Happy Wednesday, friends!
I know my posts have been all over the place this week, so I apologize! I’ve been trying to play catch up since this past weekend’s events and it’s been tough! Anyway, I’ll be sharing my tips on how to wear petite maxi dresses in today’s post 🙂
I’ve been loving petite maxi dresses lately (see this post for proof haha!). They are elongating and perfect for transitioning into warmer weather. I love this dress in particular because the color and print are just so pretty! While I do like to dress up more than most people, I also love wearing more casual dresses such as this. They are comfy and still look put together! The only issue I usually have is with the length. Years ago, when I first discovered maxi dresses, I found it impossible to find one that didn’t overwhelm me. Everything was at least a foot too long! I can’t even tell you how much I spent on alterations haha. Finally, designers started including petite maxi dresses as one of their sizes…but petite sizing is definitely different than normal sizing. Most people think that it’s just a shorter version, but it’s actually smaller overall and the waist sits up a bit higher so I usually only reserve petite sizing for petite maxi dresses and skirts, rather than the rest of my garments. Even then, it can still be difficult to find dresses that hit the mark, so I’ve included a few things below that I look for when buying petite maxi dresses.
10 TIPS TO BUY PETITE MAXI DRESSES
1.) Look for a Petite Version
This might be obvious because I just talked about it, but it’s the easiest thing when considering length. My favorite place for buying petite items is Asos (they also carry tall too!), Ann Taylor and Anthropologie. They also usually carry them at bigger department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy’s. I recommend searching the website of your favorite store to see if they carry petites. You might be surprised!
2.) Get It Hemmed
Sadly, not all styles are available in petite sizing. I’m guilty of believing that if a dress doesn’t fit me right off the rack, then I shouldn’t keep it but that’s not always the case. If you fall in love with a dress, the length can easily and quickly be adjusted by taking a few inches off the bottom. All hope is not lost haha!
3.) Look for Cinched Waists
Maxi dresses that cinch in at the waist as universally flattering, but even mores if you are petite. It won’t overwhelm your frame and will lengthen you bottom half giving the illusion of height – yay! On the other hand, looser fitting maxi’s can drown petite ladies and in this case, I would recommend belting the dress with a thin belt (never thick).
4.) Stick with Smaller Prints
Larger prints can look overwhelming on petite ladies, especially if it’s a dress that covers your entire body. Smaller prints are less busy and look more proportionate with your size. This isn’t to say that you can’t ever wear large prints 😉 Rules can always be broken.
5.) Go for Solid Colors
Solid colors are best for elongating and lengthening, especially darker colors. It looks really sleek and gives the illusion of being taller (and isn’t that what we all want lol?).
6.) Pick the Right Fit
Steer clear of strapless blouson tops or anything that adds unnecessary volume and instead opt for v-neck and round neck cuts to visually lengthen.
7.) Pick the Right Fabric
Avoid stiff, bulky fabric. Instead, go for chiffon, jersey or silk. Soft fabrics that fit close to the body and flowy sheer fabrics are ideal.
8.) Avoid Wearing Bulky Layers
Unfortunately, for us petite ladies, layering is not always our friend. Ditch the heavy coats and thick cardis and opt for lightweight crochet, knit or sheer toppers.
9.) Wear the Right Footwear
Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can make your whole outfit look jumpy and unflattering. Pick shoes that match the style and formality of the dress as well as the season. For example, I love wearing sleek ankle boots or over-the-knee boots (not slouchy) with casual fall dress and sandals and wedges with casual spring dresses. For formal wear, I suggest a heeled, open toe sandal. Closed toe can look okay depending on the dress, but open toe ALWAYS looks great. While you can also wear sneakers, I would suggest more streamlined ones like keds or converse rather than bulky gym shoes.
10.) Get to Know Your Measurements
With experience and through trial and error, I have learned that a 52 inch dress (or less) is ideal for my height (I’m 4’11”). This is the shortest I’ve seen for maxi lengths, but would probably work for someone 5’2″ and under. This takes the guess work out of shopping and makes for an easier transaction 😉
I hope all you petite ladies enjoyed these petite maxi dresses tips and that they make your shopping experience a little easier! Also, I just wanted to thank all of you that took my survey 😀 I received some amazing (and surprising) input that I can’t wait to apply to the blog. I’m SO happy that you all are enjoying the Girl Boss and Motivation Monday series so far. An overwhelming amount requested a blogging/instagram series so I will be started that this month! I was also very surprised to find out that you guys want to see more posts on Shopping, Gift Guides, Travel and Beauty so I’ll be adding more of these in as well. A lot of you also requested video, some casual outfits and more personal posts 🙂 Speaking of personal, would you be interested in life update type posts or my thoughts on a general subject? Let me know your thoughts and also feel free to let me know if you have something specific you’d like me to cover 😉