Petite women have always faced fashion challenges when it comes to dressing well. Though there aren’t any support groups out there for petite women, perhaps there should be. It’s not always easy being a size that’s just a little bit smaller than the norm. Being under average height (the average is around 5’4” -5’5” for women) makes it harder to find flattering styles, as most of the major clothing manufacturers gear their designs toward the “average” sized market.
Petite women are defined by their height (under 5’4”) but they also tend to have shorter arms and a shorter torso, all of which makes clothing designed for taller women a difficult fit. Still, there is good news out there for women of smaller stature. Designers are taking notice of the needs of the petite-sized woman, and creating more clothing in cuts and styles that really meet the needs of this market.
Going For a Flattering, Younger Look
Many of the petite styles available to smaller women have been geared towards an older market, resulting in a lot of inappropriate looks for younger working women, and frankly, a lot of frustration.
The good news is that some designers are now paying close attention to this market, and creating styles made especially to suit the needs of petite women. The most prevalent trend in these new designs for petites are in looks for a corporate setting, as most younger women’s most serious wardrobe requirements are for her work day.
As the market in more modern designs for petite women grows, it’s likely that the trends will go beyond looks for the workplace and into more casual styles, or styles for evening. For now though, the focus on better fitting, more flattering styles for this underserved population is great news indeed.
Flattering the Petite Frame
For petite women, dressing well does involve a few challenges. Luckily, with the marketing reaching out to smaller framed women, looking great in a well-fitting wardrobe will be much easier to accomplish. The challenge for women of smaller stature is in finding a fit that truly flatters, as well as in choosing designs that work with her frame to give her a added length.
Petite women should focus on looks that add length without overwhelming her smaller frame. Heavy, bulky fabrics on top should be avoided, as they can create a shorter, boxier look. Light fabrics with smaller, delicate patterns are a flattering look. Skirts should fall around the knee, or just a little bit above or below. Longer pants with a slight flare at the bottom are another lengthening look, especially when worn with heels.
Being petite isn’t a problem to be solved, it’s a look to be embraced. By dressing in clothes that really suit the smaller framed size, petite women have an opportunity to dress in truly knockout styles. With today’s new designs geared especially to this market, there is much to celebrate.