Finding clothes that don't overwhelm a small frame is always a challenge, but shopping for petite maternity clothes is even more difficult. While there are more petite maternity fashions available than ever before, the selection is still sparse when compared to what is available in standard Misses clothing sizes.
To minimize shopping stress, plan ahead. In most cases, you can wear your regular clothes until you're about four or five months pregnant. After that, you'll need to start buying a petite maternity wardrobe.
Understanding Petite Sizes
If you're a petite woman, it can be difficult to interpret clothing sizes. Since the United States has no uniform sizing system for women's clothing, every manufacturer is slightly different.
Generally, a true petite size range will include clothing that is similar to every corresponding Misses size, but cut to fit someone who is 5'4'' or under. So, a petite size 10 pair of maternity jeans would fit a taller woman around the waist. They would simply be about two inches shorter than normal!
Unfortunately, some manufacturers will simply label their smallest sizes as petite clothing. While this isn't such a major issue when you're purchasing maternity t-shirts, it can create a substantial problem when you're looking for pants, shorts, dresses, or skirts.
Shopping for Petite Maternity Clothes
Since the market for petite maternity clothes only makes up a small percentage of the general population, you'll have trouble finding clothes in the correct size if you don't live near a major city. Generally, only the larger maternity boutiques carry petite maternity clothes.
If you want to shop online for your petite maternity clothes, check out the following websites:
If you decide to shop online for your petite maternity clothes, remember the following tips:
- Factor the cost of shipping into your purchasing decisions.
- Check for a description of each petite size to make sure clothes won't be too long for your small frame.
- Look for stores with a liberal return policy to avoid getting stuck with outfits that don't fit.
Fashion Tips for Petite Women
If you want to look your best during your pregnancy, remember the following fashion tips as you're shopping for petite maternity clothes:
- Avoid excess fabric. Look for tops that wrap around your shape and won't overwhelm your small frame.
- Look for monochromatic outfits to make you feel taller and slimmer.
- Whenever possible, choose subtle prints over larger floral or geometric designs.
- Avoid horizontal stripes, especially during your third trimester.
- Boat neck tops will help emphasize your slim shoulders.
- Full length dresses are more flattering than short or knee-length skirts.
- Avoid oversize clothing at all costs. Clothes that don't fit properly add unnecessary bulk.
- Accessorize with long necklaces and delicate jewelry. Avoid carrying oversize purses or handbags whenever possible.