Updated: May 22, 2020
Fifty years ago the average size of women in the UK was dress size 8 and 5.5ft in height. These days, 2018 the average dress size of women in the UK is dress size 14 and 5.4ft in height. Retail shops across the UK sell more size 14's than any other size. As a nation, people are getting bigger and more people in the UK are being diagnosed with Diabetes.
40% of the women I style are 5.3ft or below of which these clients do not realise they are a petite dress size. Every time I inform a client for the first time that they are petite, they are usually rather shocked and they do not understand how they can be a petite size if they are a size 16 for example.
Shopping is more fun and easier if you understand what size you are and what label or brands you should wear. In a nutshell, if you are 5.3ft or under you should be wearing petite clothes and your dress size is irrelevant. Only yesterday I styled a gorgeous couple of ladies for a photoshoot informing one of them she was petite because she is 5.2ft in height. She was confused as her GP had only recently advised her that she is obese. She thought it was hilarious that her GP had told her she was overweight and now I am informing her she is petite. It is not unusual to be petite and have diabetes.
To explain, 'petite' clothes are designed for people who are 5.3ft or below in height. They are cut from a clothes pattern in smaller dimensions according to the length of the elements, not the width. Petite doesn't mean you are tiny everywhere, it simply means you are shorter/smaller in height than the average person, therefore clothes will fit you better if you wear petite as they are cut shorter in length everywhere. This is probably why I help alot of petite clients.
If you are 5.3ft or under avoid wasting time shopping for the wrong label, head straight for a fashion brand with a petite collection or petite brand and enjoy discovering clothes that are cut from a shorter mathematical pattern in a dimension that will fit you. Alternatively, find a reliable tailor who will measure you and shorten the clothes you bought to fit you properly. Top shopping tip: when you are trying clothes on if you tell yourself "I am not sure about this?" do not buy it, you wont wear it. For more useful shopping tips subscribe to my blog.