Tag Archive for 'Petite'

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Petite is defined in Webster’s as “one having a small trim figure – usually used [to describe] a woman.”  Petite-sized women account for 56% of the female population. Isnt it ironic that the fashion industry seems to based on tall thin women when a larger portion of the retail buying population is the exact opposite of the illusion created by the fashion industry? Well I guess if we learned nothing else from The Devil Wears Prada, we learned that fantasy rules the retail industry, not reality. In the retail world, manufacturers consider anyone under 5’4” petite, whether you are a size 2 or a size 16. Petite sizes aren’t just smaller than Misses sizes; if made well, they should be proportioned differently with shorter neck-to-waist and waist-to-hip measurements. Kim Williams Dahlman, a petite fashion industry expert, says, “[t]he most common misconception about petite fashions is that they are designed strictly for the diminutive woman whose size is in the single digits. Petite sizing actually is based on height, not weight. People mistakenly perceive petite as being for small women. There are a lot of women who would get a better fit with petite sizes, but they don’t realize it.”

Half the battle for those of us smaller in stature is finding clothes that are made with the proper proportions. Some manufacturers do a better job of this than others. If you find a retailer or a designer whose clothing proportions fit you perfectly, count yourself lucky and buy as much of their clothing as your budget will permit. If you’re like me and find that even though petite sizes essentially provide a better fit, but not a perfect fit, you may still need to have even your petite-sized clothes tailored. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s much easier for my tailor to tailor a petite-sized item to fit my frame than it is for her to tailor the same item in a Misses size. My motto is: The petite woman’s best friend is her tailor, not diamonds! I’m on a first name basis with my tailor, she’s one of my BFFs. Whether tall or short, thin or a bit thick around the middle, having your clothes tailored to your physique really can make all the difference.