petite size clothing

Are you 5ft3″ (160cm) an under?  Then petite size clothing is for you.  Petite in the fashion industry refers to your stature and not weight. Many assume that petite means tiny in dress size but it actually refers to your height.  

Petite size clothing differs from regular size clothing it is designed to fit and flatter those who are 5ft3″ (160cm) or under in height regardless of their dress size. Sleeves and clothing lengths are often shorter with narrower shoulders, higher arm holes, shorter bodices and shorter rises on petite trousers. 

Not only is the fit taken into consideration, the styles are often designed to give the illusion of height.  Clothing will often have smaller prints, vertical stripes,  smaller buttons and thinner belts.

Can you wear petite clothing if you are taller?

Yes!  If you are taller and have a short torso, narrow shoulders or shorter legs then you may be able to wear the tops, skirts and trousers. Petite trouser length is usually for leg lengths 27″ – 29″ and under.

History of Petite clothing.

Fashion designer Hannah Troy invented the concept of petite clothing in the 1940’s after noticing her customers had ill fitting clothing because most women tended to be short waisted.   Hannah was able to study measurements the military had made from women who volunteered during WW11.  The statistics showed that most women were short waisted.  

When asked why she chose the term “petite” to categorize her styles, she replied ” It had a nice ring to it”.  The Troy figures line was intended for short waisted women of all heights but only shorter women bought the clothing.


Interesting Fact:  According the the office of national statistics the average height in the for a woman in the UK is 5ft3″.


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