Petite Dressing https://blog.petitedressing.com Elegant petite fashion style Mon, 17 Jun 2019 03:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://blog.petitedressing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/cropped-P-32x32.jpg Petite Dressing https://blog.petitedressing.com 32 32 135703495 Hourglass Figure: How to Dress if you are Petite https://blog.petitedressing.com/hourglass-figure/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/hourglass-figure/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 17:30:22 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=3546 Do you have hourglass figure?  Are you wondering what are the best ways to dress hourglass body type? You have come to the right place! Let me start by saying you are very lucky! Some say hourglass figure is the most feminine body type, thus it is considered the most attractive by both men and […]

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Do you have hourglass figure?  Are you wondering what are the best ways to dress hourglass body type? You have come to the right place!

Let me start by saying you are very lucky! Some say hourglass figure is the most feminine body type, thus it is considered the most attractive by both men and women. Our preference for hourglass figure seems to go back to long, long time ago and has barely changed to this day.

When we think of the Golden Age of Hollywood, we just can’t help but picture those black and white glam shots in which all the leading ladies had something in common other than their arched eyebrows. That is, they were all perfect hourglass figures!

Some of those most famous hourglass shaped stars in the 20s to 50s happened to be petite (by that I am referring to their height being under 5’4″). Bette Davis and Vivien Leigh were 5’3″ , and Elizabeth Taylor was 5’2″. 

Fast forward to today, some of our favorite petite actresses are once again hourglass shaped ladies! The most popular ones are Scarlett Johanson and Salma Hayalk , who have the most typical petite hourglass body type. 

petite celebrities with hourglass figure
Salma Hayek, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

At Petite Dressing, we believe each petite body type have their own unique characteristics and everyone has the potential to be attractive, as long as we use the right dressing techniques to enhance our assets.  Still, we have to say, you are very lucky to have the hourglass figure!

In this post, I want to go over with you some of the most useful techniques in styling hourglass body type. Some are applicable to hourglass beauties of all height, but I will also share with you some unique tips especially meant for petite ladies.

How do you know you have hourglass figure?

First things first, let’s take a look at what is a hourglass figure.  If you are reading this post, I presume you already know you are an hourglass shape, or at least somewhat an hourglass shape.

If you are the latter or you are not sure, then here is a check list that can help you figure out:

hourglass figure
  1. Your hips and shoulders are well balanced, i.e. they are roughly about the same width. That is, your shoulder and hip measurements are within 5 % of each other. Many petite women with hourglass figure have round and sloping shoulders that align nicely with the hips.
  2. You have full chests and hips. Typical hourglass figure means you are quite well-endowed, which is one of your best assets.
  3. You have a well-defined waist line that is significantly smaller than your shoulders or hips. The rule of thumb here is 75%.  That is, your waist is at least 25% smaller than your shoulder, hip and bust measurements.  Normally, when translated into inches, that means your waist is 8 to 12 inches (or 25 to 30cm) smaller than the hip or bust measurement.
  4. You have a rounded bottom.
  5. You have a beautiful front and side profile. And, from top to bottom, your figure is in harmony and balance.
  6. You may have full thighs, but they are narrower than your high hips. You gain weight above hips and through waist.

Above are the typical features of petite hourglass body type.  However, because human body have some many different variations, most likely not one body would fit into all features of one body type.  If you feel like you have some but not all of the characters above, it is possible you are a combination of hourglass shape and other body types.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I’m sure you have been hearing compliments (wanted or unwanted) about your nice curves, since you don’t even remember when. So, you probably don’t need me to tell you your best assets are the slender waist, the full breasts as well as your full hips.

Your weaknesses? Let me just say that I don’t think there is anything you need to change or camouflage about your body.

long dresses for petites
Scarlett Johansson, 5’4″, Getty Images

In general, the hourglass figure should proudly celebrate the curve by wearing form hugging tops, skirts and dresses. However, I do understand your killer curves sometimes could make you feel the opposite way- even though every other girl is jealous of your shape, sometimes you may wish you were not always drawing attention to your chest and hips.

Quite often, I hear from our petite customers with hourglass shape that they can never find anything that fits perfectly. If anything fits the waist, then that’s always too small on their hips. If anything fits the hips, then it’s too loose around the waist.

Do you fall into that category? If yes, I share a lot of tips on what you should wear and what you should avoid in my other post “How to dress if you are petite with large chest“. In this post, I will go over with you how should a petite hourglass dress, i.e. what looks the best on an hourglass shaped petite girl.

Best Dresses for Hourglass Figure

Wrap dress has to take the number one spot!

Diane Von Fursternberg invented the legendary wrap dress in 1974, the design that made her a fashion icon at the age of 28.  Today, it is hard for us to imagine the times before wrap dress was invented.  Over 40 years have passed, we can still barely find another dress that is so versatile, convertible, workplace appropriate and great for day-to-night. 

Like Victoria Beckham (5’3) mentioned in her latest fashion book “That Extra Half an Inch”, wrap dress is one of the things that once you have, it is hard to understand how you have lived all those years without. They are flattering to almost all petite women, and they are especially more so if you have the hourglass figure.

This is petite blogger Carly in our wrap dress. She is 5’3″, hourglass shape, and this is one of the best dresses on her body type.

best dresses for short women
Photo: Carly (5’3″, IG@carlygala) wearing Belinda dress from Petite Dressing

The reason is they accentuate your waist and hips, while enhancing your small waist. If you happen to be one of those girls who is concerned highlighting your curves too much and look low class, you don’t have to worry about that with wrap dresses. They show off your assets without overdoing it.

Please own at least a few in your closet, if you don’t live in wrap dresses already.

 petite Faux Wrap Dress
Eliza J Petite $128
 Wrap Dress petite
Halogen Petite $89
 Floral Print Faux Wrap Dress, Main, color, NAVY/ IVORY
Eliza J Petite $148

Fit and flare dresses are the runner-ups.

Fit and flare dresses are the close runner up when it comes to the best dresses for hourglass shaped women. The form fitting top emphasizes your nice curves, and the flared out bottom balances it out without being too revealing.

hourglass figure
Salma Hayek, 5’2″ (Getty Images)

The A shape silhouette also creates a vertical line that lengthens your short frame, which is most flattering for petite women with hourglass body shape.

petite Aline dress
Boden Petite $170
 Embroidered Halter Neck Mesh Midi Dress petite
Vince Camuto Petite $188
 petite Aline
Vince Camuto Petite $128

Best Tops for Hourglass Body Type


We have talked about in other posts that petite women should in general stay away from boxy sweaters or blouses, as they overwhelm your petite body frame.  Same here,  if you have petite hourglass figure, you should wear fitted dress shirts with darted waists that conform to your natural shape in order to achieve the best result.

Since your waist is so slender naturally, you want that to become the focal point of your outfit by further enhancing your waist through either wearing a top with a belt, or adding a belt to basic tops (tube tops, knit tops, sleeveless tops, etc.). This is the same concept as the wrap dress

 Faux Wrap Blouse petite
Halogen Petite $69
 Rosamund Polka Dot Cotton Wrap Top petite
Boden Petite $98
Petite Floral Top $79 (Petite Dressing)
Petite Floral Top $79 (Petite Dressing)

Form-fitting jackets or jackets that nip in at the waist with a flare at the hip will look great on you. The flare should be balanced with a structured or princess shoulder.

If you want a dramatic effect to enhance your feminine figure, wear tops with added volume to the bust and shoulders AND a snug fitting empire waist.  You can it paired with a proportionally voluminous bottom to balance out the top.

Best Bottoms for Hourglass Body Type

High waist everything

For hourglass shaped petite girls, high waist everything is the way to go, when it comes to bottoms. That applies to skirts, pants and jeans.

Since your waist is so much smaller than your butt, high waist design accommodates your slender waist and full hips much better. Meanwhile, petites typically have shorter legs, and high waist can create the illusion of height and make your legs look longer.

how to style petite with large chest
Photo: Scarlett Johansson, 5’3″, Shutterstock

The only exception is that if you torso is really short and you are concerned high waist will make it look even shorter, then that’s the reason for you to go for mid waist pants or jeans.

I normally do not advise “never”, but I have to say to hourglass body type please stay away from low waisted jeans . Not only do they make your leg look shorter, but they just don’t look tasteful on a girl with full butt.

Best skirts

When it comes to your choices for office appropriate clothing, you do not have to downsize your feminity- rather, you should celebrate it tastefully and properly. In the office, figure skimming and pencil skirts of all lengths look good on your petite hourglass figure. High-waisted skirts are particularly flattering, as they elongate your legs and draw even more attention to your waist. Add a flounce around the bottom to balance fuller tops and jackets.

If you like full skirts, they are flattering when paired with a top that adds fullness to your bust and shoulders while accentuating your waist. This look creates a very dramatic hourglass effect.

Best Jeans

As mentioned earlier, go with high waisted jeans unless you have short torso.

The number one jeans for hourglass body type is flare jeans. Actually, they are the number one choice for petite girls of any body type. The flared leg creates the illusion of longer legs and balance out the full hips of hourglass figure. Read more about the Top 5 Best Jeans for Women with Short Legs.

 High Waist Flared Jeans for petite women
Topshop Petite $75
petite flare jeans
Topshop Petite $75
petite flare jeans
Petite Dressing $99

Secondly, wearing skinny jeans with banded, belted or not-to-tight body skimming tops will enhance your attractive figure.

Thirdly, boot cut jeans look good on you as well.

Bootcut Jeans In Petite,
NYDJ Petite $119
Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ Petite $109
Barbara Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ $109

Since you have rather curved back already, you may not want to go with too much pocket details or embellishments, which will make your buttocks look bigger.  

Best pants

If you have hourglass figure, your choices of pants are consistent of your choices of tops- they should emphasize your slender waist.  Pants with wide waistband are very flattering on your body type. Pair straight-leg pants with a form skimming top or cargos with a fuller top to maintain your hourglass proportions.

Best Fabric Choice

Hourglass figure overall looks fleshy vs boney.  Therefore, the best fabrics for you are flowy and light waited materials such as knits and silk.  Flowing tops that are banded at the waist will show off your amazing curves and create a dramatic hourglass effect.

The post Hourglass Figure: How to Dress if you are Petite appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Dresses to Wear to a Summer Wedding https://blog.petitedressing.com/dresses-to-wear-to-a-summer-wedding/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/dresses-to-wear-to-a-summer-wedding/#respond Tue, 11 Jun 2019 18:00:46 +0000 https://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=7271 Looking for dresses to wear to a summer wedding? You have come to the right place.  Summer is the most popular season for weddings, and a lot of us will be receiving invitations for this time of the year to join the celebrations for the happy couple.  When you are wondering what to wear to […]

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Looking for dresses to wear to a summer wedding? You have come to the right place.  Summer is the most popular season for weddings, and a lot of us will be receiving invitations for this time of the year to join the celebrations for the happy couple.  When you are wondering what to wear to a wedding, the season matters a lot. Best dresses to wear to a summer wedding is different from what you should wear to a winter wedding. Why?

Because each season has its own distinct wedding styles. The summer wedding is about the sunshine, flowers and outdoors, while the winter wedding is about candles, fireplaces and dimmed lights. Of course, the wedding guests should all dress accordingly because of the drastically different ambiance.

We have another post on “Best Petite Dresses for Weddings” which talks about what you should wear in general, but you probably need a more detailed guide if you have an upcoming wedding in summer months. That is why we have put then read our guide on what to look for to help you make the right decision when choosing dresses to wear to a summer wedding.

1. Understand the dress code of the summer wedding

Regardless of a woman’s height or style, whenever you are wondering what to wear to a wedding, the first thing you should do is to look for the dress code in the invitation. Wedding is one of the occasions where etiquette is important, and you certainly do not want to stand out because you did not follow the proper dress code, especially if it is clearly stated on the invitation.

summer wedding attire
Photo: Unsplash

Now, let’s go over briefly the most common types of wedding dress codes.

Black Tie

Traditionally, women should wear full length gown or tea length (below calf length).  However, in modern days, the standards about the dress length is getting less restrictive.  It doesn’t need to be ankle length or even tea length.  It could be modestly shorter, but probably not mini dresses.  You are not restricted to only wear petite dresses for wedding.  Evening pants (either palazzo cut or other dressy looking pants) are also acceptable for black tie evening.

short actresses in petite evening gown
Jenna Dewan, 5’3″, Getty Images

If you do decide to wear a gown, then make sure to read our post on “7 Must Know Tips to Style Formal Long Dresses for Petite Women“.

Black Tie Optional

In stead of formal petite dresses for wedding (gown), women can wear cocktail attire as long as it is dressy enough.  You choices are not limited to just dresses either, it could be jumpsuits, separates and anything else appropriate for the venue.  The keyword here is still “dressy”.

jumpsuits for petite women
Petite Dressing $119
petite dresses to wear to summer wedding
Petite Dressing $109
Cocktail Attire

Put on your best cocktail dress and pair it with your favorite jewelry.  Don’t restrict your choices to only wedding guest dresses either.  You can totally wear a dressy jumpsuit and put on a pair of stiletto.  Some sparkling jewelry will give your wedding guest look a nice finish touch.  If you are not a big dress or jumpsuit person, opt for a nice blouse with a pair of well tailored dress pants or palazzo pants made of fine quality fabrics like silk.

We have another post on “How to Find the Best Cocktail Dresses for Petite Women“.

cocktail dresses for petites
Lucy Liu, 5’2″ (Getty Images)
Beach Formal

You have many choices for petite wedding guest dresses.  You could wear your favorite maxi dress, a dressy jumpsuit, or palazzo pants.  If you do opt for a dress, a petite maxi dress is perfect for the beach theme.  Or, you could also choose a  tea length or knee length dress.

petite Wide Leg Ankle Pants
Eileen Fisher Petite $158
petite Silk Blend Pants wide leg
Eileen Fisher Petite Silk $238
petite wedding guest dresses
Calvin Klein Petite $129

2. Dress according to the time and the venue

When you are picking out the best petite dresses to wear for a summer wedding, knowing what time the wedding is and where it is taking place is very important. Why?

First, whether the wedding is day time or night time determines what type of dresses is more suitable. If it is an afternoon Summer wedding in the botanical garden, then you may want to pick a floral print fit and flare sun dress that is airy and flowy.

maxi dress for short women
Petite Dressing $119
maxi dresses for short women
Petite Dressing $129

If the wedding reception is after dark in a fine dining restaurant, then an ankle length off the shoulder petite dress or petite jumpsuit could be an excellent choice.

Jumpsuits for girls with short legs
Petite Dressing $119
petite jumpsuit wide leg
Petite Dressing $109

Second, outdoors vs indoors is an important consideration when it comes to what petite dresses you should wear to a summer wedding. For outdoor summer weddings, look for brighter color and pretty prints. If the wedding is indoors in a chateau, then a beaded dress with vintage twist would be an great option.

Last but not the least, the temperature difference in the day time vs night time could be significant in the summer. If the wedding is daytime and is outdoors, then you need to make sure you are wearing enough sunscreen and your make up won’t get messed up by the sweat after hours. If the wedding is night time, you may want to consider bringing a pashmina wrap in case the venue has very strong AC.

Pashmina for dinner time
INC $36
Pashmina wedding
INC $27
IWrap & Scarf in One for petites
INC $21

The time and the venue of the wedding goes hand in hand with the dress code, because a more formal (for instance black-tie) wedding normally would be at a more upscale venue and more likely to be in the evening.

3. The fit comes first

When you are choosing the dresses to wear to a summer wedding, the fit is the first and the foremost criteria. In fact, no matter what occasion you are dressing for, the fit should always be the important criteria for petite women.

Because of our height, we have to be more thoughtful about what we wear, especially for petite girls who would like to look taller. Petite dresses that emphasize your waistline and elongate your legs are your best bet.

maxi dresses for petite women

Sometimes an outdoor summer wedding might sound tempting for you to consider loose and comfortable clothing. You don’t have to wear anything skin tight, but you should ditch anything that is shapeless or baggy. Fitted dresses don’t have to be bodycon. Go with a fit and flare dress that is universally flattering to petite women.

4. Is it a destination wedding?

Summer weddings can take place at different places. Some couples choose to have their weddings away from their home country in a tropical island. With a destination wedding, even though the wedding may not be happening in the summer time, the wedding couple and the guests still get to enjoy the sunshine, beach and nice island weather. Destination weddings are romantic and exciting, but it also involves more planning, both for the wedding party and for the wedding guests.

If you are looking for dresses to wear to a destination summer wedding, then you should look up for the resort the wedding is taking place and dress accordingly. For instance, if the wedding is at St. Regis in Maldives, then you should be prepared to embrace the luxury experience and pick a petite dress with glamorous details.

what dresses to wear for summer weddings
Photo: Unsplash

Since destination weddings requires travel, you should make sure your dress won’t get wrinkled after the long flight on the couple’s wedding day. Most hotels offer laundry service, so you just need to remember to drop them off early enough so that they will be ready on the important day.

Destination weddings can take several days, so make sure you prepare enough dresses to change! It will be wise to bring different styles of dresses to wear for the day time vs the night time.

5. Choose the right fabrics for the dresses to wear to a summer wedding

To find the best dresses to wear to a summer wedding, you should go with the fabrics suitable for the season. Different fabrics have their own characters. For summer weddings, especially those outdoors, breathable natural fabrics like cotton, linen or silk are ideal. Whether the wedding is held at the garden or by the beach, natural fabrics will make you feel much more comfortable in the hot weather.

If the summer wedding is at night time, then satin or lace looks more formal and more dressy for the occasion.

what to wear to a summer wedding
Connected Petite $79
petite cocktail dresses
XScape Petite $189
petite cocktail dress
Adrianna Papell Petite $219

You should pay attention to the “personality” of fabrics. Heavier fabrics such as velvet is more suitable for fall weddings or winter weddings.

6. Accessorize properly

How you accessorize dresses for a summer wedding has different considerations than for a fall or winter wedding.

Outdoors is a popular choice for summer weddings. If you are going to an outdoor wedding, you may want to stay away from wearing too much jewelry to avoid the sweating under the sun. Meanwhile, a pretty straw hat could be big plus to wear because it not only looks pretty with your sun dress, but also blocks some of the harsh UV ray from your face

hats for petites
San Diego Hat Co $44
hats for short women
San Diego Hat co $29
hats for summer
Betmar $35

7. Finish the look with the right shoes

The shoes should complete your look and compliment the dresses you choose for summer wedding.

For petite women, we always suggest heels, especially for formal occasions like weddings. If it is an evening wedding in an upscale reception hall or restaurant, then go with stiletto for that formal look. If the wedding is on the beach or in a garden, consider wedges so that it is easier for you to walk.

wedges for short women
Aerosoles $100
nude sandals
nude shoes for short women
Steve Madden $79

If for some reason you cannot wear heels and really want to wear flats, go with the metallic hues to look dressy enough for the wedding.

shoes for weddings
Badgley Mishka $79
sandals for beach weddings
Katy Perry $48.95
sandals for summer weddings
Splendid $67.95

You should never wear flip flops, even if the wedding is taking place in the sands!

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Petite Maxi Skirts: 7 Tips You Didn’t Know https://blog.petitedressing.com/short-woman/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/short-woman/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2019 00:00:52 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=4041 If you are searching for petite maxi skirts, I’m assuming you are under 5’4″. What are the best maxi skirt for short women? How can women with shorter legs wear them without looking swamped in the extra fabrics? You have come to the right place, and today we’ll have all these questions answered. The common […]

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If you are searching for petite maxi skirts, I’m assuming you are under 5’4″. What are the best maxi skirt for short women? How can women with shorter legs wear them without looking swamped in the extra fabrics? You have come to the right place, and today we’ll have all these questions answered.

The common belief (or, perhaps I should say myth?) is a short woman only looks good in short skirts.  While most would agree that a short woman can’t go wrong with a short skirt, we do believe there are ways for a short woman to wear long skirts as well. 

Now, I am talking about maxi length skirts for short women, not just any long skirts.  We have to make that clear, because long and short are relative.  A mini skirt is of course short, but some might consider a midi skirt (which ends between your knees and your ankles) is long.  That is not our topic in this article.

Petite maxi skirts are not the easiest look to pull off, but we have seen petite celebs wearing them such as Nicole Richie (5’1”), Victoria Beckham (5’3”), and Vanessa Hudgens (5’1″). 

maxi skirts for short women
Nicole Richie (5’1″) Getty Images

If worn the right way, petite maxi skirts can very well elongate the petite figure of a short woman and be one of the most flattering pieces in your wardrobe.  Learned from petite bloggers and petite celebrities, here are the top 5 tips and tricks we want to share with you to help achieve the elongating effect of maxi skirts for short girls.

1 The length is important for petite maxi skirts

In order for a short woman to look good in petite maxi skirts, the length needs to be right.  Some say the best is ankle length, while others say it might be better for it to hit the floor.  Those who favor ankle length believe that is the easiest length of petite maxi skirts to wear for a short woman.  Those who like it to brush off the floor also have a good point because that will make a short woman’s legs look the maximum length. 

If you are wearing flats or sandals with no heels, you probably do not want the skirts to be dragging on the floor, which causes the danger of tripping on the fabrics and falling.  If you are wearing high heels, it is better to go longer. 

petite size maxi skirts
Style & Co Petite $34
maxi skirts for short women
Alex Evenings Petite $48
petite maxi skirt
Lauren Ralph Lauren Petite $87

Both could work, depending on the occasion you are dressing for, the style of the petite maxi skirts and the shoes you a wearing with it. 

The ideal length is for the hem of the skirts to be slightly above your heels without making it difficult for you to walk.  The length you do not want is anything above your ankles, because that will make your legs look cut off and lose the point of wearing petite maxi skirts.

2. The top can make it or break it

Okay, here is the thing most girls may not realize. What you wear on top is equally or even more important than the maxi skirts themselves. Why? The top changes the proportion of your entire outfit.

Proportion is probably the most important concept in petite styling tips. There is many ways to create a better proportion, but ultimately, it comes down to one thing.

That is, to make your body likes like 1/3 to 2/3 ratio (the “Rule of Thirds”).

What I mean by that is your top should look like 1/3 of your body while the legs should look like 2/3.

When you are wearing maxi skirts, your bottom is extended because of the length of the skirt, which makes it easy to create the 2/3. What you need to do is to make sure your top makes up no longer than 1/3 of your body. The best tops to achieve this? A crop top.

petite size maxi skirts
Vanessa Hudgens, 5’1″ (Getty Images)

This is 5’1″ Vanessa Hudgens. With a halter neck crop top and maxi skirt, she has illustrated a perfect example for you to see how important it is to create the perfect proportion by choosing the right top.

3. Solid colors or prints?

Another important factor to consider is what kind of color or prints will make a short woman look good in maxi length petite skirts.  In general, monochromatic dressing is the most flattering way of styling colors for a short woman, which applies here too.  

For those of you not familiar with the term, monochromatic dressing means what you wear from head to toe should be derived from a single based hue but extended using its shades, tints and hints.  Wearing monochromatic color will create the illusion of length for a short woman and make you look taller. 

It does not mean you can only wear one identical color for your top and bottom.  If you are wearing a baby blue top, then wearing a navy color petite maxi skirt will make you look good.  (Read more about Why Short Women Must Know Monochromatic Dressing).

If you like prints, a short woman should avoid prints that are too big or too loud.  Many people like floral prints, which is something you can rock as a short woman as long as the flowers are in proportion to your size.  Because petite maxi skirts cover such a big area of your body, you want to make sure you do not look swamped in too many colors.

4. The secret to make your legs look longer

The key reason that maxi length skirts could be a challenge for short women is that there is too much fabrics in the bottom half, thus it is easy to create the impression of bottom heavy. For petites, what you want is the opposite, i.e. you always want people to focus on your face and upper body instead.

One smart way to counter that is to wear petite maxi skirts with slit. The slit could be in the front or on the side. That is a personal preference. Either way, the slit will show some of your leg skin, especially while you are walking. What a simple slit will do for you is it will break the impression of too much fabrics in your bottom half, and create the illusion of longer legs for short women. This is 5’2″ petite blogger Eva in our maxi skirt with front slit. Doesn’t she illustrate how flattering the slit is on a short woman? It made her legs look mile long!

short girl style
Picture: courtesy of Eva, 5’2″, in maxi skirt from Petite Dressing (follow her Instagram@ava_lately)
Petite Maxi Skirt
Petite Maxi Skirt $89

5. Look for vertical details

Vertical details are the best friend of a short woman.  It comes in many different forms.  The easiest to identify is vertical stripes or prints that extend vertically. Or, you could look for any details that draw eyes up and down, such as a row of vertically aligned buttons. They effectively elongate your legs by creating the illusion of height. 

 Portia Stripe Maxi Skirt petite size
Boden Petite $130
Petite button front maxi skirt in pink floral print
$51
 Petite button front maxi skirt
$45

6. Wear it with the right shoes

As a short woman, you probably prefer to wear heels when you feel like to add a few extra inches.  It goes without saying that high heel sandals make a short woman look taller in petite maxi skirts.    We normally advise a short woman to be careful about wearing bulky heels such as wedges, but if you are wearing a petite maxi skirt, by all means wear wedges.  Because the skirts are so long, the benefit is people cannot really tell how bulky your heels are. 

wedges for short girls
Jcrew $119
wedges for short women
Aerosoles $100
wedges for summer weddings
Earth Yarrow $112

In addition, it is not easy to tell if the length comes from your legs or the heels.  Isn’t that great?  Wearing wedges also makes it easier for you to walk in maxi length petite skirts. 

However, don’t think you must wear heels with petite maxi skirts.  If you are wondering what you should pack for your Caribbean cruise wear , feel free to grab your favorite pair of flat sandals. Wear them on the beach or by the pool with your maxi skirts for a casual and chic Bohemian look, which is one of our recommended looks for resort wear for petite women.

7. Choose the right material

Most of us would be wearing maxi length petite skirts in the summer time, or when we are going on vacation where it is normally warm or tropical. That is why natural fabrics are normally the top choice. The breathable nature of those fabrics such as silk, linen or cotton makes them ideal when the weather is humid and when we tend to sweat.

Additionally, maxi skirts made with flowy jersey materials generally look good on a short woman, because it hugs your body curve naturally unlike stiff fabrics. 

Petite maxi skirts made with lace or see through materials can also be flattering, because they have less weight and seeing through the skin has the elongating effect to make a short woman look taller.

Lace-Inset Maxi Skirt
Chico’s Petite Lace Skirt $129
Linen Skirt
Chico’s Petite $129
Eyelet-Hem Maxi Skirt
Chico’s Petite $109

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Petite Maternity Clothes: 5 Best Tips https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-maternity-clothing/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-maternity-clothing/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2019 15:30:35 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=3908 Looking for petite maternity clothes?  There are so many changes that have happened to you physically (and perhaps mentally as well) since you got pregnant, the last thing you want to stress about is what to wear with your ever growing baby bump! I know exactly what you are going through, because I have been […]

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Looking for petite maternity clothes?  There are so many changes that have happened to you physically (and perhaps mentally as well) since you got pregnant, the last thing you want to stress about is what to wear with your ever growing baby bump! I know exactly what you are going through, because I have been there myself. 

Finding the right petite maternity clothing is not an easy task.  Actually, I should say for petite women, it is never easy to find clothing of the right petite size that fits you and flatters you, even before you got pregnant.  Now that you have the baby bump, it seems to be a mission impossible to find the right petite maternity dresses, maternity jeans and tops that are good quality and affordable.  

Being 5’2”, I understand how frustrating and disappointing for petite women to find the right clothing at almost any stage of their lives.  Here is a few tips that have helped me through my pregnancy to find nice petite maternity clothes without having to overspend (you will have a million other places to spend that money after baby is born!)  and I want to share with you these top tips.

Recommended shopping list for petite maternity clothes

First things first, I want to share with you the list of what you will need for petite maternity clothing.

1 Wrap dresses

Wrap dresses are my personal favorite.  They are universally flattering and work especially well for the petite body frame.  They hug your body at just the right places and show off your curves without being too revealing.  Plus, they are good for the office, date night, and really any occasions you can think of.  They should be your wardrobe staple regardless you are pregnant or not. 

After I was pregnant, I found wrap dresses to be the most versatile piece in my closet that adapted very well to my pregnancy.  Here is why:

First, they are normally made of soft and flowy fabrics such as silk or soft polyester, which is perfect for pregnant women. 

petite maternity wrap dress
Motherhood $39
Motherhood $39

Second, wrap dresses can accommodate your growing baby bump! I’m not even talking about wrap dresses in petite maternity clothing section- I was wearing the same DVF wrap dresses before I got pregnant! They lasted me through the first 2 trimesters and very few people noticed I was pregnant! 

Therefore, if you have wrap dresses in your closet before you got pregnant, they will work perfectly for the first several months of your pregnancy.  As your bump grows, just loosen up the strap and you will continue to wear it until much further along in your pregnant months.

2 Maternity Jeans

If jeans is your weekend staple, then you must own several pieces of petite maternity jeans. The important thing is to make sure you get them in petite sizes. I was frustrated to notice most petite designers do not make maternity jeans, which doubles the challenge for women with short legs. That said, I was able to find a few maternity clothes specialty stores who actually make maternity jeans for petites.

Motherhood

Loft

I will keep adding to the list, if I discover more. If you have found other maternity jeans brands, please leave a comment and share with your fellow petites!

3 Maternity pants

These are just as important as the maternity jeans! As you go through different trimesters, your belly and waistline will continue to stretch and very soon you will need to look for petite pants in the maternity department. Normally, the retailers or brands who carry petite maternity jeans will also have petite size maternity pants for you to choose.

4 Maternity workout pants

It is super important that you stay active during the pregnancy! Whether you want to keep your regular exercising routine for a while or you are thinking of doing prenatal yoga, getting the maternity size work out pants is necessary.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what you will need in terms of petite maternity clothing, but these are the most important ones. Every one has their own personal preference as to what they find necessary while they go through pregnancy, but these items are typically needed by the most.

Now, I want to share with you how to shop smart on your journey of shopping for petite maternity clothing.

1. Be a value shopper.

That doesn’t mean you should only buy the cheapest stuff you can find, but it means you should always look at how much use you can get from an item before you decide how much you are willing to spend.  (From my personal experience, this actually applies not only shopping to petite maternity clothes, but also shopping in general. )

Here is the logic, many petite women will not have a noticeable baby bump until midway through pregnancy (4 or 5 months+ or sometimes even later)!  So, that means you only need petite maternity clothes for about 5 months.  If you happen to be due in winter, that means you will need petite maternity clothing for more than one season.  If you get the petite maternity dresses for the summer, soon you will have to switch to thicker layers for the fall and winter.  Therefore, if a dress costs $150, that may sound like a steal for a non-maternity dress.  However, if you are only going to wear that for a two months, the value you can get out of it instantly changes!

Loft Petite $89
petite maternity dresses
Loft Petite $35

Of course it is totally up to you how much you would like to spend, and I am not discouraging you from buying designer name petite maternity clothing.  If you have the budget, by all means!  Trust me- I know pregnancy is hard work! So why not give yourself the pleasure and enjoyment of designer brands once in a while?  Just always keep in mind to be a value shopper and shop for the items at designer maternity clothing stores that you can get most value out of.

2. Mix existing pieces

Your regular petite clothing can still last for a while, before anyone discovers your baby bumps.  If you have relaxed fit cardigans or sweater, they can work pretty well as layers to your petite maternity dresses in the fall.  That will not only save you money, but also create fresh looks and excitement.  Have you thought of exploring your husband (or partner)’s wardrobe?  Please do so, if you haven’t thought of that.  His loose shirts and T-shirts can be really comfortable maternity sleepwear for you, to say the very least.

petite maternity clothing
Photo: Unsplash.com

3. Be creative

Pregnancy is the fun time you might find some creative ways to create your own petite maternity clothing you might not have thought of otherwise.  For example, I picked out a couple of larger size bright color long T-shirts at Old Navy made of 100% cotton, and they hit just about 15 inches above my knees.  They were so comfortable that I ended up wearing them  as my petite maternity dress for casual occasions over the summer.  Also, a regular sized tunic may work as your petite maternity dress before the baby bump gets too noticeable.

Maternity Ballet Scoop-Neck Tee
Old Navy $17.99
Maternity Slub-Knit Tie-Front Wrap Top
Oldy Navy $21
Maternity Ruffled Linen-Blend Sleeveless Top
Old Navy $19

Also, if you like beautiful and colorful clothes before you got pregnant, there is no reason why you should stop wearing them when you are pregnant.  Petite maternity clothing should not be boring or plain at all.  Don’t hesitate to explore stores like Nordstrom, which has a ton of maternity clothes that make a pregnant woman look pretty.

We also have another post to give you comprehensive guide on 5 Best Places to Shop Petite Maternity Dresses.

4.  Invest in a few staples

Along the same lines as being a value shopper, investing in a few wardrobe staples that will mix and match with anything else will save you a lot of money.  The petite maternity clothing you will probably always need are petite maternity pants and jeans.  You can also wear them at different occasions, plus, they work in different seasons from summer through winter.  So, even if you have pay a little bit extra, they are worth it.

petite maternity jeans
Motherhood Petite $34
Motherhood Petite $34
maternal jeans for petites
Motherhood Petite $34

5. Size up smartly

So you know that your baby bump will continue to grow throughout the pregnancy.  Therefore, picking the right size for your petite maternity clothing is important to accommodate the changes in your body in the months to come.  If you are looking for a pair of petite maternity jeans, get a pair with expanding panels or an elastic waist bands.  They are not only more comfortable, but also more adaptable in the few months to come as your waistline continues to expand.

petite maternity clothes
Photo: Shutterstock

Use the same criteria when you are looking for a  skirt or dress to make sure you don’t grow out of your petite maternity clothing too quickly and buy more.  However, we are by no means recommending petite women to wear oversized petite maternity clothing, because that will not be flattering to your small frame and will make you look overwhelmed by the clothing.

Pregnancy is such a sweet and special period in your life, it is truly worth going through it with the petite maternity clothes that make you look and feel good. Now that you know the tips, enjoy shopping and welcome your little one in a happy mood!

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How to Choose Petite Maxi Dresses https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-maxi-dresses/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-maxi-dresses/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2019 03:00:42 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=4201 Looking for petite maxi dresses?  What are the best maxi dresses for short women?  Should you even consider wearing maxi dresses if you are petite?  Where can you find the best petite maxi dresses for your budget?  You have come to the right place. (Here is a related post on Petite Women how to Rock […]

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Looking for petite maxi dresses?  What are the best maxi dresses for short women?  Should you even consider wearing maxi dresses if you are petite?  Where can you find the best petite maxi dresses for your budget?  You have come to the right place. (Here is a related post on Petite Women how to Rock Maxi Skirts).

Maxi dress has been trendy for almost a decade now, and they are a summer favorite of many stylish women.  If you are tall, maxi dresses seem to be a no brainer in the summer time.  They are so easy to wear in the summer time for so many reasons.  What if you are petite? Then you must have all these questions on your mind.  That is why we have put together this post to talk about

8 Must Know Tips about Petite Maxi Dresses

This post is talking about casual maxi length dress for petite woman.  We also have a post on “How to Style Petite Formal Long Dresses“.

Before we look at how you should choose petite maxi dresses, let’s first answer the fundamental question.  Should you wear a maxi dress if you are petite (short)?

Whether a short woman should wear long dresses at all has remained a debate.  Traditionally, most stylists advise petite women to wear short dresses or short skirts.  The reason is simple and seems logical- if your legs are short, then you want to show every inch of them by wearing something short.  Long dresses, on the hand, seem to be overwhelming for short women.  Therefore, many stylists caution that petites should go short.

That is true to some degree.  Wearing a dress above or at the knee is one of the most obvious ways to lengthen our legs and look taller than we are.  However, petite maxi dresses can definitely be very flattering to short women as well.  Here is the top 5 reasons you should shop for maxi dresses this season.

petite prom dresses
Photo: Unsplash

1.If you are short, creating length in your outfit is one of the key factors to make you look taller.  The easiest way to achieve that is through creating a column of colors.  What does that mean?

It means if what you wear forms a vertical line, it will lengthen your statue and effectively extend your frame.  That is exactly why petite maxi dresses are flattering to short girls.  Because of its continuous color and pattern, maxi dress can effectively elongate your body frame. Therefore, wearing maxi dress the right way will actually make a short girl look taller.  That is why we have listed petite maxi dress as one of the Top 6 Wardrobe Staples for Stylish Petite Women.

2. Since they are one piece, they are just so easy to wear.  You do not have to stress about whether the top looks good with the bottom.

3. If you are wondering what you should wear for a vacation, maxi dresses should be on your packing list!  They are so comfortable you can just throw them on and wear them and hang by the beach or the pool all day. That is why they are one of our top 5 choices for resort wear for petites. Whether you are searching for a versatile piece to wear to Caribbean cruise or just driving to a local beach, you can never go wrong with a petite length maxi dress!

what to wear to a wedding

4. If you are invited to a summer wedding, they are probably your best bet. Maxi is one of the top rated petite wedding guest dresses, because they are automatically dressy and are acceptable with most of the wedding dress codes.

5. They are so forgiving! You can save on razor time, to state the obvious.

Since maxi dresses are so versatile and functional, every short girl should have at least one of two petite maxi dresses in their closet.  However, the reality for short women is that finding maxi dresses for petites is never easy.  What are the challenges?

First and foremost, finding the right length is difficult.  In America, regular sizes are made for women 5’5″ tall.  That means if you are 5’4″ and under, regular size maxi dresses are too long for you.  5 feet tall and under?  Don’t even waste your time to try. They are going to be dragging on the floor I’m afraid.

Besides, even though maxi dresses can look good on you, it can also work against you.  Petite women have shorter frame,  what should you pay attention to in order not to be swamped by the fabrics of the dress?  Here are the top 5 tips you must know in choosing the right petite maxi dresses for you.

maxi dresses for short girls
Courtesy of our favorite petite blogger Carly, (5’3″, IG@carlygala)

1. Get the petite maxi dresses with right length

This is the number one thing that determines if a petite maxi dress fits you or not.  What is worse than not looking good?  If the maxi dress is too long, your shoes can get caught in the fabrics and you can fall! So, it is critical that you should shop at the petite designers for maxi length dresses.  Plus, you should pay attention to the specification of the petite length maxi dresses, even if they are labeled as petite sizing.

The reason is each brand may make petite size maxi dresses of different lengths. When maxi dress first became a summer trend, they were only available in regular sizes, so the only way a short girl could pull it off was to first send it the tailors and cut off the extra inches. Fortunately, there are now brands (ASOS, Nordstrom, Macys, etc) that offer petite length maxi dress so that you do not have to pay for a tailor.

Petite Dressing has newly added our collection of petite maxi dresses.   Our goal is to dress petite women of all height.  Whether you are 4’8″ or 5’4″, you can find the right size at Petite Dressing and do not have to worry about alteration any more. 

The best length obviously vary because of your height.  a 4’9” petite woman should wear different length than a 5’2” petite woman.   One good benchmark is that the petite length maxi dresses should fall just on your toe back, even if you are wearing flats. That way, you don’t have to worry about tripping over the petite maxi dress when you happen to not be wearing heels one day.

2. All maxi dresses are not created equal

Even though maxi dresses are all supposed to be ankle or floor length, they won’t all look the same on you.  There are certain designs that are especially flattering to petite women.

First of all, maxi dresses with side slit look the best on short girls!

short girl styling tips
Picture: courtesy of our favorite petite blogger Tamara, 5’2″ (Follow her Instagram@tamararose88)

By showing part of your legs, the side slit make you less likely to look swamped by the fabrics and can make you look taller.

petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $109
petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $109

Secondly, high/low hem dresses are great options for petite women, because you can enjoy the best of the two worlds- the short hem in the front to make you appear taller and the long dress from the back to create an unbroken vertical line that lengthens!

petite dresses to wear to summer wedding
Petite Dressing $109
maxi dresses for short women
Petite Dressing $129

3. Prints or solid?

For short girls, solid colors generally work on you.  If you want to look thinner and taller, go with darker colors like black or navy.

Of course, maxi dresses are also available in all kinds of prints and patterns, which often times are so romantic and we cannot say no.  Floral prints are especially the favorite of many, because they are simply irresistible.  If you are a lover of maxi dresses, you would feel something is missing if you don’t own a piece with florals in the summer!

So, how can you wear prints without looking swamped?

Size of the prints is the key.  Generally speaking, small prints are the best choice for petite women.  Be very careful with large prints on maxi dresses.  Given the big area maxi dresses cover on your body, large prints may look too busy and overwhelm your small frame.

maxi dress for short women
Petite Dressing $119
 V-Neck Maxi Dress petite
Halogen Petite $89

How big is too big?  One rule of thumb is the size of the print should not be bigger than your fist.

Another good option is to wear petite length maxi dresses with print top but solid bottom in darker shades, which will effectively make you look skinnier than you are.

4. Pay attention to the waistline

Waistline plays a big role in whether the maxi dress looks good on a short woman.  Why? It divides your body into different proportions, thus it can break you or make you.

Have you ever been curious about why some celebrities look so much taller on screen than in real life?  For instance, this is Nicole Richie. Can you tell she is only 5’1″?

short actresses
Photo: Shutterstock

That is the magic of proportion.  If you are one of the lucky petites blessed with long legs (like Nicole and most bloggers such as Wendy’s Lookbook), then congratulations because most likely anything will look good on you naturally! What if you are like the rest of us who wish our legs were longer?  No problem, let’s play with proportion!

Regardless of someone’s height, what is the ideal proportion?  It should be 1/3 and 2/3.  That is, your waistline and below should look at least 2/3 of your body.  If you are not naturally born with that, there are many ways you can achieve that.  Elevating the waistline is one of them.  That should be your guideline when you are out there looking for petite maxi dresses.

Petite maxi dresses with empire waist line or high waist line are most flattering to short girls. Empire waist design is higher than your natural waist line and make your legs look longer than they are. High waist line achieve the same result by drawing the focus upward and creating the illusion of longer legs.

petite length maxi dress
INC Petite $83
maxi dresses for short people
INC Petite $66
maxi length petite dress
INC Petite $89

What if the petite maxi dresses do not have empire waist or high waist line?  You can still style it with a belt higher than your natural waist to achieve similar visual result.

5. Choose the right fabric

The fabric is very important for petite maxi dresses. The point of wearing petite maxi dresses is they move as you move. Therefore, you definitely want to go with something soft and flowy. The best petite length maxi dresses’ fabrics should hug your body’s natural curve just right (not too loose or too tight) and create a feminine and flattering silhouette. Avoid stiff materials, which has its own shape and will not flow as well as the drapery fabrics.

6. Find a good tailor

Even though it is ideal to find the petite size maxi dresses that fit you like a glove, chances are you might need alterations sometimes.  You may be happy with everything else about the petite maxi dress, but it could be a couple of inches longer than what you want.  Or, if you are under 5 feet tall, you might find even the petite size maxi dresses are still too long for you.  In that case, sending them to the tailor and spend extra $15 on it will make the dress fit you just right.

That said, these are the things you generally should not try to change about the dress:

The bodice-  It is almost like redoing the dress, if you need to change the construction of the bodice.  We are not saying the tailors won’t accept the request, it is just too complicated and probably too expensive to do so.

The waistline- This is tricky to reconstruct.  Your best bet is to find the ideal petite maxi dress that has a waistline sitting where you want it to be.

petite maxi dresses
Photo: Shutterstock

7. Go with a fitted maxi dress

Like anything else in petite fashion, fit is always important.  Of course maxi dresses should be comfortable and flowy, but that doesn’t mean they should be baggy and shapeless.  Think about it- maxi dresses are so long they can easily overwhelm your petite frame.  If they are not well fitted, they could make you look like swamped in endless fabrics.

Therefore, petite women should definitely stay away from maxi dresses which are too loose or oversized. Even though they are petite length, those kind of design will not flatter you. They will make it look like the dress is wearing you instead of you wearing the dress.

maxi dresses for short women
INC Petite $55
Halter Maxi Dress Petite Sizes
Michael Michael Kors Petite $105

8. Complete the look with the right shoes

Wearing the right shoes with petite maxi dresses is important, because they can change the whole look of the outfit from casual to polished instantly.

If you are wondering what you should wear to a wedding, then wearing a maxi dress with heels is probably an appropriate outfit for a celebratory occasion like weddings.  Maxi dresses look feminine and polished when you wear them with slender high heeled sandals.

shoes for petites
Touchups Eileen $54
shoes for short women
Michael Michael Kors $99
shoes for petite girls
Naturalizer $99

If you want a casual and laid back look, then wedges or flats are perfect choices to go with maxi dresses for short girls.

wedges for short girls
Jcrew $119
wedges for short women
Aerosoles $100
sandals for beach weddings
Katy Perry $48.95

Pro tips: when you are trying on maxi dresses, wear the shoes you intend to wear with the dress.  The reason is how high your heels are (or no heel at all) can impact how long the maxi dress you need to be.  If you think you will be wearing the dress with heels for the most part, then add a couple of inches to your normal length.

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5 Best Petite Wedding Dresses for Short Brides https://blog.petitedressing.com/wedding-dresses-for-petite-brides/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/wedding-dresses-for-petite-brides/#comments Thu, 06 Jun 2019 03:47:43 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=3856 If you are searching for best petite wedding dresses for short brides, either for yourself or someone you are close to, this is the post for you, by a short girl (I’m 5’2″) who has gone through that journey. A very happy journey, but it could also be stressful. If you are a petite girl, […]

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If you are searching for best petite wedding dresses for short brides, either for yourself or someone you are close to, this is the post for you, by a short girl (I’m 5’2″) who has gone through that journey.

A very happy journey, but it could also be stressful.

If you are a petite girl, you may have been struggling to find clothing that fits you your entire life.  You have the choices of a few (not enough) petite fashion designers, and you could get by with certain styles of regular sizes (although you may have to take a lot of them to the tailors).  Of course you may even have picked out a few things here and there in the junior department.

You have made it through the dating scene and found the right guy, and finally, he popped the question.  Now, here comes your big day!

Have you been dreaming about this day since a little girl? Now, here comes the biggest question for your wedding day.

What are the best petite wedding dresses?

Given how difficult it has been for petite women to find anything that fits them, not surprisingly, it is not any easier to find the wedding dresses for petite brides.

I went through this, so I can speak from my own experiences. This is me and my maid of honor before the rehearsal.

wedding dresses for short brides

There are not that many designers who make wedding dresses with the need of petite brides in mind, and it seems inevitable you always have to take them to the tailors.

Still, it is useful to understand what to look for when you are searching for that one dress for your special day and know what works and what doesn’t, before you say yes to the dress.

What kind of petite wedding dresses works?What doesn’t?

Okay, ever since you were a little girl, you may have decided you want to look like a princess on this special day of yours.  What does a princess wear?  Of course a big puffy white wedding gown with a veil dragging on the floor!  Haven’t we been implanted this idea since we don’t even remember when?

Now here is the reality.  Those big puffy ball gowns are not very flattering for petite brides.  I knew that from first hand experiences.

When I was shopping for my dress, I had my eyes set on those Vera Wang for David’s Bridal collection.  For a fraction of the price, I could enjoy the hottest designer Vera Wang. It doesn’t get better than that, right?

So I went to David’s Bridal and tried on all the puffy gowns they had.  None of them looked flattering on me.  Some of them looked gorgeous on the shelf, but just not working for me.

As I was standing in front of the mirror, I was trying to figure out what exactly isn’t working here. How come they all made me look….shorter?

wedding dresses for short brides

Yep, this is the kind of gown I am talking about.  Why is it not flattering to a short bride? I will explain to you later in this post why the puffy gowns hardly ever works for a petite woman.

After numerous try-ons, I finally found my dream dress. Looking back at my journey of searching for that right petite wedding dress, here is the first big question I want to clarify for all the short girls looking for bridal gowns.

What should you look for in wedding dresses for short brides?

Is it the right length? So that you don’t have to take to tailors to hem?

That would have solved the problem if you were looking for a petite size cocktail dress, or even bridesmaids’ dress for short girls, because in most cases, petite women are bothered by the length of the garments.

When it comes to petite wedding dresses, length is not the only thing that matters.  Why?

The vast majority wedding designers don’t make dresses according to brides’ height, unlike pants, for which petite sizing would have shorter inseam length.  So, even if the bride is 5’7″, she still has to go through rounds of fittings and alterations in order for the dress to fit well.

For most other dresses, you can just look for the petite sizes.  However, for wedding dresses, it is not as simple as finding the petite department.  If you long looking for a long wedding gown, be prepared you most likely won’t find something that’s ready to wear off the shelf (short wedding dresses are a different story).

So, what should you look for?

wedding dress for short brides

When you are going to the bridal salons to try out the wedding dresses, look for the following

1. Flattering silhouette sets the foundation

Silhouette is the foundation.  Have you always heard of the word but not sure what it means?

When you look at the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramid, what do you notice first? It is the outer shape.  You may not remember the color or the construction material of architecture, but you won’t forget the shape of it, i.e, the silhouette.

That is how important silhouette is in fashion, especially in petite fashion.

In fashion, there are many different silhouette, i.e. the trumpet, ballgown, mermaid, A line, princess, etc.

wedding dresses for short brides

This is an overview for you, and we will look at which shapes are most flattering to short brides later in this post.

2. Proportion. Proportion. Proportion.

Not all the short girls want to look taller.  It is fair enough to say that we all want our proportions to look better.

Proportion is such a key concept in petite style and it should be the core of your wedding day style too.

Wedding dresses for short brides should be constructed to elongate the legs and create the illusion of height.

Read What is Petite to understand basics of petite body features and The 9 Best Petite Fashion Tricks of All Time on how to dress to flatter petite body in general.

3. It should create length

Does this mean wedding dresses will look good on a short bride as long as it’s long enough?  It is not that simple.

The ideal wedding dress for short girls need to create the illusion of height through a long and lean shape.

In other words, it should go vertical, instead of horizontal.

petite wedding dresses
Photo: Unsplash

Now, do you know why big puffy gowns don’t look good on short brides?  I bet you already figured it out why.

Puffy gowns extend you horizontally, which is the opposite of length.

Now you have the foundation of what you should look for in a wedding dress, you know the most important things to look for in your petite wedding dresses. Next, let’s take a look at the styles that have proven to work on shorter brides.

5 Best Petite Bridal Gown Styles

#1 Mermaid/Trumpet style

This is the most feminine style that flatters many different body shapes, and works perfectly for petite brides.  It hugs at the midsection and flares at the skirt like a fish tail.  For petite brides who want to ditch the ball gown wedding dresses but still are interested in a little bit of drama, the mermaid style will make you feel glamourous walking down the isle and give you the moment of “red carpet” feel.

wedding dress for petite brides
Shutterstock

Mermaid/Trumpet style emphasizes bust and hip, so they are the best wedding dresses for petite brides who want to show off their feminine curves.  The flare skirt has moderate volume and will not overwhelm the petite frame of short brides.  Look for elevated waistline (i.e. above your natural waistline) so that your legs will look longer.

petite Long Mermaid/ Trumpet Wedding Dress
David’s Bridal Petite $799
petite Long Mermaid/ Trumpet Wedding Dress
David’s Bridal Petite $1208
Long Mermaid/ Trumpet Wedding Dress petite
David’s Bridal Petite $1008

#2 Sheath (Column) style

This style is designed in such a way that the seam runs vertically from the shoulders down to the hips.  They are meant to be one of the best wedding dresses for petite brides who love simple and minimalist design.  Many brides  love sheath dresses made from chiffon material because the drape of the fabrics really accentuate your figure and appear remarkable as you walk down the isle.

wedding gown for petite brides
Shutterstock

Because most sheath wedding dresses are light weighted, they are perfect for outdoor weddings and especially destination weddings in a resort setting on the beach (they are so easy to pack and go and you will be ready for your big day!).  If you are a petite bride with a nice figure, let the sheath dress hug your body instantly and show off your natural curve.   Sheath wedding dresses also help butter up your figure and give you that long and lean silhouette needed by short brides.

petite Long Sheath Wedding Dress
David’s Bridal Petite $1108
Long Sheath Wedding Dress petite
David’s Bridal Petite $858
Long Sheath Wedding Dress - Galina Signature
David’s Bridal Petite $858

#3 Simple A line

A line dresses are ideal for petite brides because they hug at your hips to accentuate your waist line of your body.  Like the letter A, this style has the look of a tightened hip line that gradually broadens all through the ankle.  This style a classic wedding dress suitable for a traditional ceremony at the church or a casual ceremony, and really, it works for any other types of wedding settings too.

wedding dresses for short brides
Shutterstock

If you are a petite plus sized bride, A line dress will work especially well for you because it instantly crates a figured silhouette and emphasize your charming assets of the body.  Now, if you are a short bride, keep in mind you want a simple A line, nothing that overwhelms your petite body frame like the exaggerated ball gown style (which also creates an A shape).  The right A line dress will make you feel the most beautiful bride of the world without too many details or accessories.

Long A-Line Wedding Dress -
David’s Bridal Petite $499
Long A-Line Wedding Dress petite
David’s Bridal Petite $1109
High Low A-Line Wedding Dress - Galina
David’s Bridal Petite $299

#4 Short style

If you want to opt for something different than the traditional wedding gown, go for a short wedding dress.  There are many wedding designers who now offer short style for your special day.  Short wedding dresses never disappoint petite girls- they are one of the most obvious choices on our list for best wedding dresses for petite brides. The reason is quite simple- they show off your bare legs and make you look taller.  They are also simpler than other wedding dresses and will not look you are being worn by the dress.

wedding gown for short women
Shutterstock

With a short wedding dress, you can feel free to get the embellishments and laces you desire without having to worry you are over accessorizing.  Short wedding dresses are suitable for petite brides who want to try something different.  They are perfect for outdoor ceremony, as it is so much easier to walk down the isle without a train dragging on the grass!  And of course, they are your best bet for destination wedding as well, given how much smaller they are than full length wedding gowns which make it super easy to pack and care for during your trip.

Tadashi Shoji - Matilda Long-Sleeve Embroidered Dress
Tadashi Shoji $587
Tadashi Shoji - Clayton Long-Sleeve Lace Dress
Tadashi Shoji $398
Adelina Short Set
Tadashi Shoji $548

5. Empire waist design

What is empire waist?

According to Wiki, empire waist is a high waistline that cuts horizontally across the body, just below the bust. This waistline gives a long, slender look and excellent fabric drape in the skirt and allows for short, inconspicuous shaping darts.

Empire style wedding gown is defined by the raised waistline which sits just below the bust from which the rest of the dress flows down to the hem. Skimming over the hips and tummy area, this silhouette is  perfect for any short brides, and especially flattering for pear-shaped brides.

wedding gown for petite brides
Shutterstock

The high waist line followed by the skirt of the gown will create the perfect illusion of length and perfectly camouflage the heavy bottom of the pear shape.

The waist line design is essential no matter what kind of wedding dress you are getting for your big day.

In order to emphasize your waistline, you can also wear jeweled belt and ribbon on the fitted waistline makes you look slimmer and shaped.

Long Mermaid/ Trumpet Wedding dress petite
White by Vera Wang Petite $1048
Long Mermaid/ Trumpet Wedding Dress petite size
David’s Bridal Petite $599
Short Sheath Wedding Dress - Galina
David’s Bridal Petite $299

Finally, let’s take a look at

Where can you find petite size wedding gowns?

I had mentioned earlier it is hard to find petite wedding dresses, but here is the list I have gathered where you have a better shot.

David’s Bridal

This is one of the few places which has specified “petite size wedding dresses”. On their home page, you’ll find explanation of how petite sizes are made differently.

The neckline is adjusted, and the bodice is 1″ shorter. The waistline is repositioned. The train and embellishments are adjusted and skirt is 3″ shorter.

Tadashi Shoji

Tadashi Shoji is a brilliant designer that specializes in formal dresses and have dressed numerous Oscar winning actresses. The great news is they do have petite sizes!

Adrianna Pappel

This is another designer that specializes in wedding and other special occasion dresses and they do have a petite department as well.

Nordstrom

They have the most stunning wedding dresses online! Plus, who doesn’t love the world class service of Nordstrom?

The post 5 Best Petite Wedding Dresses for Short Brides appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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What to Wear if you have Short and Thick Legs https://blog.petitedressing.com/what-wear-short-thick-legs/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/what-wear-short-thick-legs/#respond Tue, 04 Jun 2019 18:00:25 +0000 https://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=7825 Do you have thick, short legs? You’re not alone! I’m a fellow petite with thick legs so I feel your frustration. As much as we want to fully embrace the bodies we were given, understanding how to dress it in a flattering way can be a process – regardless of your height and shape. When […]

The post What to Wear if you have Short and Thick Legs appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Do you have thick, short legs? You’re not alone! I’m a fellow petite with thick legs so I feel your frustration. As much as we want to fully embrace the bodies we were given, understanding how to dress it in a flattering way can be a process – regardless of your height and shape.

When you’re petite, it’s likely your legs are shorter than your tall girl friends. We have another post on “6 Things to Avoid for Petite Women with Short Legs“, which talks about how to make your legs look longer. We also have a post on “How to Look Taller“, if that is what you are interested in knowing,

Now, as a petite girl, if your legs happen to be also thick, it adds another dynamic to the style mix. With spring and summer in full effect, I wanted to share a few of the style tricks to dressing short and thick legs I’ve learned over the years to help you step into the new season with confidence (and style). These tips are easy to follow, and let’s dive right in.

Focus on the Top Half to Distract from Short and Thick Legs

Ok so you wish your legs were longer and more slender. Dressing to shift the focus away from the shape of your legs is the best way to create more balance in your entire shape. When we DON’T do so, it often enhances what we are born with and can make our legs to appear even thicker and shorter than they are – I know, I know a petite woman’s worst nightmare! Since we know we need to create some balance in your shape, you want to bring more of the focus in the way you’re dressing to the top half of your body. There are a number of ways of doing this.

To give you an example, this is Rachael Bilson (5’2″). She is a typical petite pear shape with thicker thigh area. By wearing black straight leg pants, she is de-emphasizing her legs. Meanwhile, the bright color top with bow details at the neck draws our attention to her top. This is a perfect example of balancing out a petite women’s thick legs.

petite dress pants
Rachel Bilson (Shutterstock)

As I mentioned, there are countless ways of bringing the attention to the top half. A great way to bring more focus to the top half of your body is to play with colors. What generally works is to wear a neutral color on the bottom with a pop of color on the top half. For your bottom, you can opt for dark wash denim or straight leg pants, and for the top, a well fitted shirt or jacket that is not too tight.

fitted top for petites
Petite Dressing $79
 petite Cotton Eyelet Peplum Top
1901 Petite $89
jackets for petite girls
Petite Dressing Silk Jacket $91

Avoid Clingy Materials on the Bottom

Now you know you want to create more focus on the top half of your body, this also means that you will want to avoid clingy materials on the bottom half. Wearing clingy, very tight fitting garments on your bottom half (skirts, pants, etc) is going to do the opposite of creating balance and will bring ALL of the attention to your bottom half.

So instead of those skin tight bottoms, opt for skirts, pants or jeans that give you a bit more space to move. Think of pants like a straight leg vs. a skinny leg, for example.

One common question people always ask is “if my legs are already thick, can I wear wide leg pants?” The answer is you can, but you should be selective about the color, pattern and length of the wide leg pants. The benefit of wide leg is that they make your thick legs less noticeable. Of course, because you ARE petite you don’t want to take this to the extreme and wear garments on the bottom that are TOO flowy, as they can shorten you drastically.

It’s all about finding a balance, not too form fitting but not too big. This will give the illusion of a longer, leaner looking leg. If you are interested in knowing more, we have another post on “Palazzo Pants for Short Women“.

petite wide leg pants
Petite Dressing $99
petite Wide Leg Ankle Pants
Eileen Fisher Petite $158
 Carrick Belted Wide Leg Trousers petite
Boden Petite $130

Embrace High Heels

Most petite women are loyal to high heels. We love a little additional height! When you have short, thick legs high heels are even more of a benefit to you. Unfortunately, many flat shoes tend to bring you down (literally and figuratively) and can cause your thick legs to look thicker. While there are exceptions to every rule, if you want to create leaner looking legs pop a heel on!

Don’t worry though, if you can’t rock a 6” high heel all day long that’s not necessary. Even a medium height heel will be enough to give you an added length boost to flatter your thick legs.

Skip Ankle Straps

Since we’re on the topic of shoes there is a high heel (and flat) shoe type that thick leg ladies need to avoid at all costs. Ankle straps. As much as I love giving you creative leeway to rock what you love to wear, ankle straps aren’t a good choice for a woman with short and thick legs. Wondering WHY this is such a style don’t for thick legs? Wearing an ankle strap cuts off the leg line right at the ankle, which isn’t great when you have short and thick legs. In fact, when you have thick legs the ankle strap emphasizes this fact by drawing attention to our thick legs and make them appear larger.

To be quite honest, ankle straps aren’t great for ANY petite woman because they cause us to look shorter. Do yourself a favor and just skip the ankle strap heels and shoes altogether. There are so many other better options for my fellow thick leg petites!

That said, I do understand some of us do need to wear ankle straps at times. I know that because I have small feet and a lot of times I just cannot wear pumps without them sliding off my feet when I walk. If you are like me, you may not have much choice other than wearing ankle strapped heels. The solution for that is to opt for nude colors which look close to your skin tone and thus the straps will be much less obvious. Here is an example to the opposite.

petite styling tips
Picture: Pixabay

The girl in the photo is beautiful with short and athletic legs. If I were her, I would switch the shoes to nude color heels with skinny ankle stripe. Black shoes make the ankle strips most noticeable, which means your legs will look obviously cut off.

A-Line is Your Friend

We went into some of the pant styles you should be selecting to flatter thick legs, but you may be wondering about skirts and dresses. I don’t know about you, but this time of year I LIVE in skirts and dresses for their ease and because they’re fun to wear during the warm weather months. Similar to what I mentioned before, thick leg petites are going to want to avoid skirts and dresses that are TOO clingy in their fit.

stylish petite clothing
Carly (5’3″, IG@carlygala) in off the shoulder dress from Petite Dressing
floral petite dress (Petite Dressing)
Aileen floral petite dress $159

A-line silhouettes for both skirts and dresses are going to be your BFF (not to be dramatic or anything). The reason a-line is so great for short and thick legs is because it’s the perfect balance between slim fit and too loose. Pus, a-line makes your legs appear slimmer because of the silhouette shape. Keep in mind that because you are petite you won’t want an a-line silhouette that’s TOO exaggerated in its shape as too much volume can have a reverse flattering effect. Additionally, anytime you find an a-line skirt or dress make sure the length is just above your knee. This length is best for a petite woman so it doesn’t overwhelm your body and ensure that you’re getting all the benefit of the silhouette to flatter your thick legs.

petite Aline dress
Boden Petite $170
 Embroidered Halter Neck Mesh Midi Dress petite
Vince Camuto Petite $188
 petite Aline
Vince Camuto Petite $128

Pointed Toe Shoes are a Must

Now let’s circle back to shoes. You may have gathered at this point that shoes play a huge role in dressing to flatter short and thick legs. There’s one more shoe factor to consider when you have thick legs and that is to choose pointed toe shoes more often than not. It may sound like a very small shoe detail but when you have thick legs it can make a huge difference in figure flattery. The reason pointed toe shoes are a great option for thick legs is because they elongate your legs and create a slimming effect. Pretty amazing, right?

Pointed toe pumps
Sam Edelman $119.95
pointed toe pumps black
Nine West $48.3
pointed toe pumps
Sam Edelman $119

While I said high heels are a must have for thick legs I understand you may not want or be able to wear high heels every single day. In the case that you need/want to wear flats the best option is going to be a flat shoe with a pointed toe. It’s going to be much more flattering for you than a rounded toe flat. So moving forward start seeking out pointed to flat shoes. The good news is that there are more pointed toe flat shoe options now than ever before so you will have plenty of choices to keep you stylish and to have fun wearing. Of course pointed to high heels are the ultimate style win for thick legs so don’t forget about the heels either!

The post What to Wear if you have Short and Thick Legs appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Pear Shaped Body: How to Dress (especially if you are Petite) https://blog.petitedressing.com/pear-shape/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/pear-shape/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2019 11:00:19 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=3604 Do you have pear shape?  If you are wondering what pear body shape should wear, you have come to the right place! Today we’ll talk about the best pear shape body outfits, a lot of which are inspired by celebrities with pear shaped body. If you are not exactly sure what is a petite pear […]

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Do you have pear shape?  If you are wondering what pear body shape should wear, you have come to the right place! Today we’ll talk about the best pear shape body outfits, a lot of which are inspired by celebrities with pear shaped body. If you are not exactly sure what is a petite pear shape, take a look at these petite celebrities with pear shape.

petite dress pants
Rachel Bilson (Shutterstock)

Hollywood actress Rachel Bilson (5’2″) and famous singer Shakira (5’2″) are the most typical pear shaped body celebrities.  Although many celeb magazines think Kim Kardashian (5’3″) has hourglass figure,  she actually has certain characteristics of the pear shape such as prominent hips and thighs.  Also, when Kim gains weight, it is most noticeable on her hips and thighs. 

petite cocktail dresses
Kim Kardashian, 5’3″ (Getty Images)

Another celebrity with pear shape is Kristin Davis (Charlotte in Sex and the City).  Remember the episode when the girls were in the steam room together?  Charlotte told Carrie “I hate my thighs!” Carrie responded “The problem is not with your thighs. It is with your head, sweetie!” Even though Kristin Davis is not petite, she is stating the truth that pear shaped women are quite commonly self conscious of their thighs.

At Petite Dressing, we believe each petite body type have their own unique treats and everyone has the potential to be attractive, as long as we use the right dressing techniques to enhance our assets.  First things first, let’s take a look at what is a pear shape.   If you have a pear shape, your body generally have the following characteristics:

  1. Your hips are larger than your bust, and your hips are wider than your shoulders. In many cases, your hips are the widest point of your body
  2. You have a nicely defined waist
  3. You have an elegant neck and proportionately slim arms and shoulders
  4. You first gain weight in your bottom and legs flowed by your tummy and upper body
  5. You have round, sloping shoulders.
  6. Your buttocks and thighs are full and round.
petite pear shape

Above are the typical features of petite body shape.  However, because human bodies have some many different variations, most likely not one body would fit into all features of one body type.  If you feel like you have some but not all of the traits above, it is possible you are a combination of pear shape and other body types.  Click on Petite Body Type to read more and take the quiz and find out what body type is closest to you.

Now that we talked  about how to define the pear shape,  let’s talk about how to dress the pear shape and look fabulous.  It may have become clear to you that the best asset is the well defined waistline, and you may even have killer abs.  When looking for the best pear shaped body clothes, your goal should be to create an hourglass like silhouette through:

  • Balancing your narrow/sloping shoulders
  • Drawing attention to your narrow waistline
  • Showing off your firm abs (if you have them)

Best Tops for Pear Shaped Body

1. Structured Top

So, how can we balance out the sloping shoulders of pear shape?  A fitted and structured top is a good choice.  Now, you may have heard the word “structured clothing” many times, but not really understand what it refers to.  It is just a fancy way of saying garments that are deliberately shaped and carefully tailored.

Fitted and structured tops look especially well on pear shape, because they create definition around your narrow shoulders and draw attention to your small waistline.  A good example is jackets with full or structured shoulders and a nipped-in waist in hip-length. For pear shaped women, light shoulder pads work the best to balance out your narrow top.

Generally speaking, a fitted and structured top is much more flattering to petite women than a loose and slouchy top, because the latter swamps the small frame of a short person.

2. Tops with horizontal neckline

Pear body shape should use neckline to visually expand your shoulders and create the illusion of a wider top. The most flattering neckline designs for pear shape are boat neck and off-the- shoulder. 

how to dress pear shape petite
Picture: Devinne, 5’1″ in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Chicagopetiteblog.com)

Both boat neck and off-the-shoulder create the horizontal line in shoulders, which serves to balance out your wide hips.

top for pear shape
Style & Co Petite $23
 Off-The-Shoulder Striped Top
Michael Michael Kors Petite $66
Petite Embrodiered Off-The-Shoulder Top

3. Wrap Top

The slender waist is the valuable asset of women with pear shaped body. You should absolutely emphasize and make that the focal point of your outfit.  Wrap tops are top choices. 

how to dress pear shape petite
Picture: Faazreen, 5’2″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Instagram@simplyfaaz)

Alternative, add a belt to any basic tops,  tube tops, knit tops, sleeveless tops, etc. Blouses with built-in waist bands also serve the same purpose of highlighting your slender waist.

Best Skirts for Petite Pear Shape

A-line skirts that gently skim your body help to de-emphasize your bottom, and they are generally flattering to petite women of pear shape.

how to style pear shaped women
Picture: Fazzren, 5’1″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Instagram@simplyfaaz)

Should pear shape women wear tightly fitted pencil skirts?  That is totally up to you, because it all depends on how you look at your body and what you view as the assets of your body shape.  Kim Kardashian has very prominent hips and thighs, and she never shies away from flouncing those curves.  In fact, a cropped top with a high waisted skirt is one of Kim’s most famous signature looks.  If you decide to show off the curves of your bottom, then you have many choices when it comes to curve hugging skirts.  Just keep in mind that because of your height, pencil skirts of shorter length will create the illusion of longer legs.

On the other hand, some pear shape women are self conscious about their prominent thigh area (remember we mentioned earlier Charlotte in Sex and City was telling Carrie how she felt about her thighs?).  That is totally fine and understandable.  We all have areas of our bodies that we would like people to notice less about.  If that is you, look for lightly gathered skirts that skim your bottom without adding volume.  Simple, dark colored skirts with no (or minimal) pockets with a mid-rise or high rise waist will look great on you. For casual looks, choose relaxed fits that fall straight down from the widest part of your hip.

Aline skirts
JM Collection petite $25
skirts for pear shape
Alex Evenings Petite $79
aline skirt for pear shaped women
Calvin Klein Petite $61

Best Dresses for Pear Shaped Body

1. Empire waist line dresses

Best dresses for pear shaped body?  They should draw all the attention to your slender waist!  The empire waist line dress is the most ideal for pear shape petite women. The empire waist is a dress where the waist line is high, which is normally placed just below the bust line.

Betsy & Adam Petite $121
petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $109

2. Fit and Flare Dresses

A skater dress (also known as fit and flare dress) with higher waistline is heaven sent for our pear shaped petite girls. The A shape of the dress will perfectly camourflage the heavy bottom of a pear shaped body. Skater dresses do not hug the curve of your bottom, thus they will draw people’s attention away from your butt and thighs.

pear shaped body outfit
Petite Dressing $103
fit and flare dress for short women
Petite Dressing $89

But again, if you decide to emphasize the curve of your bottom half, then you have many other choices of body conscious dresses that can draw attention to instead of away from the curves of your thighs and butt areas.  Your fashion icon?  Kim Kardashian (regardless if you like her as a reality star or not) shows your many examples of how to do so.  Just copy what you like about her looks, and ditch what you don’t.

3. Off the Shoulder Dresses

Notice how flattering this off the shoulder dress look on pear shaped Tamara?

pear shaped body
Picture: courtesy of our favorite blogger Tamara, 5’2″, pear shape (instagram@tamararose88)

The rationale is the same as the off-the-shoulder tops. Because the neckline creates a horizontal line, it balances out the narrow shoulder of pear shaped women. Better yet, off-the-shoulder also draws attention to your upper body, distracting from your wider hips.

Calvin Klein Petite $134
 Off-The-Shoulder Dress Petite Sizes
Michael Michael Kors Petite $125
Calvin Klein Petite $139

Pear shape or not, the ideal dress length for petite women is normally a couple of inches above your knees.  That is the length to effectively make your legs look longer while still looking tasteful.  Of course you can always go shorter, if you are into a fun and flirty look.  Going longer is also ok as long as it is still at the knee.  A dress over the knee and reaching the mid calf area is called “midi dress”, which is a challenging length for petite women to handle.

That is not to say you should stay away from midi dresses altogether.  There is always a way to style it smartly and fit petite women nicely, if midi dresses are what really interest you.  The easiest way to prevent a midi dress from making your legs look cutting off is to go with a side or front slit.  Because you are showing some skin through the slit, it makes your legs look longer and compromise the effect of the midi length.  Wrap dresses at midi length is a perfect choice for petite women.  Another midi dress design that could flatter women of petite height is lace midi dress. The see through effect will make sure your legs won’t look cut off.

 Petite V-Neck Lace Midi Dress
Taylor Petite $85
 Petite lace cami midi prom dress
$119
Petite double layer pleated midi dress
$60

Best Jeans and Pants for Petite Pear Shape

1. High waisted jeans

High waisted bottoms are flattering for petite women in general, because they make your legs look longer by elevating the waistline above your natural waist.  They are especially flattering for pear shape for a number of reasons.  Some pear shaped petite women have longer waist.  For instance, Rachel Bilson (5’2″) is one example of longer torso and shorter legs.  If you have similar body shape, then high waisted jeans or pants are your best friend. 

Additionally, if it is challenging for you to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t gape in the waist, a high waist jeans can solve the problem because the fabric is designed to cover more than just your backside.

pear body type styling tips
Picture: Devinne, 5’1″, in collaboration with Petite Dressing (Chicagopetiteblog.com),

2. Flare jeans

The best pear shaped body jeans don’t necessarily have to have lots of restrictions, and it is all about preferences.  If you happen to be one of the pear shaped petite women who are self conscious about the full thighs, then you should try flared jeans. 

petite flare jeans
Topshop Petite $75
 High Waist Flared Jeans for petite women
Topshop Petite $75

Flare aka bell jeans become wider from the knee’s down. When looking at the jeans from the front or back they have a ‘bell’  look to them.  Flared jeans creates extra volume below the knee, thus they will help balance you out.

3. Bootcut jeans

Boot cut Jeans will normally taper to the knee and then slightly flare out to accommodate a boot. This style of jeans became popular in the 1990’s, and have stayed a classic cut for denim since.

Bootcut Jeans In Petite,
NYDJ Petite $119
Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ Petite $109
Barbara Bootcut Jeans In Petite
NYDJ $109

Normally women’s boot cut jeans are no larger than 1 to 2 inches difference in circumferance from the knee to the leg opening although some manufacturers refer to a 3 to 4 inch difference as a boot cut.  Dark washed, boot-cut or trouser-cut jeans that fall straight down from the widest part of your hip are most flattering to the pear shaped body.

4. Dark wash jegging

If you want extra slimming effect, go for dark wash jegging.  Kim Kardashian (5’3″, curvy pear shape with hourglass traits), Rachel Bilson (5’2″, skinny petite pear) and Megan Fox (5’3″, skinny petite pear) all set good examples of how flattering a pair of dark jegging could look, especially paired with boots of various heights.

The post Pear Shaped Body: How to Dress (especially if you are Petite) appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Top 9 Wardrobe Staples for Stylish Petite Women 2019 https://blog.petitedressing.com/stylish-petite/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/stylish-petite/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:30:16 +0000 https://petitedressing.com/?p=2968 Every stylish petite girl needs a capsule wardrobe that evolves around several key pieces. Trends come and go, classics are here to stay. We have looked at what is trending this season as well as what are the ever-green pieces that work on short women in general. We have put together this guide for 2019 […]

The post Top 9 Wardrobe Staples for Stylish Petite Women 2019 appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Every stylish petite girl needs a capsule wardrobe that evolves around several key pieces. Trends come and go, classics are here to stay. We have looked at what is trending this season as well as what are the ever-green pieces that work on short women in general. We have put together this guide for 2019 to help you build your wardrobe that expresses your own style.

1. Stylish Petite Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit has been so trendy in recent years that you see it everywhere. It seems like overnight jumpsuit had become the go to outfit for Hollywood A listers, and they are worn in cocktail parties, at charity events and even on the red carpet. 
We have also seen petite celebrities such as Mira Duma (5′), Kim Kardashian (5’3”) and Scarlett Johansson (5’3”) wearing them.

short actresses
Photo: Scarlett Johansson (5’4″), Getty Images

The one piece design of jumpsuits forms an unbroken vertical line that lengthens petite women, especially if your legs are short.  If worn correctly, jumpsuit can really elongate the petite body frame and be one of the most flattering pieces in your wardrobe.

wide leg jumpsuits for petites
Petite Dressing $115
jumpsuits for petite women
Petite Dressing $119
petite jumpsuit wide leg
Petite Dressing $109

Jumpsuits are automatically dressy and very easy to style. If you are looking to put together a petite wedding guest outfit, then be sure to consider add a jumpsuit to your closet.

The most important thing to consider when choosing your jumpsuit is the rise, which can make or break the look. Regular size clothing is made for women of 5’5″, which is why it hardly fits shorter women. To ensure proper fit, the best is to get petite sized jumpsuit from petite designers. Read our “8 Must Know Tips to choose Jumpsuit for Petite Women“.

2. Cropped Jacket

As a petite girl, you probably would like to make your legs look longer. A cropped jacket can elongate your bottom half and instantly make you look taller.   A cropped jacket can also make your tummy look flatter, especially if you pair it with a black pants or skirts.

Kasper Petite Piped Jacket
Kasper Petite $66.49

crop jacket for petites
Kasper Petite $55.29

Here is what you may not know about. Not all cropped jackets are created equal. Some are more flattering for petite women than others.   An important tip when picking out the cropped jacket is to make sure the length of the sleeves and the hem of the jacket should not end exactly at the same point. Otherwise the cropped jacket could create the width of one horizontal line across the middle of your torso and make you look cut off, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve.

What that means is cropped jackets will look best on a petite woman if the sleeves are only slightly longer or shorter than the hem of the jacket, which will break up the horizontal line.

fashionable petite women
petite crop jacket
Charter Club Petite $41

3. High-waisted Jeans

High waisted style in general is flattering to women with short legs.  Why?  It makes your waistline look higher than it actually is, thus creates the illusion of longer legs. 

A general advice for petite women is to go for dark color high waisted pants, as they will make your bottom half look slimmer.  In terms of fabrics, make sure you pick those with strechy materials, as they will make your high wasted pants very comfortable without feeling restricted, especially if you have an office job and need to sit in chairs for many hours a day.

best pants for petites
Petite Dressing $89
petite jeans 25inch ankle snap
Petite Dressing $119

Now, we have to caution you that high waisted jeans is not for every one. If you happen to be a petite girl with short torso/long legs, then you may want to stay away from this style. In that case, your better option is mid rise jeans. They are still comfortable, but they won’t make your torso look even shorter like the high rise. Read our full guide on “5 Must Have Jeans for Petites“.

Low rise jeans is, or trying to be, making a big come back in 2019. They are seen on the run way shows of multiple main stream designers including Levis. No matter how cool they might look on models, we do not see a good reason for short girls to follow the trend. They will only make your legs look even shorter.

Finding the best jeans is never easy for petite women. Inseam is probably the Number 1 headache. Read our guide to understand meaning of inseam and what are the best inseam for petite women.

One thing you may not know about is that even petite sizes are made according to measurements of petite models of 5’4″ tall. That means if you happen to be under 5 feet, then you probably will find even petite jeans might be too long for you. Petite Dressing prides ourselves in great petite styles for petite women of all height, whether you are 5’4″ or 4’11”. You can find jeans from 24″ to 27″ inseam in our petite jeans collection. Additionally, we have prepared a guide on “Where to Shop Jeans with Extra Short Inseams” .

4. Well-fitted Trench Coat

This is a wardrobe classic staple that every petite girl should have.  The clean cut silhouette creates the lean shape and vertical line that flatters every short girl. 

For spring and fall, opt for a coat made from premium quality fabrics such as silk or cotton.  Even if it might cost more than those made of polyester, it is the investment worthy piece that will stay in your closet for years to come.  For the winter, get one made of wool or wool blend, which will look premium quality and speak for your fine taste. 

We have another post focused on “7 Steps to Find the Perfect Trench Coat for Petites“. The key to make sure the trench coat is flattering for petite women is to tie the belt slightly above your natural waist. Not only will your proportion look better, but also it creates the illusion of waistline for girls who lacks it such as the petite apple shape or petite rectangle shape. 

Calvin Klein Petite $129
petite trench coat
London Fog Petite $198
petite trench coat
London Fog Petite $198

Knee length is the safest for petite women, but of course you can go longer or shorter. Learn more at “11 Must Know Tips to Find Best Coats for Short Women”.

5. Off-the-shoulder Dress

Dresses are probably the single most flattering piece a stylish petite woman can wear.  Because of its continuous patterns of fabrics, dresses have the ultimate lengthening effect and creates the illusion of height.  We suggest petite women to wear dresses as much as they can, regardless of the season.

It might seem easier for you to find dresses that fit you than to find pants, right? Even dresses from regular department are likely to look ok on short girls, since you don’t have to worry about inseam like jeans. But, did you know that neckline is an important factor to find the best petite dresses?

Different petite body types look good in different necklines. There are also certain necklines that are universally flattering to petite women. Off-the-shoulder dresses are one of them.

stylish petite clothing
Carly (5’3″, IG@carlygala) in off the shoulder dress from Petite Dressing
stylish petite dresses
Nasreen (5’2″, heynasreen.com) in lace off the shoulder dress

You may have noticed off the shoulder has been at the center stage of fashion trends in the last few years.  You see them on all the famous celebrities petite or not (Olivia Palermo, Kendall Jenner and Katy Parry), whereas models walk them down the runway in all seasons. 

Every season, we see fashion magazines ask the same question over and over again “Is off the shoulder trend over”?  The answer is obviously not, and they probably will stay in our wardrobe as a timeless classic.  It may be true that off the shoulder is cooling off a little bit, but right away you see its cousin “cold shoulder” start to be featured everywhere.  Off the shoulder design is incredibly flattering for petite girls, and the reason is it shows the right amount of skin, which is an important fashion rule of thumb for petite girls.

6. Wrap Dress

Diane Von Fursternberg invented the legendary wrap dress in 1974, the design that made her a fashion icon at the age of 28.  Today, it is hard for us to imagine the times before wrap dress was invented.  Over 40 years have passed, we can still barely find another dress that is so versatile, convertible, workplace appropriate and great for day-to-night. 

Like Victoria Beckham (5’3) mentioned in her latest fashion book “That Extra Half an Inch”, wrap dress is one of the things that once you have, it is hard to understand how you have lived all those years without.

best dresses for short women
Photo: Carly (5’3″, IG@carlygala) wearing Belinda dress from Petite Dressing
best dresses for short women
The Belinda Petite Wrap Dress $139 (Petite Dressing)

Wrap dresses are perfect for fashionable petite girls who would like to highlight their curves. They are one of our favorites among all the casual dresses for short girls. If you happen to be a lucky petite hourglass figure, then wrap dresses are just made for your. They effortlessly accentuate your slender waist and full bust.

If you happen to have a boyish figure like the petite rectangle shape, then wrap dresses can balance out your body type by adding feminine curves.

 Wrap Dress, Main, color, IVORY- RED MULTI STRIPE
Halogen Petite $89
 Floral Print Faux Wrap Dress petite
Eliza J Petite $148
stylish petite dresses
Eliza J Petite $128

7. Maxi Dress

Are you surprised that maxi dresses are short girls’ best friend?  I was too, but now I’m convinced they are one of the most flattering items that every petite woman should own.

Numerous fashion editors out there are still giving advice to petite women that they should wear short dresses.  While we agree short dresses always work for us, we know those fashion editors are either not petite themselves or if they are petite, they haven’t tried maxi on.  Because the moment you put on a maxi dress, you will notice you look taller instantly!

maxi dresses for short girls
Carly, (5’3″, follower her IG@carlygala)

If you are under 5’4, the regular size maxi dress will probably be dragging on the floor for you.   When maxi dress first became a summer trend, they were only available in regular sizes, so the only way a short girl could pull it off was to first send it the tailors and cut off the extra inches.  Now all the major petite clothing stores including Petite Dressing carry petite length maxi dresses and you no longer have to worry about alteration.

Other than length, other important things for you to consider include the fabrics, prints and the shoes to wear with them.

petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $119
petite wedding guest dresses
Petite Dressing $119

Breathable fabrics made of natural fibers are the best. The criteria is your dress should flow as you walk. Whether you like prints or solids are your personal preference. If you go with prints, keep in mind that they should be scale with your size. Generally speaking, smaller prints with shorter girls’ petite frame.

Read our guide on “Best Places to Shop Maxi Dresses for Petite Women“.

maxi dress for short women
Petite Dressing $119

maxi dresses for short women
Petite Dressing $129
petite length maxi dresses
Petite Dressing $99

Maxi is one of our top choices for best sundresses for petite women. One of the main reasons is they are so versatile! Whether you are looking for a beach wedding outfit or cruise wear , they will never disappoint. Because they are automatically dressy, whenever you are planning outfit for a tropical resort, feel free to throw a couple in your travel duffel and you are ready to go.

8. Nude Shoes

It goes without saying the most flattering shoes for stylish petite women is high heels.  They instantly give you the lift of several extra inches, and, most of all, give you that confidence boost!  

The most famous high heel addict in movies or TV shows is probably Carrie Bradshow of Sex and the City, who happened to be played by petite movie star Sarah Jessica Parker.  All the die hard fans of Sex and the City will never forget the scene when Carrie wanted to meet Mr. Big’s new lover, the long legged Natasha, and the first thing Carrie wanted to run to the shop to get is a pair of 6 inch heels so that she can stand the same height as 5’8 feet tall Natasha!  Obviously you do not need a reason like that to love heels.  Sarah Jessica Parker in real life is also known for great taste of heels and created her own shoe line recently.

Shutterstock

For petite fashionista, if you could only pick one pair of shoe, then it would have to be nude heels.  Actually, skin toned is the more accurate term, since we all have different skin colors.  As a rule of thumb, you want your shoes to either be the same color as your pants, or be neutral color such as nude.

If you are wearing a dress or skirt, nude shoes blends with your skin color and make your legs look significantly longer.  Nude shoes are also extremely versatile, and they mix well with almost every color and you can wear them to almost any occasion.  If you are packing up for a trip and do not have a ton of space to bring too many shoes, the skin-toned heels is always your best bet.

shoes for petite women
Alice +Olivia $295
heels for petite women
Christian Louboutin $695
 Pruce Ankle Strap Sandal for petites
Nine West $78

The important tip in picking the right skin toned shoe is to avoid ankle straps, as they make your legs look cut off.  That means the most flattering style is pumps, compared with Mary Jane or other heels with straps.

Another tip not a lot of people have talked about is go with the low vamp pumps, i,e, those showing a little bit of toe cleavage.  The reason is simple.  The lower the vamp is on the shoes, the less your feet are covered, therefore, the longer your legs look. Famous designer such as Christian Louboutin makes low vamp heels to the perfection. If you are in the mood to splurge, they are worth every penny, because they extend every inch of your leg length. If you are a bit hesitant about the price tag, don’t worry, you can find similar styles at Sam Edelman and Nine West as well.

Read more on “The Best and Worst Shoes for Small Feet“.

heels for petite women
Christian Louboutin $695
shoes for petite women
Sam Edelman $119.95

The only caveat, however, is if you are wearing black pants in the winter, then nude shoes may not be the best choice.  The reason is to always avoid shoe color that is too much lighter than your pants.

The post Top 9 Wardrobe Staples for Stylish Petite Women 2019 appeared first on Petite Dressing.

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Top 10 Petite Swimsuits for Short Women https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-swimsuits/ https://blog.petitedressing.com/petite-swimsuits/#comments Sun, 02 Jun 2019 17:45:47 +0000 http://blog.petitedressing.com/?p=4190 If you are searching for petite swimsuits, I presume you are petite .  Before we talk about anything else, I also hope you already know what is petite.  In fashion and clothing, petite is referring the height (i.e. under 5’4″ and for some brands under 5’3″) and not the weight.   What that means is petite […]

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If you are searching for petite swimsuits, I presume you are petite .  Before we talk about anything else, I also hope you already know what is petite.  In fashion and clothing, petite is referring the height (i.e. under 5’4″ and for some brands under 5’3″) and not the weight.   What that means is petite women could come in any sizes from XXS to XL and plus sizes.

Being petite (shorter) always makes shopping for clothing harder.  I am 5’2″ and I understand totally how hard it is for you to find pretty much anything that fits properly. We always suggest short girls to get everything in petite department, whether it’s special occasion dresses,petite size cocktail dresses, petite length evening gowns, or even casual dresses for petites.

Now, petite swimsuits are different from any other petite size clothing that we generally talk about. Here is why.

For starters, I have not found any mainstream department stores or designers who label their swim suits as regular vs petite sizes.  If you have found anything officially labeled as “petite swimsuits”, I am very happy to share with our fellow petite friends.

The reason for that is the common measurements that set petite sizing apart from regular sizing may not be applicable here.  A typical pair of petite size pants or jeans would have shorter inseam to fit shorter legs of petite women.  A typical petite blazer would have shorter sleeves because petite women normally have shorter arms.   A typical petite coat would have narrower shoulders to suit shorter women too.

None of that applies to petite swimsuits, because they don’t have shoulder pads, inseam or sleeves.

Now, does that mean any piece of swimwear will look the same on a petite woman as on our taller friends?

petite swimsuits
Photo: unsplash.com

You already know the answer is no.  Being petite means we have our unique body features and that is why we need to be more selective about what we wear.  That means not only jackets and jeans, but also swimsuits.

There are certain styles of petite swimsuits more flattering than others.   Even though we don’t have to deal with inseam and sleeve length, there is plenty of other things we need to take into consideration in order to find the swimsuits that look good on us.

First of all,  most petite women have shorter torso, so your focus should be to elongate your torso.

Meanwhile, petite women should always draw attention to the face, so that people can forget about your height.  Your petite swimwear choice should be able to achieve that.

Additionally, we all know that petite women should find the right petite swimsuit that elongate the legs.  For women under 5’4”, wearing swimsuits means that we cannot add 5 inches to our height from stiletto any more, or at least most of us don’t walk on the beach in high heels.  (Read more about How to Look Taller. )Therefore,  most of us also need the right petite swimsuits to elongate our legs and make us look taller, except those extremely lucky petite women blessed with exceptional long legs relative to their height.

bathing suits for petites
Photo: Unsplash.com

Last but not the least, regardless of someone’s height, unless you are a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, we all got some parts of our body that we want to emphasize, and other parts we may want to camouflage (somewhat).  Of course working out and diet helps significantly in the swimsuit season, however, losing weight or even toning our body doesn’t solve all the issues.  We are all born with our unique body shape and body features (skinny, curvy, big bottom, flat chest, and so on), thus we need certain style of the swimsuit to flatter our body.

That is what has prompted me to put together this post on

Top 10 petite swimsuits most flattering to short women

Belted One Piece

The best petite swimwear should improve your proportion and make your legs look longer.  When you wear a belted swimsuit, it automatically divides your body into very noticeable proportions.  Go with the belt sitting higher than your natural waist line to create the illusion of longer legs.

 Belted One-Piece Swimsuit for petites
Bleu $129
 Plunge One-Piece Swimsuit for short women
Lenny Niemeyer $249
 Crinkled Belted One-Piece Swimsuit
Topshop $58

Belted swimsuit are best for those who want to stress their assets of slender waist (like petite hourglass body type and petite pear shape).  They also could work well for petite rectangle shape, which lacks defined waistline and could use the help of the belt.  However, if you have heavy mid section (like a petite apple shape), you may not want to draw everyone’s attention to your waist by wearing the belted swimsuit.

High waisted bottom

High waisted bottoms generally are flattering to petite women, so they are normally the top choice of petite swimsuits (I will mention the exception in a little bit).

High waisted style was super popular in the 60s and 70s, as seen some of the biggest names Hollywood stars including our favorite petite actress Elizabeth Taylor.  It is making a come back not only because of its retro flare, but also because they can effectively make our legs look longer by raising the waistline to above our natural waistline.

Jessica Simpson $46
Soluna $39
Kate Spade $55

If you have heavy mid section, you should be very selective of the color of the high wasited bottoms.  Opt for darker colors to have the shrinking effect, otherwise it could make your muffin top look worse.

High waisted bikini bottoms work the best on petite women with long torso and short legs.  If you happen to be a petite girl with short torso and long legs, then it may not look the best on you because it is only going to make your torso even shorter.

Off the shoulder top

Off the shoulder design is generally flattering to petite women, and it also applies to petite swimsuits. If you are petite pear shape, you will find the horizontal line created by off the shoulder very flattering for you.  Pear shaped women (whether or not petite) have wider hips and sloping shoulders.  Off the shoulder swimsuits effectively balance out your the wider bottom.

 Off the Shoulder Ruffle One-Piece Swimsuit
Chelsea28 $89

 Off the Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit,
Trina Turk $132
 Off the Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit
Trina Turk $132

Wrap top

Have you ever tried the trend of wrap top?  They are a very good choice for petite swimwear because they create curves.  They are as feminine as it gets and they are very flattering to short girls of any body type.

Vince Camuto $64
Becca $82
Vince Camuto $73

If you already have nice curves like the petite hourglass shape, wrap tops accentuate your assets by emphasizing your chest and slender waist.  For those of us with petite rectangular shape or petite triangle shape who need more feminine curves, wrap swimsuit balance out your otherwise athletic body frames.

Triangle bikini

petite swimsuits
Photo: Shutterstock

Any tops that offer minimum coverage, like cropped tops or triangle bikinis, are super flattering for petite women.  Yes, I am talking about those itsy-bitsy things you can find with most swimwear brands.

 Simply Rib Triangle Bikini Top,
Volcom
 Island Goddess Halter Bikini Top, Main,
La Blanca $63
 New Providence Longline Triangle Bikini Top
Maaj $73

The caveat here is if you are petite with big bust, then your better choices are swim tops with more structured bra design which can provide you more support for your chest.

One piece with high cut

There are many reasons why one pieces are top rated petite swimsuits.

First of all, one piece has a continuous pattern which creates an unbroken vertical line and makes a short woman look taller.

Secondly, when you wear one piece, all of a sudden your legs seem to be longer.  It is because less attention is on your torso and more is on your legs.

Finally, if you are concerned about your midriff (for example, if you are petite apple shape like myself), one piece swimsuits camouflage that perfectly and nobody will notice your belly.

Photo: Unsplash.com

If you like one piece swimwear, the best for shorter girls are those with high cut leg design.  They instantly elongate your legs and make your proportion look better.

High-Leg One-Piece Swimsuit
Becca $138
Hula Honey $39
Trina Turk $102

Deep V neck

A deep plunging V neckline is a universally flattering design regardless of one’s height.  For petite women with shorter neck (most of us do), a deep V neck will elongate your neck as well as your torso.  If you happen to have round face shape, V neck also works very nicely to balance out the roundness of your face.

River Island textured plunge swimsuit in orange stripe
ASOS $51
Missguided plunge swimsuits in white
ASOS $29
ASOS DESIGN shoulder deep plunge swimsuit in red
ASOS 45

Vertical print

Vertical prints are the most flattering designs in petite swimsuits.  Whether it’s stripe or vertically aligned florals, they have the ultimate lengthening effect by drawing eyes up and down.  If you are not into loud black and white stripes, there’s plenty of other cute color combinations that still effectively elongate your torso and your legs and make you look taller.

Halter top

petite swimsuits

Photo: unsplash.com

If your concern is short torso, halter tops can add a few inches to your torso.  On the other hand, not all halter swimsuits are created equally.  Some halter swimsuit has a high neck design- if your concern is short necks, you probably should not opt for this kind of design which will make your neck look shorter.

String bikini

When we talk about styling for short girls, low rise pants in general are not favored, especially if you have short legs.  The reason is they can make your legs look shorter. However, when it comes to bikini bottoms, it is a different ball game.

Low rise can work well petite women, especially if they are string bikinis with side ties.

petite swimsuits
Photo: Shutterstock

I can speak for it from my own experiences.  I have a long rise and short leg body type.  When I wear pants or jeans, I go for high waisted style in order to make my legs look longer.  When it comes to bikinis, low rise bottoms do a perfect job to balance out my long rise quite nicely.

If the low rise bottom has ties on the sides, they actually lengthen your legs.  In addition, string bikini bottoms offers flexibility and adjustability to ensure a perfect fit for petite women.

Note there are also boy shorts style low rise swimwear. They won’t look as flattering as string bikinis, because they cover your legs more.

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