Are you petite? Are you wondering what are the best prom dresses for short girls?
You are at the right place! Because I am 5’2″ myself, so, I have a lot to share with you from the perspective of how to find the right prom dresses for petite figure.
I have to be honest with you that finding the perfect prom dress can be challenging, especially when you’re petite. Prom is such a special time in your life, it’s essential to find a dress you absolutely love.
Although it can be difficult to find a petite prom dress, it’s far from impossible. Now that prom is just around the corner it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your prom dress – the earlier the better!
Today I’m sharing some tips on how to choose the right prom dresses for short women.
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Whether you’ve started your search yet or not these are tips I’ve used while shopping for special occasion dresses myself, as a petite woman, so I know they’ll be helpful for you on your prom dress journey.
Consider The Style You Want
Shopping for a prom dress can be overwhelming because there are so many options. One way to streamline the process right off the bat is to figure out what style you see yourself in on prom. Here is what you should consider:
- What colors are most complimentary to your skin tone and eye color?
- What is your budget?
- Do you want a long dress or short dress?
- Do you want to order online? Or are there local stores you can find what you like?
This will help you eliminate a handful of options right away and make it less overwhelming. Consider your own personal style, too! Even though it’s prom you definitely want to show off your personality and embrace your style on the big day. Make sure that whatever dress you choose it’s something that you feel amazing wearing, that’s what is most important!
Choose a Flattering Silhouette
What is silhouette? You may have heard this word many times before, but don’t know what it is referring to, especially in the context of fashion.
Here is a famous quote by Coco Chanel “Fashion is architecture”, which should help you to understand this.
What image first comes to your head, when you think of Eiffel Tower? It is the shape, right? You may not picture in your head the color or construction details of it, but you won’t forget the shape of the tower. That is silhouette.
Likewise, the shape of the dress is the most important factor to consider, especially if you are looking for flattering prom dresses for petites.
The silhouette can make or break the way a dress looks on you. More often than not prom dresses that have simple silhouettes are the most figure flattering for petite women. The simple silhouettes enhance your petite shape, while more complicated silhouettes will often overwhelm you.
So, what exactly are silhouettes of dresses? For example, a ball gown is an over-the-top silhouette with all the tulle and large size of the skirt portion of the dress style. As I mentioned, simple silhouettes are a petite girl’s best friend. That means focusing on prom dresses that fit closer to the body.
Simple silhouettes are not only great for preventing your dress from overwhelming you, but they also help to elongate your shape. Something all us petite ladies are eager to achieve.
Most petite women would love to make their legs appear longer. So, the key to select the best prom dresses for short legs is to add length and create the illusion of height for us short girls. That is why it is super important to select the right silhouette more than anything else.
Below are some of the most flattering silhouette prom dress styles for short women. It’s less about the actual length of the dress and more about the overall silhouette to flatter your petite shape.
Mermaid prom dress
If you are a petite girl with natural curves, the mermaid shape dresses will accentuate assets and make your full chest and full hips really stand out. The mermaid dress hugs your upper body and your hips tightly, in the shape of an hourglass.
This is the most feminine design of any dress silhouettes, so it is a wonderful choice for girls who want to show off their curves.
This is a close cousin of the mermaid shape. The only difference is that the trumpet dresses hugs your hips not as tight as the mermaid dress, but it flares out more gradually under your hips. It is a simple and elegant shape that flatters most body types.
Fit & flare
This is the most universally flattering prom dress style. It is well fitted on your upper body, but it is not tight on your hips. So, it is suitable for any body type.
If you happen to be a pear shape or an apple shape, the fit and flare is the heaven sent to distract away from your weaknesses while emphasizing your assets at the same time.
For the pear shape, the fit and flare has the A line to camouflage your wider bottom and your prominent thighs. You will look very nicely balanced in this shape.
For the apple shape, the a line dress can make your heavier mid section look less obvious while showing off your nice breasts in the meantime.
The Best Length for Prom Dresses for Petites
Short dress or long dress? That is the never ending debate, especially when it comes to petite fashion.
Over the years, many people have said petites shouldn’t wear long dresses however that’s not always the case. In fact, long prom dresses can look just as great on a petite as they do on someone who is tall. I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to think outside the box and try some long dress styles on while searching for prom dress for short girls.
If you do decide to go with a long dress, make sure you get it from a petite designer. The reason is regular sizes are made for women over 5’4″ (or women over 5’5″ for certain brands”, so they are most likely going to be too long if you are petite. Another advantage of ordering petite sizes is that they are designed to fit you better, i.e. the bodice, the waistline, etc.
Of course, short prom dresses can be another fun option. My point is not to shy away from long styles just because of your height. I encourage all petites to try on a variety of different lengths when looking for a prom dress. After trying a couple options on you will begin to find you are drawn to one option more than the other.
Focus On the Neckline
While the silhouette is the most important element to consider when choosing your prom dress, but don’t forget about the neckline. When it comes to choosing the best prom dress for petite women that flatters you from head to toe, the neckline plays a vital role.
Choosing a prom dress with an interesting neckline brings the attention up towards your face and can add to figure flattery.
Fortunately, there’s a great variety of neckline styles that you can try.
V-necklines are great for creating the illusion of an elongated figure. Most petite girls have shorter neck, so the V neck is a perfect choice to make your neck look longer.
If you have full chest, then the V neck also break up your chest, which makes you look more in proportion in the front.
Off the shoulder
This has been quite on trend for the last several years. Why? It is one of the most universally flattering neckline, and it is hard to not good in an off-the-shoulder dress.
Now, if you’re petite and have a pear shape, an off-the-shoulder prom dress is a heavy sent for you.
The reason is it adds a bit more emphasis to the top half of your body, creating more balance for a pear shape.
This is one of the best neckline for girls with full chest. It really accentuate your assets and draw the attention to your face, which is very flattering to short girls.
If you happen to be a petite girl with flat chest, the sweetheart neckline can create the illusion of a fuller chest for you and adds some curves to your body.
Select Print(s) Wisely
Prom is a great time to have fun and wear a dress you wouldn’t normally wear – it’s not every day you get to get all dressed up! As a petite, some prints and details can be overwhelming for your shape. This isn’t to say you can’t wear a printed prom dress, but if you do make sure you choose wisely.
The key factor to consider is the size of the print/pattern itself. If the print is really large in scale on a floor length gown it will overwhelm a petite figure. The combination of the print and length will have the dress wearing you, instead of you wearing the dress. Instead, choose a print or pattern that’s smaller in scale to match your petite frame.
This tip applies to any prints, patterns or embellishments on the dress you choose. Similar to the silhouette, the more streamlined the design the more flattering it will be for you.
Besides, if the prints are vertically inspired, they tend to be more flattering to petite girls. Because vertical designs draw eyes up and down, they creates the illusion of height and make you appear taller.
If you happen to love prom dresses with busy prints, be careful with your accessories- you probably want to keep them simple since your dress already looks busy enough.
Hire a Seamstress
Hiring a seamstress is crucial for every petite woman. Even if you shop in the petite section, it’s not uncommon to need some alterations. Truthfully, even if someone isn’t petite alterations are often a necessity for special occasion dresses.
While shopping around for your petite size prom dress, consider whether or not the dress can be altered fairly easily. Generally someone at the store should be able to help you determine whether or not certain changes can be made easily. The length is typically one of the easiest alterations to make, unless the hemline of the dress is very detailed.
If you don’t already, make sure you have a qualified seamstress as a resource. It will be a lifesaver for you when choosing a prom dress – and for all of your other wardrobe needs.
When it comes to finding the best prom dresses for petite women, it’s never too early to start looking for it. Since there is only limited number of designers who make petite size prom dresses, the earlier you start looking, the more options you have.
Additionally, you need to have enough time to try on different styles from different designers before you decide which one to keep.
Plus, always be prepared you may need to do some alteration and you never want to rush that last minute.
So, start looking as early as you can and you will be fully prepared to look your best possible at your prom!