Wedding dress styles for short people

Updated April 17, 2017

Every bride wants to look dramatic, memorable and beautiful on the day of her wedding. Petite women have lots of options for wedding dresses that will enhance their small stature rather than make it a shortcoming.

What Styles Work

Looking for a wedding dress is a time-consuming and sometimes nerve-racking process for anyone, but can be even more so for the petite woman with fewer options. But there are definitely a few styles available that can enhance a petite figure. One is the column-style dress. This dress has a slim line from waist to floor that elongates the body of a petite woman. Another good style option is the empire waist. The high waist line--usually just below the bust--elongates the line of a petite woman's leg. Generally speaking, these styles will flatter a petite woman when it comes to her height, but she should consider the rest of her body as well, and choose a style that is both flattering to her height and her body type.

Curvy and Petite

The curvy woman who is also petite will want to accentuate her hourglass figure and either minimise or accentuate the bust line. The A-line style is a good choice because it accentuates a small waist and can mask or balance large hips and bust lines. Though some petite women won't care for the "princess" style ball gown, it's a good option for a curvier figure. The large skirt can mask or balance a bottom-heavy curvy figure, and if the gown has a simple bottom and a detailed top--no matter what style--it will automatically draw the eye toward the face and away from the bottom. A curvy woman might also want to consider a gown with embellishment around the waist. Not only will this accentuate the smaller waist area, it will create a waist where there might not be one. Those with a larger bust will want to consider a few neckline styles; in most cases, a curvy bride will want to wear foundation garments. Strapless, scoop and sweetheart necklines are all flattering options.

Slim and Petite

For the slim woman who is also petite, consider the sheath. This dress is long, closely fitted and comes in a wide variety of styles, embellishment levels and fabrics. The slim cut makes the body appear long and lean by flattering a smaller frame. The trumpet shape is another good option for the petite woman. This gown style fits close to the body at the top and then flares out into a wide bottom, making a dramatic but also flattering statement. Another style to consider is the mermaid shape, which is similar to the trumpet style, but has a longer, more dramatic train and often has lots of embellishment, perfect for the petite woman who still wants to make a dramatic entrance. When considering necklines, nearly anything goes. Slim women will still want to consider their foundation garment needs, and make sure they have the support needed for the wedding day. Playing up the collarbone, neck and shoulders with a strapless or sweetheart neckline is a beautiful look; a halter neck can flatter slim arms and shoulders; and a boat neck with short or elbow length sleeves is perfect for a fall or winter wedding.

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About the Author

Colette Stichler is a writer and public relations professional living in eastern Nebraska. She enjoys covering arts and culture, fashion and travel.