Anyone who is considered to be petite knows the struggle of finding clothes that fit really well. It feels like most clothing items are made with taller people in mind, and buying something new usually requires a visit to the tailor to ensure that it isn't too long, baggy, or oddly fitted in certain spots. This especially extends to longer dresses, as most petite people can't buy a maxi dress without getting it hemmed, while midi dresses typically end up fitting more like a gown.
Sometimes, though, you don't want to spend more money to ensure your look will fit well. So, made specifically with shorter people in mind, petite-sized dresses are ideal for wedding guests who are on the hunt for an ensemble that fits perfectly the moment they try it on. Petite sizes make shopping feel a little less overwhelming and can really streamline the experience.
The below petite wedding guest dresses are a collection of beautiful looks that range from casual to formal—and many of them are versatile enough to be repurposed for another event. Take a look below and throw your tailor's number away (well, maybe don't go that far).
Most Simple: Closet London Petite Ribbed Pencil Midi Dress
Size: 2-12 | Length: Tea length | Care: Machine wash
ASOS has a great petite section and this is just one option available. Simple and classic, this ribbed green midi dress is a beautiful color for autumn weddings. It's a versatile pick that can be dressed up or down depending on the dress code.
Best Maxi: Fame & Partners The Zarita Dress
Size: Custom | Length: Ankle length | Care: Professional dry clean only
Fame and Partners provides made-to-measure gowns, so while you might spend a little more, you're pretty much guaranteed to get something made for your height. This comes in handy with this versatile maxi dress, which has a beautiful wrap-style front and criss-cross back.
Best Floral: Vince Camuto Floral Print Fit and Flare Dress
Size: 2P-14P | Length: Mini | Care: Dry clean
Florals can still be worn in fall, especially in colors like deep reds and yellows. With a high neck and long sleeves, this mini dress is great for transitional weather, and thanks to the petite size, it won't feel too long.
Best Black-Tie: Alex Evenings Feather Trimmed Off The Shoulder Gown
Size: 6P-16P | Length: Floor length | Care: Dry clean
It's not easy to find a floor-length gown that effortlessly fits a petite person, but this is an excellent option. The silhouette and black color makes this feel formal enough for a black-tie gala, and the feather-trimmed neckline makes it fun.
Best Asymmetrical: Abercrombie Asymmetrical Ruched Maxi Dress
Size: XXS-XL | Length: Ankle length | Care: Machine wash cold
Abercrombie is another store with a great selection of petite options, and this dress comes in petite, regular, or tall. The double-stretch crepe fabric is comfortable and the cut-out asymmetrical neckline and side slit keep it sexy.
Best Silk: Reformation Petites Frankie Silk Dress
Size: 0P-12P | Length: Ankle length | Care: Dry clean only
This slinky silk dress is meant to fit like a dream, and in a range of petite sizes, it likely will. The deeper color floral is so pretty for a fall wedding, and you can easily throw a scarf over your shoulders if you get chilly.
Best Swing Dress: Eva Franco Halter Swing Mini Dress
Size: 0P-12P | Length: Mini | Care: Hand wash
In a petite size, this swing dress should really hit your legs mid-thigh. With all-over textured embellishments, a halter neck, and a bow in the back, this has fun and feminine details that keep it interesting. It also comes in a pretty teal color if black isn't your thing.
Best Velvet: Betsy & Adam Petite Velvet Gathered-Waist Gown
Size: 2P-14P | Length: Ankle length | Care: Dry clean
Cooler weather means you can start to wear fabrics like velvet. And this velvet maxi dress feels luxe and comes in deep shades that are great for autumn weddings. What's more, the ruching and side slit on this makes it feel more special.
Best Wrap Dress: Reformation Petites Winslow Dress
Size: XSP-XLP | Length: Ankle length | Care: Dry clean only
A wrap dress like this Reformation number is a versatile pick you can use for numerous weddings and other occasions. The lightweight fabric and sleeves make it great for transitional weather, and while we love this dark floral for fall, it also comes in solid shades.
Best Off-the-Shoulder: Betsy & Adam Petite Off-The-Shoulder Cuff Wrap Crepe Gown
Size: 4P-14P | Length: Floor length | Care: Dry clean
This off-the-shoulder gown is perfect for a black-tie or formal wedding. The mulberry color is gorgeous, and the ruching and thick crepe make it feel more comfortable.
Best Lace: Karen Kane Petite V-Neck Scallop Lace Dress
Size: XSP-XLP | Length: Above the knee | Care: Hand wash
Sheer black floral lace, over a nude-colored fabric, makes this dress feel sultry and romantic. The shorter length keeps it from being too formal, allowing it to be more versatile.
Best Halter: Adrianna Papell Petite Satin Crepe Halter Gown
Size: 8P-14P | Length: Ankle length | Care: Dry clean only
The satin crepe fabric of this dress makes it look and feel luxe, and the dark navy is a pretty shade that works for any season. Details like a halter neck, keyhole back, and front slit add a few additional fun details.
Best Jumpsuit: Vince Camuto Petite Bow-Neck Jumpsuit
Size: 6P-14P | Length: Floor length | Care: Dry clean
Finding a petite dress can be hard, but finding a petite jumpsuit can feel impossible. This one from Vince Camuto is sleek and sophisticated, and the black makes it extremely versatile. Dress this up with some sparkling accessories for a wedding.
Most Versatile: Abercrombie & Fitch Plunge Neck Midi Dress
Size: XXS-XXL | Length: Tea length | Care: Machine wash cold
Relatively inexpensive and featuring a minimal design, this body-con midi dress is a versatile choice that can be dressed up or down. The green color is so pretty for autumn nuptials, but it also comes in a neutral black or a summery teal.
Best Feathers: Vineet Bahl Of A Faux Feather Mini Dress
Size: XXSP-XLP | Length: Mini | Care: Dry clean
For something more fun and unexpected, opt for a feathery mini dress like this one. Follow the styling lead and pair it with patterned or solid tights for a more autumn feel.
Most Sultry:: Reformation Petites Kourtney Dress
Size: 0P-12P | Length: Tea length | Care: Dry clean only
The sweetheart neckline, side slit, and fitted bodice of this dress make it look sultry and alluring, especially in this siren red color (it comes in other shades as well). We love the adjustable straps and the slinky fit.
Best Mini: Alex Marie Petite Size Drape Dress
Size: 2P-16P | Length: Mini | Care: Dry clean only
The satin fabric and dark red color of this mini dress give it all of the fall vibes. The wrap style is so pretty and the long balloon sleeves are a trendy and great find.
Best Long Sleeves: Flounce London Long Sleeve Midi Dress
Size: 0-10 | Length: Tea length | Care: Machine wash
Another beautiful long-sleeve option is this emerald green satin midi dress. With a wrap front and elastic wrists, this is such a pretty ensemble that works well for any cooler weather wedding.
Most Unique: Geisha Designs Martina Floral Dress
Size: XXSP-XLP | Length: Ankle length | Care: Dry clean
Stylish and unique, this dress features a tiered ruffle skirt, strapless neckline, and a beautiful floral design. It will definitely be something everyone is looking at (without taking attention away from the bride, of course).
Best Color: Ann Taylor Petite Tie Waist Knit Dress
Size: 00-16 | Length: Knee length | Care: Machine washable
A bright color like this shocking pink means that the rest of your dress can be pretty minimal. This one, featuring a flattering tie waist and a pretty square neckline, is a great option for transitional weather.
Most Casual: Reformation Petites Mara Dress
Size: 0P-12P | Length: Tea length | Care: Dry clean only
For a more casual wedding, opt for this leopard print midi dress that can be dressed up with the right heels and jewelry. This piece also comes in black for those who'd prefer a more subdued hue as a closet staple.
Best Fringe: Hutch One-Shoulder Fringed Mini Dress
Size: XXSP-XLP | Length: Mini | Care: Dry clean
This one-shoulder fringe mini-dress is a statement maker with a vintage feel. The fringe keeps it fun, and it looks great with black tights as shown.
What to Look for in a Petite Wedding Guest Dress for Fall
When looking for a petite dress that will fit you well, make sure to compare your measurements with the measurements of the dress in order to get a better idea of how it will work with your body. Ideally, you want to find something that doesn't need to be hemmed or altered. Additionally, for a fall wedding, you should look for an ensemble that works well for transitional weather. So, if you choose something strapless or sleeveless, make sure that it will look nice with outerwear or a scarf, if necessary. Longer sleeves, maxi dresses, and warmer fabrics, such as satin or velvet, are all great choices, to boot. Darker hues look nice in fall, but bright colors are still fun, and florals in deep colors are so pretty with foliage.
What does petite sizing mean?
While some people might associate "petite" with weight, in this case, it refers to height. In general, petite sizing in clothing caters to heights 5'4 and under. So, if you're 5'0 or less, you might still find that petite sizes are a little long for you. It's important to take measurements to get a better idea of how a dress will fit.
What kind of petite wedding guest dress should you wear to a fall wedding?
The weather for a fall wedding can range: It could be cold and breezy, or it could be sunny and on the warmer side. It's best to choose a dress that works for transitional weather—something you can layer is great. Longer sleeves and fabrics that are breathable, but still warm, are also good choices. You can also do maxi or midi dresses instead of mini hemlines, but minis are still good to wear with tights. There are tons of options for fall weddings, just be sure to keep the weather in mind.
Can petite women wear regular sizes?
Women who are petite in height can definitely buy and wear regular-sized clothing, they just might have to get their looks hemmed or altered by a tailor. This is especially true with a maxi or midi dress.
Why Trust Us
Contributing writer Jessica Booth is a freelance writer and formerly served as an editor for seven years. Her work has been featured in Bustle, Romper, Insider, Forbes, Redbook, and Refinery29.