How to Choose the Perfect Petite Formal Dress

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Finding an amazing evening dress when you’re on the smaller side of average is a little bit tricky, as all petite women sadly know. The fashion world tends to cater to taller silhouettes, so finding a chic, timeless piece that actually works for a smaller, shorter frame is very difficult. Our legs and torsos are shorter, our arms seem longer, our proportions are basically entirely different – and yet we are still expected to slip into an evening dress made for taller frames, no questions asked? It just doesn’t work! If you’re feeling a little stuck, and maybe even discouraged, never fear, here’s exactly how to find the perfect petite formal dress:  


The very first thing for you to consider is your dress’ cut. The wrong cut will always make for the wrong fit, so it’s very important to find one that works with a shorter frame. The silhouettes that work best for petite women are:

Mermaid: The mermaid, or fishtail, cut is perfect for petite women! A mermaid piece will follow your curves closely, hugging your features and accentuating your waist, and then flair out at the bottom, towards the floor. This creates an elongated effect whilst showcasing your gorgeous figure.

A-line: The A-line cut is a thing of dreams, somehow it manages to flatter literally every single body shape out there, petites included! This shape flatters and flaunts the neckline, pulls in the waist and then effeminately falls in an A shape towards the floor. An A-line cut in a cropped shape looks especially amazing on shorter women!

Empire: Another win for the petites! Empire pieces are fantastic for stretching out your torso and elongating your legs. The dress pulls into just below the bust and billows out, in a 60s chic style that looks beautiful on the more compact amongst us.

Statement Sleeve: Cap, victorian, bell, whatever statement sleeve you’re into, it’s going to look great on your smaller stature! Statement sleeves add volume to the upper half of your body, creating the illusion that your torso is longer and your hips are slimmer. Pair with a plunging neckline to stretch out your decolletage and you’ll look flawless. 


Once you’ve explored and tried out your favourite silhouettes, it’s time to try out a few different material options. Material makes a huge difference in how your dress looks and feels, so choose carefully! Your options for materials when it comes to formal dresses are far and wide. You can opt for something that’s super glamorous like sequins or glittering jersey. Luxurious, thick satins and silks are very on-trend and extremely elegant, or you could always go for a classic lace or floaty tulle. Try and make your selection in terms of what look you’re going for, romantic, trendy, chic or eyecatching. 


Once you’ve landed your perfect shape and material, you can start to think about the colour! Petite dresses come in all tones, so you have the freedom to choose whatever you feel. Whether you love dark romantic hues, jewel tones or you’re more of a neutral gal, you’ll find a myriad of dresses that will suit your liking. Just avoid dresses that have two block colours, this can cut up your shape and make you look shorter.

Now that you’ve followed these petite style tips, you can start hunting for your dream frock! If you want to nab yourself a gorgeous gown for a little less, why not have a look for formal dresses on sale? You’ll find an amazing quality gown at an even better price, result!