Are you looking for the best petite prom dresses?  Are you wondering what styles look good on shorter girls?

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 petite prom dresses. 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.

petite prom dresses

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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!

petite prom dresses

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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 with petite prom dresses. As a petite the silhouette can make or break the way a dress looks on you. More often than not petite prom dresses that have simple silhouettes are the most figure flattering. The simple silhouettes enhance your petite shape, while more complicated silhouettes will often overwhelm you.

petite prom dresses

Photo: Unsplash

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 petite prom dresses that fit closer to the body. Mermaid, trumpet and fit & flare are some great silhouette styles for petite prom dresses. It’s less about the actual length of the dress and more about the overall silhouette to flatter your petite shape.

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.

petite prom dresses

Tadashi Shoji PETITE $508

petite prom dress

Tadashi Shoji Petite $280 (was $468)

petite prom dress

Tadashi Shoji Petite $408

Don’t Be Afraid of Long Options

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 your petite prom dress.  We also have another post on “How to Style Petite Formal Long Dresses” as well as “How to Wear Petite Maxi Dresses if you are Short”.

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.

petite prom dress

Adrianna Papell Petite $299

petite prom dresses

Adrianna Papell Petite $279

 

petite prom dress

Adrianna Papell Petite $379

Focus On the Neckline

While the silhouette is the most important element to consider when choosing your petite prom dress, but don’t forget about the neckline. When it comes to choosing a petite prom dress 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. If you’re petite and have a pear shape, I suggest trying an off the shoulder or sweetheart neckline. Why? These two neckline styles add a bit more emphasis to the top half of your body, creating more balance for a pear shape.

petite prom dress

ASOS Petite $87

Petite prom dress

ASOS $174

petite prom dress

ASOS DESIGN $92

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.

petite prom dresses

Photo: Unsplash

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 petite prom dresses with busy prints, be careful with your accessories- you probably want to keep them simple since your dress already looks busy enough.

Of all the short celebrities, Reese Witherspoon has a very noticeable colorful wardrobe, and  you can learn how to wear prints from Reese Witherspoon style.

petite prom dresses

XSCAPE Petite $289

petite prom dresses

Xscape Petite $219

petite prom dresses

Xscape Petite $289

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 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.

petite prom dresses

Photo: Unsplash