Trying on this top in Miss Selfridge the other day in the petite section which fit perfectly, finally prompted this question. As soon as Summer hits, I always find it a struggle to find tops that fit, other than jumpers, particularly on the straps. There’s been many a trip to Primark (who don’t have a petite range in tops) where I’ve gone into the changing rooms with a handful of items to try on and come out with none which is such a shame. Being 5ft 5 with long limbs, I never considered the petite section and assumed items just didn’t fit right. Until a few days ago, although one definition is being ‘short in stature, usually under 5’3’’, I never thought that actually it can just mean being petite on the top half of your body but not so much on the bottom half and vice versa. ‘Petite’ is a tricky category, because it spans all body types. Another definition states women ‘can be petite with long legs, or be short all over’ which I found so interesting.
Petite sizes vs regular sizing
So what’s the difference?
Petite clothing is specialised at the cutting stage of the garment where unique pattern blocks are used compared to the fashion industry standard. The clothing is not only designed specifically for petite proportions, it also includes using smaller buttons, smaller prints on fabric and petite-friendly necklines. Regular clothing is typically cut with larger armholes, longer sleeve lengths and wider shoulders for example.
When researching, I noticed that some sites such as Boohoo, NewLook and ASOS have a wide range of petite clothing, however some had barely any available. As I have long arms, for me I will only be able to shop in this section for clothing such as sleeveless tops but being able to find tops for the Summer that fit right has (not to be dramatic) opened a new world. I’m definitely going to have a look in the petite section as well in future and hopefully have more luck in that department!
A few pieces I’ve spotted which I love…