I'm 5' and very small boned. Most gowns I've tried on are for women that are 5'6. This means whenever I get in front of the mirror I'm swimming in the dress. Almost any sleeve, belt, print or lace looks magnified on me. What are my options?
One of the most important things for the vertically challenged to remember is scale. If you're petite and in shape, you can wear just about any gown as long as you scale down to the right proportion. Also thinking vertically (up, up, up) it will be easier to figure out which treatments suit you best. For instance, choose a bodice and neckline that draw the eye up to your decolletage. Here's more to consider.
*A gown with a panel or seam(s) running up the front. The unbroken lines give you height.
*Empire waists like the one at left are one of your best options considering you go floor length. You want to keep that vertical line going.
*A V or U neckline will give the impression of a longer neck.
*A mermaid. If you're slim and petite consider this style. It's fitted like an evening gown up top and has all the bounce and swirl of a ball gown below.
*An A-line like the one pictured below. Think of it as your very own scaled down version of a ballgown.
*Sheath and evening gown silhouettes like the one below. Long and columnar, they will flatter you.

*Choose length over volume in your skirt.
*Sleeves that are long and straight like the ones opposite.
*Best proportion is a floor length gown with a veil or train of the same length.
*If you are wearing a gown with a train and/or veil, keep the length just brushing the ground.
*Any ball gown. The volume in the skirts will consume you.
*Heavy, elaborate fabrics like brocade or any print or design that is large.
*Wide belts, sashes and cummerbunds interrupt the vertical lines you want to create. If you do wear a sash or belt go thin (1-1 ½ inches) and as close to the shade of your gown as you can get.
*Any design with big puffy sleeves or shoulder pads.
*Any train or veil longer than a sweep.

Gowns by Amy-Jo Tatum