This is What Happens When We Go Shopping for Petite Clothing

by | Aug 23, 2019 | 0 comments

Congratulations! You’ve just won a shopping spree! You’ll have 2 hours to pick out as many clothes as you can and whatever you like, you keep. The catch? You can NOT redeem your prize for money. But that’s no biggie right? If you’re like most women you love shopping…

Oh the cliche! If you’re like most women you MUST love shopping. I’ve met so many men and women who’ve thought that as a female it would only be natural that I like to spend hours in a store shopping. And if it’s FREE? Forget about it!

THIS however, sounds like a nightmare to me. I win a prize that I basically can’t use? Whoop dee doo. What do you want me to do? Laugh? Cry? Sing?

If you haven’t gotten the point by now…

I HATE SHOPPING. I know that doesn’t make much sense coming from a fashion blogger, but imagine walking into a store, spending hours there looking for a dress or an outfit for a hot date or an interview, only to walk out with nada. Squat. Potatoes.


The sad fact is that petite sizes is a niche that just isn’t covered by the fashion industry. There’s only a few petite fashion brands but other than that, they don’t exist. 

WE don’t exist.

The majority of fast fashion companies tailor their fit to standard sizes as that’s where the money is. As the average size in America goes up, the amount of fitting clothes we as petite females can find goes down. 

I don’t want to repeat everything I wrote in my #shortgirlproblems post but THIS IS LITERALLY every petite person’s life. 

And this is EXACTLY how I spent last Sunday. The only difference is, this time I had my fashion designer friend, Shell, and her sister Trinh (who also hates shopping without her fashion designer sister) along with me. 

The Shopping Expedition

2 ½ hours. 35 outfits. 3 people; one of which is a fashion designer. You’d think with these numbers Trinh and I would have come with a couple of shopping bags full of clothes and high credit card balances. I only came out with ONE of these things and I can NOT blame that on Nordstrom Rack. So that extremely full shopping basket… trolley… whatever they call a moving clothes rack cart? It definitely didn’t STAY Full (Did anyone else not know those existed?!).

We walked into the store with one mission and ZERO expectations: to find cute outfits that would look good on Trinh (Shell’s sister) and I as petite females. We decided to aim for a pair of pants, a dress and a nice top. 

I know I discussed the issues involved when a petite person goes shopping in my #shortgirlproblems post but there’s nothing like visuals for effect. 

So please, go ahead, grab a bucket of popcorn and laugh at our expense, or better yet, grab a pint of ice cream and cry along with us.

The Perfect Jeans for a Perfect Tush… Or not 

I thought it was rough shopping for myself but I was REALLY flabbergasted watching Trinh try on outfit after outfit. When I say nothing fit… I really mean NOTHING FIT. Trinh is 5’1, slim with a small chest which means she has to go for XXS-XS and 00P-0P, which, if you’re wondering, is the smallest size you can find usually. 

Our first mission was to find a pair of fitting jeans. 

Jeans are wonderful and they’re a definite staple for your wardrobe. The perfect pair of skinny jeans will elongate your legs, hide those pesky love handles, hug your tush and make it look all perky (Especially when you throw on a pair of heels with them).  

I also do not own a pair of fitting jeans. Why? Because they’re a hassle. Usually they’re just too long! Trinh should not be STEPPING on her jeans. What is she supposed to do slide the sock over it? Cut into the specifically designed holes that cost actual money to make (Thank you fast fashion for finding yet another way to eat my money)?

Here’s another issue. The jeans are STILL TOO BIG. You see all that space?! 

Jeans should stop at your ankles. Jeans should NOT have to be pulled up every 2 seconds. Jeans should not ride around your buttcrack as you waddle like a duck just to keep them covering the goods. JEANS SHOULD NOT REQUIRE A BELT! 

And that is why I wear jeggings.

Dress to Impress or DRESS to DEPRESS?

Our next mission was to find a dress.

We found Trinh this green floral wrap dress which ideally would have been perfect for her as it was a size 0 petite. It SWALLOWED her. Just check out all that extra fabric on the sides! 

If the tag says the dress is a 0P, it should not ENGULF the wearer. So my question is, by what standards are these petite sizes being made? And if that’s the smallest you’ve got and the dress ate my friend, then dudes and dudettes, YOU’VE got a problem. 

There’s a misconception that petite women all have the same body shape. WRONG. Here are two examples of petite women with very different shapes NEITHER of whom can find clothes that actually fit.

This romper is a small and would look really good on her… if they weren’t made for the giant from jack and the beanstalk! Did you notice her feet? Or her lack thereof? Yeah. That’s NORMAL for us.

On the other hand, in the pictures below, I’ve managed to snag a romper that lengthwise, is fine. The problem is, I’m a CURVY petite. So as important as it is for my outfit to be short friendly, it’s equally important for an outfit to be CURVE friendly. 


The suggestion at this point is usually to size up. So here is an example of what happens when I size up to accommodate my chest. 

There’s no front view FOR A REASON.

This is another dress that Trinh is basically drowning in. I would rename her Rose at this point but I guess it was Jack who died. 

If you want to say it’s not that bad, look again. She almost doesn’t have hands and from all that extra fabric she’s holding I’d say that the dress is still about 2-3 sizes too big for her.

Need another example? Keep scrolling.

Aside from the fact that my eyes are closed and it looks like I’ve never been in front of a camera in my life… does this photo look weird to you?

No? Well look again. That is NOT where my waist is. My torso is NOT that long and I’m darn proud of my short stumpy torso without someone trying to elongate it the WRONG WAY. 

So 35 outfits, 2 petite women, 1 fashion designer, and 2 ½ hours later ONE of us (me) left with a pair of jeans, a skirt, and a top. I know that sounds like a lot but consider the fact that each of us found one item that worked in those 2 ½ hours.

In any normal situation I would have left the store within the first 5 minutes with nothing. This however is for the blog, and thus I bravely sacrifice my time, energy, and sanity. 

So yes. 2 ½ hours later this was what our cart looked like. And THAT is what we petites call a SUCCESSFUL shopping experience. 

So now you’ve heard our shopping horror stories! We want to know yours. What kind of problems do you encounter when you go shopping? What do you want out of a petite fashion brand?

Let us know in the comments!

And remember, be slow. Be fashionable.


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