Summer Reviews: Striped Peplum Tops + Petite Maxi Dresses

joa striped peplum bow top review

JOA top sz xs (here in blue stripes, here in solid blue) – runs small, KJP bracelet xs,
Topshop jeans sz 25 x 30 (similar in the same cut), Ann Taylor pumps sz 5

I’ve seen this peplum top sold on several websites, usually with rather low ratings due to it “running small” (aka “jackpot” for some petite ladies). I finally tried it on, and it’s an adorable, shapely piece that can dress up a simple pair of jeans. It indeed fits small in the torso and runs narrow across the ribs & waist, with a little extra room on me across the top of the bust. I just realized the sleeve can also be worn *on* the shoulder as shown here, which could help with securing everything up.

off shoulder top jeans going out outfit
The opening across the top is slightly elasticized, and is lined with thin rubber trim for traction. Measurements of an xs (fits more like xxs): 12.5″ across the waist, which can be tightened with the sash, 15″ across the top opening, 17″ long in the front. Side zipper entry.

After my random lucky find at Bebe, my interest in the retailer was piqued for the first time since…well, maybe never. Browsing through their website, there’s reminders of the Bebe that most of us know and don’t care for (no offense to anyone who loves lace-up, sheer leggings)! But there are also some cute finds, along with intriguing ones that toe the line of tasteful vs. scandalous…

little black dress cocktail party outfit ideas petite style

Take this little black dress, for example. It makes you look twice (husband’s eyeballs nearly popped out of their sockets), but dare I say there’s something about it that feels elegant? The black satin fabric has good weight to it, there’s a built-in tulle underskirt for shape, convenient pockets (!), and a delicate, higher-neck mesh insert across the front to keep the “girls” in place. I also love the backside, which is in a deep V cut that goes down to the waist. The waist fits me like a glove, but the bust (shaped by curved panels) has some room on me. The material is thick enough that you may not need a bra, but if the bust isn’t fitted on you, there is some risk of side peek-a-boobs through the mesh. Since a few of you asked about undergarments here, I had on my trusty Bristols 6 nippies.

Measurements of 00 regular: 11.75″ across waist with a little stretch, 30″ long. Bust is approx. 15 to 15.5” across (difficult to measure exactly since the back is fairly open).

bebe striped bow peplum shirt topshop jamie jeans petite

peplum top sz 00 regular, Topshop jeans sz 25 x 30 (similar in the same cut)

This is similar to the JOA peplum top, and is so so cute. It’s good quality and lined, but the upper bust opening along the very top was loose on me (a little more so than the JOA), despite the rest of the bodice being very fitted at my ribs. It would help if the bow were an adjustable tie, but it’s purely decorative. You could add a dart on each side along the top edge to help taper it in.

pink black lace maxi dress for petite women wedding guest outfit

I wasn’t quite sold on this blush chiffon with black lace combo, but wanted to share a picture since the fit was pretty good! It’s not too long or too short on me, like some maxi dresses can be in petite sizing. Measurements of 00P: 12.5″ across waist, 15″ across armpits, 52″ length. There’s a back zipper, and a slip dress attached that ends above the knees.

floral lace maxi dress petite women fashion blog

This is another one of those pieces on the borderline scandalous side, but very pretty and interesting from all angles. The black lace trim is unlined, so I could definitely use more coverage at the bust where the lace is! This can be addressed though by wearing either a skin-toned or lacy black bralette underneath. Material is a lightweight, floaty chiffon and the dress is partially lined to above the knees. Measurements of 00p: 12″ across the waist (stretchy, unlined lace trim), 52” length. Bust is hard to measure accurately, since the back is partially open from the deep V.

olive green lace dress summer wedding guest wear ideas

I also tried on this dress in a regular xs. Due to the elasticized shoulders and blouson waist, it fit decently and you can also fold over some excess material at the waist to bring up the length. The outer fabric is a nylon lace, and the dress is fully lined in a stretchy knit material (dress is hand-washable). Measurements of xs: 16″ across the shoulders (stretches), 12″ across the waist (also stretches), 27″ length.

off shoulder lace fit flare summer dress

Are there any brands or stores that you’ve “re-discovered” after a long hiatus?

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Loading comments...

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?