Gap kids dress (now <$10) sz L, altered, Left: J.Crew bag, hat from Khatu (similar), Glitter Pink sandals
Right: H&M scarf, Coach court bag (current version), Adrienne Vittadini booties (similar), U.O. watch
Being smaller-chested, one style dress that I've come to embrace is the shift mini. However, this cut often toes the line between looking like a big ole (albeit comfy) pillowcase, versus something chic. For me, an ideally-fitting shift should graze over the widest parts of my body (chest and hips) while maintaining straight lines on each side, and follow a slight A-shape from the shoulders down to the hem. A higher hemline helps balance the looser cut, and flat shoes can help balance the shorter length. I initially thought this dress fit passable off-the-rack, then started to notice the pillowcase effect in some photos. After some trial and error, about 1-inch slimmed along each side maintained the shift style for me without being too shapeless.
I wore this dress with minimal styling over the weekend, with a sun-sheilding hat, bright bag, and flat strappy sandals. It's too early for boots, but I just snapped a few photos to show how easy it is to transition this for Fall. My shoes in both pairings are usually touted as "no-no's" for petite women, but I can't help but love ankle-strap / ankle-length footwear! Choosing a neutral color and wearing with higher hemlines help mitigate the leg-truncating effect.
This dress is 100% cotton, made in Indonesia. The inside is a terry-like material. If the length fits well as-is, I would suggest keeping it out of a dryer. My size L before alterations measured: 12.75"across the shoulders, 15.5" across the chest, 18.75" across the bottom opening, and 31" length.
Last month, while ordering this handbag, I remembered that size 5 gal Crystalin (how cute is she?) had luck with small sandals from the same website. I started browsing by size and fell into a black hole of options, without even leaving the sale section. I've been looking for flat, neutral sandals that aren't too plain, and ended up ordering these from Glitter Pink (not the most alluring brand name for grown women, I know...).
The shoes turned out to be exactly what I wanted, with my only complaint being the time it takes to get in and out of the double buckles. The fit by the toes is on the narrower side, as the straps fit across the top of my feet without much extra room. My size 5.5 measured 9.25" down the insole, and 3 and 1/8th" across widest part of the footbed. I also want to note that although I didn't have any issues, the placement of the ankle straps may be uncomfortable for some depending on where they hit. If this style isn't for you, I see the same brand makes a variety of sandals and flats.
Glitter Pink sandals (3 colors, on sale)
I ordered both taupe and white, and returned the latter (used the $6 UPS label for all my returns and received my refund within a week). I love the idea of white strappy sandals, but they were unfortunately not as flattering on my short legs. These shoes are made in Italy and are leather throughout - wonderful quality for the price, which is a rarity these days. The bottoms are imprinted with "Vero Cuoio." I can't count the number of times I've seen those two words and wondered half-heartedly what they meant, but wasn't curious enough to ask my friend Google. Apparently, it indicates a full leather sole and is "the mark of the Consorzio Vero Cuoio Italiano, a trade association whose primary goal is to support and increase the sole leather culture, and to train the consumer to be able to autonomously recognize, distinguish and appreciate the quality of genuine Italian sole leather" (possibly questionable source). Shoe trivia for the day : )