Dresses For Petite Women – Great Outfit Ideas

Layering, vertical stripes, and heels are your best friends when you have a petite figure.

By Pratima AtiPratima Ati  • 

Fashion undergoes significant transformations now and then. In today’s day and age, it is all about embracing the way we are (it always should have been this way). Thanks to some of these positive changes in society – today, there are endless options for picking dresses for petite women. Since body types vary from person to person, it is essential to find the right way to style your looks. No matter your body type, with some amazing and practical tips and ideas, you can flaunt your look easily. To this end, today, in this article, we want to introduce you to some really worth-trying fashion tips, dressing ideas, dos and don’ts that can make you look effortlessly gorgeous. The idea is to work with the body type that you are born with. So if you are planning to steal the show wherever you go, carry your confidence and check out this article further to learn how to ace your desired looks.

How To Dress If You Are Petite Or Short Woman – Tips, Dos & Don’ts

  1. The first rule of thumb for petite women is to follow the 2/3rd – 1/3rd rule. It just means that you do not split your body into two halves with your dressing. Instead, you cover 2/3rd of your body with the bottoms and remaining 1/3rd with your top.
  2. Layering is the best way to spruce up your look, but do not overdo it and make it overwhelming.
  3. Do not choose dresses that stop in the calf region – either keep it short till the knees or till the ankle.
  4. Be watchful of where the shoulders sit – they need to be on point and not be too tight or too loose.
  5. The same holds good for your sleeves as well; they should fall till the tip of your arms and no further. They can be shorter, but not longer.
  6. Monochromes are your best friends – keep them close.
  7. Stay away from outfits that are too boxy and square shaped; it does not suit your body type.
  8. If you choose stripes, choose vertical, especially for one piece dresses, trousers, etc. The tops can be horizontal.
  9. Wear heels or some elevated footwear – most obvious way to look taller.
  10. Accessories and belts – always keep them slim and svelte instead of broad and bulky.

Outfit Ideas For Short Girls (And Petite) Body Types

1. Bridal Dresses

Big days better be the best in every sense. Just show off your assets and pull it off with all the confidence you have got. Flaunt your frame with off-shoulder dresses and choose these over sweetheart necklines because they create an illusion of a broader canvas. Sheer necklines that trickle down to become backless work towards your advantage. Other choices are noodle straps dresses or halter style that cinch at the bodice and billow out as they move down. Avoid dresses with high necklines, full sleeves, and the train down since you will probably get lost in so much fabric.

2. Maxi Dresses For Short Women

Choose maxi dresses that have some definition over straight cuts. Asymmetrical hemlines, cap or flower sleeves, ruffled bodice, etc., are great. Dresses with lighter fabrics like organza, georgette, etc., are good. Bump it up with chunky accessories but ensure they are not too consuming.

Stylecraze Says
In addition to heels, wedges and flats are ideal footwear choices to wear with maxi dresses for short girls if you prefer a more relaxed and casual look.

3. Sequin Skirt And Tucked In Shirt

Pencil skirts complement your body type and blend in entirely, but you need to style the outfit with something that does not shrink you further. Drop those tank or tube tops and swap them with a plaid or chambray shirt that has the right amount of volume.  Tuck it in, and doll up in pointed heels – it is the most obvious way of looking taller.

4. Jumpsuit

Swapping your playsuits with a jumpsuit can make a lot of difference to the height. The tieable ones instead of the buttoned downs are even better. Wearing cap sleeves instead of going sleeveless is another trick to open up your frame a little. This with ankle length boots will never fail you.

Stylecraze Says
Wearing a solid color jumpsuit will produce a lengthy column of hues and the appearance of height, which looks really appealing on small ladies. Darker solids like navy or wine can also help you look slimmer.

5. Pantsuits For Short Women

Think a little out of the box and up your fashion game by going for slightly flared up formal pants instead of pencil cuts. For a complete formal look, pair this with a well-fitted shirt or bodysuits and a blazer with a flared hemline, again to accentuate it a little. Or, opt for a linen blazer, trousers, and tops that do not stick to your body and give you enough structure.

6. Oversized Sweater And Denims

Nobody looks as cute as a petite woman in an oversized sweater and jeggings, skinny denim or leggings. If you can get your hands on sweaters with in-built chokers, off-shoulders styles, etc., it only gets better.

[ Read: What To Wear To A Party ]

7. One Piece Dress

Sweater, T-shirt or denim dresses can look uber chic, however, try and add layers to your dress. Add a kimono or shrug, sweater or a coat in winter, etc. to spruce it up a little, but of course, do NOT overlayer.

8. Jeans For Petite Women

Boyfriend/mommy jeans, distressed denim, etc. add a filter to your outfit. They stretch your lower body and to make it seem longer. Tops with ruffles, puffed sleeves, off or cold shoulders, etc. spruce them up for you.

9. Formal Wear

The rule pretty much remains the same, if you are a fan of bodycon formal dresses, go ahead. But adding a blazer might be a good idea. Or, if you prefer ankle length trousers, go for slightly off-beat choices of formal tops like a silk top instead of satin. The idea is to do whatever it takes to not look too minuscule and lost in your clothing.

10. Black T-Shirt Dress With A Kimono Or Jacket

A lot of people assume that T-shirt dresses are meant for smaller body types, but it can look pretty bland because of your straight body type. Doll up with some accessories or anything else that complements the dress and also add a little zing to your outfit.

11. Baggy Trousers And Ruffled Tops

If you are headed to an evening or cocktail party, ditch your regular LBDs and swap them with crop tops and baggy pants, palazzo pantsuits, etc. that make your legs look elongated. Remember to always wear heels or wedges with this get-up.

12. V-Neck Top And Ankle Length Boots

V-neck or plunging necklines add length to your bodice and stretch out your upper body. Wearing them with ankle-length boots instead of your regular heels can make the outfit look quite interesting.

13. Short Floral Dress And Boots

Keep your short dresses above the knee, anything below that can look funny.

14. Long Winter Coat

If you enjoy wearing skinny jeans and well-fitted tops, do that, but add some fun layers in winters (like a statement-making coat) to go with your boots.

15. Striped Shirt And Scarf

We, women, tend to avoid horizontal striped dresses or tops because they tend to make us look plumper than we are. But, if you are petite, it will help you. Where dresses are concerned, choose vertical stripes.

Online And Offline Stores To Shop For Petite Women

  1. Topshop
  2. J.Crew
  3. Anthropologie
  4. ASOS
  5. Express
  6. American Outfitter
  7. Dorothy Perkins
  8. Boden
  9. Bomb Petite
  10. Banana Republic
  11. A&F
  12. H&M
  13. Loft
  14. Lord & Taylor
  15. Ann Taylor
  16. Petite Shop
  17. Nordstrom
  18. Paige
  19. American Eagle
  20. Boohoo

Infographic: Petite Celebs To Take Style Inspiration From

As a petite woman, finding flattering outfits can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, there are tons of short-statured celebrities out there who are certified style icons. If you want to get inspired by the best, below is an infographic that you must check out. Take a look at some gorgeous petite celebs and steal their style!

make these petite celebs your style icons [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Women with tall, lithe bodies seem to hog all the limelight wherever they go. But hey! No need to be envious. Fortunately, we live in a time where there is no shortage of fashionable looks for all body types. These useful fashion tips and tricks on dresses for petite women will work wonders for you. Try them out and witness the transformation for yourself. But remember that the most important thing in fashion is to be comfortable and confident with yourself and the outfits you choose. You have got this!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a short girl wear a midi dress?

A hi-low midi dress looks cute on petites. Always choose a tight-fit top for a midi skirt; otherwise, an oversized or loose top can be overwhelming.

How should you wear a petite curvy dress?

If you are petite and curvy, then consider high-waisted or flared jeans, try a mini skirt that adds length to your legs, and have garments that are tailored to your size or add shape to your dress with a belt.

Are high-waisted pants good for petites?

Yes. High-waisted pants are good for Petites. Try to wear a short top or shirt paired with your pant, which will make your legs look longer than they are.


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