Buying Guide for Smaller and Petite-Sized Women

Finding clothing in the right size and fit is key to helping you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing. So what is the difference between petite sizes and regular sizes? How do you know if you should be shopping for women’s petite clothing? What are the best styles to include in your wardrobe if you’re petite?

We get it. You want to feel put together and confident in your clothes. Take a look at our buying guide for smaller and petite-sized women and make sure you’re properly equipped with clothing that fits well and makes you feel great!

What is considered a petite size?

Wondering how to know whether or not you’re petite? This is determined by your height and proportions. Petite women are typically 5’3 and under, with a pants inseam of 27 inches or less. There’s a common misconception that being petite indicates a certain weight. This is not true – a petite size is measured solely by one’s height. To get your inseam measurement, all you need is a pair of pants that fit you well and a measuring tape. Measure from the crotch seam to the bottom of your leg. This is your inseam measurement. It’s as simple as that! Having this measurement will make it so much easier to shop for women’s jeans and pants moving forward.

Some other factors to consider when determining if you are petite is to look at your current clothing. Do your pants’ pockets fall in the wrong place on your body, or do the long sleeves on regular-sized tops extend past your wrists and hands?

How Does Petite Clothing Fit?

Petite clothing is specifically designed and made to fit a petite body type. Keep this in mind as you consider which petite clothing items will work best for you.

Petite Tops

Women’s petite tops are made to accommodate a shorter silhouette. They are generally shorter from neck to waist than regular-sized clothing and also feature more narrow shoulders. They will also have shorter sleeves designed to hit your wrists, reducing the need to continually be rolling up sleeves that are too long.

Petite Bottoms

From jeans and pants to a variety of skirt types, women’s petite bottoms are all designed to fit your body better. Petite pants will have a shorter rise to help them fit better with Skinny Jeans for petite women and with pants that feature a slimmer leg. Skirts often feature shorter hemlines to better accommodate leg length.

Keep Your Measurements Nearby

Many stores and online shops have measurement information for their pieces. In order to make sure you’re getting something that will fit really well, it’s a good idea to keep your measurements nearby when making purchases.

So which measurements do you need? We recommend at least having your chest, waist and hip measurements. We also mentioned measuring your inseam earlier. This is another handy measurement to keep on-hand!

Understand Your Body Shape

One way to ensure that you’re getting clothes that will work well with you and help you feel comfortable and confident is to understand your body shape. Some of the most common body shapes include rectangle, pear, apple and hourglass shapes. Others include round, diamond and athletic. Whatever your body shape, it’s a good idea to do some research, understand what it is and use this to help you buy clothing that fits you best!

Best Items for Petite Women

Now that we’ve determined who qualifies as petite and which measurements they’ll need, let’s talk about which clothing items work particularly well for petite women! What do you already have in your closet, and which pieces do you need to start adding to your wardrobe?

Three-quarter Sleeve Tops

Looking for a way to elongate your arms without getting too overheated by long sleeves? A good, petite three-quarter sleeve top is a great way to make your arms look longer, not to mention what a flattering cut it is! From casual tees to dressy blouses, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to three-quarter sleeve tops.

Skinny Jeans

Let’s be honest, petite skinny jeans look great on any body type! No matter your height, skinny jeans are a great option for you. However, when it comes to petite women, skinny jeans do a great job elongating their legs, and are easily paired with any top or blouse. We highly recommend getting a pair or two in your closet.

Knee-Length Coats

Not only will a knee-length coat keep you warmer when the days and nights get a bit chilly, but it will also create a line from your shoulders to your knees that elongates your body and helps you look taller. Not to mention, there are many great knee-length coat options to choose from!

Midi Skirts

We know skirts can be tricky if you’re looking for new pieces in regular sizes. However, when it comes to women’s petite skirts, one of our favorite skirt styles is midi or mid-length skirts. When purchased in the right size, a midi skirt can be a very flattering way to go!

Pointed Toe Shoes

A good pointed-toe shoe is a great option for anyone, but we especially recommend them for petite-sized women. Whether it’s a pair of comfortable flats or heels for a dressier occasion, pointed-toe shoes make your legs appear longer and they go well with any ensemble, whether it’s a skirt, dress or pair of skinny jeans.

Feel Beautiful and Confident

Here’s the thing: the key to loving what you have in your wardrobe and feeling comfortable in your clothing is dependent on how well your clothing fits. If you are a smaller or petite-sized woman, buying petite clothing is a surefire way to help you feel comfortable and confident in what you wear!