Top: Banana Republic | Clutch: Coach
Although I'm petite and highlight styling tips and suggestions for other petites, this blog is for any woman who wants to feel confident and stylish so I always try to give as much information as possible when it comes to the articles of clothing I write about. I certainly don't always follow "petite" labels for everything; I also buy "regular" size from time to time, depending if the fit is better. So let's talk about sizing for a bit.
I have mentioned this before, it's so exciting to see more and more brands diversifying their sizes to also include petites. I remember a few years back, I had to get all of my pants hemmed because there weren't many other options. There was one particular store that carried for petite women but it was for an older age group so I was left with having my clothes altered each time. Standard sizes though are an approximation of proportion only; in order to get a true fit, we need to try things on and perhaps even get that article tailored to our specific shape.
So have you ever walked by the Petite section and kept walking just because you're over 5"5 and feel like everything would be too small for you? Well let me tell you that perhaps, you may want to start looking there! Here's why...
Petite sizing is about proportions. That means that the actual measurements that are used are all around for a smaller frame. For example, shoulder to chest, chest to waist and waist to hip. It's not just about the length of the pants like most people think but more about the distance from one body part to the other. Like all sizes, they are all cookie-cutter and we may still need to venture out of our regular "sizes" and try other things on. When I'm shopping and I find something that I like, I usually take one in my usual size and two other sizes (one up and one down) in order to get an idea of best fit. Women with the same height and weight may look very different from each other and that is because of our different body shapes; some of us have longer or shorter torsos, longer and shorter legs, etc... It is all about fit. Remember, sizes can also do so much so it is up to us to try several sizes of the same article of clothing. Having said all that, if you're petite, you're not limited to labels that say petite and vice versa!
Knowing the Brands that Work Best for You:
There are many designers and brands that have cuts to suit either larger or smaller proportions to begin with. For example, the smallest cuts are those of Japanese and Italian designers. If you are a petite, you may want to check out Japanese or Italian brands whose cuts fit to smaller proportions. The main thing to remember is, don't get stuck on a specific size or label (tall, regular, petite) instead, try different ones to see what works best on you.
For those of you who aren't petites, here are some signs that you may need a petite size for a particular article of clothing:
- the rise of the pants is too low (regardless if the waistband has been altered to be smaller)
- pockets fall too low on the hip
- you're always adjusting the shoulder straps because they sag or fall
- you are always altering to have your shoulder seems lifted
Keep trying different sizes and don't get stuck on the size or number on the label. Happy shopping, loves!