for short women. Even though maxis may sound overwhelming to petites at first thought, they can actually be very flattering! If you wear it the right way, they can totally make you look taller and not shorter.

Petite Dressing $129
Petite Dressing

PRO TIP: I know that buying a dress just for a bridal shower may seem silly, only wearing something once and all. This is why if you are going to buy something new to wear to a bridal shower you should choose an option that can be worn to multiple occasions. Versatility is key! Look at the dress outside of the bridal shower lenses…Can you wear it casually with different shoes? How about dressed up for another event? This will help ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of whatever you purchase for the bridal shower.

Style a Dainty Shoe

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The shoes can make or break your entire outfit. Make sure you aren’t ruining your bridal shower outfit with your shoes. Since you’re going to be choosing a pretty, feminine dress that’s bridal shower ready carry that theme into the shoes that you wear. Now it will depending on when and where the bridal shower is taking place, but more often than not you should stick with a light (or bright) color shoe.

Steve Madden $79
Jcrew $119
Sam Edelman $99

Yep, leave the black shoes for another time just like the dress you wear. Black shoes tend to feel really heavy when paired with a light/bright color dress – especially when you are a petite woman. Think colors like beige, nude, pale pink, pastels….I could go on and on but you get the point. To learn more about how to pick your shoes, read our post on “The Best and Worst Shoes for Petite Women“.

Add Fuss-Free Accessories

Similar to the shoes you should keep the delicate, feminine vibe going with the accessories you wear with your bridal shower outfit. The thing I suggest keeping is mind is that you avoid any accessories that feel fussy. You’re going to be socializing and enjoying the bridal shower, you’re not going to want to feel like you’re constantly dealing with the accessories you’re wearing.

If you’re wearing a dress (well…you will be) to the bridal shower, a cute pair of gold hoops or delicately layered gold necklaces are great compliments to the dress. You should still use accessories to complete your outfit, just avoid anything that’s too overpowering.

Dana Rebecca $275
Kendra Scott $60

The important thing for petite women is that you need to keep all your accessories in scale to your size. What that means is avoid chunky or bulky statement pieces that will overwhelm your small frame. Does that mean smaller is always better? Well, it all depends. If you happen to be a plus size petite girl, then wearing tiny earrings and skinny necklaces may be the opposite of flattering. Read our post on “Best Accessories for Petite Women

Don’t Forget Your Handbag

This is an area a lot of women tend to forget about or just use their everyday bag. When you’re going to a bridal shower you want to create a complete, cohesive outfit. This includes your handbag! I suggest swapping your everyday, bulky handbag for a cute clutch or crossbody handbag. Either of these options will feel much more appropriate for the bridal shower setting and they will go with your outfit in a much more systematic manner. Play into that light + bright color theme with your handbag!

Melissa $149
Michael Michael Kors $96
Rebecca Minkoff $325

Those are the key do’s and don’t s to keep in mind as you figure out what to wear to a bridal shower. Now all that’s left to do is apply them the next time you get an invitation to a bridal shower. You will be a pro and knowing exactly what to wear to a bridal shower from now on. 

The post What to Wear to a Bridal Shower appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Looking for the best petite cocktail dresses? If you have a special occasion coming up and need to dress up, you’re exactly where you need to be! Of course, dresses are a favorite style choice for petite women for their ease and flattery benefits. In fact, we suggest petite women make dresses one of the foundations of their wardrobe because they’re such a great option for petites. Even if you wear dresses in your daily life there are certain occasions that call for a more formal dress, like a cocktail dress.

The truth is styling a petite cocktail dress is harder than many expect. There are a few key attributes to consider when selecting a cocktail dress to ensure that the one you wear is flattering AND appropriate for the occasion. Not to mention that not all dresses are created equally, especially for the petite woman.

Reese Witherspoon, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

If you get an invitation to an event that calls for ‘cocktail attire’ you’re going to want to go straight for the petite cocktail dress section at petite clothing stores. Don’t waste your time and frustration trying on dresses that aren’t petite size. You’ve probably tried to shop in the other sections plenty of times, but why keep doing that to yourself? Fortunately there are plenty of brands and stores that offer a wide selection of petite cocktail dresses for you to choose from.

Because there aren’t hard rules about what makes something cocktail appropriate there’s a lot of grey area around cocktail dresses like what they even are, when to wear them, and how to choose the right petite cocktail dress. Sound familiar? You’re in good hands because we’re clearing all the air and confusion for you so you can be a petite cocktail dress professional after reading our tips.

1 What is a cocktail dress?

Essentially a cocktail dress is a special occasion dress. A cocktail dress is formal, but not quite as formal as a full gown. In other words a cocktail dress falls into a semi-formal dress category. Much like any other dress style and category there are a lot of different petite cocktail dress styles available.

Lucy Liu, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

It’s not every day you get invited to a semi-formal event that calls for cocktail attire, so it’s a great time to have some fun with your dress choice and choose something you’re really excited to wear. Get dressed up and hit the town like the fashionista you are! Most often you will find cocktail dresses are shorter in length, but we will be getting into the best length choices for petite cocktail dresses in just a bit.

Eliza J Petite $168
Harper Rose Petite $168
2 When you should wear a cocktail dress

Cocktail dresses aren’t a dress style you would wear for brunch with your girlfriends or a baby shower but rather an event that calls for a semi-formal dress code. Think of events like a wedding, holiday party or a gala for cocktail attire.

A good rule of thumb is to determine what men are expected to wear to an event, if men are to wear a suit with a tie then a cocktail dress is going to be appropriate for the occasion. Some experts suggest considering what you believe the host will be wearing to the event as a guide as well. Most often if you’re invited to a special occasion type of event the invitation will specify the dress code.

Harper Rose Petite $138
Eliza J Petite $188

If you are wondering what to wear to a wedding, most women consider cocktail dresses as top choice of petite dresses for weddings. The cocktail dress code isn’t as formal as black tie, it’s a ‘step down’ for lack of better term – hence ‘semi-formal.’

3 The proper length of a petite cocktail dress

We mentioned above that most cocktail dresses are shorter in length, as far as formal dresses go. Chances are when you think of formal occasions you think of floor length dresses and gowns. Since cocktail dresses are meant for semi-formal occasions the length is shorter to accommodate the setting.

As a petite woman choosing the best dress, regardless of the occasion, highly depends on the length of the dress you choose. We find the best petite cocktail dresses are just above the knee in length. This length is ideal for a petite woman primarily because it adds a bit of height/length to your shape as a whole. If you are wondering how to look taller, this is the best length for women with short legs. We suggest to avoid a petite cocktail dress that rests just below the knee in length. It may seem like a slight difference in length but it makes a huge difference in elongating your shape as a petite.

Eliza J Petite $188
Charles Henry Petite $108

That being said there are a number of petite cocktail dresses that have a high-low hemline, even as a petite woman you can definitely style those options as long as the high length is above the knee.

Eliza J Petite $148
Eliza J Petite $138
4 Opt for a cocktail dress with the right silhouette

When you’re petite some dress silhouettes can overwhelm your shape. In addition to choosing the right length for your petite cocktail dress, silhouette comes in as a close second (although they’re really even in our book). We suggest staying away from cocktail dresses that are really boxy and shapeless. These silhouettes don’t flatter your petite frame and obviously, you want something that flatters you!

Instead, we highly suggest sticking to petite cocktail dresses that offer structure and shape that fit closer to your body. The key is that you can see where your body is in the dress. Personally, we love petite cocktail dresses that highlight the waistline.

Eliza J Petite $188
Vince Camuto Petite $128

When your waist is emphasized in a dress it’s instantly slimming and gives the illusion of longer legs – a petite woman’s dream! Fit and flare, wrap fit and empire style dresses are some of our favorite silhouettes for petite cocktail dresses. This means you don’t need to only stick with bodycon cocktail dresses, just as long as we see YOU in the dress. You should be wearing the dress, not the other way around.

Harper Rose Petite $148
Eliza J Petite $128
5 Choose a sophisticated fabric

By now it’s pretty clear that cocktail attire is on the formal side of the dress codes. While there aren’t a ton of hard rules when it comes to dressing appropriately for a cocktail attire occasion it’s important that you honor the fact that it’s a semi-formal occasion. Even though your petite cocktail dress isn’t black tie ready, you shouldn’t show up to the event dressed TOO casually. One of the attributes that can vastly change the aesthetic of a cocktail dress, and it’s appropriateness level, is the fabric.

Kim Kardashian, 5’3″ (Getty Images)

This means you will want to skip the cotton sundress-like fabric that you can wear to the beach or lunch with your friends and instead opt for a petite cocktail dress that’s made of a sophisticated fabric. Not sure what classifies as a sophisticated fabric? Think fabrics like silk, chiffon, lace, sequins….you get the point. Even though you are petite you can have fun with different petite cocktail dress fabrics, as long as the fabric isn’t too heavy or overwhelming for your petite shape.

Vince Camuto Petite $138
Komarov Petite $308
6 Wear accessories, proportionally

Accessories can overwhelm a petite frame just as much as a boxy petite cocktail dress can. That being said, you should always wear accessories that are proportional to your shape. In other words stay away from any accessory that’s really large in scale. When you wear big accessories they give the illusion that they are taking over your entire petite shape and can make you appear shorter than you are – it’s true! Instead choose smaller scale accessories.

Kendra Scott $60
Dana Rebecca $275

Now when it comes to accessories petite cocktail dresses it largely depends upon the neckline and overall style of the dress. Our tip is to make sure that you aren’t over accessorizing yourself. In addition to the accessories themselves being too big and overwhelming you, many women tend to over do it with accessories for special occasions. And we have to tell you, ladies, over accessorizing yourself can just be WAY too much. Take a cue from the iconic Coco Chanel and take one thing off before you leave the house with your completed look.

We also have a separate post on “7 Smart Ways to Style Accessories for Women of Petite Height“.

Photo: Unsplash.com
7 Complete your cocktail attire with heels

Here’s the deal with cocktail attire…heels are the best shoe option. We realize you may not ALWAYS want to wear heels but when you’re completing your petite cocktail dress look heels are going to be the best shoe option for you. We don’t have to tell you, as a petite, that heels instantly give your shape length (for obvious reasons). Sure there are plenty of other shoe options that are dressy but when an event calls for a semi-formal dress code like a cocktail dress do yourself a favor and stick to high heels for your shoes.

Coach $295
Imagine by Vince Camuto $99

That being said there are a couple things to take into consideration when choosing the right shoes for your cocktail dress. First, you want to choose a shoe that’s going to create the illusion of an elongated leg line. There are a few high heel styles that can do this like a pointed toe pump, open toed strappy sandal, and/or a nude high heel – just to name a few.

Read our post on “Best and Worst Shoes for Petite Feet“.

Michael Michael Kors $99
Valentino $995

Finding the best petite cocktail dresses can be quite a journey and does depend upon your personal style preferences, budget and the so many other things. Petite women are like all other women and have different body shapes, comfort levels and preferences. We suggest taking your time to look for a petite cocktail dress that ultimately makes you feel confident – that’s the #1 priority!

Take these tips with you on your journey to find the perfect petite cocktail dress but make sure that you are also focusing on dresses that highlight your personality, personal style and you ENJOY wearing. Make adjustments to the tips as you need and find the ultimate cocktail dress for your upcoming occasions!

The post 7 Step Guide to Find the Best Petite Cocktail Dresses appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Are you looking for petite evening gowns? Do you have a formal event coming up? Dressing for a special occasion can be stressful for any woman, even more so for the petite woman. You know what I mean? Getting an invitation to a formal event, wedding or otherwise, is exciting but comes with a little ping of stress when you realize you have to find something to wear.

You don’t get invited to a formal event every day. So, of course you want to present your best style when you have the chance to go to one. Long evening gowns for petite women? It may sound daunting to you at first. That is totally understandable. If you ever wonder how you can pull off a formal petite long dress, just look at the short actresses on the red carpet.

Jenna Dewan, 5’3″, Getty Images

Knowledge is power so even if you don’t have a formal event to attend in the next few weeks, I wanted to breakdown some tips to consider on how to choose the right evening gown so you’re fully prepared anytime the occasion arises.

When to Wear a Formal Petite Evening Dress

Before we get into choosing the best evening gowns for petite women, let’s chat about when you should be wearing this type of dress. I don’t have to tell you that not all dresses are created equally which also means that not every dress can be worn to any occasion. I’m a big believer that dresses should be a go-to wardrobe staple for petite women. As a petite woman myself I can attest to how great dresses are when dressing a shorter frame.

But let’s get back to evening gowns for today. You will need to wear an evening gown anytime you get an invite to a formal occasion. More specifically, if any event’s dress code calls for white tie or black tie, then wearing an evening gown is an obvious choice. There’s a lot of grey area around dress codes, but compared with others, those are still the two dress codes that are the strictest. White tie is the most formal dress code of all, so wearing an evening gown is the norm. With black tie, there could be more choices when it comes to what the women should wear, but still, when in doubt, you cannot go wrong with a formal long dress.

Adrianna Papell Petite $289
Adrianna Papell Petite
$280
Adrianna Papell Petite
$280

Other dress codes like cocktail and black tie optional are formal events, but you don’t have to wear an evening gown to these events, you can opt for a petite size cocktail dress instead.

If you are looking for something to wear to a wedding in particular, then read our post on “Best Wedding Guest Dresses for Short Women“, in which we talk in detail about what is appropriate to wear for each type of wedding dress code.

Dress for Your Body Shape

As a general matter, long dresses for short women can be tricky because of their length. This is where a lot of petite women stress when it comes to shopping for a petite evening gown. Most of us have all heard that we should avoid long dresses because of our height, however that’s not the case! Yes you heard that correctly petite women can most certainly wear long gowns – and do it with pride and style.

That being said you will want to be sure the long petite formal dress you choose doesn’t overwhelm your shape. Since petite women come in different sizes and shapes, the best way to find your best style is to dress for your own body type. If you do not already know what type you are, our “petite body type quiz” will help you.

Because of our different body shapes, we have different assets of our bodies that we want to emphasize. If you happen to be a lucky hourglass shape, then congratulations! Almost any petite size gown should look good on you. For the rest of us, well, most of us might have areas of our body that we do not want people to notice too much.

For instance, many pear shaped women prefer to de-emphasize their wider bottom and thigh area. Therefore, a modest A line shape evening dress will be great to achieve that.

JS Petite $298
Eliza J Petite $188
Alex Evenings Petite $239

The common goal that petite women all want to achieve, is to make our legs look longer and proportion look better. For that purpose, in general, I suggest short girls to stay away from ball gown and tent silhouettes. Both of those shapes are often just too much for a petite woman. Instead, opt for a well fitted petite evening dress that outlines the shape of your body and highlights your waistline to elongate your shape.

Shop in the Petite Department

In addition to the overall silhouette of the evening gown, I suggest shopping from the petite brands. Even though the length of dresses can easily be adjusted, when it comes to evening gowns it’s best to stick to a petite size evening dress. The sleeves, torso, etc. will fit you much better when you shop petite specific fits. Not to mention, when you get a evening gown made for short women, you may end up being able to avoid the need for alterations. Let’s face it – that’s a HUGE bonus!

The best designers that specialize in formal gowns are Tadashi Shoji and Adrianna Papell, and it is absolutely wonderful news that they both have petite sizes! Besides, our recommended shops are Nordstrom, Macy’s. If you are looking for something that won’t break your bank account, then consider ASOS as well.

Tadashi Shoji Petite $528
Tadashi Shoji Petite $468

Tadashi Shoji Petite $508
Look for the Details in Formal Gowns that Elongate Short Women

Not all gowns are created equally. If you pay attention, you will notice certain details of formal long dresses make petite women look taller and proportion look better. Go with those design and you will not have to worry about being overwhelmed by the length of the long dresses.

Some of the most flattering details include:

Side slit- this asymmetrical dress design breaks the full coverage of the dress, and is incredibly flattering to short women. If you always want your legs to look longer, you must try the gowns with side slit, like the one worn by Emma Roberts- can you tell she is 5’2″?

Emma Roberts,5’2″, Getty Images

In terms of neck designs, deep V neck and off the shoulder are the universally flattering for petite women. The reason is most petite girls have shorter neck, which is perfectly balanced out by the deep V shape. Meanwhile, off the shoulder is the most complimentary to most face shapes. If you happen to be petite pear shape, then off the shoulder is heaven-sent. The horizontal line totally balance out the wider hips and thigh areas of pear shape women and make them less noticeable.

Scarlett Johanseen is wearing all three most flattering elements for short women in this picture below!

Scarlett Johansson, 5’6″, Getty Images
Choose Shoes Accordingly

Wearing a petite evening dress calls for paying a little extra attention to the shoes that you wear to compliment the gown. You won’t want to wear your average heels or shoes for this kind of occasion. Keep in mind the fact that anytime you are going to need to wear a formal petite evening dress it’s because you are attending a formal event. And you know how the saying goes…shoes can make OR break an outfit.

Since you are a petite woman you will want to opt for a high heel to compliment your petite evening gown. Even when you wear a gown that compliments your petite frame, the bit of added height we get from high heels gives us an elongated affect to further enhance our shape in the dress.

Emma Roberts, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

See how these nude heels perfectly match the nude gown of Emma Roberts? That is the effect every short woman should strive to achieve.

Because you’re going to be wearing high heels with your formal dress, you want to avoid choosing any shoes that weigh you down. Shoes that can give you that ‘weighed down’ type of effect are shoes that look heavy. In other words if a shoe has a very chunky heel or looks like a larger shoe.

Another attribute that can give you that weighed down look is if you wear a high heel that’s in a very dark color with a dress in a light color. The reason this weighs you down, as a petite woman, is because it brings a lot of the focus to your shoes which then draws the attention down. Makes sense, right? Instead, choose shoes that flow with your long petite evening dress – complimenting the color is key!

Ted Baker $240
Bradgley Mischka $165
Bradgley Mischka $239
Accessorize Your Dress Properly

Accessories are essential to completing the formal dress look for short girls. Much like shoes, they can make or break your outfit. Women often slip into making one of two mistakes when it comes to accessorizing your evening gown. One is not accessorizing enough, if at all. This is an obvious style slip up. The second category many women make is over accessorizing their outfits. You want to find a happy place between the two to achieve the best accessorized look.

To give you a bit more clarification try to avoid wearing too many statement accessories together. I suggest choosing one statement piece and keep the rest of your accessories on the minimal side. For example, if you are wearing a petite evening gown with a high neckline a statement earring is a great compliment to the neck. Now here’s the key…skip a necklace with a bold statement earring and just stick to a bracelet and/or cocktail ring. This will complement the dress beautifully so your outfit is complete but not over styled.

Of course, don’t forget to consider the bag you use with your formal evening dress. The truth of the matter is you can’t wear an everyday bag with an evening gown. Stick to a clutch or something specific for evening wear. This is important!

How to Look Expensive

When you attend a formal even where you’re going to need to wear a the gown, chances are you are going to want to look expensive. Let’s be honest here, no one wants to look cheap at a special occasion. One of the main factors that play into looking expensive in an evening dress, especially for petites, is the fabric of your dress. Avoid any fabric that looks ‘cheap.’

In addition to the fabric, the way your gown actually fits your petite body frame plays a huge role in helping you to look expensive. Fit is key and as a petite woman you may need to get a few alterations done to ensure your dress fits you the way it needs to. Look at the length, sleeves and armholes of your dress – these are areas that are very telling on the fit of an evening dress.

Circling back to accessorizing your petite evening gown, choosing the right accessories can help you elevate your gown to look expensive. Similar to the dress itself, avoid any accessories that LOOK cheap. This isn’t to say you have to spend a lot of money on your accessories, just avoid anything that looks like it was inexpensive.

Now that you have some of the basics to choosing the right petite evening gown you can put them to good use! Happy evening gown styling!

The post How to Choose Petite Evening Gowns appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Are you looking for petite dresses for special occasions? Maybe you have a wedding, gala or something fun on your upcoming calendar. Special occasions are exciting because it’s out of the norm and something to look forward to. I’m going to assume since you’re reading this you’re also a petite woman. As exciting as special occasions can be, I understand as a petite woman finding the perfect dress can feel like a challenge only fellow petite ladies understand.

What should you wear to a special occasion? I would love to tell you to wear whatever your heart desires but the truth is there are certain things to consider when choosing a petite dress for a special occasion. For this reason, we have compiled a guide to help you know exactly how to choose petite dresses for a special occasion. While we tend to focus on styling tips specific for petite women a few of these are concepts women of all heights can (and should!) apply when getting dressed for a special occasion.

Now, let’s get into the details…

Know the Dress Code

This is SUPER important when you’re getting dressed for a special occasion. Once you get invited to an event it’s crucial that you make sure you have a real understanding of the dress code that’s expected for the event. For instance, if you are wondering what to wear to a wedding, the first thing you should look at is the invitation, and that will tell you the dress code you should follow.

Lucy Liu, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

Naturally, not all events you get invited to are going to have the same dress code expectations. The most common special occasion dress codes are: cocktail, semi-formal (formal aka black tie optional), black tie and white tie. Whew! That’s quite the list…it’s no wonder dress codes cause us so much stress right? I could talk about the do’s and don’ts of each dress code ALL day long but I’ll just stick to the basics today.

Cocktail attire calls for shorter dresses, this type of event isn’t formal and isn’t casual – think somewhere in the middle. Semi-formal is a bit more dressed up than cocktail although there is some overlap between cocktail and semi-formal depending upon the time of the event(s).

Eliza J Petite $188
Eliza J Petite $188

Formal, also known as black tie is where you start to get into much more formal attire (hence the name of the dress code). Various lengths and styles of dresses are appropriate for this particular dress code, but you will want to air on the more formal side. Black tie is where you reach a very formal dress code, think floor length gowns here.

Tadashi Shoji Petite $508
Tadashi Shoji Petite $468

Semi-formal dress code is somewhere in between. You have many choices in terms of petite dresses for special occasions. Instead of floor length petite evening gowns, you can wear tea length dresses (below your knee and above your ankle). In fact, you don’t have to wear dresses, and instead you can opt for a dressy petite jumpsuit and style it with statement jewelry and evening heels.

Petite Dressing $119
Komarov Petite $308

Finally, white tie dress code is the most formal of all the dress codes. Gowns are a must for this kind of occasion. It’s not every day that you will get invited to a white-tie event though. Think the Met Gala or the royal wedding type of events- this is as formal as it gets!

Emma Roberts, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

A good rule of thumb when you’re not sure what’s appropriate for a special occasion dress code is to consider what the men are expected to wear – that tends to help you determine just how formal or not an event is. For example, if men are expected to wear a tuxedo women shouldn’t arrive wearing a cocktail dress.

Every petite woman knows that not all special occasion dresses look great on your frame. There are a few things to take into consideration when you’re choosing a petite special occasion dress.

Get the Petite Size

For starters, I think it’s essential that you shop from the petite clothing stores for any special occasion dresses. I completely understand that dresses can be altered but the truth is when you’re petite you are much better off shopping from the petite section for special occasion dresses.

There’s a number of reasons why, but the most important is because of the overall fit of the dresses. Don’t get me wrong, you may still need to get a few adjustments made to a petite special occasion dress but the fit will be much more accommodating from the start when you choose from the petite section.

Adrianna Papell petite $299

Adrianna Papell petite $300

Take the time to read the petite size chart of each brand you are considering. Petite dresses for special occasions are not cheap- you want to make sure you find something that fits you the best.

If you are under 5 feet tall, chances are even the petite sizing may still be too long for you. That is because the petite brands are mostly made according to the measurements of petite models who are 5’3″ or 5’4″ tall. In that case, be sure to find a quality tailor and make all the alterations you need.

Know Your Body Type

Aside from starting with a petite size dress, it’s also important to know your body type. Being petite isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a dress. Understanding the actual shape of your body is huge when selecting petite dresses for special occasions…or really any occasion! You should take the petite body type quiz and understand what your assets are and what you should emphasize and draw attention to.

Make sure you’re paying attention to the silhouette of the special occasion dresses you are trying on and ultimately choosing. For petite women silhouettes that show your shape are the most figure flattering. Now, when I say silhouettes that show your shape I don’t mean that you have to wear something that is skin tight. What I mean is choosing a petite dress where we see that you are there! When you are petite it’s easy for a dress to look as if it’s wearing you as opposed to you wearing the dress.

Keep it Classy

Attending a special occasion is, obviously, a fun event where you can dress up and wear something you might not normally wear. It’s not every day we’re all heading to a black tie event! That being said it is easy to go a little overboard when choosing petite dresses for special occasions. To put it simply: keep it classy ladies.

Tadashi Shoji Petite $288
Tadashi Shoji Petite $328

We want you to have fun with your special occasion dress but we see women sometimes falling into two common mistakes. The first mistake some women make is showing too much skin. While we’re all about feeling confident and embracing your body, there’s something about leaving a little to the imagination. Showing too much skin can instantly shift your entire look and take your look from appropriate to not pretty quickly.

I suggest choosing one area to really show off and allow to be the focal point of your outfit to keep it classy. For example, as a petite woman if you love your legs and want to look taller in your special occasion dress choose a petite dress that shows those legs off and keep your chest area covered. Make sense?

Jenna Dewan, 5’3″ (Getty Images)
Less is more

Another common mistake some women make when choosing petite dress for special occasions is overstyling themselves. This one might sound funny but doing too much with your outfit can be just as bad as not doing enough.

An example of over-styling yourself can be wearing a bold color/print petite dress and pair it with statement accessories and bright color shoes. Or, since we don’t get to go to a gala everyday, some might be thinking this is the time to show off all the jewelry collection from necklace and earrings to bracelets and rings…

Photo: Unsplash

Similar to showing skin when you’re thinking about your outfit as a whole “look” choose one thing to be the focus and keep the rest more subtle to compliment the focal point.

If you are wearing a petite evening gown full of sequins, then you might consider less jewelry since you already have enough bling bling. Or if your dress already stands out with its bold color, then choose neutral tone shoes like beige.

Get Investment Pieces

This one is building off of keeping it classy, but I wanted to mention it a bit more specifically. Investing in quality pieces won’t just enhance your overall special occasion look, but it will also provide you with pieces you can have for years to come. Since most of us don’t attend special occasion events every day, having quality pieces that you can go back to time and time again can be a huge benefit. You don’t want to feel like you have to run out and buy something new every time you get an invitation to an event. To avoid that, invest in quality + timeless pieces that are versatile so you can wear them multiple times.

Tadashi Shoji Petite $568
Tadashi Shoji Petite $528

When you are investing in quality petite dresses for special occasions you can simply swap out the shoes and accessories to make them feel like they are different pieces, appropriate for different occasions. I suggest opting for neutral solid colors when choosing a petite dress for special occasions. Solids are going to give you a lot more versatility. Plus, you won’t have to worry about a solid not being on trend any time soon.

Eliza J Petite $188
Eliza J Petite $178

Now that you have some of the key tips to choosing petite dresses for special occasions, you should be able to find a dress that not only looks great but is appropriate for the dress code AND flatters your shape.

The post How to Choose Petite Dresses for Special Occasions appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Petite loungewear is must have for petite women looking to build a stylish wardrobe.  If you are tired of wearing retired T-shirts at home, it is time to add some comfortable and stylish lougewear to your closet.  Since the idea of lougewear is relatively new, more and more petites are asking where can I find the loungewear for short women?  That is why we have put together this post on

How to Choose Petite Loungewear

First things first, before we talk about petite loungewear, why should you even care about it anyways?

The idea of loungewear is becoming increasingly popular in today’s fashion, as we care more and more about how we feel and look in our own home.  It used to be the case that people paid more attention to what they wear in public or to social events, because that’s where they are going to be seen by other people.  Well, doesn’t it make more sense what we wear at home is equally important?

We spend so much time at home, when we are not at work or socializing.  If you care about making your home look neat and beautiful, you will also realize what you wear at home matters just as much as the furniture or bed cover you have put so much effort to select.  If you are wearing petite loungewear that is carefully selected, it will reflect your personal taste and become a cohesive part of your home style.

Photo: Unsplash

Now, let’s look at what is petite loungewear.

There is no strict definition of what loungewear is.  It is broadly used to refer to anything you wear at home.  Different people have different definition of what consists loungewear.  Likewise, different stores carry different selections of what they consider to be loungewear.  So, it could be part of or all of the below.

Robes- We are not talking about the bathrobes you only wear when you get out of shower.  There are many robes designed to function as another layer you can wear at home all day long, especially in winter time.

Miss Elaine petite robe $31

Miss Elaine petite lounge robe $26

Pajamas– There are lots of cute pajamas which are meant to be worn not only when you are sleeping, but also when you are out of bed- basically anytime when you are home.

Sleep set $35
Sleep set $29

Sweatpants– These are the most comfortable things you can find.  Some of these are called jogger pants, but that doesn’t mean you should only wear them when you are jogging.  These are the favorite loungewear for many people because they are so versatile.

Beyond Yoga $88
Beyond Yoga $99

Pull on pants- Not just sweatpants, any other petite pull on pants which are comfortable and relaxed can be loungewear.

Sleep shirts- Imagine those gingham print long sleeves you wear to bed.  They are perfectly fine to lounge in as well.

Karen Neuburger Petite $34.99
Karen Neugurger Petite $34.99

Wrap shirts- They are the most stylish and comfortable loungewear.  Wrap style is naturally sexy because they hug your curves and make you look chic, even if you are home.

The list can go on and add anything else you find comfortable to wear at home.  Everyone may have their own definition of what is loungewear.  The way we look at it is what you can wear at home that won’t make you feel embarrassed if your neighbor happens to knock on the door.

Photo: courtesy of Tamara, 5’2″ (follow her IG@tamararose88)

What you should consider when shopping for petite loungewear?

Since they should reflect your personal style and taste, these are the most important things for petite loungewear.

First, petite lounge wear needs to be comfortable

Pull on style petite pants with elastic waist band are normally more comfortable, especially when you have just had a big family dinner (you know what I mean, right?)

Wide leg pants are a popular choice for a lot of petite women, because the relaxed fit allows the most comfort whether you are lying on the couch or resting in bed.

In addition, the rise of the pants also matters.  Rise is an important measurement for petite pants.  Generally speaking, high rise pants are more comfortable.  The exception is if you happen to have short torso, then you should go with mid rise pants.  Low rise pants are hardly comfortable, especially when you are sitting down.  Besides that, they make you legs look shorter.

Photo: Unsplash Secondly, fabrics are key

Fabrics can play a big role in whether your loungewear is comfortable.  No matter how pretty the petite loungewear is, you will not like it if the material is low quality.

Natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or cashmere are preferable for petite lougewear, because they are breathable and feel good against your skin (especially  if you have sensitive skin which gets irritated easily by man-made fibrics).

Of course, some natural fabrics like silk or cashmere normally come with a higher price tag.  Should you spend the extra mone on it if you are only going to wear them at home anyways?

Contrary to some belief that you should focus your money on where people can see, i.e. party dresses or jewelries, high quality petite loungewear are the best investment you can make.

Think about it, how many hours a day do you spend at home? And how important is it for you to feel well rested and rejuvenated for the next day of work?  If your answer is more than 8 hours a day and it is very important for you to feel good at home, then that tells you exactly why you should invest in high quality petite loungewear.

Last but not the least, the fit is important

Just that loungewear is worn at home doesn’t mean you should lose your standard on the fit.  For petite women, fit is the important in anything we wear.   A well fitted petite loungewear is designed and cut for petite sizes of women under 5’4″.  They won’t be too tight, but they are not baggy either.

Photo: unsplash

Now, where can you find loungewear that fits petite women under 5’4″?  Here is how we look at this.

For certain items like wide leg lounge pants,  jogger pant and pajama pants, we highly recommend you get them from a petite designer.  The reason is regular sizes are made for women 5’5″ tall, so the inseam is most likely going to be too long for short girls.

For robes or wrap shirts, if you have the choice of petite size, we still suggest you go with the petite size. The reason is the belt could be at the wrong position on a petite girl, if they are made for an average height woman.

For tops, it really depends. If you are looking for a short sleeve tunic or sleep shirts, regular sizes might work just fine on you.  However, if you are looking for long sleeves, then you should go with petite size, as the sleeves are tailored to fit shorter arms of petite women.  Besides, petite size loungewear will fit you better in the shoulders.

Photo: Shutterstock

Here is our top choices for petite loungewear. 

ASOS

Everyone knows ASOS has a big selection of petite clothing.  We think they are also a great place to find petite loungewear, especially if you are looking for something economical.

Hoodie & Jogger set $38
PJ set $45
Nordstrom

One of our favorite petite friendly stores is Nordstrom.  Here you can find different types of petite loungewear from jogger pants, robes to pajamas.

Topshop petite jogger pants $75
Petite hooded sweater $75
Zappos

Are you still thinking of Zappos as a shoe store?  Here is the great news to short girls: Zappos have added their petite collection.  You can find jogger pants and other lounge pants of petite length at Zappos.

Karen Neuburger Petite
Beyong Yoga lounge pants $88
Land’s End

If you are wondering where you can find robes that are made for petite women, Land’s End is the answer. Not only do they have petite size robes, they also make petite length loung pants, sleep shirts and other comfortable petite loungewear.

Petite Lounge Robe $69.95
Petite Cotton Pants $39.95
Belk

If you are from North Carolina, I’m sure you have been to Belk. Crown & Ivy is my favorite brand at Belk, which carries full petite line. When it comes to petite lounge wear, what I love about them is you will find really cute sweat shirts in petite sizes. If you are tired of all neutrals in your wardrobe, you will find pastel and gingham in this store and their prices are unbelievably good!

Petite Top $24.99
Petite Sweatshirt $24.99
Gap

At the Petite Shop of Gap.com, you can find plenty of choices for petite lounge wear. In Gapbody, you will find some petite length lounge pants that are comfy and affordable.

Petite sweatshirt $49.95
Macy’s

Of course you know Macy’s has petite size clothing. We have found the best way to find the petite loungwear is through the website. It is just so much easier that you do not have to go trough racks and racks on the floor and can immediately locate your size. Don’t you agree? My favorite brands at Macy’s is Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Miss Elaine. If you like floral print petite pajama sets, you must try these two brands.

Lauren Ralph Lauren Petite $69
Miss Elaine Petite $68

The post How to Find the Best Petite Loungewear appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Calling all short girls! The warm weather is on the horizon, or may already have hit depending upon where you live. If you’re anything like me, petite sundresses are a go-to for you throughout the warm weather months.

Ok, I’m really honest dresses are a year round staple for any short girl who want a stylish petite wardrobe– I’m sure you’re right there with me. Dresses are great because they are SO easy. They’re one piece…doesn’t get much easier than that. Of course during the summer it’s all about keeping your style easy, cute and functional. When it’s hot out you don’t want to feel like you’re fussing with your outfit which is why sundresses for petites are the perfection option. Not to mention they’re so cute.

Fortunately, sundresses come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Giving you the option to express your personality and embrace your style effortlessly with the summertime staple. Now that the warm weather season(s) are upon us I thought it was the perfect time to give you a little sundress inspiration to help you kick off the season in style.

Photo: Shutterstock

As a petite woman myself, I’ve gone through a range of different sundress styles in search of the best options for petites. It can be a frustrating journey to find cute, flattering petite sundresses but I’m happy to do the legwork so you don’t have to. I want to make your petite style journey easier so let’s dive into the 7 best sundresses for petite women.

Fit & Flare Dress

This is one of the best dress silhouettes for a petite woman. Fit & flare is a classic dress style and because it’s often shorter in length, traditionally just above the knees, it’s a great option for a petite sundress in the warm weather.

Not only that the length is universally flattering on all petite women, regardless of your body type. The reason fit and flare is such a flattering silhouette is because of the defined waistline. It’s waist definition instantly creates the illusion of a balanced body shape. In addition to the defined waist the skirt is an a-line shape which creates great balance to the top half of the dress. Sounds like a petite woman’s dream, right?

Harper Rose Petite $148
Gal Meets Glam Petite $158

Fortunately because fit and flare is such a great dress silhouette for petites there are a lot of petite sundresses that enlist this particular shape. Chances are if you look at a range of petite sundresses you’ll quickly find some fit and flare options.

One tip I have when shopping for a fit and flare option is to stick to the petite size selections. The lengths and fit in petite clothing stores will lay much better for you, and hopefully require less (if any) alterations. Other than that have fun trying different fabrics, colors and prints when shopping fit and flare petite sundresses.

Vince Camuto Petite $148
Eliza J Petite $178
Form Fitting Maxi Dress

I know as a petite woman you’ve probably heard time and time again to avoid maxi dresses. Sound familiar? I thought so. While there is some validity to the point many make about petites wearing maxi dresses – the point being that it’s too much material and overwhelms your frame – there are exceptions to every ‘rule.’ One of those exceptions happens to be a form fitting maxi dress.

The reason form fitting maxi dresses are a great petite sundress option is because they don’t overwhelm your shape. When you opt for a dress that fits closer to the body we can actually see that you’re in the dress, instead of the typical overwhelming affect maxi dresses have. This explains why we have seen so many short celebrities wearing maxi length dresses without looking swamped by them.

Photo: Shutterstock

Maxi dresses themselves are a fun choice for a sundress because they’re so comfortable to wear! I’m sure as a petite you’re used to wearing shorter length dresses and skirts and while they’re super fun and flattering, there are times you don’t want to have to worry about your skirt getting caught in the wind or being cautious when you’re moving around. You know what I mean and maxi dresses eliminate a lot of that because of their length.

In addition to the form fitting aspect, I suggest looking for a maxi petite sundress that has a slit detail on the side. It opens up the shape a bit!

Petite Dressing

Read our full guide on “How to Choose Petite Maxi Dresses if you are Petite” and “Where to Shop for Maxi Dresses for Short Girls“.

Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses should be a go to dress style for you as a short woman. The waist definition is perfection to flatter your petite shape. Not to mention they give the illusion of an hourglass body shape, even if you don’t naturally have that.

If you’re thinking of trying a petite sundress in a wrap silhouette there are a lot of options out there. The most important factors to keep an eye on for this petite sundress shape are the length, neckline and print. It’s common to see wrap dresses in prints and patterns. Much like the dress silhouettes themselves, prints that are too large can overwhelm you. Keep the size of the actual print on the smaller size to avoid this. In terms of the length, keep it just above the knees for the most universally flattering length.

Charles Henry Petite $98
Vince Camuto Petite $138
Shirtdress

Shirtdresses are somewhat similar to wrap dresses but have some attributes that make them different. Most commonly, the collar and fabric in a shirtdress. This dress style is fun because it’s easy to dress up or down, you can even take this type of petite sundress to the office when styled right! That’s why they’re such a great petite sundress option…versatility is key.

You will want to keep the typical petite styling tips in mind when shopping for a petite shirtdress – length, print size, and neckline. Now, because shirtdresses are often designed in fabrics that aren’t very flowy (typically they’re much stiffer in texture) proper fit is essential. When a fabric has a lot of structure on its own, like many shirtdresses do, if the fit isn’t right it can look like the dress is wearing you. It’s not uncommon to need a bit of tailoring on shirtdresses even if you’re buying from the petite section because it’s a very tailored look.

Boden $170
Gal Meets Glam Petite $198
Off the Shoulder Dress

There’s something about off the shoulder dresses that are always so fun and stylish for the warm weather time of year. More than that, off the shoulder is one of my favorite necklines for a petite woman. Why? Great question! Off the shoulder necklines create balance in your petite shape and create the illusion of a longer neck/top half of your body. Talk about a benefit, right?

Photo: Shutterstock

Off the shoulder is a universally flattering neckline, regardless of your petite body type. If you happen to be petite pear shape, then it is one of THE most flattering dress for you. It balances out the heavier butt/thigh area of pear body type.

Chi Chi London Petite $119
Calvin Klein Petite $139

It’s likely you’re going to see quite a few petite sundresses with off the shoulder necklines this season because it’s a pretty big trend that’s continuing into this summer. To keep your petite frame highlighted, avoid off the shoulder sundresses with exaggerated ruffle detail at the shoulders. This isn’t to say you can’t have any of the ruffle, just make sure it isn’t too large that it overwhelms your shape – starting to see a theme here? Another tip is to look for off the shoulder petite sundresses in, well…the petite section. The petite specific dresses will likely fit you better not just in the length, but also the sleeve/shoulder area.

The fun thing about off the shoulder dresses is they come in varying lengths. I recommend opting for a length that’s above the knees or floor length (as long as it fits closer to your body).

MSK Petite $79
Calvin Klein Petite $134
7 Mini Dress

Oh the ever beloved mini dress! Petite women rejoice at the idea of a mini dress because it’s like this style was made for us. We can pretend it was, right? Right. Anyways, mini dresses make for a great petite sundress option because they’re ever flattering for your height. If you are ever wondering how to look taller (most of us short girls are), put on a mini dress! Whether we want to admit it or not, we look better in shorter lengths when it comes to dresses. When you see more of your leg it instantly creates the illusion of longer legs which means it makes you look longer.

$48
$51

Mini dresses are a big trend this year so fortunately for us we’ll be on trend and flattering our shape. Doesn’t get any better than this. When selecting a mini petite sundress just make sure it’s not TOO short. While we’re all about showing off a little leg you don’t want to feel like you can’t go about your daily activities without fussing because the dress is just too short. Keep the length long enough so that you feel comfortable.

Tank Dress

As the temperatures rise you’re going to want some petite sundress options that accommodate the warm weather AND look cute. Tank dresses are a big trend this season and happen to be an awesome option for petite women. That being said, many tank dresses you will see this year don’t have a lot of shape on their own and really fit into that casual summertime vibe. They are awesome for the warm, humid days when you want to keep your outfit as easy and fuss free as possible however it’s essential that if you do opt for a tank dress that’s flowy in shape that it isn’t too long.

$24
$24

Shapeless + long length = not great for a petite woman. Keep the length above the knee so that you can still flatter your petite shape in your tank dress. This is a great petite sundress option for your weekend wear when you just want to throw something on and go.

The good news is there are plenty of petite sundress options for you to have fun with and fully express your personal style. Whatever your style, there’s a petite sundress with your name on it. Now that you know the best petite sundress styles to look for it’s time to start shopping!

The post 7 Best Petite Sundresses Every Short Woman Needs appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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