Being a woman who is 5’10” tall, I have clothing problems that mirror the exact inverse of those petite women face. According to Wikipedia the average woman in the US is 5’4”. But forget shopping online you petites! The models are at least 5” taller than you. And the fashion industry designs clothing for the average height of about 5’7”.
Even though the fashion industry tends to define petite by height, sizing isn’t quite so simple in real life. As Paula Darnell writes for Byrdie, she explains that being petite can be a bit more complex when you take into account body shape. Petite women also have curvy figures or bigger busts. Although petite does mean small in the fashion industry, there’s more to sizing a petite woman than just making things smaller.
Here are 8 problems every petite woman understands
Read on to learn how to take sizing back so you rock EVERY look. AND making online shopping your stomping ground.
Petites Problem #1 – Sleeves are too long
Rolling sleeves up isn’t a solution to sleeves that are just too long for petite women. When rolled up, they feel bulky at your wrist or forearm. And they get in the way of writing and typing at work or school. Not to mention, cuffs easily get dirty. How many times have you found a condiment smeared on the inside of your sleeve?
Petites Problem #2 – Jumpsuits are useless
Off the rack jumpsuits and rompers are all wrong for petite women. The torso is far too long. The rise is too long as well, giving you a saggy crotch look. The inseam starts in the wrong place. Many sources say that the saggy pants look started in prison. Unless you’re going for this look, jumpsuits aren’t your friend.
Petites Problem #3 – Cropped Pants aren’t cropped at all
Petites Problem #4 – The right length skirt doesn’t exist
Skirt shopping for petite women is quite an adventure. For petites, children’s sizes equals mini. Women’s mini really means knee length. Midi really means, maxi. And maxi really means street sweeper. Literally. Once in a great moon you can pull off a midi for a maxi. But any cute stylistic lines or pockets never sit where intended.
Petites Problem #5 - Your pants are ripped at the bottom
This look works with jeans, when intended. But not so much with linen pants, or trousers or just about any other fabric besides denim. And folding your pant hems makes you feel childlike, so that’s not a great option for petite women either.
Petites Problem #6 – Tripping over your hems happens a lot
Circling back to Problems 2, 4, and 5, petite women are bound to trip over hems that are too long.
Petites Problem #7 – Weather is a huge issue in what you wear
For petite women, maxi dresses, longer skirts, and many pants are a no-no on rainy days. I’m pretty sure wearing soggy hems sucks. I have terrible flashbacks of the rainy days I’d walk home from elementary school, early in the school year. Soggy pants from the knees down because my mom bought pants “I’d grow into”. A petite woman isn’t growing into her pants anytime soon.
Petites Problem #8 – Oversized anything looks all wrong
Oversized styles are always on trend in one way or another. But for women who are petite, oversized clothing is quite challenging. The casual side of the trend makes you look like a cabbage patch kid. And the fancy side makes you look like you’re playing dress up in your mom’s fancy clothes. Neither is appealing, so you tend to stay away from most things oversized.
And My Options Are...?
What exactly are your options to these problems petite ladies? Some brands offer petite sizing, but they are usually pricier brands. And the pieces are still ready to wear, or off the rack, which rarely fit perfectly. Having a tailor alter your garments is an option but altering off the rack clothing can get quite expensive. Not to mention alteration costs aren’t worth the price for fast fashion.
Because I’ve always had these inverse issues being tall, I took the issues to heart with my brand Mallory Bloom. I don’t want to simply be another designer out there with a fashion brand. Plenty of those exist. I want to provide solutions for real women with real sizing issues.
Designing, cutting, and sewing Mallory Bloom garments in-house allows me to make size adjustments as needed just for you. This is what I call made to measure, or clothing adjustments, that are specific to you. At no extra cost.
My Solution - At No Extra Cost
For those petite women whose sleeves are too long, I can adjust the length to fit your arm length, so the cuff sits at the wrist. For the jumpsuits that are simply too long, making torso and inseam adjustments to shorten them is an easy fix. The length of pants can quickly be adjusted to your proper inseam, or to be cropped if that’s the look you're after. Your hems won’t be ripped or dirty any longer. And weather will no longer give you soggy bottoms. And for those Palazzo pants or oversized tops that should look great on you, they will with Mallory Bloom. Petite oversized IS a trend, and you will rock all of them.