Top Five List Do’s and Dont’s of Wearing ‘Maxi’ Dresses For Petite Women


5 Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Maxi Dresses for Petite Women

Our friend’s at The Petite Shop offer a fabulous selection of clothing specifically made for you the petite woman! You have asked us to bring you stylish and great fitting options and petite fashion advice, so this article has been written for you.maxi dress kate hudson carrie underwood vanessa hudgens kim kardashian

Solid or Print


When choosing a maxi dress, solid colors are your best bet, as this will give you a long, continuous line from top to bottom.  Coming in in second place is a small, consistent pattern – the general rule of thumb is that the size of the print should be no larger than your fist.


Just say no to anything that is going to separate your body into sections like you see in this picture showing petite celebrities (Kate Hudson, Vanessa Hudgens, Carrie Underwood and Kim Kardashian) with horizontal blocks of color, a solid and a print together, or large prints that cause the eye to want to look at each section separately.



Aim for a top-of-the-toe-grazing length – whether you opt to wear heels or flats!  You want to maxi-mize the line that the dress is giving you by stretching it out as far as possible!  This Athena Petite Maxi Dress from The Petite Shop is custom-designed to fall about 1/2” above the ground on a petite woman.


While we’re seeing them quite a bit this Spring, don’t bite on the ankle-grazing skirts…perhaps a taller person can get away with cutting themselves off at the ankle, but a petite woman?  No, ma’am!



Go with the flow –  and by flow, we mean flowy.  You want to find a material that is going to drape well – wear the dress, don’t let the dress wear you!  Choose a soft jersey that will skim your body, move with you, and be super comfortable – it’s a win-win-win!


No matter what you’re wearing, if it’s not a well-structured piece, petite women should stay away from stiff materials.   Stiff materials might decide on their own what your shape is, and with a maxi dress that is dangerous territory.




Opt for a fitted bodice.  This will balance out the full drape of the skirt (because we know you’re not wearing a skintight maxi dress, right?  Right?)

Pay attention to the neckline!  A universally flattering halter style is always a good choice – plus, they tend to have adjustable ties, even better!  V-necklines are another great option as they elongate the body.  The sweetheart neckline on this Empress Petite Maxi Dress has good coverage plus a little dip in the middle that accentuates your curves!

Flatter your waistline by choosing a maxi dress with a tie that cinches the waist – or throw on a narrow belt if needed!  By accentuating your natural waist or high waist you are visually lengthening those legs.


Petite women should avoid long sleeves on an already long dress.  Especially steer clear of the mumu shape – if you’re going to do sleeves make sure they are form-fitting!  Your body should be visible in there somewhere!  Petite celebrity Maxi-Dress-Do's and Dont'sMary Kate Olsen drowns her frame in this maxi dress – don’t make the same mistake!



Choose a skirt that follows the line of your body and follow the “Do’s” regarding material and you should be all set!


Don’t choose a skirt that poofs out – you’re probably going to the grocery store, not to the ball.  A flared skirt can absolutely work on a short dress, but stay away when it comes to a long one!

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Boho chic maxi dresses are all the rage this season! You will see many of your favorite petite celebrities wearing them. Who’s doing it right? Tell us below!

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9 thoughts on “Top Five List Do’s and Dont’s of Wearing ‘Maxi’ Dresses For Petite Women”

  1. What kind of wrap or shrug or cardigan do you recommend with maxis? In summer and when traveling to HOT places, I live in maxis. But I’m pale and I need to cover up from the sun (and for warmth when I go into the A/C!). Recommendations?

    1. Hi Heather, you have many great options when it comes to what you may want to pair with your Maxi dress. For petite women we think a simple cardigan that is fitted and cropped at the waist is a wonderful option. Just google “cardigans to wear with maxi dresses” and you will see all the fab options 🙂

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