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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Dresses for Petites 2023
All girls would agree that finding the perfect dress is not an easy task because you have to mind the fit, length, color, and design, among other things. There are a ton of factors to consider in finding the best dress for your figure, and the job is only harder for petite girls.
If you are petite, you are probably all too familiar with the feeling of finding beautiful dresses that end up being too long. So we have to take that extra trip to the alteration shop to have it shortened. But even so, you can’t seem to find a dress that fits your figure perfectly.
Petite girls have a very beautiful and unique body structure, which can be highlighted with the right dresses. It’s true that shorter girls are underserved when it comes to fashion and clothing, but brands are beginning to recognize the need to create designs and sizes to suit petites.
To help you find the right dress, we’ve compiled the best petite fashion for girls in 2023. With this guide, you can save yourself the trouble of finding flattering and stylish dresses that are also the perfect fit.
BEST DRESSES FOR PETITES
Sheath dresses are a to-go-to for petite women. It's versatile enough to be worn casually or in a formal event, it flatters the body, and it's a classic look that will never go out of style!
Belted DressesIf you have an elongated torso and you want to create a proportional look, then belted dresses is the one for you! It creates a pleasing 1/3 look that would easily elongate your legs.
If you love highlighting your curves, then wear a wrapped dresses. These dresses highlights your curves, creates a slimming silhouette and removes unwanted bulks.
Functionality: Quality: Price:
Functionality: Quality: Price:
Functionality: Quality: Price:
LET’S GO OVER EACH OF THE BEST PETITE DRESSES
#1: SHEATH DRESSES
Sheath dresses are ideal, and the perfect dress type for petite women. Their fit, straight, and tight silhouette removes the unwanted bulk and focuses on highlighting the shape of your body. It perfectly adheres to fashion’s “rule of thirds,” which requires the division of spaces to be 1/3 at the top and 2/3 at the bottom. Sheath dresses can achieve this, making them the most aesthetically pleasing attire for petites. Not only does it create the perfect proportion, but it can also make you look as if you are taller and leaner.
These petite dresses have multiple dress lengths, they are offered as a maxi dress, midi dress, or short dress. A short sheath dress can elongate your legs if you have a particular body type and prefer short dresses, it’s perfect for a short girl or with petite sizes. This is one of our favorite dresses thanks to its timeless look.
Form-fitting clothes are the best choice for a petite girl. Avoid bulky, loose, and puffy clothes at all costs as these will only make you look smaller and shorter because they tend to hide and overpower your natural structure.
PROS AND CONS OF SHEATH DRESSES
|✔️ Flatters your shape|
✔️ Slimmer silhouette
✔️ Versatile dress
|✖️ Some styles can be uncomfortable|
#2: BELTED DRESSES
All of us have different vertical body types. Some women have longer torsos, while others have longer legs. Petites tend to have a longer torso ratio, but you can improve this proportion with what you wear. Belted dresses are the key to changing how your vertical body ratio looks. Putting on a belt high enough to make your legs look longer than your torso will go a long way in making you look taller than you really are. Manipulate your perceived height and dress to impress with these belted dresses.
Belted dresses come in different lengths, they have maxi dresses or midi-length dresses. For short women, it’s best not to use maxi dresses as it would only make you look shorter.
However, if you are going to wear belted dresses, make sure that the belt is high above your waist. Avoid putting the belt directly on the waist because then it won’t be able to do the magic of shortening your torso. And much so should you avoid wearing the belt below the waist. This will make you look even shorter because it’s going to elongate your torso instead of your legs, putting your figure severely out of proportion.
PROS AND CONS OF BELTED DRESSES
|✔️ Elongates your legs|
✔️ Creates a proportioned look
✔️ Comfortable to wear
|✖️ Some styles have basic designs|
#3: WRAP DRESSES
Wrap dresses are definitely a trend. Every woman, both tall and short, would look great wearing one, but it looks especially flattering for petite women. Wrap dresses help define your waist and showcase your body’s curves. It hugs your body and decreases unwanted bulks, thereby elongating your figure.
Wrap dresses are a universal favorite because they can highlight your body’s best features and are appropriate for any occasion! You can wear wrap dresses for a formal event, a date, or even as office attire. Every woman, whether below or above 5 feet should definitely have a few wrap dresses in their closet.
Do take note that some wrap dresses do not effectively hug your body and showcase your form and features. There are those that are too loose at the top and slim at the bottom, which are the types you should avoid wearing. They can make you look stout and shorter than you really are, so you should always choose form-fitting wrap dresses.
PROS AND CONS OF WRAP DRESSES
|✔️ Accentuates your curves|
✔️ Versatile dress
✔️ Makes you look taller
|✖️ Some designs can be too tight or bulky|
#4: VERTICAL-PATTERNED DRESS
Stripes are definitely one of the most common prints used for clothes. They can be vertical or horizontal — and each of these has a specific effect on how you look. Horizontal stripes tend to stretch the body horizontally, which makes the wearer look a little stout. For girls who are less than five feet in height, it’s ideal to avoid horizontal prints at all costs. The best choice is to opt for vertical stripes instead. These are perfect for petite women as they create length, and the pattern gives the illusion of being taller.
BUT! Because you want to highlight your figure, you’ll want to stray away from clothing with loud and complicated patterns. With too much going on in terms of structure and print, it will look too overwhelming and fail to do its job of highlighting your body. Keep it simple so that all the attention is on your physique. And make sure the patterns bring the eye down when you’re looking at it. This will help elongate the body and make you appear several inches taller.
PROS AND CONS OF VERTICAL-PATTERNED DRESS
|✔️ Can be formal or casual wear|
✔️ Makes you look taller
|✖️ Can be difficult to match clothes with|
#5: SLIT DRESSES
If you are looking to be a little more daring, slit dresses are a perfect choice. For the petite girls out there, you should know that dresses with too much fabric can make you look too covered and swamped with clothes and layers. But dresses with a side slit can do the trick, showing off a part of your legs and making you look taller.
And slit dresses allow you to wear maxi and midi dresses. It’s true that these types of dresses are not very flattering for a shorter woman, but you can definitely make it work as long as you choose the right style. When you wear maxi or midi dresses, opt for those that have slits so you can showcase a little more skin.
Take note that wearing slit dresses is tricky — both style and comfort-wise. There are those with slits at the back, and the others in front. The position of the slit will help create a continuous vertical line that will do a lot in making you look taller. For petites, it would be best to have the slit at the side.
PROS AND CONS OF SLIT DRESSES
|✔️ Highlights your curves|
✔️ Creates a sultry look
✔️ Elongates your legs
|✖️ Can be uncomfortable to wear|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What dresses to wear if you’re petite?
Petite people can wear every dress mentioned here in this guide, but if you’d like to explore more options, we have a few more recommendations:
- Shirt Dresses – For something a little more casual, go for something that doesn’t look put together (but really is). And the best outfit for that is a shirt dress. Shirt dresses are quite common nowadays, and they’ve become a fashion staple. It’s not necessarily very formal, but it definitely pulls off the casual and laid-back vibe.
- Button-Down Dresses – They’re perfect if you prefer a conservative, covered-up look, but they can also be styled to look laid-back and playful. If you’re going for a more daring, sexy look, you can just undo a few buttons and have a lower neckline or slit!
- Laced Dresses – Lace dresses are the best combination of simplicity and beauty. Its intricate and elegant designs add a little more spice to your dress without it being too loud and complicated. This is ideal to help highlight your physique while still showing off a little skin to make you look taller.
- Structured Top Dresses – One way to show off your figure is to opt for dresses with a structured top. By going for body-fitting pieces or those with rigid and structured fabric, you’re also defining your shape and making sure that it won’t get swallowed under bulky clothing.
Which dress is best for a short-height girl?
Choosing the best petite dresses for women can be a challenging task, but fear not, as there are numerous styles and designs that can enhance your natural features and make you look stunning, here are a few samples:
- Empire Waistline Dresses– Empire waistline dresses are tight-fitted in the upper body and flowy at the bottom. The waistline falls below the bust line, helping the lower body look longer than it is and maximizing the proportion of the legs.
- Monochromatic Dresses – Monochromatic clothes will make the clothing transition from your upper body to your lower body seamless. It noticeably lengthens the silhouette and goes to great lengths in adding a few more inches to your perceived height. Opt for a monochromatic or single-colored dress. Pair it with shoes of the same color to create more emphasis on elongating your legs.
- V-Neck Dresses – You should create verticals with what you wear as much as possible. This helps give the illusion of length, so the more verticals you make with your clothes, the taller you look.
It’s best to choose the right length or pattern for you, opt for vertical designs or higher-than-knee-length dresses. A wrap dress can also highlight a short girl’s waist. Maxi-length dresses would only make you look smaller.
What style suits petite girls?
Petite girls have unique body types, and choosing the right style can significantly affect their appearance. The key to finding the perfect style for petite girls is to create an illusion of height and elongate the body.
One of the most flattering styles for petite girls is the A-line dress. This style flares out from the waist, creating a longer vertical line and making the legs appear longer. A-line dresses that fall just above the knee are an excellent choice for petite girls as they showcase the legs and create a youthful and playful look.
Another style that suits petite girls is the high-waisted pant. This elongates the legs and creates a more balanced proportion. Paired with a tucked-in top, it creates a streamlined look and accentuates the waistline.
Regarding tops, petite girls should opt for cropped tops or tops that end at the hipbone. This style creates a longer torso and makes the legs appear longer. Additionally, fitted tops highlighting the waistline are an excellent choice for petite girls as they create a more defined silhouette.
Lastly, it’s crucial to pay attention to the fit of the clothing. Petite girls should avoid oversized and bulky clothing as they can overwhelm their frame. Instead, opt for a well-fitted dress that accentuates the curves and creates a sleek, streamlined look.
From this collection of dresses, you’ll notice a pattern that will tell you what petite women should wear. The golden rules in choosing a dress that would look great on petites are simple. Number one, choose vertical. Second, follow the rule of thirds and elongate your legs instead of your torso. Third, you can never go wrong with form-fitting clothing. And last but not the least, simplicity is beauty. Remember these rules the next time you go shopping for dresses to wear on any occasion.
Sheath dresses are designed to hug the body and highlight natural curves. This creates a sleek and streamlined look that makes petite women appear taller. Plus, it’s tough to find clothing that fits perfectly when you’re petite, but sheath dresses offer a flattering fit that will showcase your figure. They’re also versatile enough to be worn for casual events, business meetings, or formal gatherings.
Sheath dresses are the ultimate go-to for petite women. They offer a flattering fit and versatility, and come in different lengths. Plus, they’re a timeless and classic style that will never go out of fashion. So, invest in a well-fitted sheath dress, and you’ll have a versatile piece that you can wear for years to come.
Chrizelle is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from De La Salle University. She recently dropped out of law school to pursue her passion for writing. Now, she is a full-time writer hoping to inspire and change lives through her thoughts and her words.