Choosing Evening Apparel for Petite Ladies

by Karen

Choosing the perfect gown or separates for ladies whose height is between 4' 11" and 5' 3" can be quite difficult, especially when you are shopping online. The suitable dress for Thumbelina was not a problem only in Disney’s cartoon. In real life, you need to pick a dress that takes into account the peculiarities of your figure.
nataya style for petite ladies in blue

(nataya style for petite ladies)

Sometimes, it seems that no dress will satisfy your tastes, but there are several web resources where you can find the preferred styles and colors for your petite figure. So, how can you avoid making mistakes when purchasing dresses on web? Here are some easy-to-follow rules you should keep in mind when shopping for a dress or separates.


The first and main thing to keep in mind is the length of the dress. How should the length of the dress (outfit) correlate with your true height? Your best bet is to see the dress on a real gal, yet most sites “broadcast” their best dresses only in pictures. The impression your dress will make depends on how the length of the dress and its elements go with the gal’s figure type. In most cases you can determine the type of figure she has. Last but not least is the waistline. Where is it? Is it right on the waistline of the model, or is it lower or higher than the proper bodily waistline?


nataya style for petite ladies in white


(nataya style for petite ladies)

Petite gals shouldn’t choose very long or maxi dresses. Your best length is either ankle or tea length. Longer dresses will attract attention to your height and make you look really short.


Another element you should consider is the cut of the dress. To be more specific, you should estimate the line of cut according to the knee length. For instance, if the dress ends several inches above the knee line and the dress will be 1-2 inches lower your true knee line, you should find another model. This is because the dress will keep these strange proportions even if you have it shortened. As a result, all the elements of this beloved dress won’t be in the right places.
vintage inspired nataya style for petite ladies in white

(nataya style for petite ladies)

As we said in our previous posts, you should always choose dresses with vertical seams, embroideries or prints. Avoid wearing dresses with horizontal lines. Also, pay attention to dress bottoms. Voluminous upper parts and bell-bottomed skirts may disharmonize your silhouette. That’s why we sincerely recommend that you read our article about the different types of petite figures.


You won’t regret it if you choose softer fabrics or fabrics that fit your figure. Harder dresses may make your height appear less proportional. Thus, chiffon, rayon and silk are the best dress fabrics for you.
Alana Vintage Style Party Dress in Soft Pink by Nataya

(nataya style for petite ladies)

Elements and Accessories

Sometimes, shops sell not only dresses but also shoes. You should pay attention to the recommended models so that you may be sure your legs will look proportional. You should prefer long toe shoes on stiletto heels.
Vintage Titanic Tea Party Dress in Black-Silver by Nataya

(nataya style for petite ladies)

A stark contrast between the bottom and upper parts of your dress may also disharmonize your silhouette. As we have said, however, your silhouette may look pretty if the bottom of your dress is darker than the top. But this principle won’t work, for instance, if your dress contrasts with your stockings or shoes. In this case, the color contrast will disharmonize your body. You should also keep the necessary accessories in mind (again, you may find several recommendations in our previous blog post), as well as the right hairstyle. In most cases, your hair mustn’t be too big or volumized, as such styles will emphasize your fragileness. Stylists recommend hairstyles that are smooth, straight or both. Many petite figures have one peculiarity — the head looks bigger and less proportional in relation to the body. High ponytails will go only with slender petite figures. So, make sure your dress correlates with your chosen hairstyle.
Rayon Vintage Style Palazzo Pants by Nataya

(nataya style for petite ladies)

The best length for your hair is shoulder length. If you look thin, hairdos styled à la Audrey Hepburn are right for you. Plumper gals should choose hairstyles with a plumper fringe. Sassoon-styled bobs are also good choices. So, in brief, you should define your hairstyle and only then pay attention to dress styles you have found online!

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