Where To Buy Petite Clothing

As mentioned in an earlier post, petite women come in all shapes and sizes and being petite simply refers to having a height under 5’4″ (or under 162.5cm). Though there are no standard sizes (in Australia anyway), clothing for women is generally made for a height of 5’5″, sometimes even taller and though the most common challenge of being shorter is to do with longer lengths in dresses, tops, skirts, pants and sleeves; fixing lengths is usually an easy fix by cuffing or sewing a hem (either yourself or by getting a tailor). But being shorter can also effect other proportions that are not as easily fixed such as the width of shoulders, the heights of arm holes, lengths of straps, etc. Fortunately, there are some designers that are tailoring for shorter women and have developed more proportioned styles labeled as “Petite”. But finding these “petite” items is tricky so I have created a list of where to buy petite clothing below. But first, a little discussion on what makes petite clothing so appealing for those of us who are a little more vertically challenged 😉

Advantages of Petite Clothing

Petite clothing is clothing that is made for women with a height of 5’3″ (160cm) or below and though some come in smaller sizes (such as a size 4 or 6), many of the petite lines stock larger sizes too. What makes them different to regular sizes though is that petite clothing can provide:

-Shorter lengths for arms, legs and the hem of tops, dresses etc

-Higher armholes

-Shorter waist and rise in pants

-Shorter in-seam in pants

-Shoulders that are proportionally narrower

-Smaller cuff holes

-Collars and necklines that sit higher and

-Smaller details in patterns

Petite clothing makers also use designs to elongate the body too so for example, they may use vertical stripes to accentuate height or use small belt loops for skinny belts which seem to work better for smaller frames. As a side note, you may be a petite because of your height but that doesn’t mean that you have smaller proportions all over. It does depend on your body shape. So you may be short but have broader shoulders for example, and your shoulders may fit regular sizes in which case do not buy a jacket that is made for a petite because the shoulders will be too narrow. You may find petite pants work for you though with a shorter rise and shorter lengths. So you need to really know your body and its challenges first or check the measurements on each item if they are provided or if in store, try them on!

Knowing fit is important for a petite and sometimes it can be tricky to find the right fit. So I have done some research and compiled a list of outlets I have found that tailor specifically for petites. If you have others, please add them in the comments. To make it easier, I have categorised the outlets I have found into casual, work wear and evening wear. Some outlets cater for more than one category so I have done my best to pick a category or otherwise included them in more than one category. But note that you can find more than one category at the links so do check them all out! I have also focused on outlets that post to Australia because I am based in Australia though some of these outlets are worldwide or have other websites for different countries which can be found once you choose where you are shipping to once you have gone to the site. So whether you are looking for some weekend wear or something for work or something to head out after hours, I’ve got you covered 🙂 Below are links specifically to the petite ranges of the outlets below.

Warning! Online shopping can be addictive (particularly when they offer after pay) so shopping is at your own risk! (Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Haha!)

Where To Buy

For Casual Wear:

Pretty Little Thing

Boohoo

Misguided

Anthropologie

Target

TopShop

Soft Suroundings

Asos

Gap

Citizens of Humanity

Paige

Blue Bungalow

For Work Wear:

Boden

Forever New

Next

Myer

Express

Ann Taylor

Bloomingdales

Dorothy Perkins

Eileen Fisher

Simply Kate

Petite Dressing

Bomb Petite

For Evening/formal wear:

Next

Forever New

Macys Formal Dresses

Glam Corner (provides petite dresses for rent)

What did you think of this list? Were there any new places that you hadn’t heard of before? Any favourites? I loved checking out all of these sites. Each shop has its own look and price point and it’s fun to see new styles and imagine different ways to style. As mentioned, if you have places or any feedback on any of the above, please share with us in the comments 🙂

Thanks for reading,

10 Petite Style Tips: How To Appear Taller

Before we get into styling for specific body shapes, I thought it would be useful to give some general petite style tips and tricks that work to elongate the body and make you appear taller. This is useful not just for petites (women under 5’4″) but also for anyone wanting to appear taller as appearing taller can also help you appear slimmer too! I have picked my top 10 relating to shoes, jackets, tops, pants and skirts and added them over two posts. Here is post one, post two can be found here.

Tip 1: Add Length With Shoes

-Wear heels

It is so obvious as actually wearing heels DOES make you taller! If you are wearing them for long periods, I would definitely recommend getting a pair of wedges or shoes that have a block heel as it takes some of the pressure off your back to have your feet more supported and are just generally more comfortable. Wedges are particularly great as they add an additional diagonal line which adds height.

-Match your shoes and legs

Having shoes the same colour as your legs also makes them appear longer. So for me, that means I wear a lot of nude coloured shoes. Invest in at least one pair of nude shoes if you haven’t already. This also means if you are wearing tights or leggings, try matching boots or shoes with the tights/pants you are wearing as well. Navy shoes with blue jeans is a winning combination too!

Wear-nude-shoes

If you like flat shoes, I found these great shoes on Boden:
https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=10763&awinaffid=609361&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bodenclothing.com.au%2Fen-au%2Fchristina-slingbacks-fawn-rose%2Fsty-a0480-neu%3Fcat%3DC1_S2_G11

-Avoid shoes that sit at your ankle

The reason to avoid ankle straps and ankle boots is because visually it cuts the leg at that point and makes the legs appear shorter.  It’s fine to break these rules occasionally especially if you are abiding by the other rules like you can see my nude wedges have an ankle strap and so do my favourite navy and white ones but these work as the colour of the straps are light like my legs and the wedges add a diagonal line elongating the foot and leg. So break the rules a little, mix it up and make those legs look loooooong!!

navy-and-white-shoes

Tip 2: Use Lines That Elongate

Try to remember to choose items that add length to your legs or to your torso (you’re winning if you can do both at once!). For example, you can see that the skirts in this picture that sit ABOVE THE KNEE tend to work best in making me look taller as they lengthen the legs. Raising the waist helps to lengthen the legs too if you can wear a belt or tuck your top in at your waist (visual further in post). The shorter the skirt, the longer your legs will look and, the taller you will appear (note an additional diagonal line in the mini skirt here for even more height)! I also love to wear over the knee boots to bring that line up further. Anything that sits above the knee is usually great at adding length to legs!

skirt-lengths-for-petites

Here’s a really cute skirt from Modcloth that does this well. Great vertical lines with the vertical seam feature and buttons here. Also great because of the attention to the high waist with the bow (lengthening the legs) and the shorter length:
-Lines that don’t work:

There are some lines that don’t work at lengthening the torso or legs and that is wearing tops or jackets that sit at the middle of your body (your hips) or jackets that sit at the lower hips (crotch). One of the reasons is because it brings attention to the horizontal lines instead of vertical (for height), it doesn’t lengthen the torso or legs and also it is often one of our widest parts (for triangle, hour glass and pear shapes anyway) so having jackets end there can make you appear wider. If you want to break the rules again, you can wear a longer shirt tucked in at the front a little (French tuck) or pair it with a cropped jacket. This ensures you are bringing that horizontal line up with the cropped jacket and with this trick you are lengthening your torso too (with the longer top).

Tip 3: Choose Cropped Items

Cropped jackets, cropped pants and cropped sleeves are a go to as well. These all raise the hem up and therefore make your legs or arms appear longer.

Here are some great cropped pants from Modcloth. I love these as not only are they cropped (lengthening the legs), they also have great vertical lines in the pockets and also with the line of buttons on the bottom of the pants! (More on vertical lines later) :

A cropped jacket (which will sit at your waist or upper hip) brings the waist line up, making the legs look longer. This works for many different shaped petites. A 3/4 sleeve also brings the attention up visually and makes your arms look longer.

If the clothes don’t naturally come cropped, you can create a crop by rolling or cuffing up a hem like for the sleeves in this jacket. Note that this jacket is also a great length as it sits higher on the body:

Cuff-sleeves

Here is a cuff example for pants:

cuffed-pants-for-petites

You can also crop by shortening tops (so many people just cutting their tops at the moment to make them cropped!), by tying a knot in a shirt as well as doing a “French tuck” (where you tuck the front of your shirt into your pants and then untuck it a little so it sits loosely). If you are not so comfortable wearing a shorter jacket/top, you can cover your seat with the french tuck option or you can wear a longer jacket or cardigan paired with a monochromatic silhouette underneath or a cropped jacket over a longer top as mentioned above. Remember to make sure the shoulders of the top layer fit you and that the longer length sits at a flattering height as per discussion above.

Tip 4: Fit Shoulders Or Go Sleeveless

The most important thing for a petite in jackets is to make sure that the jacket fits her shoulders. Sometimes this may result in a jacket not doing up if you have a larger bust but it can still look quite stylish having an open jacket with a silhouette underneath (to create a silhouette, wear one colour or pattern as a dress or top and bottoms that are all in the same colour/pattern) as opposed to having a jacket where the shoulders are sagging.

If finding tops that fit your shoulders is tricky (me), I would also recommend wearing singlets, tanks or vests to avoid the shoulder problem altogether. If it is cooler, you can wear a longer sleeve top and if it doesn’t quite fit at the shoulders, layer it with a vest.

Tip 5: Layer

On that note, if your clothes don’t fit quite right, consider putting clothes over the top to cover ill-fitting shoulders or longer lengths. As I mentioned above, be sure that the top layer is fitted (especially to your shoulders) which will bring in your overall look. A super cute look for petites is to wear a dress or tunic that sits above the knee and pair it with a cropped jacket with tights and boots that are the same colour and a belt that sits at the waist.

For styling tips 6-10, please continue reading here. I would also love to hear your styling tips too so please comment if you learnt something new or if you have any styling tips you could offer other shorties. Otherwise continue reading here.

Til next time 🙂

 

 

 

Please note, ModCloth have a petite range though both items above are not petites so just check the measurements in the descriptions before making a decision to purchase 🙂 And, happy shopping 🙂