In regular women’s clothing (i.e. dresses, blouses, pants, skirts, etc.), patterns are designed for women that are at least 5 ft 5 in (165 cm) tall (without shoes). For women that are shorter in height, typically less than 5 ft 3 in (160 cm) or 5 ft 4 in, vertical measurements such as front length, back length, bust to waist, sleeve lengths, and leg inseam are reduced. In most cases, changing a pattern to be petite calls for width reductions as well but that’s not always the case. A women who is an XL petite would need to add width. So, some critical thinking must be done. Also to note, non-petite clothing usually cannot be altered to be petite without introducing horizontal seam, which is why the pattern, and not the garment, is changed.
Is there such thing as petite lingerie? You hear the word petite and immediately think small, so it must mean 32A or even AA? When it comes to lingerie however, petite isn’t related to height, only cup size, and usually includes AA, A and B. There was a time when petite lingerie meant narrow rib cage and a small cup size, but there was clamor from women with larger rib cages and smaller cup sizes that caused the definition to broaden.
Like regular clothing, the term “petite” can cause confusion. Por que? Well, usually, there is less of a selection of small cup sizes in different, especially larger, band sizes. So women with larger band sizes but a smaller cup size tend to have fewer options. The result is that someone who is a 42A might have to wear a smaller band size to find a bra that “fits”, but doesn’t really. Someone who is a size 28A equally has a hard time, and usually may have to resort to the teen department.
What is missing from these measurements, number and labels is the beauty. No two snowflakes are the same, and no two boobs are the same. This is exactly why I started making my own lingerie, and why I will always, always, always think that me-made trumps “regular” and “petite”.