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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 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 36 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 sweaterdress—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 one by Farm Rio or a cashmere turtleneck from Naadam. For something more playful, consider a colorful striped version by Jason Wu or Ralph Lauren.
Farm Rio fringed cable-knit midi dress
Polo Ralph Lauren striped midi-dress
Naadam luxe cashmere turtleneck dress
Jason Wu striped knit midi-dress
Wales Bonner Ska striped wool midi dress
Polo Ralph Lauren striped midi-dress
Remain Birger Christensen Zoa off-the-shoulder knitted maxi dress
Vince space dye midi-dress
Belted & Cinched
Add a bit of tailoring to your dress by styling it with a belt. Cinching the waist will give your outfit an A-line silhouette that is incredibly flattering on petite women.
Loewe belted dress
Self-Portrait embellished lace-trimmed midi dress
Tory Burch colorblock jersey knit polo dress
Zara belted shirtdress
Polished & Professional
For days at the office when you want a one-and-done look, consider an elevated striped shirt dress by Tory Burch that goes against the grain, or opt for a tried and true bouclé mini dress by Veronica Beard for a power lunch.
Veronica Beard boucle minidress
Proenza Schouler mini stripe long sleeve sweater dress
Cos belted midi shirt dress
Zara textured blazer dress
Tory Burch striped shirtdress
Weekend Max Mara Pietra belted midi-dress
Short & Sweet
If you’re a minidress type of woman, these frocks are elegant and ready for all your plans, whether you’re planning a warm weather getaway this winter or a casual weekend in the city. Just style these minis with your favorite tights, knee-high boots, and coziest coats.
Cara Cara Kelly printed cotton-poplin mini dress
Zara printed short dress
Ciao Lucia Isotta striped cotton mini dress
Diane von Furstenberg Gala belted printed silk mini wrap dress
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 2023.
Rotate Birger Christensen sequin open-back minidress
Bottega Veneta frill-trim satin midi dress
Sandro Karen knit dress
Molly Goddard Loretta gathered tulle midi dress
Cinq à Sept Barette crystal-trim blazerd dress
AllSaints Hadley sequin slipdress
Rixo Samantha sequined crepe mini dress
J.Crew ruffle-hem chiffon warp dress
It wouldn’t be the holidays without velvet. Saloni’s crystal-bow velvet dress is a personal favorite among the Vogue staff, all it’s missing is a coupe of champagne in hand. Cheers!