5 Tips on How to Wear a Long Dress – [Especially if You Are Petite]

How many times have you avoided a trend because you felt that you didn’t have the “right” body to wear it? Long dresses, booties, and kimonos challenged me in the past. However, I confidently wear all of these pieces today because I figured out how to create outfits with them. Do you know how to wear a long dress, especially if you’re petite? I decided to write about this topic after several friends told me they can’t wear long dresses.  

Last month I purchased a black floor length column dress. I’ve received many compliments while wearing it. Truth be told, anyone can wear a long dress with proper styling and accessories. Here are five tips to create a winning long dress look! 

1. Shoes Make or Break the Outfit

Isn’t this really true of all outfits? With a long dress, you have an opportunity to create the illusion of being much taller by wearing shoes with a platform (that no one sees). This is one of my signature moves. At 5’4, I appreciate the chance to elongate my frame. I’ll never be a super model but I can look taller with the right footwear.  You can even avoid shortening dresses by finding heels that provide proper vertical lift.

I invest in heels that not only provide me with a significant height advantage, but are also comfortable. Many YSL, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Kelsi Dagger, and Pour la Victoire heels feature a platform heel. Bonus: Platforms prevent the foot pain and exhaustion that results from wearing shoes that don’t support the sole of your foot.

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2. Accessorize Appropriately

Long dresses look different visually than knee length or midi dresses. Minimize jewelry and place it strategically. To continue with the theme of elongating the body, wear chandelier or hoop earrings. This draws the eye up to the face and keeps the look clean. Wear long necklaces, thirty or more inches, to lengthen your silhouette. When I wear bracelets, they’re dainty; not large and chunky like bangles or cuffs.

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3. Jackets and Cardigans

Avoid accenting the biggest part of your body. Create an hour glass shape with a fitted jacket or cardigan that hits the hip. For curvier and shorter ladies like myself, avoid large jackets and bulky sweaters that comes to the hip. They draw visual attention and add volume in the wrong place. A tailored slim fitting dark monochrome colored jacket slenderizes.

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4. Monochrome Versus Patterns

Monochrome dresses and patterns with small print are a girl’s best friend. Horizontal stripes, large floral and graphic patterns, as well as bulky fabrics overwhelm most women, especially petite women. Many patterns also tend to look bad in pictures.

My black column dress works well because it has ruffles at the shoulder which makes my torso look smaller by comparison. The dark color and thin material also make this dress work. If the dress was white, peach, silver, or another light color, I wouldn’t have even tried it on. Use color, patterns, and textures to your advantage!

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5. Plan the Outfit Ahead of Time

Try on outfits in advance to give yourself plenty of time to find the optimal shoes and accessories.  Dressing under duress leads to anxiety and frustration. As women, we strive hard to look perfect and feel empowered when we walk out the door. If we don’t achieve this feeling, we wear it on our faces. Stress doesn’t match any of my outfits. How about you?

Good luck making a beautiful outfit with your long dress! Tag me in your Instagram photos @ lyndellwerling.

Who Doesn’t Appreciate a Sharp Dressed Man?

ZZ Top’s award-winning hit song “Sharp Dressed Man” resonated with the public and made a great point. The lyrics declare “every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man”. It’s true! The CRC can make you, and the men in your life, look sharp.

Who Looks Forward to Buying Suits?

Not many people. Suits are an investment. Suit sales are characterized by pressure. The sales people expertly exert it to close the sale. The purchaser inevitably experiences it. You don’t want to spend a significant amount of money on a suit that may not be ideal. This process can be incredibly stressful.

What if your new investment attire doesn’t fit properly? What if it isn’t very comfortable? What if the fabric is itchy or too hot? You can hardly bear the thought of spending money on an item that you may not look forward to wearing. What could be worse? Overspending on this item.  

Great news! The CRC stores have an impressive selection of wonderful men’s suits and the shirts, ties and shoes to complete the outfit. If you look closely, you will find some clothing that still has the original store tags or dry-cleaning tags affixed. There are designer suits, suits in a variety of colors and styles, and of course ties to complement the ensemble.

What about Casual Men’s Wear?

We’ve got it! This brand new navy blue velvet Halston blazer is a perfect example of the high quality clothing the CRC possesses. The price was fantastic. The jacket was unique and will create a special signature look for someone. Incidentally, velvet is one the top trends for fall.

 For men who don’t need to dress up for work, there are plenty of casual shirts and pants. These Lucky Brand shirts caught my eye due to their sophisticated pattern! Notice the dry-cleaning tags? There were many other wonderful button-down shirts from Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and many other designers. The prices make them even more attractive.

In addition to a vast selection of dress and casual clothes, the stores have you covered if you need sport apparel. Wetsuits, board shorts, baseball hats, golf shirts, and outerwear are stocked year round.

Our caring local community generously donates gently used clothing that still possesses a lot of life. Stop in and give some of these treasures the opportunity to be re-styled. Besides looking dapper, you’ll support the CRC’s critical programs that assist in the fight to solve hunger and create paths to safety, stability, and self-sufficiency.

 From designer suits, to Lucky Brand casual shirts, to this gorgeous Navy blue velvet Halston blazer that was brand new with the tags on it, there are many amazing mens' items at the CRC.

From designer suits, to Lucky Brand casual shirts, to this gorgeous Navy blue velvet Halston blazer that was brand new with the tags on it, there are many amazing mens' items at the CRC.

The beautiful nautical screen in these pictures was donated to the Encinitas CRC resale store. Your author purchased it.

What Does the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society do? Oceanside Spectrum KOCT Interview

Click here to watch Elaine Swann, host of Oceanside Spectrum, and me discuss the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission. We chat about the free resources they provide for patients, fundraising for research grants, and the annual Children's Holiday Party for children with blood cancer. The interview starts at the 10:30 mark. 

If you know anyone receiving chemotherapy or radiation that I can help with their cancer journey, please don't hesitate to contact me. It is unspeakably tough to feel ill while you fight cancer, let alone lose your hair and see unwelcome changes in your body. It is a blessing to help others by drawing on my melanoma experience.

 Taping the August edition of Oceanside Spectrum. The show features non-profits and interesting events within the local community. 

Taping the August edition of Oceanside Spectrum. The show features non-profits and interesting events within the local community. 



September 7th Workshop: Simplify Your Life By Addressing Your Closet & Living Spaces

Do you have a closet filled with clothes yet have nothing to wear? Are your living spaces affecting your stress levels and productivity? Imagine how liberating it would feel to no longer stand in front of the closet wasting time, while experiencing frustration and anxiety, pondering what to wear. Imagine a home that uplifts you and brings you closer to your goals.

Attend our workshop to learn easy ways to get your closet under control and how to make easy changes in your home to reduce stress.

Thursday, September 7th from 6 pm to 7:30 pm

Hera Hub Sorrento Valley
4010 Sorrento Valley Blvd. # 400, San Diego, CA 92121

Click here to register! $10 until midnight 8/24/17. $15 after. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Encinitas Community Resource Center. Their mission is to solve hunger, end homelessness, and create paths to safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. 

I'm presenting this workshop with Kristin Stewart of Serenity Simplified. Kristin is a Home Sanctuary Coach. For the past 7 years she has worked with clients across the nation to get more organized, improve the flow of their home and coach them on personal development with their home as a template. She graduated from SFSU with a degree in Business. Her interest in Holistic Well-Being and personal development have given her a unique perspective and approach to her work with clients.


Is Personal Style an Art or a Science?

Do you have a well-defined personal style? If not, consider consulting a Personal Stylist.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” -Confucius

Lyndell Werling Street Style

Personal style is both an art and a science. Style is like beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder and unique to each and every one of us. It’s like art if you will. Style is an authentic visual expression of who we are. Style evolves over time. The reality is that it is much easier to dress well when we understand our personal style. That’s where the science surfaces.

Purchasing clothing that reflects our personal style can take place once we define our visual image. That sounds great, right? But, what if you don’t have the time, interest or feel that you possess the skills to even identify your personal style? Don’t despair. A personal stylist can do the work for you.

Does Your Appearance Scream Excellence or Exhaustion?

Confucius’ statement on personal excellence is indisputable. Desire, focus and dedication are certainly paramount to attaining goals. Appearance, and your associated visual presentation, play into personal excellence too; perhaps much more than we realize.

Summer is Here. Do you Have the Right Things to Wear?

As a personal stylist, I’m often asked about the appropriate attire to wear to certain events. Fundamentally, we know that we must dress for success in job interviews, for important meetings, and to attend certain social events such as weddings, funerals, and fundraisers. So why don’t we always dress well? The answer is simple. There’s no time, interest or maybe it is lack of bandwidth after the rest of our obligations are attended to.

Appearance is more than who we are on the outside. Who we are on the inside is reflected in what we wear. Appearance correlates to how others perceive us and potentially influences the success we attain in life. Yes, many studies validate this last point.

How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Your Appearance? 

These days the complicated demands executives, entrepreneurs and busy individuals face can divert attention away from appearance. Basic wardrobe considerations such as, “What message does my clothing present, could I improve my image, and am I getting the most out of my clothing budget” aren’t addressed. Higher priorities such as spending time with family, advancing one’s career or business objectives, taking advantage of San Diego’s outstanding climate, and life in general easily exhaust the twenty-four hours in a day.

If you evaluate your image and dream about a better way to handle your clothing and image, you may want to consider a consultation with a personal stylist.


What Does a Personal Stylist Do Anyway?

As a stylist, I help people reawaken their personal style, curate clothing to fill a variety of unique client needs, offer special-occasion preparation and onsite styling, and I collaborate with clients to redefine their image. I founded my company to empower men and women to not only look better, but also feel better about themselves. Stylists are now accessible to everyone, not just celebrities and wealthy individuals.

My specialty is working with professional men and women. My twenty-five years of corporate experience provides me with a solid understanding of the demands placed on professionals. I vividly recall how tough it is to balance personal and career priorities while trying to present a stylish appearance.

My experience has shown me that professional people dress to impress their customers. I collaboratively work with my clients to define the visual image they want to project. Then I provide the clothing they need to make that high pressure presentation, close that lucrative business deal, and stand out from the competition. When my clients have important events, they go to their closets to select an outfit from their wardrobe that I’ve created.

I’ve supplemented my business knowledge with significant formal training in fashion styling from School of StyleFashion Institute of Design MerchandisingStyle 20/20, and Simply Stylist. While my current aspirations significantly differ from my past career focus, I comprehend the challenges associated with looking good given time and budget constraints.

Lyndell Werling Styling Shoot


What Does Personal Styling Entail? 

Personal styling touches various aspects of a person’s wardrobe.

Closet Cleaning

A closet cleanse declutters one’s closet and eliminates items that don’t fit properly, purges garments that are outdated or fail to support your desired image, and identifies items to purchase to complete your wardrobe.

Special Occasion Styling

In today’s digital age almost all events are photographed, featured on social media, and possibly captured in print format. How we look is remembered long after the event date. Searching for, let alone finding, the perfect outfit for life’s many celebrations can seem overwhelming. In addition to purchasing attire for photo shoots, television appearances, speaking engagements, award ceremonies, weddings, interviews and parties, on location styling is an option. Coordinating appearance prior to an event commencing, as well as wardrobe creation, fall into the personal styling domain.

Style Development Packages

Style Development packages create a signature style for clients. The process begins with a complimentary thirty minute meeting to discuss goals, current image, and create an action plan.

After the plan and image are agreed upon by the client, shopping for the new wardrobe takes place and styling looks from the new wardrobe follows. An optional follow-up meeting is available to ensure you are maximizing your new wardrobe and mastering your newly created style!

How Important is What You Wear? 

What you wear is critically important. Significant scientific research validates the fact that attire strongly affects first impressions, attitude and potentially professional success.

In 1920, psychologist Edward Thorndike validated his bias theory which is now known as the Halo Effect. The Halo Effect is a cognitive bias in which an observer’s overall impression of a person, influences the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that person’s character.

In other words, knowing positive things about someone, will result in attributing additional positive things to that person. This holds true even in the face of contradicting evidence. Appearance is a significant example of how the Halo Effect works. The role of a stylist is not only to provide people with a coordinated, functional closet full of exciting clothing but also to ensure positive visual impressions occur.

Could You Benefit from a Complimentary Consultation?

Are you like the vast majority of people who possess a closet full of attire that doesn’t create outfits, may be outdated, or doesn’t complement your body? Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute consultation to enliven your style.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for my “Work it Wednesday” weekly attire tips. It’s possible to have fun with your wardrobe while presenting a sophisticated professional look. I promise.

Lyndell Werling Clothe Arrow Shoot