30 Days of Summer Outfits for Short Ladies

You love a good maxi dress-flat sandals combination, but you know it doesn’t do much for showing off your petite frame. Here are 30 perfect summer outfits if your measurements are more Kourtney Kardashian than Kendall Jenner.

7 Outfits That Make Your Legs Look Longer

woman wearing a white top and red gingham shorts
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Ruffled Blouse + Gingham Shorts + Espadrilles

Summer in an outfit. To maximize the flattering potential, tuck the shirt in to show off your waist and top it all off with low-ish heels. Shorts and stilettos may be a no-no, but a sensible lace-up wedge is pretty much perfection.

Get the look: Banana Republic blouse ($40); Sezane shorts ($105); Nine West espadrilles ($80)

woman wearing a cropped jumpsuit and mini bag
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Cropped Jumpsuit + Mini Bag

This jumpsuit has everything: a flattering v-neck, a cinched waist and wide, cropped legs. (Just be sure to buy in a petite size, or have hemmed to ensure you show a little ankle.) A mini bag looks polished without overwhelming your small frame.

Get the look: Asos Design petite jumpsuit ($51); Tory Burch bag ($448)

T-shirt + Slitted Maxi Dress + Sneakers

A maxi can overwhelm a petite figure. That is, unless it has a slit (like Coterie member Tiffany Jais’s) to show off your toned gams.

Get the look: Everlane T-shirt ($16); Asos petite dress ($48); Superga sneakers ($65)

woman wearing flowy dress and platform shoes
Fashion mews

Gauzy Mini Dress + Platforms

A mini, on the other hand, is a little more your speed—especially when you, like the Coterie’s Melis Lin, wear it with comfortable but leg-lengthening platforms.

Get the look: Free People dress ($77); Stella McCartney platforms ($840)

One-shoulder Top + Paper Bag Waist Pants

Looking to fake longer legs? Opt for paper bag waist trousers, which give the illusion of longer stems. (Ps: How chic is Coterie member Monroe Steele here?)

Get the look: Halogen petite top ($48) and pants ($79)

Embroidered Top + Jean Skirt

How to make a jean skirt grown-woman-appropriate? Learn from Coterie member Caroline Juen and dress it up with an embroidered off-the-shoulder top and equally detailed slip-ons.

Get the look: Madewell top ($88) and skirt ($70)

woman wearing a tank top and wide leg pants
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Tank Top + Culottes + Platform Sandals

Back at it with the cropped pants, which are born winners for slimming and lengthening—especially when worn with easy-to-walk-in platforms.

Get the look: Loft top ($45); River Island petite culottes ($95); Steve Madden sandals ($100)

woman wearing a white dress and espadrilles
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Floaty Dress + Espadrilles

Wondering how to wear an oversize dress and not look like you’re drowning in fabric? Slip into a pair of espadrille wedges and lean into the billow-y look.

Get the look: 1901 petite dress ($139); Rag & Bone espadrilles ($395)

woman wearing a crop top and flared trousers
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Flared Pants + Crop Top

Think you can’t wear ground-skimming pants? Think again. The key is to make sure to find a pair that’s high waisted and form-fitting up top, so you don’t look like you’re wearing your grandpa’s pajamas.

Get the look: Boohoo petite pants ($36); Moon River crop top ($64)

woman wearing a one shoulder top and mom jeans
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

One-shoulder Top + Mom Jeans

The cool thing about being short is that you can have fun with statement fashion without looking like you’re trying to take over the entire room. The key is make sure your other pieces are tailored and sleek. We love the pointed toe for extra elongation.

Get the look: Maje top ($225); Old Navy petite jeans ($35)

woman wearing a tiered dress and flatforms
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Tiered Maxi Dress + Flatform Sandals

It seems counterintuitive, but a tiered skirt or dress actually makes you look taller. Add a pair of flatforms and no one will know you’re 5’4”.

Get the look: Prose & Poetry dress ($179); Chinese Laundry sandals ($70)

woman wearing a crop top and striped pants
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Off-the-shoulder Crop Top + High-waist Pants

Crop tops are your friend, part two. Also notice, again, how well vertical stripes draw the eye up to make you look taller.

Get the look: Moon River top ($48); Sanctuary pants ($119)

T-shirt + Blazer + Jean Shorts

Another day, another delightful outfit from Tiffany Jais. The denim shorts and white sneaks show off her legs, while the blazer dresses things up and adds visual length.

Get the look: Industry Standard T-shirt ($60); Mural blazer ($74); Gap shorts ($30)

woman wearing a red belted dress and heels
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Belted Dress + Ankle-strap Heels

Oh hi, working girl. A belted, calf-length dress is almost universally flattering, since it highlights your small waist and gives you that peek of leg we keep talking about. A simple pair of sandals adds height without distracting from the main event (the dress, of course).

Get the look: Eileen Fisher dress ($288); Steve Madden heels ($80)

Vertical Stripe Dress + Nude Sandals

PureWow Coterie member Janee Barbre proves that stripes can slim and lengthen even the most voluminous dress. Skin-toned pumps provide more visual trickery.

Get the look: Zara dress ($50); Nine West sandals ($79)

woman wearing button down and midi skirt
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Button-down + Tea-length Skirt

Yes, there’s a lot of fabric here, but a few easy styling tweaks make it work for short gals. Namely, we love how this fashion maven tucked in her blouse (to create an hourglass figure), opted for cropped sleeves (to make her arms look skinnier) and chose a skirt that hits a little above her ankles (to show off those fierce shoes).

Get the look: Club Monaco shirt ($140); Maje skirt ($340)

woman wearing a tshirt slip skirt and sneakers
Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Knotted T-shirt + Slip Skirt + White Sneakers

Not comfortable in a full-on crop top? Knot a white tee to show off that high-waisted (and leg-lengthening) skirt without baring any skin.

Get the look: Gap T-shirt ($15); Vince skirt ($245); Vans sneakers ($55)

woman wearing a pink one shoulder top and white skir
Stuff She Likes

Ruffled Top + Ruffled Skirt

Too many ruffles? No such thing. Coterie member Taye Hansberry proves that a statement top pairs well with a statement skirt, as long as you stick to solid colors and keep your accessories simple.

Get the look: Kate Spade New York top ($148); Alice + Olivia skirt ($250)

woman wearing a minidress and ankle boots
Hanna Lassen/Getty Images

Floral Minidress + Ankle Boots

They aren’t just for cold weather. Paired with a swingy minidress in a bold print, ankle boots create a gorgeous feminine vibe. Short girl trick: Make sure the boots are low and don’t cut you off mid-calf.

Get the look: Rebecca Minkoff ($198); Sam Edelman boots ($100)

woman wearing a white dress and flat sandals
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Shirtdress + Slide Sandals

Who says petite ladies can’t wear flats? We love how the pop of color amps up an otherwise conservative look.

Get the look: Caara dress ($71); Topshop sandals ($65)

woman wearing a black culotte jumpsuit
Barbie Conga

Cropped Jumpsuit + Block-heel Sandals

Make like Coterie member Barbie Conga and opt for a wide, cropped leg (just below the knee will do). By adding some volume to your lower half, you'll make your waist look itty-bitty.

Get the look: Asos Design petite jumpsuit ($45); J.Crew sandals ($90)

Sleeveless Top + Midi Skirt

The Coterie’s Krystal Bick rocks a two-tone ensemble that’s slimming, elegant and effortless...and so easy to copy even if you’re not blessed in the height department.

Get the look: Ann Taylor top ($70); Nic + Zoe skirt ($118)

woman wearing a pink skirt and white shirt
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

Button-down + A-line Skirt

An A-line mini shows off your legs without clinging to them too tightly. You could wear it with a tucked-in tee or tank, but we love the effortless elegance of a crisp button-down.

Get the look: Treasure & Bond button-down ($69); City Chic skirt ($79)

tee and party dress august style ideas
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Graphic Tee + Cocktail Dress

You’ve got a closet full of party dresses, so why not get more wear out of them by layering over a casual T-shirt? Shorter ladies do best to stick to A-line cuts that are cinched at the waist and float away from the body, before ending mid-calf.

Get the look: Asos Design tee ($13); Gal Meets Glam dress ($168)

straw hat 1 august style ideas
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

T-shirt + Pencil Skirt

Noticing a skirt-length theme? Maxis are great, but they don’t do a ton for your petite frame. Midis, on the other hand, hit your calf at a really flattering spot and—especially if they’re high-waisted—look great with pretty much any heel height.

Get the look: Monrow T-shirt ($57); Ann Taylor petite skirt ($79)

woman wearing statement earrings and red mules
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Cropped Pants + Bold Earrings And Shoes

Standout earrings and shoes draw the eye up and down, creating a long, lean line regardless of your heel height.

Get the look: Mother pants ($205); Luv AJ earrings ($110); Sam Edelman shoes ($84)

woman wearing a white shirt and black shorts
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Pajama Top + Shorts + Pointy-toe Slides

Shorts can be intimidating. To fake miles-long legs, pair yours with pointy-toe shoes, which create the illusion of a longer line from hip to toe.

Get the look: Equipment top ($278); J.Crew shorts ($70); Marc Fisher LTD slides ($150)

woman wearing a striped dress and sneakers
Georgie Hunter/Getty Images

Wrap Dress + Sneakers

This guy deserves a place in your closet whether you're 4'11" or 5"11". The tie-waist silhouette is super easy to wear and can be dressed way up or way down. Since this summery version is on the casual side, slip into a pair of bright white sneakers, which keep it grounded and you blister-free.

Get the look: Lost + Wander dress ($115); Keds sneakers ($40)

woman wearing a chambray shirt and black pants
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Chambray Shirt + Trousers + Brogues

There's office chic and then there's office chic...and this ensemble strikes the perfect balance between elevated and summery. Belt the pants to create an hourglass figure, and hem them so they hit just above your ankle.

Get the look: J.Crew shirt ($55); Loft trousers ($40); Vionic brogues ($140)

woman wearing jeans and a floral kimono
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Jeans + Camisole + Kimono

Tuck the camisole in to streamline the silhouette, and finish things off with neutral heels. After all, when you're wearing so much fabric around your torso, a little lift never hurt nobody.

Get the look: Madewell jeans ($98); Habitual camisole ($98): Mimi Chica kimono ($27)

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...