The biggest (no pun intended) challenge for many petite women is finding business suits and work wear. casual clothing can be a little easier due to the fact that they have the option of going to the j.r. ms. section or in some cases even the children’s section. Professional wear for the petite woman on the other hand can be a little tougher as there aren’t very many designers or brands that create high quality suits in small sizes. “Every thing is just cut way too big” is the most common complaint heard, and any amount of baggy or sloppiness in the fit can be really pronounced on a petite frame.
The petite woman and her tailor
The most important thing for a petite woman to find is a great tailor. It must be accepted that alterations need to be made in order for the clothing to fit just right, so finding a tailor you can communicate well with can make a big difference. think about it most women will go out of their way to find a hair stylist they trust, some one they can build a long term relationship with. The same should be done for the petite woman and her tailor.
To start off it is recommended that you start by looking towards brands that specialize in petites. Banana Republic, Emporio Armani, and Ted Baker for instance all carry a petite section and have some pretty fashion forward yet professional designs. If you are under 5’0″ it can be tougher as you will be limited to strictly petite sizes as no amount of alterations can over come the cut being just too long. If you are 5’1″ and up you have a little more options as most of the “regular” sizes can still be re-cut to a petite. Before you go shopping make sure you talk to your tailor as to the best type of alterations they can make with out compromising the integrity of the design. If all else fails, finding a Tailor the specializes in petite women’s custom suits, is a great way to put together a solid business wardrobe with less hassle.
The best suits for petite women
A suit, whether it be a pant suit or skirt suit, is always a better look for a petite woman then separates. It gives more authority, and since most petite women come across younger than they are a little more air of authority in the work place cant hurt. Its best too look for lighter colors to create a bigger presence, black and other darker colors can be slimming but a little more bulk is something a small framed woman should welcome. Look for shirred or cap sleeves on blouses and jackets to give the appearance of broader shoulders. This is best only for a small framed petite, avid this if you have a curvier frame or larger arms. Look for jackets that are cropped right at our hip. this gives the illusion of longer legs and height. In the skirt department , straight skirts and pencil skirts will give create more curves. have them altered to the knee to add a little more “height”. Do not go with heels that are too high as it can be some what of an after hours look and better outside of the work place. Opt instead for a mid height heel, which works well with the proportions of a petite women’s suit.
Chris Vance is the senior trends and fashion spotter for Requisite clothing, a custom clothing design house specializing in custom suits, custom shirts, custom tuxedos and sports wear for both men and women.