Petite Vs. Regular Size: What’s the Difference?

Understanding petite vs. regular size clothing can reduce the number of clothing returns you get due to improper fit. Learn more in this guide.
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Team Kiwi Sizing

Last updated on January 1, 2024

Fashion-related purchases account for more than 20% of all online retail sales in the United States. However, because customers can’t try on their purchases before they buy, frequent returns are an issue for many retailers. Shorter customers may have a particularly difficult time finding clothes that fit well.

You can reduce your returns due to poor fit by helping customers choose petite vs. regular size clothing correctly.

Petite Vs. Regular Size Clothing Measured

Petite Vs. Regular Size

Many people think of a petite person as someone very small. However, in fashion, petite primarily refers to height and proportion. 

Manufacturers design petite clothing to fit women who are 5’4″ or shorter. By contrast, regular sizes generally fit women who are 5’5″ to 5’8″ tall. 

How Petite Sizes Vs. Regular Size Clothes Fit

petite sizes vs. regular

Petite clothing isn’t just a shorter version of regular-size clothing.  Manufacturers use unique pattern blocks when cutting petite garments to achieve a better fit. 

Petite garments may feature:

  • Shorter hemlines and inseams
  • Smaller pockets and buttons
  • Different prints, necklines, and armholes
  • Shorter sleeves
  • Shorter rises

Because petite sizing is as much about proportion as it is height, women who are taller than 5’4″ may need petite tops if they have narrower shoulders or short torsos or petite bottoms if they have short legs. For this reason, it is a good idea to provide petite-sizing information on all of your product pages, rather than just a section specifically for petite women.

Petite Tops

Petite tops have shorter arms to prevent sleeves that are saggy or overly long. They are also shorter from the neck to the waist and feature smaller waists for a cleaner line. 

Petite tops have narrower shoulders to provide a more tailored fit. Higher armholes and necklines prevent issues with bras showing through the armholes and necks. 

Petite Bottoms

Petite bottoms feature shorter inseams and hemlines so that customers do not need to get garments tailored for a proper fit. Because the knee position is correct, petite garments provide a sleeker look than regular-sized garments. 

Petite pants have a shorter rise so that the garment sits correctly on the body. Petite pants also have a slimmer fit through the knees and thighs and slimmer leg openings to provide a more flattering silhouette. 

Petite skirts have shorter hemlines so that above-the-knee styles actually wear above the knee on shorter customers. Petite skirts also have less volume to create an elongating look that doesn’t overwhelm smaller frames.

Petite Sizing Challenges

Because there are no standardized guidelines for sizing across brands, a size 0P in one brand could fit completely differently than the same size in another brand. Providing a petite size chart vs. a regular size chart for comparison can help customers choose the right size garments.

Helping Your Shoppers Select Petite Vs. Regular Size Clothing

Petite size chart vs. regular helps shoppers make better decisions.

About 20%-40% of all clothing returns to e-commerce stores are due to problems with fit. Providing accurate size chart information on all your product pages can reduce your returns.

However, simply providing size charts is not enough because customers don’t always know their measurements or understand how to read the charts. With Kiwi Sizing, you can easily add size charts and fit recommenders to your e-commerce site.

Get Size Recommendation Help With Kiwi Sizing

With our easy-to-use fit recommenders, your customers can determine if they need petite vs. regular size clothing by putting in their weight, height, and age. Thanks to our intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you don’t need any technical skills to add these features to your product pages. Visit us online to learn more and install Kiwi today.

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