Petite is a term that refers to height rather than weight, and more specifically, referring to anyone 5’5” and under. In petite clothing, it must be properly proportioned down from head to toe, rather than left to right as it is commonly misunderstood. Petites also have very similar bust-waist-hip measurements as the “average” height woman.
Unfortunately, because we have a shorter torso and shorter legs, we cannot wear regular clothing without hiring a tailor for major alterations. With many pieces, especially blouses and dresses, simply shortening the hem is not enough. Even though we may have the same bust and hip measurements for a garment in a regular size, the sleeve length, torso length, proportions in lapels and pockets, inseams, and even dart placement will be significantly off, making a well fitted “look” impossible.
In reality only about 3% of women are 5’9” or taller, over 40% of the population are 5’4” and under, with 25% being 5’1” or less. This is a very large gap that the media tries to disguise with their amazon-like models since a large majority of designers and high luxury brands only cater to the “average” woman.
But many women in the Hollywood light are in fact petites, including Eva Longoria, Shakira, Mila Kunis, Victoria Beckham, and Natalie Portman.
So the next time you walk out of your house, be bold and walk tall (no pun intended) … because Petite is the new Black.