For some annoying reason, people act like "petite" means everything about you is small. Well, of course that's ridiculous- petite just refers to a woman who is 5'4" or under. Now, generally, if you are petite, you are going to be "scaled down" from a taller version of your body type and frame size, and that's why petite clothing tends to be narrower as well as shorter- the idea is to account for your smaller frame size.
Unfortunately, though, "petite" bras tend to come in band sizes 28-34 or so and cup sizes AA, A, B, and maybe C. If you are a curvy petite, you have to buy "plus size" bras- how ironic is that?
But even if you have a larger cup size, petite women have different bra needs:
- If possible, it's even more important for a petite woman to wear a bra that fits. It's easier to obscure your waist when you're petite. Learn how to measure yourself here.
- Look for a bra that has shorter underwires. If the underwires are too long, they will poke uncomfortably into your armpit, even in your correct bra size. A good style to look for is "balcony" or "balconette" bras, which have lower cups and shorter underwires.
- You may find that the bra straps are too long for you, due to your shorter torso. Of course, they shouldn't be tight, but if they are too long they will be falling off your shoulders. You may be able to find a bra that has shorter straps, but it can be hard to tell when you are buying online unless somebody mentions it in the reviews. It's also a fairly easy alteration to shorten the straps from what I have heard.
As for clothing, I would generally follow the advice for your body shape, not your height. There are a few exceptions or special things to take note of, though:
- It's the Law of Flattering Clothing for Curvy And Hourglass Ladies, but it's is even more important here: Thou Shalt Define Your Waist. Seriously, buy the liftiest bra you possibly can and always, always make sure that your clothing fits at the waist.
- I love wide waist belts to define my waist, but you may find that they overwhelm a petite figure. Go with what you think looks good, though. Smaller waist belts are probably good, though.
- My mother likes drop waist style dresses, because they create the look of a longer waistline.
- This only truly occurred to me recently- unfortunately, if you are petite, it's a whole lot easier for people to look right down your shirt. Even accidentally. You are probably going to want to show less cleavage than a taller curvy girl could get away with.
- Unfortunately, there are no clothing companies that I know of that cater to petite and curvy women. My advice is to buy clothing designed with extra room at the bust, and then have it taken in if necessary- shortening sleeves and hemlines is generally going to be an easier task for a tailor than essentially remaking the entire garment to fit your chest.
- You may find, like my mother does, that regular petite shirts fit at the shoulders better, but are actually too short! That's because a large chest takes up a good bit of fabric- another reason to buy clothing that fits your chest, and have the rest taken in.
- You might have good luck with Trashy Diva clothes- I have heard that they work well for a variety of heights, and they have some styles that have slightly higher necklines, while still being flattering. Oh, and they go down to a size 2 which is good for about a 22-24 inch waist.
If there's anything I've missed, please do let me know- I will edit this post and add any suggestions that I get!