What does Women’s Petite Size mean? Just the word ‘petite’ makes me think of ‘tiny’ and yet, that’s not what it means in women’s sizing.
Petite means shorter than average height. Petite does not mean skinny, underweight, perfect weight, or small. Petite, in women’s sizing means shorter torso, shorter legs and shorter arms than average.
Therefore, while you may be heavier than your 5 foot, eight inch friend, if you are five foot, four inches or shorter, you may find that Women’s Petite size clothing fits you better than larger sizes in the average range. Women’s Petite Size clothing can range in sizes from the very small for women of very slight build through sizes up to 4X or 30W depending upon the manufacturer’s designation.
Women’s Petite Clothing Online
My favorite online sites for finding a variety of styles with consistent petite size clothing are:
- Chadwicks Of Boston – Chadwicks.com
- Serengeti Catalog – SerengetiCatalog.com
- Coldwater Creek – ColdwaterCreek.com
- Metrostyle – Metrostyle.com
- Blair – Blair.com
- Appleseed’s – Appleseeds.com
- Draper’s & Damon’s – Drapers.com
Why Look For Petite Sizes
At five foot four, I’m on the edge of many size charts but I have found that when purchasing slacks, petite sizes are best for me otherwise I’d be paying to have them shortened every time I make a purchase.
Petite jackets and coats are in the same category as my arms are shorter than average. If I wear a blazer or jacket in a standard size, the sleeves are almost always reaching my fingertips. A petite size coat or jacket puts the end of the sleeves just at the wrist, making the fit just right. On the other hand, because my height is right at 5’4”, a dress, sweater or blouse may fit well in either petite or average size. My torso is average; it’s my arms and legs that are short.
Finding a clothing line or manufacturer that provides consistency in sizing is very important. I’ve found that Chadwicks.com and Metrostyle.com are true to the sizing chart in their catalog and have maintained consistency for several years. That’s a wonderful thing! After finding a product line that fits well, any changes would be very disappointing.
WomanWithin.com offers sizes for women in the 12W to 44 W range, offering a petite size for those between 4′ 11″ and 5″ 3 1/2″. You may find a variation of a half inch or so in bust, waist and hip measurements, but I have found they are all reasonably close.