Petite Fashion and Modeling Myths

Myth 1

You have to be tall to be beautiful and a model.

Reality:   Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. When designer Marc Jacob’s was asked about Kate Moss’s height, he replied, ” I guess perfection comes in all shapes and sizes.”  Jacob’s is unconcerned about models trending to be shorter in the fashion industry. Confirming that beautifully designed and properly fitted clothing looks great on the runway when modeled by Petites!

There are many petite actresses breaking down the age old stereo-type that you have to be tall to be beautiful.

Myth 2

Clothing looks better on a Tall Woman.

Reality: Clothing designers feel their clothes look better when draped on a tall woman’s frame, as they are considered clothing hangers, but designers should be sizing clothing to fit well and look great on a petite frame.  All they need to do is scale the clothing to fit properly.  Utilizing petite, fit models to accurately size proportions for a petite frame is the key!  You be the judge, check out the petite celebrities on the RED CARPET they look fantastic in their designer’s duds.

The myth is tall women look better. (BLOG article: Retailers support Future of Petites in the Fashion Industry)

Myth 3

Tall women look better in swimsuits and lingerie.

Reality: Petite women are better proportioned than tall, lanky models. Remember famous petite actress 5’4″ Raquel Welch and her perfect measurements (36-24-36)?!  Most swimsuit and lingerie models are petite.   It is funny that Victoria’s Secret won’t use petite models, considering their biggest consumers are petite women.  Go figure.  I guess they’ll continue promoting an unrealistic image until petites protest the exclusive use of tall models in their catalogues, or another competitor comes along and takes a bite out of their sales by promoting to the petite market.  Maybe then they’ll take notice.

Myth 4

Majority of women are tall in the US and abroad.

Reality: In the United States approximately 70% of all women are 5’5″ tall and under.  There are approximately hundred million petite and petite plus size women in US.  In the international marketplace there are over six hundred million petite women.

Interesting statistic: Women 5’9″ tall and over only represent 3% of US females.  Translation:  designers missed their mark! (“What is Petite” )


Myth 5

Petite means “tiny” in the fashion industry.

Reality: Petite means “short” not “tiny” in the fasion industry.  Petite references stature encompassing the height range of 5’5″ and under, including petite-fit and petite-plus-sizes in the fashion world. If you’re confused, you’re not alone.  Many clothing manufacturers and retailers don’t sell petite clothing.  In addition to petite consumers confusion they use petite designations like “small” and “extra small.”  Savvy garment designers, manufacturers and retailers reserve the term “petite” for clothing that’s specifically made to fit a petite frame.