Petite & Minimal

Shopping Guide For Petite

April 30th, 2016 | 4 minutes to read

As a petite girl, shopping for clothes can be tedious, time and energy consuming, not to mention frustrating too. You might end up liking a lot of stuff but your size is not available and you have to painfully say goodbye to your favorite items, or compromise by wearing one or two sizes bigger.

Here is a picture of H&M cotton blazer on height 176 cm and 153 cm, in EU 34 /US 4 (smallest size available), but the shoulder looks a bit wide, sleeves are too long, and the waist line is too low, so I feel it's dragging me down a bit.

H&M Blazer EU 34 on 176cm and 153cm bodies

Shopping Guide for Petite Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Regular size

Pros:

  • Usually available at cheaper price and various selections

Cons:

  • They're not based on a petite person, so torso, sleeves of clothes, length of dress and its waist line, inseam of pants might end up too long.

Try:

  • Something such as tops or skirts might be fine (if the shoulder and body-width fit), as you can wrap up your sleeves or tuck in the ends.
  • Be careful with pants, dress, jacket and coat, while pants might be easier to hem, the others aren't easily alterable.

Tailoring the Regular Size

Pros:

  • Tailoring can make clothes fit you better.

Cons:

  • Hiring a tailor is very expensive! (I simply can't afford them living in Stockholm!)
  • Some clothes are more difficult to modify (your tailor will tell you that when you ask for a quote), you might end up paying the fee which is higher than the clothes' price.
  • There is always a risk that tailoring might go wrong due to the clothes' design, or your tailor's own fault, you end up crying over your clothes (especially when it's expensive , or, the material or print is rare).
  • It takes time and practice to do it yourself (not to mention buying a sewing machine and supplies can be pricey).

Try:

  • Find a tailor with good skill and reasonable price and stick to him/her.
  • Try store that offers similar service, for instance Acne Studios does offer hemming service for their clothes even you've worn them for a few months, as long as you have proof that you purchased it from them.

Petite Size

Pros:

  • Petite size clothing are more proportionally made for shorter person so they fit better.You should definitely check my petite-friendly brand directory and see if there is anything you like.

Cons:

  • Many brands have “petite” size, but they are not always truly petite. It's trial and error.
  • Less options in Europe than in the US, and importing tax and shipping fee can be costly.
  • Even some online stores offer free return, you still have to take time to print out the form and go to post office to drop the returned.

Try:

  • Order something you really like, and check if they offer length measurement of the clothes, or free return (including return delivery coverage).

Kids Department

Pros:

  • Some kids' clothes surprisingly fit well, there are plus size for kids today as well. For instance, I've tried skinny jeans for girls who are 146cm and 152cm tall at H&M, and the inseam is just right. However, 146 cm is too tight for me, 152 cm is a bit loose on the belly part. This might be fixed if I shrink it, I think. Check How to Shrink Jeans to learn the trick!

Cons:

  • The design might be too cute if you want to be more mature or professional.
  • The materials might not be the quality that you want. For instance most jackets are made of cotton and look soft.
  • Many clothes don't have matching waistline, so you might need a bit tailoring work if you want it to be more flattering to your feminine figure.

Try:

  • Size according to your height, don't be hesitant to take one smaller size and one bigger size, in case they don't fit perfectly.
  • Choose neutral colors with no logos or letter printing that match adult wardrobe better, try boy's department!

Tailor-made

Pros:

  • Finally something that really fits you!

Cons:

  • It can be very expensive, and materials for selection can be limited.

Try:

  • Some online store offers tailor made shirts and suits, where you can also design a bit yourself, choosing your favorite color and different features. I found one called TailorStore in Sweden, although they have only shirts for women so far.

Dear readers, do you have other tips when it comes to petite shopping? Please share!