November 4, 2011
Small Size, Big Style
When the only clothes in your size are found in the junior's section, it can be challenging to find stylish work wear – unless your office allows low-rise jeans and graphic Ts.
Since the average height of American women is about 5’3”, we thought it was time to get to the bottom of what constitutes a “petite” figure, and how to find the perfect fit.
“Many women who are 5’3” or shorter don’t consider themselves petite,” explains Kelly Tucker, the founder of petite blogs Alterations Needed and Hemmed.
She says many women aren’t aware that “petite clothing is simply proportionally short, whether it’s a size 0 or a size 16.”
Tucker speculates this lack of consumer knowledge makes companies hesitant to provide more items in petite sizes, though 48.7 million petite women reportedly account for $9.5 billion in retail spending.
Regular-sized clothes can look sloppy and frumpy, says Tucker. When shopping, “pay attention to details,” like shoulders, bust darts, and armholes, she advises.
Look for shoes that elongate legs, like nude platform heels. Plus, items like cardigans “show your figure better than a blazer and are easier to find in sizes that fit,” adds Tucker.
Ann Taylor, J. Crew and Talbots are her top choices for a well-fitting career wardrobe. Plus, Jezebel has a checklist for petites, including where to shop and what to look for.
Bonus PINK Link: If you’re a plus size petite, find chic office options here.
By Christine Kim
“Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” Coco Chanel
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Digitalart, 89studio, and photostock