I'll join the rant! At 5'1", you'd think I'd need petite EVERYTHING, which is not the case. Regular jeans with a 30" inseam and a low rise nearly always fit me well. However, I do need to buy tailored shirts and jackets in petite sizes. As you say, I wish there were more variety. Who wants to look like an elderly tourist in Florida? hahaha.

Heh, I'm 5'7" and have worn petite tops and dresses (short sleeved or sleeveless). But I need tall sizes in pants.

For me, I am 5 ft exactly and a size 6 petite...long legs and long arms but short torso. The only time I really need petites is if I was going to buy capri pants or a dress. Dresses are a bit longer and sit lower on me and capris will droop lol. As for tops, long sleeved misses fit better than petites. They are a bit longer at the waist but it just gives me more options for skinny jeans and leggings.

I am 5'3" and only sometimes buy petite sweaters and tops because some of the regular ones are longer than I like them to be. I too have long legs so petite pants almost never work. One thing I have found though is petite capris or any cropped pants sometimes work better than regular, so they don't hit in that "no, no " zone =wider part of legs. Very few petite dresses work as waist is not right, but sometimes this is a plus too as the shorter regular dresses actually may hit just a bit above knee, that are supposed to be higher on thigh on taller women--BUT a big peeve is sleeves are too long on almost everything.

The Kardashian Kollection at Sears is an exception to misses dresses. Well Kourtney is 5'0" (so am I) and Kim is 5'2" and they get away with their clothes just fine lol. For me i can wear regular misses as long as its low rise but the legs are still a bit long for me. Petite I fit better in the crotch lol but (I feel so young) im still only in my 20s no where near 30!!! So finding a pair of age appropriate skinny jeans is a challenge! But the Kim style jeans of the Kardashian Kollection are an exception for me.

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I do have to ask: why do the petite clothes in department stores (Kohls, JCPenney, Sears (apostrophe is their only acceptable line!) even Macys and Nordstrum) look so ugly and shapeless?

I am 5'3 with a small bone structure but there are no petites stores here at all. Clothes I come across in petite sizes while thrifting are hit and miss. Not sure why that is actually.

Yes, it all has to do with proportions, doesn't it (shoulder width, leg/torso length ratio)? I'm 5'2" and always have to buy petite jackets and coats and nearly always have to buy petite blouses/shirts, although I can often get away with buying regular trousers (and hemming them, of course).

I'm 5'3"and not curvy but rarely wear petites. I have a short upper torso, so petite tops, especially woven, often fit best in the under arm area as they come up higher. Petite dresses that are long enough to hit my knees are rare but the best overall fit. I'm also a short person with big (8) feet for my size. That makes fitting boots in calf and ankle especially hard. If my size were smaller, the calf would be smaller.

Joy, I am three inches shorter than you and wear the same shoe size lol. I am in my 20s so I try to make due best I can with misses and jrs because it's so hard to find age appropriate styles in the petite section of the store. By age appropriate I mean under 90 years old.

In Canada there is a store called Laura's where you can find a good selection of Petite Plus clothing. Something to keep in mind when visiting up here.
As for wide fitting shoes, I wear a 6-6.5 W or WW. Last week I discovered a shop in Oakridge called JWalk Shoes. They carry a number of made in Japan shoes that fit me perfectly. The sales associate said that it is common to find wide fitting shoes in Japan, something I did not know before.

I'm 5'2" and find that petites fit me pretty well. But I'm pretty proportionate (short arms, legs, waist). My complaint, aside from a higher frump-factor, is that petite sizing doesn't always correspond to regular sizing. I often have to size up in petites, but not always, which makes online shopping a pain.

I almost always have to wear a petite top. I am 5'2" and short waisted. Out of 20 items I try on of misses' clothing, probably only 1 will fit me properly. And even then, the fit is just OK and not anything to write home about. When I look at the picture of the model online wearing the item, I can see that I look very ordinary due to the extra length that kind of just hangs there. And embroidered details hit all at the wrong spots, making the shirt look dumpy.

I just finished returning over $1000 of online purchases in misses' XS clothing because the tops were too long and the waists too low. (The waists hit me almost at my hips, and I have hourglass hips, so it looks terrible.) I ordered the misses' clothing because I was looking for some boho clothing, and there is not much boho-style clothing out there in petite sizes. I did find some maxi skirts that weren't overwhelming on my figure, but these will have to be taken up, as they are so long that I will trip on them.

As another poster commented, however, at least we have various lengths in jeans now! When I was a kid, my mom too had to hem up my jeans. Clothes shopping was an absolute nightmare with my little waist, big hips, and short stature. Both of us dreaded it. Now I find that the short inseam (usually around 30") fits me fine. And with the current trend of ankle pants, I can buy the ankle pants for average-height people and have them at the perfect length for me.

It's also frustrating when people say, "Just take it to a tailor." Not everything can be altered! I have a pretty good eye for what will be an easy alteration and what will be a headache, risky, or impossible. And it's just not practical to have to add in at least $20 per piece of clothing for alterations. That adds up fast.

Ruth, I too have noticed that the petite sections of B&M stores have clothes that are matronly and frumpy. It's like the store managers think that petites have absolutely no interest in being fashionable! That is why I have gone back to shopping online. It is not uncommon for me to order 10-15 items of clothes and keep only a couple of them. And it is frustrating to see people post such cute outfits on the forum and know that I can't duplicate any of their outfit components because the sizing will not work on me, no matter how small the sizes go. The proportions are just all wrong.

Thanks for letting us rant.

I do fine enough with regular sizes and a seamstress to smooth hems and do waist alterations. I do prefer the fit of petite jeans and trousers, though. BUT - and here goes a rant - why oh why most online shops that offer petite garments (and ship to Austria and are within my means) insist in offering jeans and trousers with high-waist only (Asos, for example)?

No matter what is the fashion rule there, I'm not comfortable with trousers on my waist. I like them hanging lower, on my hipbones and high-waist is a huge NO-NO to me.

I'm 5,1 and never shop petite (we dont have here in Portugal), I shop at regular stores and obly feel the need to hem the sleeves and the pant hems

Jeana: Your rant about the frumpy clothing in dept. stores has been my rant for years. There's never anything stylish for petites at the mall, so I quit looking there a long time ago.

Dee: I have the same problem you do, and understand how problematic online shopping can be. However, it's my preferred way to shop because of the frumpy offerings at the mall (see above comment to Jeana).

Jurocha: I'm with you on the lower waist pants. I can't do high-waisted pants, either. It's just wrong for me on so many levels, lol.

Rute: I, too, can usually just wear a regular size and just hem something up. I'm glad I have that option. Many women don't. I often feel like my body was actually meant to be an inch or 2 taller. That's all it would take for me to always wear regular-sized clothes and skip petite altogether. That said, some petite clothing manufacturers do manage to make things that fit me perfectly. It all depends on the brand. So when I'm shopping, I have to take all the above-mentioned factors into account.

I can definitely relate to a lot of these complaints!

Gigi, I know what you mean about trying on regular sizes that technically fit, but just look blah because everything hits not quite where it's supposed to. Especially the part about waists that end up hitting right at the widest part of the hips. Ugh.

And I hate how the stuff that comes in petites always seems to be the frumpiest, too. I can certainly understand the economic reasons why it doesn't make sense for every line to have separate petite sizing, but it's just so tedious and limiting when it actually affects you. I feel like three quarters of my wardrobe ends up being from the same few places where I can find petites that aren't matronly. (Ann Taylor/Loft, Banana Republic or Gap if I don't mind ordering online, Halogen at Nordstrom ā€¦ I'm sure you all know the drill.)

Aubergine, does Halogen carry small petite sizes? I have tried ordering some small stuff for Nordie's, but no Halogen, and I swim in everything. I am all too familiar with Ann Taylor, Loft, and BR. I find the fit of Gap to be big and weird so don't shop there. I have been in BR so many times that the sales staff recognize me. Argh.

Gigi, I think I've seen Halogen stuff in size 0P, and maybe even 00, although I sadly have no personal experience with such tiny sizes.

I'm laughing at the BR sales staff recognizing you. I think some people at the Loft in my neighborhood recognize me, and I know a few in the Nordstrom petite and shoe departments do.

I have one pair Halogen ponte pants, here:


I am 5'2" and small boned. If you have average or longer legs, a regular size pants are probably better.

Aubergine and Shirley, thanks for the info and link! I have to go to Nordie's this week and will check out Halogen if I have time (doing online returns...).

Sorry to hijack the thread! The ranting may resume. (I assume there are plenty of rants left to be posted!)

I'm another short-but-not-petite person. I'm 5' 4.5" so I'm not quite in the petite range anyway. My proportions everywhere except my lower legs and lower arms are of someone quite a bit taller, with wide shoulders for my size. My roommate in grad school was 5' 10" and I was the same height as her when we sat. But my inseam is very short (28" to the ground for wider pants, less for skinnies). Even short lengths are usually too long without heels. I'm also annoyed that the Gap doesn't sell short lengths in 00 or 0 - I'd have thought there was more demand.

As a funny example, J Crew's pencil skirts fit me perfectly except they're a bit long. I tried on a petite for comparison and the nice darts in the waist were about 2" too high for my butt shape. They looked like little horns sticking off my upper butt region. It was hilarious, and a very concrete proof that nothing on me except my legs is petite.

Anyway, I don't mind getting pants hemmed and I have a very good tailor, but I do get more annoyed at sleeves, which are often too hard to alter (buttoned cuffs, sweaters).

Ruth: The only acceptable line of petite clothing I have seen is Sears' line Metophore (formally known as apostrophe). I believe Lauren Conrad and Jennifer Lopez do have petite sizes of their clothing lines at Kohl's but they are online only.

Even my local Macy's has hidious petite clothes! I am 24 not 80!

If you cut your body into 8 quadrants and look at each "piece" on yourself compared to the "vitruvian" ideal of proportions, you will well see that you are not all equal in all places! I have long thighs, short calves, a long rise but a short waist. I am 5'4" and have very rarely bought a petite in anything. I don't usually need alterations. My new red skirt is a 0 reg from Ann Taylor, but I have ordered two more to try in a 0 petite and a 00 reg to ensure I get the best fit. When you are this "not quite petite" size, it makes sense to try a few sizes just to be sure.

Iā€™m 5ā€™5ā€ but I have shorter legs so petite works better for me. If I wear normal pants they cover my feet.