6 Tops That Double as Dresses for Petites

Nausheen Shah seen in the streets of London during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015 at on September 14, 2014 in London, England.
Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images

Whether it's an ill-fitting dress or an overwhelmingly long top, clothing for petites is never what it ought to be. Since designers rarely create with an under 5'5" muse in mind, women with shorter frames need to embrace their height and make what's on the rack work. It's important to recognize that clothing descriptions and labels don't necessarily define how items should be worn. As long as the right parts are covered up, no one will ever notice you're wearing a dress that would actually be a T-shirt on someone taller. Shop the best six shirts that work as dresses for petites, below.


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Tighten up the look with a skinny belt to accentuate your shape. The high-low silhouette is an added bonus, allowing an easy shirt-tuck transition.

Forever 21, $29; forever21.com

Softer Denim

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A dark denim shirt dress may swallow your figure. Instead, pair this zip-up vest with a lace slip for a lighter feel.

Helmut Lang, $275; nordstrom.com

Love the Layers

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The drop-waist layer hits your body at the right spot, giving the illusion of a longer torso.

Need Supply Co., $88; needsupply.com


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Not only is this a trendy top, but this flirty hemline is flattering—and shows off your legs!

Pixie Market, $40; pixiemarket.com

Tailored Trapeze

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An alternative to the often overwhelming tunic, stay breezy in this trapeze dress.

Urban Outfitters, $39.99; urbanoutfitters.com

Back to Basics

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Comfort exudes confidence and at these prices, make sure to snag a few. The simple structure is effortless so consider yourself lucky to be short enough to pull this off.

H&M, $10; hm.com

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