Evening wear for the petite woman

A WEEKLY FASHION/ADVICE COLUMN

Many women reach out to me in regard to their height and proper dress.

Full disclaimer: I am 5’11”, but working with models for years, many of them aren’t average model height, but still want to model and dress where their height isn’t a distraction.

More recently, I have had women book me for convenience. 

Remember I am all about ELEVATION. 

So my clients want to stand out in every room they walk in, or in every picture they take, and they book me for that. 

Some of those women just happen to be below 5’4,” AND THAT’S OK!

So this week’s tip is dedicated to the petite woman and their evening attire.

READY? Let’s get into it!

What is ‘evening wear,’ and when should you wear it?

Evening wear, simply defined, is a term used by many professionals in the fashion industry to mean formal wear. 

You would wear evening wear garments to anything that calls for such, for example: cocktail parties, proms, galas, balls, or weddings—basically any white or black tie event (we’ll get into the difference in those in another column).

Essentially, you want to make sure you’re prepared for these events in a formal sense. The world is slowly opening up, and more and more of us are getting ready for those events that have been pushed back one, two, or even three times.

First, allocate the proper time!

I know some of us are “last minuters” but you want all the options that are available to you, and you can’t know that if you don’t make the time to shop—even if it’s just online, or even if you hire a personal shopper. 

I personally like at least one month to shop for my clients when they have big events., and two month when they want something custom made.

So eliminate the stress and anxiety that comes with last minute shopping, and move forward into time management. 

If you shop even when you’re not looking for something, and find that perfect petite dress, then it’s already in your closet, ready for you to use for your next special occasion! 

I highly recommend this for my last minute folks. I know sometimes you can’t help it. 


The Petite Section

So petites, do you always run towards the petite section when you shop?

If you’re like most of my clients.—no, and who would want to?

The other sections have way more options, the other options look better than your options, and who doesn’t want the season they aren’t in right? (I grew up in a Baptist church so that’s my leadership humor).

For evening wear attire, the petite section is even more limited, but one thing you should do when you’re in some of these bigger department stores, is look at what could be ordered online. I like to set my filters when I shop online. You can set the petite filter so you can see all styles available in petites aside from what’s just available in store.

If you are absolutely stuck on something outside of the petite section, then simply contact your seamstress about alterations. It’s a good idea to have a personal alterations specialist so you can ask him/her if what you need done can happen to the dress you desire prior to purchasing it. 


Length of dress, perfect shoes.

So if you go cocktail, keep it three inches above the knee. Too close to the knee will appear to shorten you even more. Especially for my knock-kneed girls. We don’t want ay extra attention in that area, right? 

When doing tea length, stay slightly past the knee, don’t go for the mid-calf length like the average tea length dress. You want that extra advantage from showing more leg.

When doing floor-length, don’t touch the floor. Try to stay right at the ankle area! Let your shoes do the rest.

You don’t always need a high heel. As a matter of fact, too tall of a heel, especially with a platform, isn’t good for short women. It can look as though you’re very vain about your height (which you may be, no judgement) but we don’t want it to be obvious, right?

To sum it up, I elaborate on this topic more on YouTube, so be sure to find my channel! LINK: “Designer Daniette, Your Fashion Catalyst”

My petites, we want to elevate you from the inside so that your confidence boosts you for any occasion, and those pictures are kept for many years to come!


I can’t wait to chat with you guys next week! 

Yours in fashion, D.Thomas


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