Finding gorgeous wedding dresses for petite women is no small feat (no pun intended). All too often, the intricate boned bodices just don’t fit shorter torsos, the stunning hem detailing gets lost in alterations or the voluminous ballgown skirts swallow your figure whole, leaving you looking like a kid playing dress up. But just because you’re under 5 foot 3 inches and not 6 foot 1, like the models in basically every bridal campaign on Instagram, doesn’t mean you can’t find the dress of your dreams.
The 20 Best Wedding Dresses for Petite Women You Can Buy Online
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What to Look for in a Petite Wedding Dress
Your best bet is to find a designer who makes dresses specifically in petite sizes (for instance, David’s Bridal has a phenomenal petite selection). These brands take into consideration the fact that everything, not just the waist, needs to be reproportioned to fit a smaller frame—shoulders should fit more narrowly, hems should be taken up and bodices should be shortened. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t also check out designers that don’t cater directly to petites. It just requires a few additional considerations.
If you’re shopping somewhere that doesn’t make petite-specific wedding dresses, be sure to take the inevitable alteration process into account. At the very least, you’re almost guaranteed to need the skirt hemmed, so avoid dresses with a lot of detail at the very bottom (it’s incredibly difficult, and very expensive, for even the best tailors to maintain an intricate hem while taking up a skirt). Anything with adjustable straps or a removeable belt can be more easily tweaked to fit your figure, and dresses with draped silhouettes rather than seamed boning will flatter a wider variety of frames (not just the 5 foot 7 sample size).
Lastly, consider the silhouette. You may be dreaming of a Cinderella ball gown, but voluminous skirts can often make the wearer look shorter and you might find yourself getting lost in all that fabric. Column, mermaid, trumpet and even A-line dresses will all be much better for elongating your frame.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? We promise it’s not as difficult as it may seem! In fact, we went ahead and found 20 gorgeous wedding dresses that are perfect for petite women. Even better? They’re all available to purchase online from the comfort of your living room, so you don’t even need to go through the hassle of scheduling a store visit (because planning a wedding is stressful enough as it is).
The Best Wedding Dresses for Petite Women at a Glance
- Best Sheer Bodice: Galina Signature Sheer Dress
- Best Sweetheart Neckline: DB Studio Off-the-Shoulder Wedding Dress
- Best Halter Dress: Galina Signature Lace Halter Dress
- Best Petite Wrap Dress: Reformation Winslow Dress
- Best for Elongating Your Frame: Melissa Sweet Plunge Dress
- Best Cap Sleeves: Oleg Cassini Floral Lace Dress
- Best Silhouette for Petites: Chiara Boni La Petite Robe Melania Dress
- Best for the Petite Minimalist Bride: Silk Maison French Bow Halterneck Dress
- Best for the Bride on a Budget: Maya V-Neck Maxi Dress
- Best Silk Dress for Petites: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Briony Gown
- Best One-Shoulder Dress: Chiara Boni La Petite Robe Gosia Gown
- Best Ballgown for Petites: David’s Bridal Off-the-Shoulder Gown
- Best Column Gown for Petites: Rebecca Vallance Rosette Gown
- Best Detailed Neckline: Jenny Yoo Willow Gown
- Best White Dress for Petites: Jewel Dress
- Best for the Retro Bride: Petite Studio Raegan Dress
- Best Boho Dress for Petites: Galina Signature Plunging Dress
- Best Party-Ready Silhouette: Rasario Asymmetric Dress
- Best for the Bridgerton Bride: Brock Collection Gloria Gown
- Best Grecian Dress for Petites: Danielle Frankel Charlie Gown
Best Sheer Bodice
Wedding dresses featuring sexy sheer bodices have been a staple for years, but they can be difficult to alter for petite frames, between maintaining the lace, moving the boning and adjusting the cups. Luckily, David’s Bridal has a few dresses with this type of detailing that are made especially with the 5-foot-3 and under crew in mind, including this stunning Galina Signature gown. The cascading lace at the waist mirrors the lace on the hem to tie the bodice and skirt together, and the back has a small cutout detail and line of buttons at the rear to add another special touch. There are built-in cups, so you don’t have to worry about a bra, and petite reviewers mentioned how well this dress stayed in place, so you won’t be left tugging it up all night long.
Best Sweetheart Neckline
David’s Bridal is a great place to find dresses that actually come in petite sizing, meaning there will be fewer alterations (if any) needed before your big day. This dress in particular is one of the brand’s best-selling styles for the category, and it’s not hard to see why. The gorgeous sweetheart neckline will be incredibly flattering on small frames, whether you’re an hourglass with an ample bosum or have a shape that's straight up-and-down and flat as a board. The subtle ruching along the bodice also helps create the illusion of a smoother silhouette—even without the help of Spanx. It’s mighty tough to beat that under $500 price tag as well.
Best Petite Halter Dress
Halter necks are fantastic for elongating smaller frames, as they draw the eye in and up, and they’re great for showing off strong shoulders, too. While the keyhole at the front of this petite style is rather revealing, there are built-in cups and the material has a bit of stretch to ensure that everything stays put, even while you break it down on the dance floor. There are multiple reviews raving about just how flattering this gown looks in person and how surprisingly comfortable it is. And almost every reviewer was thrilled about the fact that there were barely any, and often times no, alterations necessary—a major win for both your figure and your budget.
Best Petite Wrap Dress
Reformation is one of our favorite places to shop for sustainably made petite dresses, tops and even pants, but did you know it also has a line of wedding-ready petite pieces? Best for the more casual bride, or perhaps as a second look or rehearsal dinner dress, the Winslow just can’t be beat when it comes to comfort. The wrap silhouette is also incredibly flattering on a variety of petite figures—both women with bigger hips/chests and smaller ones will love the way the adjustable wrap belt and dolman sleeves create the illusion of an itty-bitty waist. And because it is part of the brand’s petites collection, you won’t have to stress about finding a tailor to adjust the hem.
Best for Elongating Your Frame
This lace column dress, which comes in petite sizing, has so many elements to help elongate your frame, all before you even have to consider adding in high heels. First, there’s the plunging neckline, which helps to draw the eye in and down to your waist. That line is then continued all the way down the front of the dress here thanks to the parallel lines of lace—an illusion that’s mirrored by the long, fitted sleeves. All you need to finish the look is a lariat necklace and a ballet-length veil and you’ll be looking long, lean and stunningly statuesque for your big day.
Best Cap Sleeves
We came for the fresh take on the sweetheart neckline, but we stayed for the stunning 3D floral detailing that gives this gown a unique texture. Seriously, the combination of lace blooms and delicate sequins is giving us major fairy tale princess vibes (especially in combination with those cap sleeves, which will fit your petite frame beautifully thanks to the specially cut sizing of this dress). We also love that the front isn’t too low-cut for those who want something a bit more modest, and while the back is bare, it wouldn’t be difficult for a tailor to add in a panel of fabric to make this dress more bra-friendly. This is also a wonderful option for those who have their heart set on a ballgown but are worried about being overwhelmed by too much fabric—the A-line cut will still look voluminous on your petite figure (and move beautifully as you spin around the dance floor) but doesn’t go too big, which is key to looking like a regal adult.
Best Silhouette for Petites
Full disclosure: This sheath gown is not specifically a petite design. But its simple, clean finish means that it will be easier to alter than something that’s covered in sequins or lace. Column gowns are perhaps the most flattering option for those under 5-foot-3 because they create a long line from shoulder to toe, making your figure seem longer in the process. And while a halter or high-neck continues that line even further along your body, the off-the-shoulder neckline of this Chiara Boni dress is cut closer to the collarbone, meaning it won’t cut your figure off. Better yet, the gentle draping at the hip also helps to mask any would-be lumps or bumps at your midsection. But the two details we’re really excited about here are the trendy cutout at the bust and the faux wrap detailing below the waist. The first is a fun, fashion-forward twist on a classic bridal look that won’t look outdated in a few years (and also won’t reveal too much cleavage, if that’s a concern). And that faux wrap also provides extra coverage without sacrificing style.
Best for the Minimalist Bride
Maybe you’re having a courthouse wedding, maybe you’re on a tight budget or maybe you just aren’t a fan of gowns. Whatever your reason, this slinky, silky midi will look festive—not fussy—and works for just about any venue. Although it isn’t a petite-specific design, there are no darts at the bust or waist to complicate alterations and the halter neck is entirely adjustable (leaving a beautiful length of silk flowing down your back for a little extra coverage). A midi length also means no risk of tripping on a floor-grazing hem when walking down the aisle. Because of this dress's elegant simplicity, it would be easy to shorten even further if you like.
Best for the Bride on a Budget
Looking for something that won’t break the bank but still feels special enough for your big day? ASOS has you covered. The brand sells a wide range of petite-friendly pieces, but it’s this sequin and tulle number by Maya that really caught our eye. We love that it’s bra-friendly, and the fact that it was designed with petite frames in mind means that the waist will hit in exactly the right spot instead of three inches too low, (although we think it would look even better with the simple addition of a white or embellished belt). Reviewers also mention how lovely the dress looks in person, although some do note that the skirt appeared to be more cream than white IRL, so keep that in mind when ordering.
Best Silk Dress for Petites
This antique white silk gown is incredibly elegant and avoids looking too plain with a scattering of intricate floral embroidery at the shoulder, the ribcage and the top of the train. There is an open keyhole back, but the built-in cups at the bust help to ensure you don’t run into any, erm, situations. Although this dress doesn’t come in petite sizes, it’s fitted just below the bust rather than at the waist (it's technically an empire silhouette, defined by this cinching), and there's none of the embroidery of other styles to be lost in the hem should you decide to take it up. Better yet, the straight draped skirt has all the same lengthening power as the petite-favorite column dress, and the slim silhouette won’t overwhelm your frame like a more voluminous ballgown might. BHLDN also offers virtual styling services, so you can talk with an expert from the comfort of your home to better discuss the fit.
Best One-Shoulder Dress
Much like halters, one-shoulder silhouettes create a long line from shoulder to toe, thereby helping you to appear taller than you actually are. And this gown has the added lengthening bonus of a column silhouette, as well. The skirt has a hidden wrap feature that makes it much easier to walk in than your typical column dress, and once again, the lack of detailing at the hem makes this beauty a cinch for a tailor to hem. Also, there is no zipper to be found here—the dress pulls on over your head—and the fabric has enough stretch to feel oh-so comfy.
Best Ballgown for Petites
Ballgowns can be tricky for petite women to wear—all that fabric can easily overwhelm your small stature or leave you looking like a kid playing dress up—but this satin stunner manages to hit that sweet spot between being voluminous without being overbearing for two main reasons. First, the satin material creates a flowing line from the neck all the way down to the floor in a way that lace or heavy embroidery just can’t recreate. Second, it's slightly less poofy, giving you more of a bell shape. Reviewers rave about how flattering the neckline is and the back as well, which repeats the V at the front. The cinched-in waist helps to create a striking hourglass figure and makes it so you don’t really need to add a belt if you don’t want to. This dress comes in both white and ivory, or, for the colorful bride, there is also a blush pink and a pale Cinderella blue to choose from. (P.S. The underskirt is removable if you decide you don’t want that ballgown silhouette after all.)
Best Column Gown for Petites
Don’t let the simplicity of the silhouette fool you—this dress is absolutely stunning IRL and looks beautifully luxe. This dress may not come in petite sizing, but much like the other minimalist beauties on this list, would be very easy to hem if necessary. The heavy crepe material has a bit of texture to it, and the seamline at the waist and along the bodice is nearly invisible. Of course, the real star of the show is the oversize bow at the back, which is made from the same beautiful fabric. That bow adds just enough detail to prevent this dress from feeling too elementary and eliminates the desire to add any embellishment or glitz.
Best Detailed Neckline
If you’re *so* not into lots of glitter and embellishments, but still want your gown to have a little somethin’ somethin’, this 3D floral number may be just the ticket. The straps and bust are adorned with delicate lace flowers that will help to draw the eye up to accentuate your collarbone, while the draped crepe flows simply along your frame and cascades into an elegant train. Plus, those straps can be worn in multiple ways (atop your shoulders as shown, as a romantic off-the-shoulder neckline or removed entirely for a strapless look) to best fit your smaller frame. And that slim-fitting top with a flowing skirt will compliment your curves beautifully without risk of overwhelming your shape with tons of fabric.
Best White Dress for Petites
Much like the off-the-shoulder satin dress above, the petite-friendly skirt of this gown falls between a full ballgown and an A-line to give you princess vibes without shortening your stature. And while it comes in three different colors, it’s the ivory hue in particular that we think looks too gorgeous to pass on. The creamy hue is softer than bright white, which also makes it more flattering on a wider range of skin tones. The back does dip a bit in a flattering V-shape, you could absolutely wear a strapless bra for added support. The sleeves, meanwhile, feature lace detailing at the shoulders and cuffs to give the illusion of more coverage without running the risk of you overheating while you dance. (Note, the glittery belt pictured is not included with the dress, but David’s Bridal has lots of gorgeous options under $100.)
Best for the Retro Bride
This under-$200 midi is a ’40s-inspired dream made especially for petite frames. Petite Studio is a brand that specializes in clothing for the under 5-foot-3 crowd, meaning that shoulder detail won’t droop over your smaller frame and the belted waist will hit in exactly the right spot. And although the length is tailored to hit just below the knee of a shorter person, the unadorned Raegen dress would also be quite easy to hem if you wanted to go even shorter. The flattering V-neck and stretchy belt help to create an hourglass figure, and we can’t stop obsessing over the gorgeous pointed cuffs with dainty pearl buttons. The lightweight linen fabric makes this a better choice for warm weather weddings, but if you’ll be indoors, you could easily wear this beauty in fall or winter, too.
Best Boho Dress for Petites
Sometimes you want to dress like Cinderella, and other times, the Olsen twins are your style inspiration. Luckily, this dress combines both aesthetics, melding together the princess vibes of a full tulle skirt with boho detailing by way of scattered 3D flowers and falling leaves. Created with a smaller frame in mind, the cups are positioned in a manner so that you won’t have to worry about them hitting too low or the shoulders slouching down while you dance. (And if that turns out to be the case, some reviewers had a seamstress add a matching tulle panel for extra coverage, with photos on the site to show you how the alterations turned out.) It even has a built-in glittering belt to help define your waist and add a touch of glam to your look.
Best Party-Ready Silhouette
Yeah, you’re excited to share your vows at the ceremony, and the food sounds like it will be really delicious, but the thing you’re most excited about on your wedding night is breaking it down on the dance floor—and you want a dress that can move with you. Enter: This flirty asymmetrical midi, which is giving us major Anita vibes from West Side Story in all the best ways. The high neck and asymmetrical cut will do wonders to make you appear taller than your 5-foot stature (even without the help of heels). And that flounced hem will look stunning flaring out while you spin around the floor with your beau.
Best for the Bridgerton Bride
Last year Bridgerton’s wedding between the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton became a major source of inspiration for brides planning their big day the world over. And with season 2 about to be released, we think it’s safe to bet there will be yet another round of regency-era brides. The puff sleeves and empire waist of this beautiful lace gown look just like something Daphne or one of her sisters would wear to one of their many balls and will flow beautifully as you walk down the aisle and sway on the dance floor. The gently draped skirt also mimics all the lengthening features of a column dress to add inches without the pain of sky-high heels. All you need to finish the look are some elbow-length gloves and a glittering tiara and you’ll be good to go.
Best Grecian Dress for Petites
This draped silk beauty is a combination of Greek goddess and ‘90s red carpet in all the best ways possible. It has a stunning open back with a cowl detail just above the rear, and the bias-cut silk will hug a petite frame in all the right places without actually requiring any seam adjustments or tucking. Unfortunately, because this doesn’t come in petite-specific sizing, shorter gals will likely need to have this beauty hemmed, but a good tailor, like the ones on the Danielle Frankel team, will still be able to maintain the flowing train.