Dressbarn Style Expert and Buyer Shares Petite Shopping Tips

Has anyone ever called you petite? If so, you likely fall into the height category of 5’ 4” and under. When shopping, you find the sleeves and shirt hems are either too long or too baggy…or a combination of both. The hems of pants and dresses are often too long and too loose. For outerwear clothing, the shoulders are even too narrow.

According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5’3”, placing her in the ‘petite’ category. However, wider waistlines and plus-size shoppers seem to receive the most attention at clothing stores. Petites have unique challenges when it comes to dressing. Most petite garments are really just scaled-down versions of average items and accessories, which do not flatter the petite smaller frame. Unfortunately, dressing to create length and accentuate the petite figure is not always easy.

Many people get confused with the term “petite”. The common assumption of petite is, “you must be a size 0-4.” This is not true. The term petite refers to height and proportion, not size and weight. When a garment is truly “petite”, it means the fit of the garment is specifically cut for petite proportions, meaning height and shape.

The best styles for a true petite size are skirts and dresses that fall at the knee or a few inches above. As for shorts, the same rule applies. It is recommended that a petite wears her shorts at the knee or above. For petite figures, capris are not a recommended style because they tend to cut you off, making you look shorter. If you choose to wear capris, it is recommended to pair them with the right heels to distract the eye and create length.

The main goal of a petite is to look taller. Here are some tips from Jocelyn Gash, Dressbarn Petite Buyer.

  • Create prominent vertical prints and details such as zip fronts, cable patterns, ribbed knits, and vertical pleats.
  • Wear 3/4 sleeves because they will make your arms appear longer.
  • Select solid, dark colors from bottom to top to create an elongated look, and then strategically place eye catching accessories where you want people to look.
  • For example: Longer necklaces, opposed to shorter chokers so that eyes are drawn up and down; visually creates length.
  • V necks (depending on chest size) can be your best friend and create a lengthening effect similar to long necklaces.

Some recommended petite styles from Dressbarn are shown below. We at First Class Fashionista wish all petites good luck and happy shopping! We sincerely hope you never get scaled-down or put into the wrong outfit again!

dressbarn colorblock tank

Dressbarn Peplum Blouse

dressbarn pants

dressbarn skirt

dressbarn skirt

dressbarn dress

About MarissaL

I'm Marissa. I'm a graduate from The Art Institute of Colorado with a bachelor's in fashion design. I started my career with FCF during my externship course at AIC, I have continued to stay with the company after graduation. What I love about FCF is how we get to attend event and cover local fashion shows. The team of FCF has grown tremendously and we have a great mentor to help us along the way. I'm very excited because we are currently planning our own fashion show/event!!! Currently I'm writing celebrity articles, covering the newest news and gossip in Hollywood. I would love to hear reviews and comments on the articles I write. Fashion is not just what you wear, but it is within your lifestyle. There is more to fashion than what name you have on. Fashion is in the air we breath and the images we see. If there is anything you would like to hear more about, let me know. Thank you for visiting my profile on First Class Fashionista!!!