Hello petite ladies. So when it comes to formal wear it can be a lot more intimidating to find the perfect dress. So many beautiful mermaid gowns that drag an extra foot on the floor can be discouraging when shopping. There are now so many more options for petite fashions (check out some absolute beautiful options here) but we’re also going to look at some tips on alterations and what to look for in a dress. These dresses are investments and getting your dream dress is always worth it. It may just take a little extra work.
So. When you are short the first thing you think about is (obviously) length. Some dresses end cleanly and are easier to hem (there are DIYs that explain how to hem without sewing). But dresses that end with lace, intricate beading, or a train can get a little trickier. A good tailor will be able to maintain the structure of the dress and get the dress 1/8-1/4 off the ground. But it’s good to get an estimate on how much it would cost to tailor before buying. If it’s a lot of work the tailoring may end up being more expensive than the dress. Also, don’t forget to bring the exact pair of shoes and underwear that you plan on wearing with the dress.
Now to talk about dress styles. Listen. Petite women are fabulous and can pull off any look. If you feel good, go for it. But there are some general tips for smaller women when it comes to formal wear. Loud and busy patterns are usually advised against just because as petite women we quite literally take up less space. There is a better chance that the dress is going to “wear me” when the pattern is larger than we are. Of course we still want a little drama in our outfits so that doesn’t mean we will always be in a simple solid color dress. Choose one detail and let that be the focus. Sparkles. A statement sleeve. Etc. Look at petite actresses on the red carpets for inspiration. A great example is Oscar Winner Octavia Spencer. She is usually in a solid color dress with sleeves and the dress has one very special detail to it. The tulle gown she wore to the 2013 Oscar Red Carpet is a beautiful example. If we’re subconscious about our arms (and who isn’t?) an off the shoulder dress is a perfect way to show some skin while still feeling covered.
Another common suggestion from stylists is to go with A-line dresses (Just remember that A-line simply means that it is fitted at the waist and then flows to the floor. Here is a great example of the silhouette) and column style dresses. You’ll be able to wear heels to fake some height and the clean lines will make you look longer. There are a lot of options in both styles and are definitely worth checking out.
Just remember though that all of these are suggestions. Wear brown and black together. Mix patterns. Find what makes you feel good and you will always look beautiful.