Oh to be petite! What does this mean for you and how you dress? While the fashion industry still has a long way to go when it comes to specializing in this demographic, it has continued to make strides as more and more companies are starting to truly understand what it means to be petite. But is petite clothing for you? Petite women come in all shapes and sizes and I bet you’ll be surprised to find out that petite clothing isn’t just meant for the short & skinny! In fact, even some women as tall as 5’7” can benefit from petite shopping. Sounds crazy right? Check out all the factors to consider when it comes to investing in petite clothing!

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Being petite is most commonly associated with height. Standing at 5’4” and under, sizing for regular clothing can often be really off for us shorties. Aside from garment length, there are a ton of areas where regular-sized can hit in the wrong spots for us petites—shoulder seams, bust darts, even design details like distressed jeans!

Ever try on a cute pair of ripped jeans only to find that the holes are well below your knees and not where they should be? #thestrugglesisreal! That's because regular-sized clothing is usually designed for women averaging 5'5" - 5'7", which can heavily impact the way clothes fit you—especially if you're anywhere under 5'! As petite women, the last thing we want is to be drowning in our clothes.

Since height is the driving factor in petite design, you don't have to find yourself in a blouse that looks more like a dress on you or tripping over your super cute bootcut jeans—pass!


When people think petite, they tend to only think about height. The most common petite misconception is that petite means skinny when that’s actually far from the truth! Petites come in all shapes, weights, and sizes.

Because full-figured bodies tend to have larger busts, it's important to remember that an open neckline or some sort of stretch in fabrication will better help petite clothing flatter you. Also, since petite clothing is made with your shorter proportions in mind, sizing up for a better fit around your bust doesn't have to mean further drowning in your clothes—the shorter lengths all around are maintained when it comes to petite clothing. Thank goodness!

While height is the main focus behind petite design, brands are now expanding how they design for us, understanding that a full-figured woman needs to be kept in mind just much as a more slender body shape.


Finding the right proportions is how so many people decide what to keep when shopping for clothing. While some just need things to be shorter all around, that’s not always the case for petite women. Shorter in the torso? Petite tops work wonders while regular size bottoms can be just fine. Longer in the torso and have shorter legs? You can probably get away with just needing petite bottoms and prefer regular-sized tops.

Standing at 5'7" with long supermodel legs? Don't be afraid to try petite tops! They may just be the answer you've been searching for all along when it comes to your short torso!

Figuring out your proportions is key to flattering your body shape, so remember to try out different petite categories to find out what works best for you.

So, is it for you?

If you’re 5’4” and under, petite clothing is definitely something you should consider trying out. I'm 5'3" and never really gave them a chance, always assuming I wasn't "short enough" to need them. I just lived with the long sleeves that got in the way and I constantly had to roll up. I couldn't believe how perfect the sleeve length was on my first petite coat and it forever changed my perspective!

Petite clothing is designed with us in mind. Who wouldn’t want that? Depending on your proportions, shopping for petite styles can be for just tops, just bottoms or both! We no longer have to settle for excessive rolling or folding, and we can find our way out of the Junior's department—Hello, sophisticated wardrobe!

Request a Short Story box today to see how your wardrobe can change for the better with pieces that actually fit your specific proportions!

Thinking petite clothing might be for you? Take the style quiz and let us help you figure it out!

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