Please allow me to vent. I'm posting this to dispel the myth that petite women (under 5 ft. 4 in.) should always shop in the petite dept.

I am 5 ft. 2 in. tall but am not tiny. My shoulders are broad enough that most times I can wear a regular misses size top or blazer. The only time this is not the case is when the sleeves are long. The sleeves of misses' regular sweaters and long-sleeved shirts are always too long for me. The only alterations I've ever had to make to misses' regular tops is to have the sleeves or overall length shortened by exactly 1 inch. This is because while I'm short-waisted, I'm also long in the rise (crotch), so my overall torso length is not short.

This brings me to a second point. I don't always wear petite pants. Sometimes I do, but it all depends on the brand and the inseam length. Most petite pants are actually too short for me. If I wear 1.5- to 2-inch heels, which is almost always the case, I need a 29- or 29.5-inch inseam; for 2.5- to 3-inch heels, I need a 30-inch inseam. Because my rise (crotch) is long, I buy a misses' short instead of regular to get the inseam length I need. It is rare for misses' regular or short pants to be baggy in the crotch, so this is an easy way for me to buy pants without having them altered. Whenever I buy petite pants, I have to make sure the rise (crotch) is long enough. Many times, petite pants are actually too short in the rise. So the bottom line is that while I'm petite, I am able to shop in both the misses and petite departments.

As most of you probably know, my mother was a professional seamstress and used to sew most of my clothing. She always said that I was easy to sew for because most of the time, the only alteration she had to make was in the length. So yes, depending on one's body type of course, a short woman can buy regular-sized clothing and simply shorten the length.

For me, the exception to the above rule is dresses. Petite dresses always fit better than regular ones, and I'm sure that has to do with where the waistline hits. My mother would always make waistline adjustments, if necessary, to the pattern before cutting the fabric and making the dress.

Side note: Although I'm short, I am not fine boned, and I look better in medium-sized jewelry and medium-sized prints than I do in delicate jewelry and small prints. This is another myth that needs to be addressed.