Five Petite Women’s Fashion Myths
1. PETITE MEANS TINY.
Petite sizing is based on height, not weight. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 8% of all petite women weigh 100 pounds or less. Petite refers to an all over proportioning of the body from head-to-toe, not left-to-right.
A petite woman can have the same bust and hip measurements as someone much taller but is challenged to find clothing that fits because of her shorter body frame. The celebrities shown in the above picture are all petites! 5’5″ Vanessa Minnillo, 5’1″ Hilary Duff, 5’1″ Fergie
2. ANY GARMENT PURCHASED IN REGULAR SIZES WILL FIT A PETITE WOMAN ONCE IT IS HEMMED.
Wrong! Petite clothing is proportioned totally differently from regular sizes, not just a shortened version.
A petite sized garment is cut smaller in key areas and the rest of the garment is proportioned to match. Differences in addition to shorter hemlines include shorter lines neck-to-waist and waist-to-hip; narrower shoulders; higher armholes; raised pockets; a shorter rise; and scaled down details.
3. THE HIGHER THE HEEL, THE TALLER YOU LOOK.
Many petite women will argue that the best way to look taller is to wear really high heels. My advice is to proceed with caution.
Recently, at the Fall designer runway shows in New York City, several models stumbled and fell off their Amazonian 7-inch heels proving my point.
Teetering on ridiculously high heels throws posture and petite proportion off balance and can lead to serious injury.
4. THE CHILDREN’S DEPARTMENT IS A GREAT PLACE FOR PETITE WOMEN TO SHOP.
Don’t ever let a store salesperson size you up and recommend that you shop in their Children’s Department. This advice is not only crazy, it is insulting!
What stylish petite woman wants to wear children’s clothing? It is certainly not the image petite women I know want to convey. Children’s clothing is designed for children, not real women with boobs and curves.
5. PETITE WOMEN SHOULD ALWAYS TRY TO LOOK TALLER.
Embrace your petite stature. If you are 5’ tall, there is no way you are going to look 5’8” tall without risking your life in 8-inch heels. The key is dressing with confidence and style, avoiding any looks that make you appear shorter than you are.
In my opinion, there is actually very little that a petite woman cannot wear as long as she knows how to put it all together. My list is short (pardon the pun), but the following pretty much NEVER works on a petite woman – border print skirts and dresses, thigh-high boots, and shoes with ankle straps. (Photo of petite pop star 5’1″ Lady GaGa)
By Ann Lauren
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3 thoughts on “Top Five List Of Petite Fashion Myths”
So true! At just under 5'1 almost all of my pants and skirts have to be hemmed and they still aren't a perfect fit afterward. I have had a few things custom made to avoid this, but that can be very expensive if you want quality materials and design. Sometimes I find clothes in high end vintage consignment stores because they used to make clothes much smaller. However, as much as I like some of the retro styles, I don't like to buy clothes that have been previously worn when possible. Clothes made for Asian women can sometimes work, but a slim Asian woman's figure is often a bit different than a slim Caucasian's figure like I have.
Great article. However, I think border print skirts and dresses COULD work on a petite woman if she wears them with hosiery and shoes in the same color or tone as the border. Same thing with ankle strap shoes–a petite woman could look good in them if she wears them with toned-in hosiery. Thigh-length boots. . . no. They’re not flattering on most women, petite or tall!
Ankle straps look good only on the VERY long legged, who generally are straight up and down. Thigh high boots are costumes, and I just prefer solid colors below the waist. Prints are “busy”. Tall women look odd in most shorts only a petite can wear without looking vulgar.