It can seem practically impossible to keep things short and summery for petite women — that is, until you consider the wide range of petite dresses available for those with smaller proportions. Petite women may be used to having to avoid anything besides ultra-mini dresses and skirts, for fear that they’ll fall awkwardly on the body or even drag on the ground. Luckily, petite dresses are becoming more widely available, offering women who are either under 5’4 or have shorter proportions on top or the bottom a chance to embrace the summer dresses they’ve been longing to wear all year. There are so many excellent summer dress looks and styles to rock for petites — here’s a look at a few of our favorites.
Drawing attention to the waist tends to be a flattering look for most women, emphasizing the natural curves of the body and creating an easy, stylish shape that you can feel great in. A belted dress is especially flattering for petite women, creating a waist-height marker that elongates your lower body, making you seem taller. Many different styles of petite summer dresses for women fall into the belted dress category. You may want to go with a traditional shirt-dress, like a denim or khaki fabric dress, that has an actual belt at the waist to give it shape. Or perhaps you’d prefer a wrap dress, with its a-line shape that’s flattering on just about anyone. A fit and flare dress is a great in-between, with its belt-like design at the waist and wrap-dress sensibility that adds a whole new dimension to your summer dress look. Pair a belted dress with a cropped lightweight jacket if it gets chilly on a summer night, and a smart pair of sneakers. You’re ready for whatever the day throws at you!
The elegance of a slip dress is transformative—put it on, and you’re automatically the chicest person in the room. A slip dress, with its lightweight fabric and barely-there silhouette, is a wonderful dress for petites—we especially like it with a small slit in the leg to make it more breathable in the summer, as well as making it easier to move in. Its sleek straight-up and down shape creates one clean line from bottom to top, helping to add a little length to a petite frame. Whether you have a shorter torso or shorter legs (or both), a slip dress does not distinguish between bottom and top, giving a flattering sense of uniformity to your figure and letting you show off your best features. Pair with sneakers or flat sandals to dress this look down a little, or slip on some heels to be party-ready.
Named for its resemblance to the top part of a heart, the sweetheart neckline emphasizes the neckline and collarbone of its wearer, drawing the eyes up and working to elongate the frame of any woman. The sweetheart neckline looks great on any style of dress, but it works particularly well to elongate the frame when put together with an a-line frame, creating a sleek upper half that’s fitted but comfortable. This neckline is just one of many fun necklines that look wonderful on petite women. A striking or statement neckline on a top or a dress is one of the best looks for petite women, drawing attention to the beautiful silhouette of the chest and neck. We also love a square neckline, as well as a v-neck or collared neckline for petite summer dresses for women. Pair a dress with a striking neckline with an equally striking pair of earrings, or a statement necklace, to really create a look that turns heads.
Perfect for spring and summer, a floral dress or skirt makes you feel fresh and fun as soon as you slip it on. We love how a floral dress is an all-in-one outfit — you hardly need jewelry when your dress is filled with its own gorgeous accents. For a floral petite summer dress for women, opt for smaller flower prints, which won’t overwhelm your smaller frame. The delicate look of a small floral print is eye-catching and elegant for any woman. We especially love an a-line spaghetti strap or short-sleeved slip dress for petite women, which elongates the body. The rule about small prints applies to any print or pattern you choose if you’re a petite woman. A print, from polka dots to paisley, is more flattering in smaller, daintier sizes for petites, and is a gorgeous way to wear prints. Pair with a fun light jacket that hits right at the waist to complete the look.
There are so many great petite summer dresses for women, and so many different ways to wear them. Whether you’re trying to elongate your figure or simply find a fun summer dress to wear to any occasion, there’s an option for you. Check out the links below for more tips and tricks from Lands’ End.