5 Places I Love for Special Occasion Dresses

petite floral summer dress

Between it being a traditionally popular time for weddings and the fact that many nuptials last year were postponed, it seems to be an extra festive time right now for wedding celebrations! I’ve been getting a lot of requests on where to shop for wedding guest attire for settings ranging from backyard to black tie, and wanted to share a handful of brands I love with picks that may suit a petite frame.

I paired my dress above with the quilted Express sandals I’ve been super happy with (see them styled on me in several ways) but remember that if the venue involves grass, I’d opt for wedges or a block heel!

Cocktail Attire

Check out: Lulus

Lulus has an entire section dedicated to wedding guest dresses, from flowier frocks to chic LBDs (always a safe bet!) like their Iconic Moment Midi. They have very affordable price points and tons of customer reviews that can be filtered by height, size and body type to see how something might fit you! I have actually found their XS or even S to fit pretty decently, depending on the style.

Black Tie or Dressier Settings
I have bought a handful of dresses from this brand over the years (see lace here, sequins here) and it’s always been beautiful quality with a sophisticated cut, and worth the splurge to me. They don’t have petite specific sizing, so pieces will usually be midi length or longer on someone petite. Don’t be afraid to try styles out of your comfort zone though as one might become an unexpected favorite – I especially love their styles with a partially sheer lacy or mesh skirt outer layer, which can be visually flattering on petite ladies even at a longer midi length. Their embellished Fit & Flare Dress looks gorgeous, and also in white / beige, if you’re a bride needing a piece for bridal activities!
Estate or Winery Wedding

Check out: Reformation Petites

Their feminine, alluring floral print Nikita Dress is one of their core dress styles that gets refreshed in new patterns each season. Their petites sizing is a good fit in my experience, and their regular sizing can work too when pieces have adjustable features like tie shoulders or a smocked back panel. Just note their dresses with bust cups tend to run on the small side in the cup area. 

Backyard or Garden Wedding

Check out: J.Crew

J.Crew has quite a few garden-friendly pieces like their pleated posies dress (also in solid colors) that I have on! It has pockets and comfy features like a smocked waist and low maintenance pleats. Even though this is only available in regular sizing, it’s still flattering on me as a midi dress (even with flats shoes – see bottom photo). I did see one reviewer’s suggestion to wear a bandeau bra to minimize bulging at the bust area, and will have to try that next time. I’ve recently styled two other J.Crew dresses – one with eyelet details and a flouncy wrap dress – and either of those could also work for a more casual backyard wedding.

Beach Wedding

Check out: Amazon, like my beloved very affordable maxi eyelet dress

This is one of those golden Amazon finds that I’ve enjoyed wearing for a few years now! You can see my review of the dress and how I styled it here. It now comes in lots of colors and floral too, as non-white wedding guest options!

petite floral summer jcrew dress

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  1. Lauren wrote:

    Really appreciate this post! I just recently spent weeks looking for a dress to wear to an outdoor wedding, and ended up settling for one I didn’t love. Hard to find a nice dress of appropriate length that doesn’t swallow me up. I never thought to check most of these places but I will now!

    Posted 5.28.21 Reply

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