The definition of petite is used to describe a fairly short woman or person (usually under 5 ft. 4 in (163 cm)). Some may also describe petite as someone whom is very slim or some even believe it's a mixture of the short and slim. However, the word "Petite" which originates from the French language, defined as small, was usually used to describe a shorter or smaller woman or person.
As with all clothing & footwear, the world is not currently on an exact standard. Every body is different and every fashion designer creates measurements & garment patterns differently.
When searching the internet for petite clothing size charts please keep in mind that size charts are guidelines and should not be used for 100% accuracy. However, if you are looking for a particular brand and that brand lists a specific size chart, that chart can obviously be better trusted.
|Here is a petites size chart from Talbots as of 7/28/21. Please visit their website to check for updates (Talbots Petites Size Chart). Measurements are in Inches.|
|Bust||31½ - 32½||33½ - 34½||35½ - 36½||38 - 39½||41|
|Waist||24½ - 25½||26½ - 27½||28½ - 29½||31 - 32½||34|
|Hips||34½ - 35½||36½ - 37½||38½ - 39½||41 - 42½||44|
When shopping for petites you will have to do further research regarding measurements and size charts. We suggest that you first decide which retail store you plan to utilize and then if possible investigate the specific brand. First check to see if that store or brand publishes a measurement chart. If they don't you can certainly ask them questions. However, the best way to choose garments is to actually "try them on". It is very important to try clothing on your body and don't simply utilize measurement charts.
Keep in mind each type of petite clothing category may have a different size chart.
When shopping for petite fashion, you may want to consider the following.
Average female sized clothing is designed for a woman at least 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall (without shoes) and will not properly fit a woman of significantly shorter height. Even if the bust, waist and hip circumferences are appropriate, the sleeve lengths, leg inseam lengths and vertical torso measurements (such as the back length and bust-waist length) will most likely need to be altered significantly to fit well. Non-petite size dresses cannot be easily altered to produce the equivalent petite size, since, in general, these lengths (particularly the critical torso measurements) cannot be altered without introducing an unsightly seam to the garment. Significant errors in the torso measurements will make a well-fitted look impossible, e.g., if the bust-point darts are off by three inches. In addition to its measurements, a petite-size garment may have a different design from those intended for taller women. For example, style elements may be added to give a longer, slimmer look, e.g., vertical stripes, princess seams, short skirts, large patterns or patterns arranged helically around the whole body.
Learn more about petite size fashion.
Note: when we use the word regular as in regular size, it refers primarily to the meaning of average.