Petite Power – Which Summer Trends Work Best for Small Frames?  

Petite Power – Which Summer Trends Work Best for Small Frames?

This is a guest post by Red Dress. The thoughts and opinions in this post are theirs and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Hey y’all! I’m happy to share another guest post brought to you by our friends at Red Dress! Hope you enjoy!


Sometimes, the cold, hard truth is that size does matter. We’re not saying bigger is better – unless you’re talking about a sprawling two bedroom overlooking the ocean – but staying on trend is definitely easier for those blessed with a vertical advantage.

For women on the shorter side, we know the struggle is real. Ankle pants brush the floor, shoulders slump and stripes – well, let’s just say stripes aren’t always your friend. No more buying your wardrobe with your tailor’s hours in mind. We’ve got the tips you need to style your pretty petite self in this summer’s latest fashions.

Maxi-mize Your Length

Everyone is loving the maxi dress this summer and, quite frankly, we can’t blame them. You won’t find a more versatile dress than a fun, flirty maxi you can dress up at any moment’s notice. We know you’ve been brainwashed into thinking smaller girls can’t wear long dresses but we’re here to tell you it’s just not so.

When it comes to finding the perfect maxi for a petite frame, keep in mind less is more – fabric-wise that is. Garments that drape will overwhelm and add bulk to a shorter frame. Instead, find a dress that hugs in the right places for a more body-contouring silhouette.

Consider a floral wrap dress that ties at the waist and shows a little bit of leg for that glorious ‘legs for days’ illusion you’ve always dreamed about. Yeah, we know you’ve dreamt about it, so don’t try to pretend you haven’t (Tina Turner who?). If wrap dresses aren’t your thing then get that gorgeous long leg effect with a high low hemline for your maxi. Whatever style you go for, show a little leg and we promise you’ll be standing tall all night.

Color Us Impressed

Elongate your frame by wearing one color throughout and trick the eye into seeing more of you than there is. This gorgeous orange romper will do just that – plus bonus points for showing off those sexy legs of yours.

As fun as it is just giving off the illusion of tall, we’re not above accepting a bit of help in the height department. Complete your look with a pair of classic ankle strap heels for a few additional inches and you’ll be at the top of the fashion game in no time.

Match Set

Regardless of whatever cutesy outfits your mom dressed you in as a kid (refer to any family photo of matching sibling outfits for a quick refresher) you are a grown, independent woman now who makes her own fashion decisions. And we highly encourage you to say yes to the printed two piece matched sets this summer.

Experiment with different styles and cuts like crop tops, high-waisted skirts, two piece rompers and jumpers, to find the right look for you. The high cut will bring attention to your waistline and – you guessed it – make your legs look longer.

The Bottom Line

Keep your eye on the hemline this summer when shopping for that perfect sundress. No need for those Catholic school flashbacks (put your ruler away). Just make sure the dress stops above the knee or mid calf in order to keep that illusion going strong. Remember hemlines and breaks in color or pattern attract attention, so make sure you’re getting the attention you want in the right spots.

Loosen Up (But Keep it Tight)

Balance loose and tight garments in your ensemble to enhance your petite (and pretty chic) frame. If you wear a billowy blouse on top then rock your sexy skinny jeans and cute shoes to keep your silhouette in check.

If you wear a flowy skirt, tuck a tight top into the waist and finish off the look with a piece of sparkly statement jewelry to tie it all together. The ‘Loose but Tight’ rule of thumb may be a tricky tip to get a hold of at first, but when you do you’ll thank us. And you’ll look oh so sophisticated too.

Love the Skin You’re In

Curves can be tricky when shopping petite but we’re here to say if you’ve got them, flaunt ‘em! Find clothes to complement and accentuate your natural curves instead of trying to fit yourself into a style that just isn’t as flattering (and kind) to your beautiful body.

A V-neck, scoop or embellished neck line is a flattering look for a more buxom beauty and belted styles or cinched waists are a great way to work with your hourglass shape.

Women with a lack of curves can have a hard time finding pieces to work in the right places as well. Fight the urge to hide behind your clothes, nobody should disappear behind a piece of fabric (unless you’re watching scary movies on the couch and then, by all means, hide under that blanket). Find a sweet and simple dress with thoughtful embellishments (like this turquoise sundress) that hangs beautifully on your body.

Whether tall or small, curvy or not-so-much, every woman has her own challenges to tackle when it comes to looking her best. Whatever your body shape or size, love who you are and what you were given. We promise the confidence you project will help you walk the tallest of them all.


I hope you got some great tips from this post by Red Dress! If you’re petite, what tricks do you use to embrace your frame? Leave a comment!

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30 Replies to “Petite Power – Which Summer Trends Work Best for Small Frames?  ”

  1. Great tips!! I’m considered more on the petite side at 5’3, and I LOVE maxi dresses! I’ve always wanted to try high waisted shorts so I need to experiment with that!

    1. You def should!

  2. My mom is on the petite side, so I will have to keep these in mind for her.

  3. Red Dress has some cute stuff! I’m not petite myself but I’ll have to share it with some of my friends who are.

  4. I love Red Dress, it’s one of my favorite online stores to shop! I’m not petite but these are definitely great tips for anyone who is on the petite side 🙂

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

    1. Thanks for reading Kristen!

  5. My mom used to sew me matching sets when I was younger, I’m hoping she’s still into doing that now! I love a matching set

    -Michelle
    http://www.andthenwetried.com

    1. Haha all you can do is ask her!

  6. These are such great tips! I need to share them with my “little” friend!
    -Nicholle
    http://www.nichollesophia.com

    1. Thanks Nicholle!

  7. definitely agree with rompers! they are my go to!

    1. They’re so comfy!

  8. Such great tips! I love rompers they are my go to.

    1. You have so many cute ones!

  9. I’m taller than most petite sizes, but I still buy some petite tops since I have a smaller frame!! I’d definitely wear some of these trends.

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    1. A lot of people are like that! Thanks for reading, Annaliese!

  10. These are such great tips!! Loving all of those bright prints and colors!

    1. Thanks Adriana!

  11. Super cute prints on all of these outfits. Great suggestions as well!

    1. Thanks Yolanda!

  12. Love this! Balance is so key on a small frame.

  13. One of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe is a maroon jumpsuit. I’m 5’0″ so I never thought that I would be able to wear a jumpsuit, but I’m finding that the piece makes me look taller, especially when paired with some strappy heels.

    1. Strappy heels are def the best!

  14. These sound like great tips for someone who’s petite! I lovelovelove that dress in the first photo!

  15. What great tips! I definitely need to incorporate some matching sets into my wardrobe!

    1. Thanks Jennifer!

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