1. Myth 1Petite means tiny in the fashion industry.
Reality Petite means short, rather than tiny in the fashion industry. However, if you're confused about this, you're not alone. Some clothing manufacturers and retailers that do not sell petite clothing, use petite as a size designation to mean extra-small, which only adds to the public's confusion about what petite means in fashion. Savvy garment manufacturers and retailers reserve the term petite for clothing that is specifically made to fit short women.
2. Myth 2The Juniors Department and the Boys Department are good places for petites to shop.
Reality Although it's sometimes tempting to shop in Juniors or Boys, the reality is that neither of these two departments will fit the bill for short women. Juniors clothing is sized for teenagers who have different body types than women. Boys clothing is sized for boys who also have different body types than women. Style-wise, it's not a good idea to shop in these departments because the styles are geared for kids and teenagers. Do you really want a Barbie Doll or Spiderman t-shirt?
3. Myth 3As long as you select the correct size, you can expect your clothing to fit well.
Reality Although off-the-rack clothing sometimes does fit properly, you can't count on achieving a great fit in ready-to-wear. If you can find a label and size with a consistent cut that you don't have to alter, count yourself among the lucky ones because usually only fit models have the shape to fit into off-the-rack garments. Remember that manufacturers have to work with averages, and since we all have unique shapes, none of us is truly average. That's why it's so difficult to find ready-to-wear clothing that fits well without any alterations.
4. Myth 4Petite women should always try to look taller.
Reality There's nothing wrong with being short! Let's face it, aside from the lift we can get from high heels, we're not going to be able to look a lot taller although we can create the illusion of another inch or two with savvy dressing. It's great if you want to look taller, but the main fashion goal should be to look good in clothing and to accent garments with flattering accessories. The fact is that when you're petite and you dress to look slimmer, you'll look taller too. Dress to look leaner, and looking a bit taller will follow automatically.
5. Myth 5To make a garment petite, all you need to do is to shorten it.
Reality Certainly shortening hems comes along with being petite, but there are other fit issues involved. Because petite women frequently have a small frame, narrow shoulders, and a shorter back waist length, just shortening an item of clothing may not be enough to make it fit a petite woman properly. If you sew and have ever tried to use a commercial sewing pattern that is supposed to be able to be adjusted to be petites, you've probably noticed that just shortening the pattern isn't enough to achieve a good fit.
6. Myth 6A petites-sized garment has the same measurements in bust, waist, and hip as a misses garment of the same size.
Reality Although it's possible that both misses and petites run the same as far as circumference measurements, it's more likely that the petite garment has been cut to slightly smaller measurements than its counterpart in misses. For example, at Talbot's, a retailer that carries the same clothing items in both petites and misses, a petites size 8 is made for body measurements of 35 - 27 - 35 while a size 8 in misses runs one-half inch larger in all three measurements. If you're a short woman on the taller end of the petite scale who wears both misses and petites clothing, you may need one size larger in petites.
7. Myth 7Petites should never wear flats.
Reality It's OK to rest from the high heels sometimes. Although high heels give petites a nice lift and wearing them makes legs look more shapely and longer, shoes with high heels are hard on your feet. Try flats for casual occasions and shopping and give your feet a rest once in a while. You can find flats that will look good and also be comfortable.