How to Dress a Petite Full Figured Woman

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How to Dress a Petite Full Figured Woman

Silk Dupioni Dress With Lace Jacket – Complete!

This week I completed the silk dupioni dress that I have been working on. The event was a niece’s wedding being held in the Midwest USA, the dress had to be light, breathable, and easy to travel. That wasn’t the only challenge with this client, she had always had trouble finding clothes that fit probably, always feeling she a difficult body shape. I am so glad she came to me!

No body shape should be thought of as difficult, it’s just a matter of knowing the tricks. Her shape was a classic “pear”. Smaller in the bust and fuller in the mid-section and hips, but she was petite as ever, making her “pear” shape seem more “apple” than anything. This fact, I think  is where her trouble with fit lies. So this is what I did for her, and this will help those who are in her same boat.

First off, the dress itself is very simple.

  • A V-neck with long princess seams elongates the figure.
  • Wide shoulders for modest and secure coverage that is also age appropriate.
  • Being petite and only slightly over 5′ in height a shorter hemline (above the knee) will actually make you appear taller.
  • The shape of the dress fits closer to the body higher up than the natural waist (empire waistline) and flaring out to an A-line. This covers up the tummy area and eludes to a smaller waist.
  • A waist sash further draws the eye to the waist, away from the hips and stomach. It also pulls in some extra fabric creating some visual interest to the bust and makes it look larger.


I have made dresses for all shapes and sizes and when working with a mature, fuller figured woman they always have one concern: their arms. They are lots of options for those who are self-conscious about these pesky appendages that seem to age faster than we actually feel! For this client we decided on a lace jacket to go with her dress. It turned out gorgeous, loose-fitting, comfortable, cool enough for the hot June weather in the Mid-West. I think she really walked away with a great piece she can wear over and over with confidence.

See more photos over in my portfolio.

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