If you’re short like me, here are 20 casual summer dresses for petites to try right now!
I swear, I had every intention of writing this post at the beginning of the summer… and then I BLINKED and it’s almost August. HOW?! Anyway, if you’re short like me (I’m 5’2″), finding casual summer dresses for petites can be tricky. What looks effortless on someone taller can be ill-fitting on us. It can be so frustrating when all we want is something that feels laidback and relaxed but still looks put together. Are we really asked for too much?!
So, I scoured the internet for 20 casual summer dresses that either come in petite sizing or are petite friendly (usually confirmed by personal experience!) so you can place some orders and live your best summer life until it gets chilly out again. And even then, I love a dress paired jean jacket on a cool September night. The best!
20 Casual Summer Dresses For Petites
This active dress is the one pictured above, and it’s an absolute favorite of mine. It doesn’t come in petite sizing, but the length is definitely petite friendly. I’m assuming they felt like they could keep it on the short side since there are built-in shorts. No matter what the motivation, I love it! It is made with their sleek performance fabric called EcoMove, which is really comfortable, especially in the heat. I got my print last winter during one of their sales, but it comes in 3 new colors this year. I also think this style is really cute, too!
I looove discovering local Chicago-based brands, so when Pareto reached out to me last year offering to send me their t-shirt dress, I was SO EXCITED. It doesn’t come in petite sizing, but I got an XS and it fits me so well. Instead of being just straight up and down, it has a tapered body that subtly hugs the waist and moves away from your hips. It’s also made responsibly in California with organic cotton from Texas – and it’s machine washable! In terms of styling, this can be worn with sneakers on a walk, with simple sandals and a denim jacket out to dinner, or with a blazer to work. SO versatile!
I got this linen-blend mini dress on a whim, and it has quickly become a summer staple for me. It comes in petite sizing (I got an XS petite) and it is so affordable. We’re talking $34 full price, but right now it’s on sale for $25 + an extra 25% off with code BONUS. The easy silhouette is what sold me on this one – I love that you can adjust the ties on the sides to define your waist as much as or as little as you like. It also feels so breezy and lightweight! I usually wear this with sneakers and a sling bag (as pictured above!), but it’s also really cute with a nice pair of sandals if you want to wear it out to brunch or dinner.
My rainbow version is sold out, but lucky for you, this dress comes in a few other colors and they’re all on sale right now! This dress doesn’t come in petite, but because it has an adjustable tie at the waist, you can really nip it in which brings the length up to become really petite friendly! Adam calls this my “soccer Mom dress” and honestly, I don’t disagree with him. It feels very… wholesome? It’s 100% cotton, super comfy, and looks cute with sensible shoes like sneakers. Easy peasy.
I have notoriously bad luck with dresses from Amazon – but this one is a winner!! It’s 100% cotton and the cutout is fun while still being totally bra friendly. But the best part is that I can wear flat sandals with it! No hemming needed! I love that it also feels really lightweight on hot days. It is definitely mean to be worn casually though, at least in my opinion!
I tried this dress on last year and resisted… but it’s back this year in 6 different prints and I am TEMPTED. I tried on a regular size 2 and it fit perfectly. Not too short, not too long! I love this style because you could easily dress it up or down. It looks cute with sneakers or casual sandals, but you could also easily throw on a pair of heels and wear it to a shower or other fun summertime event!
When I first saw this dress, I assumed I would wear it to a shower or maybe even a casual summer wedding – but when I tried it on with sneakers and flat sandals before our Italy trip, I kind of fell in love with it styled casually! I got a petite XS which keeps going in and out of stock, but if you can snag it, I definitely recommend it! (This one feels less casual with the sleeves but it has a similar bodice!)
Abercrombie has so many great petite dresses – and this one is on sale for just $35 right now!! It looks like a dress I got from them last year, and based on that and the reviews, it seems like it’s true to size. I love dresses like this because you just throw on and GO! No need to over-accessorize or worry too much about shoes. It also comes in other colors/prints, too!
There are a lot of active dresses out there right now, but this one specifically comes in petite sizing AND there are still lots of sizes available in all 4 colors! It is made with recycled featherweight stretch fabric with built-in shorts and adjustable straps. I also think Abercrombie’s active dress is a great option too – their sizes just tend to go in and out of stock really fast. If you see yours in the color you want (I tried/liked a petite small in that dress – returned because I didn’t love the color), snag it!
I love shirt dresses like this one – they look so chic and classy, and they always remind me of Diane Lane in Under The Tuscan Sun. The only problem? They rarely come in petite sizing… but this one does!!! You could totally wear this to a casual BBQ, but you could also easily style it for work!
Doesn’t this rainbow midi remind you of the maxi I wore in Positano?! (That one is still on sale in 2 sizes here!) Unlike that one, this one is a true midi length, it comes in petite sizing, and it is 100% cotton and machine washable. Woo! We love a low maintenance sundress that still makes a statement!
Anyone else remember the velvet version of this dress over the holidays last year? Well it’s back for summer in both a mini and a maxi! I tried on the maxi version in store in a regular size and it was way too overwhelming on me but both come in petite sizing!! I’d recommend taking advantage of that if you’re petite like me! The notched neckline makes this pretty conservative, so you might even be able to get away with it for work. Or I saw someone tuck them under to create a deep v neckline, which is really cute if you want a sassier look!
Love the idea of the dresses above, but don’t like the notched neckline and sleeves? Try this sleeveless version! It also comes in petite sizing in 5 different colors/prints – although this blue motif is my favorite. This just screams breezy effortless summer gal to me!
I love a yellow moment in the summer, and this flounce dress is so cute!! It also comes in petite sizing and it’s 50% off right now with code SHOP50! The short sleeves and relaxed fit makes this perfect for casual family gatherings but you could also easily dress it up for bridal/baby showers!
Speaking of yellow moments – it’s no secret that I love lemon dresses! I wore this one in Italy and added this collage to LTK, but how cute is this lemon print one?!? Ideally we would all wear this on the Amalfi Coast, but if that’s not possible, this would be so cute from brunches, date nights, or even just a work from home day when you want to feel extra pretty! Also, I always forget about White House Black Market but they have some gems in their petite section right now. I’m so impressed!
Let’s chat about another brand I tend to underestimate – TABLOTS! This fit & flare dress feels so vintage and retro, and it comes in petite sizing! Oh, and it’s on sale + 50% off! WOOO! I’m a sucker for print and this “scenic Curacao” design is so unique and fun.
Loft has long been one of the first places I look for casual petite dresses, and even though I haven’t purchased anything from them this season, they do have some cute options right now! Shift dresses can be tough on shorties like me, so I love that this one comes in petite and it has an optional waist tie! This is another one that could easily be dressed up for most workplaces, but dressed down for an outdoor hang with friends. It’s also on sale + an extra 60% off with code OMG!
This midi dress comes in petite, but honestly even if it didn’t, I might still order it because it looks like one of those petite maxi dresses… that aren’t actually petite 😉 Let me explain. I am 5’2″ and I have realized over the years that some long midi dresses in regular sizing actually fit like a full length maxi on me. It’s a little trick I usually keep in mind with designers and brands that only make dresses in regular sizing, but it works here, too! That being said, I might grab this at 40% off (!!) in petite sizing since it’s an option. Love the lime green so much!
This dress gives me picnic vibes in the best way! The linen blend material makes it perfect for a really hot summer day, and I love the flirty tie front. If you’re worried about how that works with your bust, this gingham dress is also really cute and looks a little easier to manage with a bra!
Okay I know a bodycon dress like this might not seem all that casual at first, but trust me here. Anything with ruching detail like this is usually super flattering and it’s made with a sustainable machine-washable material that will move with your body instead of against it. Sure, you could pair it with heels for a date night, but you could also wear it with flats and a blazer to work or sneakers and a sling bag to run errands. So many possibilities!