There is so much beauty that exists all around us–you, dear reader, included! Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We are each different in our own wonderful ways–that is the magnificence of our uniqueness! From rectangle to hourglass to inverted triangle to apple, confidence comes from embracing whatever shape you are! Whether you struggle to identify which body type most closely resembles your own or would like a better idea about which dress silhouettes might be best for your petite frame, scroll onward!

Kind note: These are simply recommendations, so most definitely continue to reach for the dress styles that give you that “WOW” feeling!

Want to add dresses to your closet that flatter your silhouette? Sign up for your next Short Story box to see what pieces an expert petite stylist picks for you!

Petite vs. Non-Petite

Like everyone, we petite women also fall into the traditional body shape categories. The most notable difference, however, is proportion. When discussing proportion, we are referencing the vertical measurements between certain points on the body. Leg, torso, and arm lengths are especially among the most common fit struggles for those with shorter frames.

When choosing to purchase petite, you will experience first-hand how well these tailored petite styles fit in all of these areas and you'll never want to go back to regular sizes again! Let's examine common body types and get inspired to find the best fit for your petite frame.


Someone with a rectangular body type can be identified by an even distribution of weight across the body, little waist definition, and equal bust and hip width. The most flattering fits are those that accentuate the waist. Some petite dress silhouettes to look for are wraps, fit and flares, and belted styles. This is because of the definition they tend to provide!

With a rectangle frame, it's all about creating shape. Sheath, boxy, and flowy styles can be trickier for this body type, as one’s frame is more likely to become lost in the garment. However, if you gravitate toward these looser styles, try belting the waist and see how you feel. Slip on your favorite accessories for an effortlessly elevated look you will love!

Inverted Triangle

Someone with an inverted triangle body type can be identified by hips that appear straight, little waist definition, and shoulders that are wider than hips. Those with this body type are often described as having an athletic physique. When choosing the most complimentary styles, balance is key! If hoping to best flatter your frame, opt for pieces that de-emphasize the top half by adding more visual fullness to the bottom.

Some petite dress silhouettes to look for are those that flare out from the waist or are detailed on the lower half. Belted options can be great choices as they can create a defined waist along with the illusion of curves! Shoulder-accentuating dresses (like those with puff, ruched, and ruffled sleeves) may not be as flattering on this body type as they naturally add more volume to the top. But if you like a sweet romantic puff sleeve moment, go for it!


Someone with an hourglass body type can be identified by a defined waist that is smaller than the hips and bust, even distribution of weight throughout the body, and bust and hips that are similar widths. The bottom and hip region may also be rounded. As these body types tend to be balanced, accentuation is key! Some petite dress silhouettes to look for are wrap, sheath, tapered, and fitted styles as these accent the waist!

Boxy styles can be trickier for this body type, especially for those who are shorter, as they can create visually unbalanced silhouettes. Avoid styles that flare out from the chest like empire or babydoll styles if you are looking to show off your figure.

Pear or Triangle

Someone with a pear/triangle body type can be identified by hips and thighs that are fuller than the shoulders/bust, narrow and sometimes sloped shoulders, a smaller bust, and a defined waist. The most flattering fits are those that balance out the bottom half, draw the eyes upward, and de-emphasize the hips. Think ruffle and puff sleeves!

Some petite dress silhouettes to look for are wrap, fit and flare, a-line styles, and others that are not characterized by fullness/volume on the lower portion of the dress. Additionally, like many of the other body types, straight and boxy styles tend not to work as well as the body can easily become lost in the clothing.

Apple or Oval

Someone with an apple/oval/round body type can be identified by narrow/slim hips, fullness around the midsection, and an average to large bust size. The ribcage/back region can also be wider. The most flattering fits are those that create a more defined waist and balance out the top half by drawing attention to the lower half.

Some petite dress silhouettes to look for are styles that lightly skim the midsection without tightly hugging it, details on the shoulders or neckline, and larger prints, as these can create harmony and proportionality. For this reason, jersey, bodycon, and other clingy styles are not often as complimentary on the petite frame. However, if you want to rock that bodycon, and love this style, do it!

No matter the body type you have, know that you were beautifully and intentionally created! It is part of what makes you, YOU! Now is the moment to embrace your unique petite design. For your next night out, a special occasion, or a day at the office, try out one of the recommended dress styles above to feel your best in. Or go with something you just can’t take your eyes off of! Your comfort is priority!

Looking to find the perfect petite dress for your closet? Request dresses in your next Short Story box today!

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*Cover photo: Funmiford