Good things may come in small packages, but try telling that to a petite lady shopping for a maxi dress. The growing frustration you feel as the gorgeous, floaty styles you have admired on friends swamp you and somehow conspire to make you appear even shorter is enough to make you give up on the style. However, it is possible to be both petite and beautiful in a maxi dress. You just need to find a maxi designed specifically with your proportions in mind.
Fashion e-tailer Asos has a wide selection of petite clothing, including some fabulous maxis perfectly proportioned to flatter petite figures.
- This Button Through Long Sleeve Maxi Dress is a super-comfortable everyday style in a soft-touch jersey fabric. Easy to layer up depending on the weather, this is a great dress for all seasons. It comes in black and deep teal in petite sizes 0 to 12. The dress is very reasonable, retailing for less than $45.
- If you're looking for something a little more glam, try this Backless Maxi Dress in Marble Print. This is a real stunner made in a delicate sheer chiffon with a scooped neckline and dipped back with spaghetti straps. It is perfect for a summer wedding worn with flats or an evening function with heels and sophisticated make-up. The dress is available in petite sizes 0 to 12 and retails for just under $125.
The Asos website has a great filter which allows you get very specific about what you're looking for, from brand to color to style. They also do a great job of recommending further options to complement your chosen item. There is a very useful FAQ section with answers for customer queries.
Shipping options are extensive, including a free shipping option (which takes up to six days). All returns are free and there are often deals to be found on the homepage. It is worth checking out their loyalty option- Asos Premier - which gives you unlimited free two-day shipping for an annual $39 fee.
Department store Kohl's is another well-known retailer catering specifically to petite ladies.
- The Solid Maxi Dress is a great choice for holiday wear. Featuring a pleated neckline and keyhole accent, the soft jersey material and matching belt make it both flattering and comfortable. Available in onyx (black) and red, this dress comes in petite sizes XS to XL. It retails for $68.
- A brighter alternative is this Satin Halter Maxi Dress in pink (also available in a floral pattern). Its waistband breaks up your frame and draws attention to your waist, and the high front slit adds an extra dimension of glam. Available in petite sizes from XXS to XL, this dress retails for $70.
Shop in person at any of the many Kohl's stores throughout the US (to find your nearest, use their online store locator and enter your city or zip code). You can also shop online from the comfort of your home.
Kohl's has a hassle-free returns policy which allows you to return an item purchased online to your nearest store location.
Macy's sells petite maxi dresses from a number of top designers. Head here if you want some slightly pricier options for a special occasion.
- This INC International Concepts Petite Sleeveless Crochet Maxi Dress (pictured) is a sultry option for a summer night. With a lace overlay and scalloped hem, it's the little details that make this maxi special. Available in petite sizes XS to XL, this dress retails just under $140.
- This Spense Petite Sleeveless Lace Drawstring-Waist Maxi Dress is another gorgeous alternative for petite ladies. Available in navy, jade or coral, this very feminine style features a delicate lace overlay and a flattering drawstring waist. It comes in sizes 2P to 14P and retails just under $140.
Macy's has retail stores throughout the country. You can use their online store locator to find one near you or order online and have your items delivered to your home.
Macy's offers several different shipping options and is testing out the 'pick-up' concept in some of its stores, allowing you to purchase online and pick up your item at your nearest store. This option is very helpful if you won't be available at home to sign for deliveries.
Anthropologie caters beautifully to the petite lady, with many styles specifically made to fit those under 5"4, as illustrated in their Petite Fit Guide. There is a huge selection of perfect-fitting maxis to suit every style.
- The Talassemtane Maxi Dress gets rave reviews from customers on the Anthroplogie website. An easy and breezy style, this versatile maxi can be taken from day to night and casual to dressy. The pattern is a striking batik design in cream, black and jade. It comes in petite sizes XXS to L and retails for under $130.
- The Boteh Maxi is a real show-stopper created by famed Indian designer Ranna Gill, who is known for her intricate and bejeweled designs. At just over $225, it is slightly pricier than the other options but the price reflects this beautifully made classic that will see you through years of holidays and summertime fun. The dress is available in sizes 00P to 12P.
Anthropologie has stores all over the U.S. - find your nearest store on their website or shop online and have your items delivered. They have many delivery options, including express and overnight if you are really desperate to receive your dress quickly!
The customer reviews are the best feature of the Anthropologie website, as each reviewer leaves her height and body type details (and sometimes a photo of herself in the item too) so you can really appreciate what a particular piece might look like on your specific shape.
Maxis for Petite Ladies
There is no excuse for settling for shapeless and unflattering maxi dresses just because you are petite in stature. It is definitely possible to find your perfect maxi style no matter your height. Just remember to search out the retailers who cater specifically for your shape rather than trying out maxis made for standard heights.