What Does Petite Mean In Clothing?

If you’ve done some online shopping recently, then chances are that you’ve come across the label ‘petite’ for some of the items.

What Does Petite Mean In Clothing?

Petite clothing has only been around for a few decades, and previous to this, it was more of a one size fits all attitude. 

Now, women who are shorter can shop safely in the knowledge that their pants won’t be dragging around on the ground all day.

But, what exactly classifies petite? Do you fall into this category? To find out more about what exactly petite signifies in clothing brands, keep reading below, as we take a look. 

What Exactly Does Petite Mean? 

Many people may feel confused about what exactly petite means in the first place.

Initially, the word ‘petite’ makes us think of somebody who is smaller in terms of body frame than the average human being. This isn’t the case however. 

Petite is actually all to do with height. If you are unsure of your specific height, measure yourself, and if you fall into the category of being 5’4 or shorter, this means that you’re classified as petite. 

Clothing brands produce petite versions of their clothing in order to make sure that they adequately fit shorter people.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also ‘tall’ clothing sizes, which are specifically designed for people over 5’8 in height. 

It’s always a good idea to make sure to measure your height before purchasing clothing, to avoid the hassle of having to return unwanted items. 

You will notice that when you observe petite clothing, it will be much shorter than the average size, in order to properly fit the proportions of the person.

Petite clothing can be limiting, however, to those who are on the curvier size, as they may alter the armholes and shoulders. 

Each clothing brand who produces petite clothing will have their specific manner of manufacturing it, so it’s best to research the brand before you buy. 

The Style Of Petite Clothing 

It is interesting to note that sometimes when you find petite items on a brand’s website, they won’t always have petite versions of all the clothing items listed on the website, only specific items. 

The reason being, because petite items are specifically designed to make a person appear taller.

So, you’ll often find that the clothing produced for petite people will be incredibly symmetrical, with vertical lines, smaller buttons, and princess seams. 

You may not find that these things actually suit you well, which can be frustrating when shopping for clothing online as a petite person.

It’s always best to find your personal style first, then shop accordingly, rather than buy things that other people think will suit you. 

What Does Petite Mean In Clothing?

What If There Is No Petite Option? 

Not all clothing brands will produce items for petite customers, and as we mentioned briefly above, it’s still a relatively new thing.

If you’ve found the perfect garment, but have received it and found that it’s disproportionate to your body shape, there is something you can do. 

The best thing to do if you’ve found a clothing item that you like but doesn’t fit properly, is to simply take it to a tailor. Chances are they’ll probably be able to adjust the item to fit your unique body shape perfectly. 

Always make sure that you check the return policy for clothing online, so that if you buy something that’s really off, you can easily return it. 

How Do I Measure My Clothing Size?

It’s always best to take your measurements before buying clothing, especially if you’re doing your shopping online.

Online shopping can be a nightmare, and it seems that you can be several different sizes according to the specific brand you’re buying from. 

Clothing websites will always have a tabled section which shows each of the different measurements for their clothing sizes, so you can easily determine which category you fit into.

In order to measure your clothing size properly, you’ll need to take a look at your waist, chest, hips, and inseam. There are specific ways to measure each of these different regions. 

To measure your waist, simply wrap it around the natural curve of your waistline. For those who don’t know, this is the smallest portion of your waist. 

To measure your chest, you should seek somebody else to help you, as you’ll  need to lift both of your arms up, and have the person place it around the largest portion of your chest. 

For your hips, you should always make sure that your heels are placed neatly together, and not spaced far apart. You can then go ahead and measure around the widest portion of your hips. 

Finally, to measure your inseam, it’s also a good idea to get somebody to help you, as you’ll need to measure from your ankle, to the very top of your inner thigh. 

What If You Just Have Shorter Legs?

Some women who are over 5’4, but have relatively short legs, may be wondering if they might fall into the petite category.

Despite being taller, the proportions of your body may give the illusion that you’re shorter than you actually are. 

The inseam for regular trousers is 32” or above, so if yours is lower than this, it is recommended that you size down and choose a ‘petite’ size instead. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, petite has nothing to do with a person’s body shape or size, although this can be dependent on specific clothing brands.

Petite is a signifier of somebody’s height, and if you are somebody who is under 5’4, you will generally fall into the petite category. 

Make sure that you measure your bust, hips, waist, and inseam before purchasing clothes in order to get the correct size. 

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