At 5’2”, the search to find the best petite dresses for women is one I embark on every season. If you’re like me and under 5’4”, you are fully aware that securing fashionable yet suitable dresses to fit our frame is no easy feat. Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my height when I realized that despite my peers, friends, and colleagues’ towering heights, I was not getting any taller and nor am I committed to wearing heels regularly (no, thank you!). I’ve found dresses to be my go-to style uniform for the office, dinner dates, parties, and beyond. I love wearing dresses of all styles and shapes—maxi, midi, and mini. Especially during the fall and winter season, I love to style them up or down with a quick swap of shoes, whether they are flats, boots, or heels. Just make sure to have your tights handy too.
When purchasing a dress, especially online where you cannot try before you buy, it can be tough to know whether it will fit you perfectly or fall well past your feet. A trip to the tailor is always an option, but for my schedule or budget, it’s not realistic. I usually reserve tailoring for special occasion dressing only. That’s why I always make sure to check the garment’s length before purchasing. If it’s 51 inches and under, you’re in the clear, but for me, the sweet spot is 40-45 inches. Almost all retailer sites online will provide these measurements, and it takes little to no time to double-check. Over time, you’ll cut through the clutter by finding the brands and designers that work best with your style and seemingly fit your frame perfectly. My personal favorite is Proenza Schouler, whose dresses fit me like a dream.
Ahead, shop 30 of the best petite dresses for women that can be worn throughout the fall and winter seasons, no matter what you have marked on your calendar.
There’s nothing cozier, comfier, or chicer than a sleek sweater dress—especially when it’s styled with a pair of knee-high boots. Keep things simple with a monochrome version or play with texture and color with a cable knit winter version by Ralph Lauren or ribbed knit option by Proenza Schouler. For something more playful, consider a color block palette by Sacai or YanYan.
Belted & Cinched
Add a bit of tailoring to your dress by styling a dress with a belt. Cinching the waist will give your outfit an A-line silhouette that is incredibly flattering on petite women.
Polished & Professional
For days at the office where you want a one-and-done look, consider a splashy tie-dyed version by Joseph Altuzarra that goes against the grain or opt for Stella Jeans’ turtleneck and pleated skirt combo that deceptively is just one set.
Short & Sweet
If you’re a mini dress type of woman, these dresses are elegant and ready for all of your plans this winter. For a weekend outfit, Isabel Marant’s floral toile dress will go great with your teddy coat or Rixo’s velvet wrap dress is ready to wear on date night.
Sheer & Shimmer
Given it’s the holiday season, adding a bit of shimmer to your dress is a nice way to stay festive as you ring in 2022.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without velvet. Saloni’s crystal bow velvet dress is a personal favorite of Vogue.com’s Executive Fashion Director Rickie De Sole, who is also part of the petite family.