Lace & Velvet // Fall wedding guest dresses

fall wedding guest lace party dress on a budget

1. Aqua tiered lace dress xs or 2. Aqua scalloped dress xs, Baublebar tassel earrings c/o, Kate Spade Licorice heels (old color), Chanel clutch

Bloomingdales’ Friends & Family sale is going on right now, ending October 9th! Use code FRIENDS to take 25% off a number of items marked as eligible. I’m partnering with them today to share a few party dresses (suitable for Fall wedding guests or cocktail parties) that are included in the promo. I’ve had a lot of luck lately with Aqua, a brand exclusive to Bloomingdales that has some pretty cute pieces that won’t break the bank!

self portrait look for less little black lace dress

Aqua tiered lace dress (2 colors)

You know what they say … one woman’s ill-fitting dress is another woman’s treasure! When shopping online, I subconsciously stay alert for bad reviews due to pieces running too short or too small. That was the case with this tiered lace dress, which ended up being very petite-friendly in XS. The waistline actually hits higher at my natural waist, and the length hits above my knees. The narrower shoulders also fit me well, although the waist had about an inch or two of extra room (you can cinch that with a belt) on me. It’s running low on sizes, but keep an eye out for re-stocks due to returns since it runs small. I got the black, but here’s how the blush pink looks on me:

lace cocktail party dress blush pink bloomingdales petite

Endless rose knit dresses

Another party option that I adore is this Endless Rose knit ruffled dress, which I have in red from a while back! See my previous review of this dress. The knit is on the thicker side and feels very sturdy, and the off-the-shoulder ruffles are perfectly sultry. Since you want a dress like this to fit snugly, I wouldn’t size up like the description says to. I also tried on this Endless Rose tiered sleeve sweater dress, and liked the fit in size XS (it’s definitely not as “mini” on me, as it is on the model)!

Aqua Scalloped Dress (4 color / fabric variations!)

I also wanted to share an elegant little scalloped dress that comes in a multitude of colors and fabrics! Size XS is fitted on me around the torso and waist. Since it’s regular sizing, the neckline will be a little lower-cut on petites. If you want to raise it up, an easy alteration that I get often is to remove some excess length off the top of the shoulder straps – this effectively “lifts” the dress and makes the armholes smaller, waistline & neckline higher, and hemline hit shorter.

holiday party outfit velvet scallop emerald dress

Aqua velvet dress sz XS in “hunter,” Kate Spade Licorice heels (old color)

holiday christmas cocktail party fit flare green dress
Here are the variations this scalloped dress comes in:
– Velvet fabric in jewel-toned hues: the “hunter” is more like an emerald color, and would be striking for a Fall cocktail party or a holiday event! Compared to the other fabrics below, this velvet is more drapey with less structure, so the skirt will fall closer to the body rather than flare out. There is an invisible back zipper and a partial lining.
Faux suede in two gorgeous colors: this material has a little more structure to it than the velvet, so the skirt portion has a more fit and flared shape (as you can tell in the stock photos!). For that reason, I think I’d prefer this to the velvet. This one also has an invisible back zipper and partial lining.
Metallic fabric: I haven’t seen this fabric in-person, but the structure seems similar to the velvet. I’m getting ahead of myself, but this would be cute for a simple holiday or NYE dress!
Ponte fit & flare: (pictured below) this dress is very similar in cut and design to the two above, but has a few notable differences: the fabric is a stretchy ponte-like material and is pullover style with no zipper, also the scalloped edges are raw cut instead of lined. The ponte fabric allows it to hold a little more structure in the skirt – the overall silhouette is so feminine and elegant!

flattering black fit and flare party dress scallop edges

Thank you to Bloomingdales for partnering on this post.

elegant black party dress self portrait dupe
little black dress what to wear to a wedding


30 thoughts on “Lace & Velvet // Fall wedding guest dresses

  • Reply Jessica | PetiteStyleScript October 4, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Jean, I also love Bloomingdale’s Aqua dress line! I own 3 dresses myself and actually picked this one up too (still waiting for my shipment) – great minds think alike! Thanks for sharing other options too 🙂

  • Reply Andrea October 4, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Love the black Aqua dress, it looks great on you. Perfect for fall parties or wedding guest attire. 🙂

  • Reply Sincerely Ophelia October 4, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I love both dresses! I love the tiered one especially. I’m a big fan of self-portrait and this totally gives me that brand’s vibes!

    XOXO //

  • Reply Helen October 5, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I had never heard of aqua, but their pieces are super cute! I love the tiered dress that you’re wearing in both the pink and the black, and that velvet dress is so cute, especially for the holidays!


  • Reply Elizabeth October 5, 2017 at 1:37 am

    All of these dresses are magical! <3 🙂 My favorite is the one in the cover photo – darker lace is always perfect for the fall!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog October 5, 2017 at 3:13 am

    I love both of the outfits on you, but I’d only be able to carry off the velvet one. Both are so gorgeous, though!

    Charmaine Ng

  • Reply Michael @ Mile in My Glasses October 5, 2017 at 3:55 am

    These dresses are lovely! They’re so wonderful for all sorts of occasions!

    I hope you have a great Thursday,

  • Reply Tiffany October 5, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I tried on the scalloped dress and found it ran a smidgen (like, an inch) short in the torso. I ended up purchasing the Aqua faux suede scalloped shift dress in a lovely sapphire blue for my engagement photos!

  • Reply Rachelle October 5, 2017 at 7:04 am

    gorgeous dress and I love the licorice pumps in that color.


  • Reply Neeltje | Thoughts in Style October 5, 2017 at 7:39 am

    The green dress is so beautiful! X

  • Reply Theresa October 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Did you alter the tiered dress? On the website, the tiers are more evenly spaced but your dresses seem to have the top to tiers stacked with more vertical space between the second tier and the bottom. I prefer yours so I want to be prepared for alterations if necessary. 🙂

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite October 5, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Theresa! I didn’t alter it – if I altered something, I will list it in the “outfit details” box. I totally see what you mean and I wonder if maybe that’s something that changed a little with different sizing?

  • Reply Theresa October 5, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Did you alter the tiered dress? On the website, the tiers are more evenly spaced but your dresses seem to have the top to tiers stacked with more vertical space between the second tier and the bottom. I prefer yours so I want to be prepared for alterations if necessary. 🙂

  • Reply anonymous October 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Have you ever tried Boden? Would you let us know if their “Breton” shirt would fit us, or their petite sized blazers?

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite October 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Hi! Yes I have .. I have a raincoat from them that i love but did alter it to fit. Their patterns are so fun and I love the carefree British styles, but wish they would start their petites line in more extended sizing. Their sizing runs true to size in my opinion – I believe petites starts in sz 2 so would recommend it if you usually wear 2P and up.

  • Reply Daneisha Smith October 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I love the lace dresses in black and blush! They’re very elegant and feminine! I could definitely see myself rocking this at a wedding or even happy hour this fall!

  • Reply Shloka October 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Wow! These are such flattering dresses! I love them both so much!


  • Reply Sara Fritz October 5, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Hey, what sort of bra do you wear with the black lace dress? I have a couple of tops that have open lace at the front just above where bras usually sit and the tops of my bra cups always end up showing (even if I wear strapless bras). Thanks for any advice. Love your blog, I used to feel so self conscious in clothes, always aware of how baggy and not-put-together I looked. Your blog has helped so much! Xx

  • Reply Anonymous October 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    AQUA is my go-to brand when shopping at Bloomingdales for its petite friendliness. I own a few pieces of the brand already. They have plenty of cute designs that are sometimes dupe of other expensive designers such as Self Portrait.

  • Reply Diana October 5, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    FYI- Red version of the velvet dress found on Target, at approx $55 (a good chunk cheaper than the Bloomingdale’s one). Here’s the link, fellow Extra Petite readers:'s-velvet-scallop-neckline-dress—necessary-objects-burgundy-xs/-/A-52746458 🙂 Thanks Jean for the good picks, as always!

  • Reply Mae Meade October 5, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    This Aqua dress in black is sooo perfect! I have a wedding this upcoming Saturday 10/7 and when I went to Bloomingdales site to order this- my size (XS) was not a available 🙁 I will keep an eye out for any restocks and am heartbroken I can’t enjoy this same look. My search continues for the perfect dress! Love all of your looks xo

  • Reply Diva Dealzz October 7, 2017 at 2:42 am

    I love this black lace dress. it looks simple and beautiful. you always come with some different ideas.

  • Reply Katerina October 7, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I like the dress length! The design looks elegant and refined:)
    A separate compliment to your beautiful lush hair!


  • Reply KB October 7, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Hi Jean! I’m hoping you see this comment and I get lucky and you respond 🙂 What do you think about this coat? I desperately need a grown-up elegant coat, but since I never owned one, I don’t know if this is too low end and the poor quality will show after some wear. Appreciate your blog very much.!

  • Reply the pink pineapple October 7, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful dress, you look fabulous

  • Reply Sarah October 7, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Yes yes ! You look amazing as always. Just a quick note to say how much, I enjoy your blog. I have a request for a post on military jackets for petites. Something in khaki rather than full camouflage and preferably warm to see us through London winters.

  • Reply Brenda October 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Love your make up! Was wondering what lipstick product and colour you are using.

  • Reply Varuna jithesh October 11, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Nice outfits..

  • Reply Dolce Petite October 14, 2017 at 5:55 am

    That lace dress is stunning, both in blush and in black! I love how it looks incredibly well-made but it’s a fraction the price of a similar Self-Portrait piece!


  • Reply linbery October 24, 2017 at 1:40 am

    you have excellent photos!


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