Modern Wedding Dresses for Your Petite Shape

When shopping try enough dresses on, but not too many!

Photo: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

When it comes to shapes and sizes we all come in different varieties. Clothing also comes in different silhouettes, and different silhouettes look best on different body types. If you're petite, you may have been frustrated your entire life getting pants shortened. Now the wedding bells are ringing, and you need to find that perfect dress for your petite frame.

Not a Ball Gown

Luckily, fashion is improving, and there are wedding gowns that suit instead of overwhelm a small frame. The bridal industry is likewise becoming more fashion-forward. More wedding dress styles are being seen in the bridal market, rather than just strapless ball gowns. A ball gown will overwhelm a petite frame, because the fullness of the skirt will make you look shorter. When you're wearing a wedding dress you want the attention on you, not on the fact that your dress is too big.


An A-line dress is one step removed from a ball gown. An A-line dress is shaped like an "A." They're more fitted at the bust, then flare out at the waist. This is perfect for brides who might have issues with their midsection. A-line dresses are very popular. When choosing an A-line silhouette, select one with a natural waistline. An empire waist or drop waist can throw off your proportions.


A sheath dress is the current trend, thanks in part to Pippa Middleton, whose bridesmaid dress was a similar shape. A sheath is not a traditional wedding dress shape, but now it's the "it" dress! A sheath works well for a petite shape, as the sleek lines will lengthen your body and make you look inches taller. This is the modern shape, and should be a classic for years to come.

Small Details

If you're petite, look at the details when choosing a dress, and notice the size of the accessories. If the bow in the back is twice your size, for example, it's too big for you to wear! Likewise, heavy bead work is overwhelming for a petite frame. The details should be in proportion with your frame. Show some skin, but not too much. Strapless or scoop necklines are good options. Wearing a long sleeve dress will shorten your frame. If you prefer more coverage try a bolero jacket or an elbow sleeve.

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