Tailoring a blouse for the petite woman isn't just about shortening the sleeves -- things would be so much easier if this were the case! Just like with skirts, it is all about proportions. While a regular-sized blouse can be tailored to fit, a blouse designed just for petites has major advantages. Whenever I try on a blouse or top, I like to look for these fit considerations.
Button is at the fullest point of the bust. This is one of the most important things I look for, especially for blouses that are on the fitted side. This is a stress point, so if the button isn't in this area, you run the risk of unattractive gaping at the bust. Often, a blouse that is not proportioned for petites will have a button that doesn't align with this point.
Armhole length is shorter. When trying on a blouse with sleeves, check the fit of the armhole and whether there is too much room at the underarm. A too-long armhole will make the blouse look too large and therefore unflattering.
Long sleeves should reach the wrist bone. Many women have personal preferences as to where they want their sleeve hems to be, but in general, the most flattering length is when the hem at least reaches the wrist bone. I prefer mine to be a bit longer -- reaching the base of the thumb bone, which is about a half-inch longer.
Bust dart should always point to the fullest part of the bust. I see this all the time -- blouses with darts that point too high or too low. The purpose of a dart is to accommodate the fullness of the bust area, so if it isn't pointing to that area, it isn't fitting properly.
Shoulder and cross front widths should be narrower. In general, petite women are narrower in these areas. If these areas do not fit properly, the shoulders may sag beyond the bone at the shoulder/arm intersection; the fit at the neck/shoulder intersection may be too large; and there could be too much fabric -- wrinkling -- in the area just above the bust.
As you can see, getting a great fit isn't just about shortening the sleeves. In the coming months, I'm excited to introduce blouses and tops that are thoughtfully designed just for petites, so keep an eye out for them! And, as always, stay connected with us on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!