One thing that you might not have realised (even if you’ve been reading this blog for a while) is that I’m a bit of a shorty. My height isn’t something that comes across in my outfit photos. I stand at just over 5 feet, so I’m on the small side. I’m also quite slender, and sometimes the combination of being short and skinny makes it tricky to find clothes that fit.
You see, most clothing brands seem to assume that if you’re thin, you’re also tall. So while I might be able to buy clothes that fit my waist or bust, I often find that sleeves are ridiculously long or pants drag along the ground.
See these jeans? Well I had to chop about six inches off the bottom and I still have to wear them with heels.
In my vast shopping experience, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for finding clothes that fit petite ladies. You might find some of these tips helpful if you’re small all over, and some of them will still help out ladies who wear a larger size but are short in stature.
– Embrace second-hand stores. I find it much easier to find small sizes in op-shops and vintage stores because clothing sizes have increased with time. Also, second-hand stores are often stuffed with hand-made items, which tend to be a more realistic fit than chain-store clothes.
– Take a look in the children’s department. I always find it so hard to find jeans that are the right length, and the kid’s department usually yields good results for me. If I buy a pair of jeans in a kid’s size 14 or 16, they tend to fit well and they don’t drag along the ground when I wear flats.
– Make friends with a tailor. That way you can buy things that are too long and have them hemmed and altered. It will cost a little bit more, but it will be worth it. Alternatively, if you are handy with a sewing machine you can do these alterations yourself.
These pants are second hand, handmade and are the perfect length for me.
– Embrace skirts and dresses. It’s much easier to find these in a length that won’t swamp your frame. Try buying ‘midi’ length dresses and wearing them as maxis.
This skirt is supposed to be knee-length. It’s a maxi when I wear it.
– Take a look at asian clothing stores. When I lived in Melbourne, there were a couple of Japanese and Korean clothing stores that I absolutely loved. Their clothes were made for smaller women, and therefore were often a better fit on me than clothes from western chain stores. Do keep in mind though that these clothes are often cut for a very up-and-down shape, so if you’re a bit busty or you’ve got curvy hips, it might be tricky to find things to fit.
– Visit factory outlets and sample sales. Designers often make sample garments in very small sizes in order to save cash. You can buy samples at a highly discounted rate too, so it’s good for your wallet. I find that factory outlets are particularly great for ladies with very small feet, as they have loads of tiny shoes available.
– Try wearing shorts. It’s so much easier to find shorts that fit petite ladies, and there are so many different styles available.
Do you have any tips for finding clothing for petite ladies?
Great post! I’m also a shorty but my main problem is that I have a tiny waist but normal hips. No pants fit ever so I always wear dresses! And if my pants do fit, I have to take them up (and usually in). I’m with you on the Asian shops! Life saver!
In my teen years, I was never big on dresses. I would wear jeans pretty much all the time. A few years ago, I started buying dresses and skirts more often, and now I prefer to wear these because they are so much easier to find the right fit.
I do struggle sometimes with dresses though because I’m smaller on top than I am on the bottom. I’ve got small hips but a larger backside and thighs, so I’m kind of guitar-shaped. So body-con dresses tend to be either too tight on the bottom or gaping at the top for me. A-line dresses work better for my shape.
I am only 5’2, I have the exact same problems. I recently had to take up some jeans because they were far too long!
It’s very rare that I find a pair of pants or jeans that are exactly the right length. Often, I’ll be too lazy to take them up so I’ll just wear them with heels instead!