What’s the Difference Between Regular and Petite Swimwear?

What’s the Difference Between Regular and Petite Swimwear?

For the petite lady, shopping can sometimes be a challenge. If you’re under 5'4 or slender, you may find regular-sized clothing to be too large. This also goes for women’s swimwear and swimsuits, too. If you’re a petite lady, you may find yourself swimming in a regularly sized swimsuit, and we don’t mean the good kind of swimming!

As with petite clothing, petite swimsuits are adjusted to fit petite ladies. While petite jeans and overcoats will come with shorter hemlines, petite swimsuits are also designed slightly differently to fit a smaller body. Well-designed petite swimsuits are not only made to fit a petite body, but they are also flattering. A good petite-sized swimsuit will not only offer the comfort and mobility you need while swimming but will also fit your figure so you feel more comfortable and confident when you’re swimming.

Regular vs. Petite

If you are under 5'4, then you probably fit into the standard size category of “petite.” Petite size usually just refers to the height measurement and also includes women of all weights and body shapes. For swimwear, the “petite” label might not seem to make all the difference; when we think of petite clothing, we imagine shorter legs, higher hems on skirts, shorter sleeves, and shorter hemlines on shirts. With swimwear, it might not seem like there is a lot to work with that makes the difference. But, petite swimsuits do actually come with adjustments that make a noticeable difference. Especially for swimsuit styles such as one-piece swimsuits. The length and size of fabric and hemlines are different in petite versus regular swimwear, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Along with the design adjustments, petite swimwear pieces are often stylized to fit and flatter the petite body. Style elements may be added to give a longer and slimmer look. Some of these elements may be vertical stripes or specific patterns that give the aesthetic appearance of length. If you are a petite-sized woman, it’s worth giving a petite-sized swimsuit a chance.

Best Swimsuits for Petite Bodies

The trick for choosing a great petite swimsuit is to choose the right look to enhance your best qualities while also visually lengthening the legs and torso. There is a perfect swimsuit style for every petite woman, no matter her body type. Here are some of the top selections for petite swimsuit styles to fit and flatter women with less height and length.


A well-cut petite one-piece swimsuit can give a visually elongated appearance to help a shorter woman feel more confident and comfortable. It’s especially important that women with shorter torsos opt for petite-sized swimwear as regularly sized one-pieces will have seams that may not fit well. Especially with swimwear, you want to find something that is fitted to your body and doesn’t scrunch up, slip off, or sit uncomfortably on your body. One-pieces are especially flattering for petite women because the length of the swimsuit creates a streamlined and seamless look that helps to give the appearance of extra length.

To help give the visual of a little extra length to your torso, try a belted or tummy control one-piece that will accentuate your waistline and give the appearance of length. Choose patterns with big prints or vertical stripes to help flatter your form even more. Certain one-piece designs, such as ones with plunging V-necks, are also super flattering as they give the appearance of length. Regardless of what style of petite one-piece you choose, you’ll be so glad that your shoulder straps aren’t forever falling off anymore.

High-Waisted Bottoms

High-waisted bikini bottoms are another great swimsuit cut for petite women. This style of swim bottom is back in style for its retro flair and because it’s universally flattering for every body type. High-waisted swim bottoms can make legs look longer because of the raised waistline that sits a little above the natural waistline. If you have a longer torso and shorter legs, this style is great for you! If you have a shorter torso and longer legs, a high-waisted swim bottom might make your torso look even smaller, so be sure to choose a fit that feels best for you.


Triangle bikinis are great for petite women. They may feel a little itsy-bitsy to wear, but they flatter almost every petite body as well as most body shapes. Strappy tops are particularly flattering for petite women because they draw attention to the upper part of the body and away from the shorter features. String bikinis in particular can be adjusted to fit your body perfectly, making them an ideal choice for smaller or petite women.

Picking the right swimsuit will be key for feeling confident and comfortable in your swimwear. If you are a petite lady, try a petite-sized swimsuit that fits your body type to get the most out of a swimsuit.


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