how to style a cardigan dress for petites

I recently realized I hadn’t yet blogged about our latest Edited Pieces arrival! For the brand, I’ve been focusing on wardrobe foundation pieces that aren’t easily alterable (i.e. knits, boots) and have searched for something like this cardigan dress over the past few years. I’m so happy with how this turned out and how it can go from dressy to casual year-round PLUS is bump-friendly and nursing-friendly.

For a seemingly simple piece, the development process took the longest time as we worked to customize a very comfy and soft yarn blend with Lenzing™ Ecovero™ viscose. The fit of this is not snug or curve hugging; it’s more figure grazing and straight cut down the sides for a few reasons. In order for this to function as both a dress + a cardigan, the knit couldn’t be too fitted, otherwise when unbuttoned the two sides recoiled back and didn’t provide frontal coverage. Making the knit more fitted at the waist accentuated the lower belly area, so I opted for a relaxed fit with belt for adding optional waist definition. Most EP customers who bought 2 sizes to try kept the smaller size, so if you’re debating between sizes I’d go down for a more fitted look (material is verrry stretchy). Please also note that like with most knits, there will be some shrinkage if machine washed & dried.

I’ll have to dig out the rounds of samples and share a little more of the behind the scenes process of working on EP! In the meantime, here are a few ideas for styling a piece like this:

Blank Canvas

Here’s the dress as it comes, with an optional sash tie belt that you can swap out for any favorite belt. The sleeve length is fairly petite-friendly and I have it folded up once in the photo below to be bracelet length. For fit reference, I’m about 32-25-33 these days, 5 feet tall wearing xxs so for someone taller it may be above the knee length. Again, the ribbed knit has tons of stretch.

black sweater cardigan dress

1. For Warmer Weather

I love the look of a longer cardigan tossed on over a much shorter piece, whether it’s shorts, a mini dress or skirt. Also, black + camel + cream is the trustiest color trio that you can apply to numerous other outfit pairings for any climate.

Edited Pieces cardigan sweater summer outfit

Sam Edelman sandals 5 (love!),  EP bracelet, AT tank (similar), Everlane shorts (current version)
2. For Cooler Weather

A long black cardigan works over any denim color – blue, white, grey just to name a few. Add a neutral tank and swap in seasonally appropriate shoes to adjust this look for year-round.

how to style a long black cardigan petite style

Topshop jeans 25, Edited Pieces bracelet 6″, AT tank (similar), similar boots (great SW dupe)
3. Dressed Up

Office appropriate with a neckline that isn’t too low, and buttons that can be closed up all the way or opened up to show some leg. You can swap in any favorite belt for adding waist definition.

Sam Edelman heels 5 (such a great staple!), Edited Pieces belt xxs
4. Dressed Down

My usual ensemble when lounging around the house! Love that this cardigan dress is polished enough for an office but also soft and cozy enough for curling up in on the couch. Also, my beloved Zella joggers are still in such good condition after a crazy amount of wear. I haven’t seen size XXS stocked in these for a while now unfortunately, but I linked their kids version (super discounted right now!!) below. Zella girls size Large (10-12) should fit a tad bit smaller than their women’s xxs.
travel athleisure petite joggers lounge outfit

5. On The Go

Sneakers – check. Hands free bag – check. Versatile layers in case of unpredictable weather – check. This is an easy and comfy look for travel, sightseeing, running errands or just hanging at the playground with the kids!

petite travel sightseeing outfit

By Carly20