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Madalynne Intimates is a woman-owned, Philadelphia-based brand offering size inclusive lingerie for all people. Our small team consists of four people and together, we offer DIY lingerie kits, hand crafted lingerie, and online + in-person bra making classes.

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Petite Lingerie – Is There Such A Thing and What is it?

Petite Lingerie – Is There Such A Thing and What is it?

petite lingerieIn 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”.

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3 Comments
  • July 26, 2017

    It’s like you wrote this post for me! I’m a petite woman and have been incredibly frustrated when it comes to buying clothes and, especially, lingerie. I simply refuse to buy my undies from the little girls section. Because of these frustrations, I’ve recently decided to teach myself to draft my own patterns and make my wardrobe. I would love it if you created a special line of patterns geared towards petites. I’ve wanted to buy a kit, but know I’m definitely not an average cup or band size. I’d rather my first experience with your beautiful work not end in frustration.

  • Linda Amerigo
    July 27, 2017

    Regular does not exist. Sizing has only come about because we stopped making our own clothing. I have never fit the mold, and have made my own clothing my entire life. Making my own bras and panties has been completely liberating.

  • October 25, 2017

    We are so glad that you wrote this blog post!
    Lingerie is for all shapes, sizes, colours and personalities.
    All ladies have an inner diva that likes to come out and play every now and then – lingerie isn’t just eye candy, it’s for us to feel confident and proud of our bodies.
    For this very reason we created our Lingerie Blog Category https://www.passionfruit.co.za/blog/lingerie-sexy-clothing-c7 to give ladies the best tips and advice, the hottest topics and trends and general informative and fun information.

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