Best tips for Petite women

What is Petite?

If you are wondering what is petite, this is the right place for you.

Petite is a French word that is translated into small or tiny in English literally. There is some common misconception that the word petite women is referring to skinny and slender women, but that is not the definition of petite in the fashion world.

What does Petite Mean in Clothing?

According to Wikipedia, petite size is a standard clothing size designed to fit women of shorter height, typically shorter than 162 cm (5 ft 4 in). So, petite is really just talking about the height, and not referring to the weight.  That means you can be petite and skinny just as much as you can be petite and curvy.  Petite clothing can come in P00 and PXS, but they can also come in PL and PXL (or 14P, 16P and sometimes 18P).

Looking back on the history and origin of petite clothing, petite fashion first appeared in the late 1940s in the US, as reported by New York Times, when Hannah Troy noticed that regular clothing’s waist was too long for shorter women. Decades later, more and more fashion designers acknowledge the different body traits of women as a result of their height and realize petite, regular and tall women should be separate lines to serve the needs of different submarkets.  Therefore, we now have an increasing number of choices from petite clothing stores.

Many women struggle to find the right clothes, but for petite women (162 cm and under) it can seem particularly hard and with extra obstacles to navigate.

I put together some top style tips to help the petite ladies to have a perfect look.

*Petite does NOT necessarily mean small and skinny – it is a reference to height not weight. Petite women come in a whole range of sizes – by petite all we mean is 162 cm and under.

Respect your proportions:

Define your natural waist with a belt.

Avoid dresses that come to your mid-calf – either they should fall at the knee (above is fine too or just a touch below) or right to the floor.

Find clothes that don’t drown you :

Structured tops are a guaranteed way to make sure you’re showing off and not getting swallowed by oversize pieces.

Tailoring is your friend : 

For every petite woman, finding an excellent tailor is crucial. You will need to do a lot of alterations to keep up with the fashion trends since not all the brands have a special collection for the Petite. Please consider the following tips:

  • Always check the width of the shoulders: if it is over 4 cm longer than your shoulder line it will not fit you well.
  • Make sure you can adjust the length of the sleeves or roll them up
  • Make sure you can adjust or alter the length of the trousers.

Learn to love dresses: 

There’s so much to love about a maxi dress. Maxis are airy and effortless, easy and breezy. They’re the ultimate one-and-done outfit. Just throw on a cute pair of shoes and you’re good to go.

The bottom half is very important :

As a petite, always consider having the same bottom (pants, skirt or dress) as your shoes or consider natural shoes to help you elongate your silhouette.

For a petite, some cropped tops will be considered as a regular fit accordingly even.

If you are looking for a modest look, don’t forget to consider this option.

Monochromatic is king:

As a petite your main focus when putting together an outfit is to create a streamlined silhouette, which draws the eye up and down, instead of side to side. This is why monochromatic (tones, tints and shades of a single hue) and simplicity are the key to any dressing.

Choose small patterns, design elements and accessories:

If you’re on the petite and shorter side, large prints can overwhelm your proportions. It’s best to:

– Stick to smaller patterns and prints, like mini polka dots and thin stripes

– Try vertical-striped tops to elongate your form

Try the small and fine accessories like earrings and necklaces instead of the big and large ones.

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