4 Silhouettes Made For Petite Size Women

Height and proportions have everything to do with determining if you’re a petite woman. Petite size women come in all body shapes and sizes.

Here are some petite size characteristics:

You’re 5’ 3” and under.Your inseam measures 27” or less.Regular sleeve and strap lengths are often too long for you.Pockets, shoulders or lengths of dresses or jumpsuits tend to fall in the wrong place.

3 Rules On Choosing What To Wear When You’re Petite

1. Know Your Shape

Petite women come in all shapes and sizes, so knowing your body shape will help guide your wardrobe decisions. (Check out our guide to body shapes!)

2. Elongate

If you’re 5’ 3” and under, the goal is to always improve your proportion by elongating your body.

3. Expect Alterations

If you’re not specifically shopping in the petite size section, expect that you’re going to need to alter your clothes. Make friends with a local tailor!

Styling Tips For Petite Size Figures

Use the Rule of Thirds 

The Rule of Thirds states that ⅓ to ⅔ ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing division of space to our eyes. Applying this to how you dress will instantly change the visual proportions of your body and make your body shape look figure flattering!

Choose the right neckline

Choosing the right neckline can change your -- yup, you guessed it! -- proportion! Lower necklines are more flattering for shorter women. It helps to elongate the neck. Consider the sweetheart neckline of our best selling Grace and Gracie dress. It’s a feminie neckline that is generally flattering on shorter women, as well as helps create curves for rectangular shape body types.

Show off your shoulders! 

Cold-shoulder or off-the-shoulder styles are universally flattering and will work well on petite size women.

Pay attention to your sleeve length

Sleeves are sometimes an overlooked detail, but are essential for choosing styles that fit your body. Avoid full sleeve lengths that are too long, causing you to look frumpy. Opt for sleeves a bit shorter: like elbow length or raglan sleeves. We recommend our best-selling Sasha Red Floral Knee Length Dress. Sasha’s raglan sleeves are perfect for all petite size women!

High waists are your best friend!

High-waist dresses, high waisted jumpsuits or any high waisted bottoms are a must-have staple in every petite size woman’s wardrobe. They help support the Rule of Thirds and help create the illusion of a longer bottom half.

Fit & Flare Dresses

Fit and flare dresses are flattering on petite size frames because it showcases the smallest part of a woman’s figure without hugging the legs. This dress style does a beautiful job of adding imagination to how long your legs actually are, giving you a taller appearance.

Woman posing wearing Navy/Lavender Maggie Floral Two-Pocket Dress from Connected Apparel

Maggie Floral Two Pocket Dress


Tonya Red Floral Cowl Neck Midi Dress


Bodycon, Knee-length Dresses

Bodycon, or otherwise known as form fitting, knee length dresses define your waistline and accentuate your curves. This can be a hard look to achieve for petite size women. But the form fitting dress silhouette makes it an easy look to pull off. Not to mention, the length is figure flattering for short women since it shows some extra leg, adding visual length.

Woman posing wearing Black Lisette Chiffon Sleeve Little Black Dress from Connected Apparel

Lisette Chiffon Sleeve Little Black Dress


Liz Black Polka Dot Faux Wrap Dress


Empire Waist Dresses

Empire waist dresses have a high waistline, which is placed just below the bust line. Since this silhouette raises the waistline above your natural waist, it elongates the entire lower half of the body, which is very flattering for petite sizes.

Tina Sequin Lace Cowl Neck Dress


Mari Silver Foil Printed Floor Length Dress


Wide-leg Jumpsuits

A solid, women’s petite jumpsuit with a wide leg design is the perfect style jumpsuit for short women. The wide legs elongate the body and the continuous color creates even more of an illusion of height.

Woman posing wearing Black Uptown 2.0 from Connected Apparel

Uptown 2.0 Black Jumpsuit

Woman posing wearing Black Morgan Black and White Polka Dot Jumpsuit from Connected Apparel

Morgan Black & White Polka Dot Jumpsuit