Shopping For Petite Women’s Clothing Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

Shopping For Petite Women’s Clothing Doesn’t Have to Be a Hassle

A big part of dressing well has to do with the shape and size of your body. That’s especially true with petite women’s clothing. What’s the best part of your body? Is it your legs? How big are your hips? Take into consideration the whole of your smaller body when choosing things to wear.

There is no such thing as a standard petite size woman. In general you terms « petites » means a woman who is under average female height, or about five foot four. But height is only part of it. Some short women have big busts, others practically none. Others have short legs in proportion to the rest of their frame, others have sleek long limbs. Then there are hips, and don’t get me started on hips. A much undeserved group in the apparel industry are petite plus size women.

This is why it’s often more difficult to find well fitting clothes for a petite woman, than a plus size woman. While you might get away with tighter fitting clothes, baggy things are a big no no for the petite woman. And alterations to pant legs and skirt hems can sometimes be necessary.

You can find everything you need if you remember one thing, and that is to try to create one straight line from toe to top of the head. Pinstripes or anything with a vertical pattern will work great. Go for shirts with buttons or wrap dresses, too. High heels elongate the look of your legs, and who doesn’t want to show off pretty legs?

When it comes to pattern, don’t go for splashy prints or colors leaning toward the neon spectrum. More appropriate are tiny prints and solid colors. Vary, instead your choice of fabric. Choose silk or satin or tweed. Let your choice of fabric rule. But never, ever wear horizontal stripes.

If you can find something with a thin stripe that goes up and down, so much the better.

Don’t chop up your total image by choosing widely different colors for your top and pants or skirt. Try to achieve a look of unity from top to bottom. And wide belts? We don’t think so. Belts cut you in two, and again it’s a horizontal line, not the desired vertical line. Tunic tops are great because they cover the waist and easily add visual height to your look. And choose figure-hugging dresses, rather than ones with full skirts.

Accessorize with a thin long scarf and necklaces of 18 inch or longer. Long boots instead of ankle length ones. Long sleeves instead of short ones. You get the idea. A knee length coat instead of a short jacket.

Shopping for great petite women’s clothing is much more difficult than shopping for plus size clothing, because the department stores don’t really cater to petites, and if they do, they gear the styles toward teens and young girls, not women with careers and families.

Thank heaven for the internet. You can find everything you could imagine online. There are lots of online stores that pull petite women’s clothing from many other stores so that your available selections are plentiful.

Just remember to seek the vertical, downplay the patterns and show off your long legs. You’ll look beautiful!

Amy Hutton has been in the clothing industry for many years. She absolutely adores writing on all kinds of apparel. You can visit her favorite store at

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