Every petite frame lady knows that finding clothes that truly fit their body is easier said than done. Shopping at stores that have a petite section makes life easier — but what are the best petite clothing stores to shop at?
How tall do I have to be to fit into “petite” clothing?
It’s a bit difficult to figure out if you should wear a petite dress or a regular dress. The rule of thumb is that women who are under 5’3 can wear petite clothing, as it will more than likely fit them better than a normal, average-sized clothing piece will. Petite clothing has nothing to do with weight.
However, as all women know, every brand and clothing store is different — so every piece of clothing will fit you differently. Some women who wear petite clothing also manage to wear “regular” sized clothing from other stores.
Basically, if you’re under 5’3 and can’t seem to find clothes that fit you just right, it might be time to try out some petite items.
Is it easier to shop at stores that may have a petite section, or focus only on stores that ONLY make petite sizes?
For this one, it really just depends where you live (or if you like shopping online). If you live in a city or town with a lot of different stores, you might have an easy time finding petite sections in town. Stores like Levi’s, Topshop, Old Navy, Lane Bryant, and Express have great petite sections.
Other stores that say they have petite sections sometimes only have a few items here and there relegated to this. So, it might be best to check out what you have locally and then buy from petite friendly brands online when needed.
Are Petite Sizes Just Shorter?
While it may seem like petite sizes are just shorter to accurately fit those who have smaller length waists, this actually isn’t true. Petite sizes are specially made for those whose height is under 5’3 (as we mentioned above). This means that the whole clothing item designed is affected, like the arm lengths.
The Best Stores For Petite Women
Below is our round-up of the best stores for petites. These stores are a mixture of online stores that specifically only make petite clothing, to well-known stores that have a petite section.
By far, one of the best online petite clothing stores is Petite Studio. While they have one location open to shop in (located in New York City), the rest of the petite ladies are going to have to order online.
However, the website is easy to use, and the clothing (while higher-priced than some other stores on this list) are high-quality and oh so lovely.
A bit about Petite Studio:
- You can shop at their one location in New York City, or online
- Located and founded in New York City
- They promote “slow fashion”, which means they take more time over the creation and manufacturing of the clothing items
- They also promote high-quality materials that will not wear out quickly over time (like other fast fashion brands’ items do)
Topshop has a bunch of clothes in a bunch of different sizes — petite, regular, and tall. However, Topshop also has always had a huge selection of petite sizes available at all times, which makes it a lot different than other regular stores that tout their petite section.
This store also may be the best place to get cute dresses for petite ladies (both casual and party style).
A bit about Topshop:
- A British fashion brand that has a huge following in the United States now
- You can find stores in the US — however, there isn’t a lot, so your best bet is to buy online or off of their app
- If you can’t find a stand-alone Topshop store, Nordstrom sells its clothing items
Another British fashion brand that has made the waves in America, ASOS is a bit different than the other stores on this list because of the sheer magnitude of clothing items they have.
While stores like Topshop and Petite Studio tend to only sell their own clothing (with a few exceptions), ASOS is a huge marketplace with many different brands (from Missguided to their own ASOS brand) — and a ton of petite-sized clothing!
A bit about ASOS:
- British based, though you can buy clothing items online from around the world
- If you’re a student, you can sign up to receive a 10% discount off every single order you make
- You can buy clothing from off of their website or app
Anthropologie truly is one of the best stores for short ladies. They have their own petite section that is always well stocked — and always with new content for the upcoming season.
Specifically, Anthropologie has great jeans, sweaters, and dresses (for your next wedding event or fancy party) in petite sizes.
A bit about Anthropologie:
- The first Anthropologie store was opened in Philadelphia in 1992
- Currently, there are about 200 stores worldwide; if you don’t have a store near you, you can always buy online
- Has an app you can also buy off of
- While focused on middle-aged women, the selection of clothing can be worn by women of all ages
Lane Bryant is known for being a plus-sized clothing store. Most people don’t realize that it also is a wonderful store with a great selection of petite-sized clothing. Plus, they always have a ton of new products, making it a good store for petites.
A bit about Lane Bryant:
- The best place for those who need plus-sized petite clothing
- The fashion brand also puts money, time, and effort into philanthropy
- You can shop off of their app, online, or at one of their stores
Another store that sells regular-sized and tall-sized clothing, Express is also a great place for petite women to shop. They have their own petite section that is always well stocked and fresh with new material.
Express is definitely the best place to shop for work clothes and well-tailored outfits.
A bit about Express:
- You can buy Express clothing items off of their website, off of their app, or at one of their locations around the United States
- Compared to other stores on this list, Express has some of the lowest prices to buy from
- Headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio
- Has a design studio in New York
If you’re looking for classier outfits that you can wear to work, Ann Taylor is your best bet (behind Express).
While Express tends to be targeted at younger women, Ann Taylor is targeted at women a bit older who want to wear something classy. With their petite-sized range, you definitely have a lot to choose from.
A bit about Ann Taylor:
- You can shop for Ann Taylor petite clothing items at one of their standalone stores around the country or online on their website
- The first Ann Taylor store opened in 1954 in New Haven, Connecticut
- Ann Taylor is now owned by Ascena Retail, which also owns Dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Justice, and LOFT
For those looking for easy, classic, casual wear, Old Navy is a great place for petite women to shop. Not many know that they have a stellar petite section — but they do. In fact, because of their amount of petite products, they are definitely one of the best stores for petite ladies to shop.
A bit about Old Navy:
- You can shop at any Old Navy location around the United States, online through their website, or on their app
- While they have an all-around great petites section, their petites athletic section is great, simply because a lot of athletic stores don’t carry petite sizes
- Owned by Gap
A trendy brand that many young women love, Reformation launched a whole campaign to announce that they were going to offer petite-sized clothing.
The campaign was a success, as was their integration of petite sizes. Many women love the brand because of the overall style and aesthetic of their pieces, so this is definitely one spot to check out if you’ve never heard of them.
A bit about Reformation:
- You can buy Reformation clothing items from any of their stores around the country, as well as through their website online,
- Reformation has a casual section where you can buy products, as well as a wedding section
- The company was founded in 2009 and promoted as a sustainable fashion brand
Finally, our last favorite petite store is J.Crew. Another brand that has a slew of classic, timeless pieces that would be great for work or casual wear, J.Crew’s petite fashion section is always full of a lovely range of sizes and products.
The brand is in the same vein as Express and Ann Taylor, though they do tend to shine above the two in their petite section!
A bit about J.Crew:
- You can shop J.Crew products in one of their stores in the U.S. or online through their website
- Was founded in 1947 in New York City (headquarters are still in NYC)
- Is known for their cashmere products
The Best Stores for Petite Ladies
It’s difficult to shop if you’re looking for stores that carry petite sizes. However, now that you have this handy little list, you know the best stores to go to for petite clothing! This goes for dresses, jeans, or even your new favorite pair of yoga gear, these stores have petite women covered.
From stores like Petite Studio that only have petite sizes, to marketplaces like ASOS and Anthropologie that have many different selections, you’re sure to find your next favorite clothing item!