Must Have Dresses For Petite Women: Style Guide

Finding dresses for petite women can be a task, and so we've compiled this list of dresses that are a must add to every short girl’s closet!

Updated on May 16, 2024  |  03:50 PM IST |  993.7K
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Must Have Dresses For Petite Women: Style Guide

If you're a short girl, then finding fashionable fits that are suitable for this frame is no easy feat. If you're someone who's not the biggest fan of constantly wearing heels, it becomes harder to find flattering silhouettes that look just right on you without being way too long on the edges. Whether it's struggling with online shopping to find dresses for petite women, or having to tailor every outfit you find- options are usually limited to alternatives that are either not stylish enough or don't fit well.

Knowing how to style the pieces to their full potential however, can help you unlock new levels of fashion that you can carry off effortlessly. If you manage to sift through the filter and find the right brands with the right silhouettes you can look like a dream in no time.

1. Monochrome

Monochromatic outfits are ideal for the petite body type, because it does the one thing that's most important for shorter girls- creates the illusion of a few extra inches. Monochromatic and solid coloured  outfits create a seamless silhouette from the head to toe and so are great for elongating the body. Monochromatic suits for petite women are great in terms of color blocking because they create a single column visually. Lastly, monochrome outfits check every possible box when it comes to being fashionable as well. They're playful, fashion-forward and completely effortless so they're a must-add to any short girl's wardrobe!



Ananya Panday (Credits: Instagram)

2. Belted silhouette

Ensembles with belts rank high on the list of outfits for short women. A belted silhouette tricks the eye into giving the look of a longer body. This works great with dresses as well as high waisted pants. Belt off the dress at a level higher than your natural waistline, and you'll be looking taller in no time. Moreover, a belt also cinches your body in the right places- accentuating your curves in the right place.


Alaya F (Credits: Instagram)

3. Tailored and boxy fits

One of the best clothes for shorter woman is a well tailored suit. Good blazers, boxy shirts and tailored pants are all capsule wardrobe essentials that are a must have. These ensembles highlight your figure, draw attention to your curves and add a ton of extra confidence and boldness. Especially since clothing for petite ladies can sometimes be overwhelming and fall flat- additional structure and composition is always helpful. 


Shraddha Kapoor (Credits: Instagram)

4. Mini skirts

In terms of clothes for the shorter woman, mini skirts that end 3-4 inches above the knee are one of the most flattering items. They help create a leaner silhouette and depending on how you style them, they will draw attention to the right parts. From high waisted A-line skirts to short bodycon ensembles- mini skirts give you a lot of room to experiment and play around with. Definitely one of the best outfits for short women, mini skirts make your outfits look more fashionable and your legs longer.


Tara Sutaria (Credits: Instagram)

5. Vertical stripes

As a rule vertical stripes have a lengthening effect on a garment and that's why clothing with vertical stripes is one of the best outfits for petite ladies. Whether it's a button down shirt with thin vertical stripes or formal trousers with thick lines- vertical stripes in any shape or form have an elongating effect because they draw the eye up and down, and so they should be embraced by all the short ladies out there. Pair pattern and print with solid color items to balance out the design while keeping things experimental.


Tara Sutaria (Credits: Instagram)

6. Defining denims

One can never go wrong with denims, and no matter what your height- a good pair of denims always makes for a good outfit for petite ladies. From retro-style flare jeans to a good pair of straight fit denims- there are a number of choices you can play around with. However the best is always a pair that hugs your curves in the right places as seen in bootcut jeans and high waisted denims. Pair them with a cropped tee or a button down shirt for a perfect outfit for most occasions. Playing around with accessories and hair can help elevate your look!



Ananya Panday (Credits: Instagram)

7. Platform footwear

A short girl's best friend is platform footwear! Not only are they an essential component in terms of fashion for short women, but they're super comfortable, fashionable and add a few extra inches effortlessly. Platform sneakers are great for casual events and days out in the sun which involve a ton of walking around, while for more formal and dressy events you can opt for stylish platform heels.  However, when choosing your shoes, make sure they're not too bulky as that will hamper the proportion as well as draw the eye down instead of upwards.

Tara Sutaria (Credits: Instagram)

8. Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are super versatile. Not only do they have an elongating effect on the body but they can also be styled in a ton of different ways. From red carpet level dressy to business casual for petite woman- there is no end to the ways you can style a simple jumpsuit. Keep it classy with a black jumper and golden jewelry or take a more playful approach with prints, patterns and colors. You can also experiment with your hair by going for a fun pony for a day out or put it up in a sleek bun for formal occasions. All in all- a jumpsuit is the way to go, for whenever you're confused about what to wear!

Aditi Rao Hydari (Credits: Instagram)

9. Cowboy Boots

In terms of outfit ideas for petite ladies, boots are a great footwear that leads itself to an elongating look. They're classy, trendy and add a few extra inches if they have a heel. However, finding the right fit can be a challenge. Always opt for over the knee boots or ankle length boots, and stay away from mid-calf boots. Mid-length boots cut off the legs at an awkward point and will make one look shorter than they are, whereas boots that extend over the knee will create a single vertical line and add proportion. Pairing boots with denims or stockings in the same color will help create length and make you look taller.

Tara Sutaria (Credits: Instagram)

10. Corsets and fitted tees

Not only are corsets super trendy in terms of fashion, but they look great, flatter your curves and provide your outfit with structure and flair. Moreover corsets are usually detailed which draws the attention of the eye upwards focusing on your better features such as your collarbones, shoulders and face. Pair your corset top with an elongating maxi skirt or flattering bootcut denims for a cute outfit for petite frames. Accessorize with layered necklaces, hoop earrings and even a few stacked bracelets- to elevate the look.


Ananya Panday (Credits: Instagram)

11. Elongating Skirts

Skirts are often risky territory when it comes to short women dresses- however maxi skirts that run along the length of your legs and elongate your frame, are a great addition to your wardrobe. Skirts that are cinched at the waist and hug your hips and thighs while continuing till your ankles will give the illusion of longer legs, and make you feel more confident if not instantly taller.

Shilpa Shetty (Credits: Instagram)

12. Cropped fits

Cropped t-shirts, shorts and outerwear is a great way to add breaks to your outfit and prevent them from looking bulky. Cropped t-shirts highlight your midriff and draw the eye upwards. They add proportion to your body and make it look more defined overall. Opt for well fitted crop tops that hug your upper body instead of baggy cropped tees as that will add extra definition to the outfit as well as make you look more fit overall.  

Alaya F (Credits: Instagram)

13. V Neck Ensembles

The V-neck silhouette is great for short girls because it lengthens the neck area and draws the eye upwards. It's a classic design that can be styled according to your fashion and vibe- from classic shirts for formal occasions to casual tees for more relaxed days. Paired with a delicate necklace, a v-neck outfit is one of the most flattering dresses for short ladies, and since it can be elevated according to the occasion, it's extremely versatile. 

Alia Bhatt (Credits: Instagram)

14. High rise silhouettes

As mentioned before, high rise silhouettes are great for short girls because they give the illusion that everything beyond the cinched waist is legs. It gives the illusion of longer legs, and draws the eyes from up to down, along the length of the bottoms. Turtleneck outfits and other high necklines can shorten the top half, and make you look even smaller than imagined. From high waisted tailored trousers to high waisted mini-skirts- any bottoms that can be converted into a high rise outfit is great in terms of dresses for petite curvy ladies.

Short dresses are all-time favorites. However, to step out like a style maestro, you must throw in the right pair of shoes. When we say shoes, we refer to sneakers, loafers, bellies, wedges, or even stilettos, as they are solely responsible for personifying your look of the day. Here is your access to an ultimate style guide to crack the code of what types of shoes to wear with a short dress. Click here!


Alaya F (Credits: Instagram)

15. Heels

Though this may seem like an obvious point to add, we decided any list of outfits for short girls is incomplete without heels. Heels are perfect for any outfit and can add whatever height you may feel necessary. From block heels and wedges to stilettos, depending on how comfortable you are and working on heels- you can opt for an option of your choice. Moreover, there's no dearth of options when it comes to styles, shapes, sizes and colors of heels- so anytime you need a few extra inches to add to an outfit, you know what to do.

Rakulpreet (Credits: Instagram)

Being short is one of your uniquest features and so it's never important to try to hide that via your style. However, if you do need a few extra inches to add to your look and give you a much needed boost of confidence- we understand. And that's why we've included a whole gamut of ideas full of dresses for petite women, that you can opt for on those days! So worry not, you can always chanel style and class irrespective of your height via the outfit you opt for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can petite girls wear long dresses?
Petite girls often shy away from maxi dresses because they believe it will make them look shorter than they already are. However the continuity that maxi dresses bring elongates the frame and makes one look taller. Finding a maxi dress however, can be a challenge for shorter girls because there's the risk of them running overwhelmingly long. As long as you find a maxi that fits you right, and hugs your body in the right places- you're good to go.

What is the best length of dress for petites?
The ideal length for petite when it comes to bottoms is minis or hemlines that cut just above the knee. Midis can cut the leg at abrupt lengths, and make them look shorter and maxis can sometimes be overwhelming. However a shorter hemline will enhance the legs and pairing it with some high heels will instantly add a few inches visually.

What height is considered petite?
Petite sizes are intended for women who are 163 cm (5 ft 4 in) or shorter, irrespective of their weight or physical characteristics. Women who are 163 cm (5 ft 4 in) or shorter can typically find petite-sized apparel in many retail establishments.

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About The Author

A student of mass communication and journalism, Anusha enjoys nothing more than cinema and couture. A fashion enthusiast, she



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