My Celebrity Life

A Petite Girls’ Guide To Successful Shopping

For those of us who weren’t blessed with height, the struggle to reach high shelves, see over crowds and kiss a tall partner is real. But perhaps the most aggravating part of the petite person’s existence is being unable to find clothes that fit well. We may act like we’re okay carrying this burden but, deep down, us short adults are thoroughly tired of having to make do with shopping in the kids’ section.

We’re here to inform you that life doesn’t need to be an endless string of jumpers that go down to your knees and sleeves that drag along the ground. There are brands on the block that design pieces specifically for those of us who are vertically challenged. But even if you shop in regular stores, there are plenty of garments that prove positive for petite people, from short trousers to cropped jackets and, of course, platform soles.

If you’re thinking of investing in some petite pieces, it can be helpful to know what to look for, which is exactly why we’ve collated the best tips around to help you suss out the world of petite fashion. Ahead, we speak to four petite style influencers about their relationship with petite clothing, their favourite petite-focused brands and their top tips for successful shopping for a petite frame…

Monikh Dale, @monikhWhat type of clothing do you search for while shopping?

From a style point of view I love simple clothes, anything that looks timeless and effortless! I hate stiff fabrics, I love to be free and comfortable in what I wear, so the structure of these minimal pieces is really important to me.

What problems do you normally run into, shopping as a petite person?

Normally it’s the length of trousers, dresses, skirts. But I have a degree in fashion design so I’ll work out if alterations are possible and then take it from there. Sometimes I find that it’s a case of the body being too long for me – that’s a more complicated alteration but most of the time still possible, just more hours on the sewing machine.

Which high street stores do you think cater best to the petite market?

If I’m going to shop from a high street petite range I think Topshop does it well. I used to work there as a personal shopper so would head to the petite range for clients under 5’3. However I still mixed in pieces from the regular and tall range depending on the style and how I wanted it to sit on my client.

Which designer labels do you think cater best to the petite market?

For high end brands it’s more about the style of clothing they make, as not many have specific petite ranges. For me, I love oversized clothing and I find it easier to alter simpler designs like The Row and La Collective. However designers like Mara Hoffman are great to show off womanly curves with their very defined shaped dresses and this is something that I’ve found often works with my proportions – once I’ve taken up the hem of course.

What is something you thought you couldn’t wear as a petite person and have now found a way to make it work for you?

Women have always said to me that they think they couldn’t wear oversized clothing because they’re petite but I love big dresses, shirts, skirts. I think it’s all about learning what your shape is and working out the right cut-off for you. Personally, with my shape and size, I love for an oversized shirt to skim mid-thigh, and then skirts and dresses to just graze my ankle, that is the dream length! I find it a lot easier to find this length when I’m wearing my anklet, it just lines up perfectly. In the past I used to try and walk in heels a lot, while at work, dinners, out out. To fit in with the other girls’ height but also to be taken a little more seriously at work. I didn’t want to look like a child so thought I needed them. But I’m not really a heels person and now I’m in my 30s, I don’t really care what people think. I love a flat. Flat boots and sandals are my complete day-to-night shoe and honestly, I do think it looks a lot cooler and effortless.

Do you have any tips for vintage shopping as a petite person?

Always go for something bigger than your usual, it then gives you room to alter if needed. Photo courtesy of Monikh Dale

Holly Ah-Thion, @thekittyluxeWhat type of clothing do you search for while shopping?

I’m not an advocate for ‘dressing for your body type’ and I think it’s more about what pieces or styles make you feel confident. But there are certain fits that I always shop for which I know will make me look a little taller. For example, I always shop high-waisted everything as the fit cinches in the waist and gives a few extra inches on the leg. I really love wide-leg trousers or jeans in block colours for this reason too, even in a regular fit with a little extra length to hide a heel. Perfect for giving a few inches of height and the illusion of longer legs, plus they’re a really comfy fit for everyday wear.

What problems do you normally run into, shopping as a petite person?

One big issue I have shopping as a petite person is the length of pretty much everything! A lot of people think the problems around shopping as a petite person are mostly around the length of bottom pieces, like trousers and skirts.
However, we also have issues getting dresses to fit right on a petite frame, and items like crop tops are often not the right length. I tend to buy from stores that I know my size in, even for the regular sizes (not petite), so I know what to expect in terms of fit. And tricks like sizing down on crop tops to get a more cropped fit or rolling and belting the top of skirts for added lift.

Which high street stores do you think cater best to the petite market?

The stores that immediately come to mind for petite shopping are Topshop Petite, ASOS Petite, River Island Petite, Miss Selfridge Petite. Many high street stores still don’t cater for petite, tall and plus-size/curve markets and it can feel very restrictive when shopping for one of these body types.

What is something you thought you couldn’t wear as a petite person?

One particular fit that scares a lot of petite people is the maxi fit, and for obvious reasons! Even with a ‘petite’ fitted maxi, whether it’s a skirt or dress, it always swamps me and isn’t the most flattering fit. One thing that does make a maxi fit more wearable for me is a thigh slit. I always look for maxi, and midi, pieces with a thigh slit now. It flashes a little bit of leg and breaks up the bulky fuller length of the skirt or dress, which adds the illusion of height and flatters my height a lot more.

Do you have any tips for vintage shopping as a petite person?

Vintage shopping is all about oversized pieces for me. I love grabbing a vintage oversized tee to wear as a dress or a classic oversized blazer to belt up. Using my height to my advantage when thrift shopping has been a learning curve but it’s worth thinking outside the box. But don’t let that stop you from grabbing a great deal. Don’t forget, you can always get it altered!Photo courtesy of Holly Ah-Thion

Eni Ilori, @eniswardrobeWhat type of clothing do you search for while shopping?

When it comes to shopping, I look at everything. I don’t tend to restrict myself. As a petite person I definitely do have struggles with fits, such as a dress being too long or trousers not fitting the way I need them to. But if that happens, I get them altered.

What problems do you normally run into, shopping as a petite person?

Finding the perfect fit can be an issue. I do have quite a small waist and some brands don’t cater to a size 4 waist. That can be a bit challenging and when I do find the size, sometimes it’s slightly too big. I wouldn’t say it’s something that makes wearing clothes difficult because I can get away with wearing bigger sizes. If something is big, I alter it. That’s my solution.

Which high street stores do you think cater best to the petite market?

My favourites are & Other Stories, H&M, Zara (occasionally the sizing with skirts and dresses can be difficult but mainly other styles are fine), Mango, ASOS, Massimo Dutti and Topshop is quite good too.

Which designer labels do you think cater best to the petite market?

Self-Portrait, Cefinn, Faithfull The Brand, Sandro and Staud.

What is something you thought you couldn’t wear as a petite person and have now found a way to make it work for you?

There is a misconception that petite girls can’t wear long dresses. It will swallow you, it won’t look good. I don’t think that’s true. There is nothing a pair of heels can’t fix or even a pair of boots. I wear long dresses all the time and if it does happen to be a tad too long, I get it altered. I feel it’s always important to try things on first and see how it looks on your body shape. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.Photo courtesy of Eni Ilori

Corrie Bromfield, @corriebromfieldWhat type of clothing do you search for while shopping?

For me, I usually find that fitted clothes work for my body type. As a petite person, sometimes going oversized can result in me looking like a child dressing up in my parents’ wardrobe! However, now that I’m pregnant I’ve had to rethink what I’m buying and what suits me, which has been quite challenging at times. But I usually try to go for at least one fitted item within an outfit, for example skinny jeans and an oversized jumper or oversized joggers and a bodysuit.

What problems do you normally run into, shopping as a petite person?

So one major problem is things being too big. Jeans and trouser shopping can be interesting at times! However, I know which shops tend to cater to more petite frames so I stick to those and if worst comes to worst, I have items altered or I try and do a DIY job myself. It’s also getting to know what fits and suits you – for example, I have quite a petite upper body and coat shopping can be a bit of a challenge so I know to usually size down or try and buy from the petite section. I find it’s a case of trial and error if I’m honest!

Which high street stores do you think cater best to the petite market?

I find that stores like Topshop, ASOS, New Look and Miss Selfridge all have really great petite ranges, or at least have clothes that cater for more petite frames. I like that in places like Topshop, they do jeans in multiple leg lengths so you can find the perfect length for you.

What is something you thought you couldn’t wear as a petite person and have now found a way to make it work for you?

I used to avoid oversized coats as I used to feel like I was wearing my dad’s coat, but I’ve realised it’s all about what you pair things with. I’ve got an oversized camel coat that I’ve been wearing with leather leggings and jumpers which I love. I also am really liking oversized joggers (especially as we’re spending so much time at home atm) and I’ve been finding that the petite version of joggers gives you that oversized look without looking too big. If something is oversized and doesn’t come in petite, I would recommend at least sizing down one size to get a better fit.

Do you have any tips for vintage shopping as a petite person?

Don’t be scared to experiment, try things with different items, and if you’re getting it at a thrift price, you may be able to spend a little money on getting it altered. I have a Levi’s denim jacket that I bought from eBay years ago which is one of my most worn items, I love wearing it with things like dresses and skirts. The kids’ section may also be a good shout, I’ve often bought things from the younger ranges as they fit a more petite frame. Photo courtesy of Corrie Bromfield

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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