The Difference Between Small Sizes and Petite Swimsuits

What’s the Difference Between Small Sizes and Petite Swimsuits?

Summertime is here, which means it’s time to pull your favorite breezy petite dresses out from the back of your closet and start trying to find wherever you stashed your swimsuits. With the promise of beach days, lake trips, or pool hangs on the horizon, and you may finally find your swimsuits and decide that it’s time for an upgrade altogether. If that’s the case, and you happen to be a petite woman, then this might be the year that you invest in some swimwear designed specifically for you.

While many petite ladies simply opt for small regular sizes when it comes to swimsuits, this can result in swimwear that just doesn’t fit or feel right, which can get in the way of you properly enjoying your summer. There is a difference between small standard swimsuits and petite swimsuits, so you’re bound to find that perfect suit if you understand what makes the most sense for your body. Read on to learn more about why opting for petite swimwear could make all of the difference for you.

Small Swimsuits vs. Petite Swimsuits

When it comes to swimwear shopping, women who are 5’3 and under are considered petite. This encompasses women with all different body types, from slender to curvy. This is important to understand before you decide which swimsuit sizing makes the most sense for you.

When something is a petite size, it doesn’t just mean that it’s a size small. If you’re a petite woman, you’ve probably tried on some size small clothing or swimwear and realized that it just doesn’t fit the way it should. That’s why it’s better to seek out petite swimsuits that are designed and adjusted to fit petite women rather than relying on size small in standard sizing.

This is true for all clothing, not just swimwear. For example, petite jeans and coats feature shorter hemlines, skirts may have higher hems, and petite T-shirts may have shorter sleeves and shorter hemlines. With swimwear, the length and size of both the fabric and hemlines are adjusted as well.

For petite women, it’s not about finding swimsuits that technically fit, and it’s about seeking out styles, fits, cuts, and designs that flatter petite builds and will keep the wearer comfortable all day. This might include style elements that provide a longer silhouette, designs such as vertical stripes, and hemlines that flatter petite measurements.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to petite sizing, as petite women all have unique body types. The trick is to find the style and cut within the petite swimwear options that work best for your specific body type and the look you’re going for. Here are some specific swimsuit styles you may want to consider when shopping for petite swimwear.

Petite One-Piece Swimsuits

One-piece swimsuits designed for petite women feature measurements and accents that are sure to flatter and fit comfortably. For example, you can opt for a one-piece V-neck with tummy control if you want to emphasize your bust and have a streamlined silhouette. One-pieces with features such as a skirted bottom can make your upper body look longer while adding a stylish touch to your suit without sacrificing comfort. Many petite one-piece swimsuits also feature low-cut leg openings for additional coverage and the right fit for petite heights.

In terms of finding the perfect design, look for patterns like horizontal stripes to elongate your silhouette or in a solid color with accents such as a skirt or twist front for a perfect beach-ready style. Now, all you need to do is pack your beach bag with all of the essentials and feel confident that you’re heading into the day in a no-fuss, flattering suit.

Underwire Tops

When it comes to mixing and matching two-piece swimsuits, petite underwire tops are definitely a great option. Having the underwire will provide added shape in the bust area and accentuate the chest, creating a very balanced look for many petite women. One underwire top style to consider is definitely a V-neck wrap underwire tankini top with adjustable straps, as the V-shaped neckline creates an elongated look. In contrast, the adjustable straps mean this will fit just the way you need it to.

As is true with any swimwear you opt for, it’s important to look for fabric that provides UPF 50 sun protection. Still, a tankini option is great as it will also provide additional coverage for sun protection. That said, always bring along a petite swimsuit cover-up for an additional layer you can rock between dips.

High-Waisted Bottoms

Petite high-waisted bikini bottoms are ideal for petite women with a longer torso and shorter legs, as this style can make the legs look much longer while providing the right torso coverage. It helps that high-waisted bottoms are very much on-trend and pair perfectly with any style bikini top, from triangle to bandeau.

The trick to mix and match swimwear for petite ladies is about going for a pattern on the part of the body you want to emphasize paired with a solid complementary color. For example, opt for a blue and white vertical bottom with a blue top or a floral black and white top with a black bottom.

Now that you know the difference between small- and petite-size swimsuits and have some inspiration for picking the perfect style for you, we hope you’re able to get out there and soak up the sun in comfort and confidence!


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