Petite Dresses


Petite dresses have the size and shape that are specifically designed for women with a shorter body frame. You've probably discovered that shortening the hem and sleeve alone are not enough to correct the length of the dress. That's because the garment still hasn't the right proportions for your body figure.

Black and white sexy petite dress
Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins

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Basically, the waist and hip shape has to hit you at the right spot on your shorter silhouette. That's what womens petite dresses are for! On this page you'll find the latest fashion dresses that are made to flatter your height and help you look longer.

But before you shop, let's take a look at some tips on how to make the most out of your dresses and look your best:

How to Look Taller in a Dress

You already have the option of buying a petite dress that is made to fit your short proportions, but I want to give you some fashion advice and tips on what details to look for to help you look taller:

Wear heels

Tan nude open toe pumps
Courtesy of Stuart Weitzman/Endless
Heeled shoes help elongate your legs and body, making you look long and lean, not to mention that they look chi with a dress! They don't have to be super-tall - 2 inch is enough to lengthen your height. Try wedge and sturdier heels if you're not used to wearing high heels.

I highly recommend securing at least two pair of shoes that blends in with the color of your skin - such as high heeled nude pumps or simple nude ballerina flats. Or black if you have a darker skin tone.

Any shoe color that blends in with the hosiery can really make you look taller.

Choose a fitted cut

Boxy, shapeless dresses tend to drag down your body figure and make you look shorter. A dress with a little bit of shape around the waist (eg. wrap, nip, empire-cut, etc.) helps you look leaner and taller. Tying a belt around waist also helps.

If you still want to wear a dress with a swing cut, make sure that it's above the knee and that you're wearing heels to balance out the heavy balloon shape on top.

V-neck dresses

A V-neck is universally flattering on all body shapes and you'll definitely benefit from the v-shaped necklines that makes the eye go up and down. Wider necklines tend do make your upper body shorter and wider. They can look good on Pear shapes to aid in balancing out their wide bottom - however, it can still look unflattering, especially if you're short or have a full bust.

But a tip if you still want to wear a wide neckline, is to top it off with a long necklace or simply look for a dress with shoulder details. Which leads me to next my pointer...

Look for shoulder details

Embellished white petite dress
Courtesy of Miss Selfridge
Shoulder details basically pull the eye upwards which distracts it from your short stature. It also visually raises the length of your upper body.

So it helps to look for petite dresses with added interest to the shoulders, such as beads, studs, sequins, lace and buttons. But not all together, of course!

Unusual collars and necklines are also an alternative to embellishments.

Stick to simplicity

Black lace petite dress
Courtesy of Miss Selfridge
You have less canvas to work on so lots of details and prints can overwhelm your petite stature. Opt for solid colors with minimal details. If it's boring for your taste I suggest you to spruce it up with accessories - which are much more flexible in accentuating your best assets!

    Mini notebook icon Tip: There are exceptions of course. Work strategically by wearing a dress with vertical details instead of horizontal. Just make sure that the print or detail is scaled to your body size, and that the shape of the print is vertical long rather than wide. Like for example pinstripes or floral patterns that stretch vertically.

A fabulous tailor

Petite clothing is per today still limited, so it helps to have a great tailor who can alter your garments to fit your body figure. Or have them make a new clothing piece that reflects your personality and favorite details and dress shapes.



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Related Content:

Golden rules to dressing your body figure - how to look your best Fashion advice on how to buy and wear Fashion Dresses Shop the best Petite skirts Shop the latest Petite jeans
How to select the best skirt styles for your personal style and body figure Fashion advice on how to buy and wear Fashion Skirts How to buy and wear Fashion Hosiery How to stretch your style envelope



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