Thursday, April 29, 2004

Petite Women of the World... Unite! 

I'm Sarah, and I'm a frustrated shopper.
Hi, Sarah!

Remember the days when "skinny" women had it made and no one else could find clothes? Guess what? Those days are gone forever.

I'm little. Yes, it's true. Now before you get all excited about it, I'm short, too. My parents are short, and I am shorter. 5'2 to be exact, and frankly, I don't have much choice but to just be little. When I was born, the doctor said I would be little. Little, as in, I am a size 2. YES! That's right! Size 2's exist! And I can't find any clothes.

Apparently, clothing stores have heard the assertion that there are no longer any "real" women who wear less than a 4. So they are bulking up their size 12's and 14's and completely neglecting to buy anything smaller than a 6 or the occasional, if they really have to, a 4. Which is great, if you're 5'6. But I'm not, and I have it on good authority, some other women aren't that tall either.


Consider this situation:

The "Junior" department is... celebrating The Hoochie Mama, I guess. Shorts are shorter than Daisy Dukes (I couldn't even find the legs, just holes at the bottom of the waist part), and shirts are tight and tiny. Nevermind that I could never wear this to work, I wouldn't bother even trying these on.

So, for years, I've been shortsless. Shortsless in Florida is not a good thing. After April the temperature regularly hits a very humid mid-90s, and pants are too hot even from the house to the car (I don't have a garage, but they get hot, too). So I'm looking for nice, khaki shorts that aren't either shorter than my underwear or longer than my skirts. Personally, I don't like to go to the grocery store looking like I just mowed the lawn. But I don't want to dress up either.


Much to my dismay, almost every department store rack starts at size 4. And I don't know if anyone has taken a good look at 4's anymore, but they are more like 6's, if not 8's. Don't think you're wearing a genuine size, people, they've widened the waist bands so it sits on your hips. Or falls off of them, as it were.

Anyway, they start at 4. Have we noticed there is a missing number there? Has 2 just disappeared? Is it like the 13th floor? We all want to deny its existence to make ourselves feel better, so therefore...it is not. It's just gone. Even in the Petite's section. Don't even think of asking where the 2's are. The salespeople will just look at you like you're speaking in tongues.

Sure, I could shop at Petite Sophisticate, whose name really says, "Please wear these clothes in the scorching summer sun." I guess I could pay $38 for each pair of shorts. Or find the 1 pair of size 2's at the Gap for $34. Or I could even buy the long mumu shorts from Kmart...

But WHY? If we love all sizes, then let's have all sizes! Just one more size down, and I'd be set. What is wrong with that?

I finally dug out 1 pair of 2's in a couple of colors at J.C. Penney's, who did not have those shorts last year, and actually priced them pretty well at $22. But they were the last ones. In a recent article of USA Today, even their buyer admits it's harder to find 2's and 4's in their store, and they're proud of it. So I guess I'm the only little woman in my city to have shorts this year.

To other little women: Fight back, my sylphan sisters! Demand the ability to buy clothes like a regular person!

To the fashion world: We're still out here, like it or not. And we want to shop!


Update: June, 2007

I've gotten a lot of requests for updating this article with tips, so here goes.

Luckily, more stores are starting a Petites department, though you may only be able to find small sizes online. Which is not such a bad thing, because shopping online allows you to take advantage of clearance sales that give you access to the variety and quantity available at their warehouses. Also, with the clearance, you can shop at better quality stores. I still have issues finding tasteful and yet not too long shorts, but maybe that's next.

The places I like to go for grownup small sizes are...

J. Jill
-sign up for email notices to catch all the sales
-usually have a nice selection of knit tops for officewear
-found some great indigo petite jeans there recently

Gap
-online petites section is good for office pants, particularly the Stretch

Ann Taylor Loft
-less expensive than just straight Ann Taylor
-also has a nice dressy petites section in general, but better selection online

If you find any other places, let me know!

Labels:


Comments:
Thanks for the great post! I am one just like you size 0-2 and 5ft 2in. GOSH it is such a pain to go shopping. No one has any sizes. I cant ever buy anything without getting it himmed. And if I want business suits, thats another story. What woman the size of a kid wears business suits. LOL Well, my quest is on to find a little and small store.

-Alicia
 
A little and small store! I love it! Great idea, Alicia.
 
I totally agree with you. I am a very frustrated size 2 petite shopper. I have resorted to buying clothes I like in available sized and taking them to a tailor. The tailor costs more than the clothing sometimes. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one with this troublesome problem. If you find a solution, please post it.
 
At 53 I'm 5'2" and 104 pounds and tired of going clothes shopping with my sister and friends only to spend the time looking for clothes for them to try on. Yesterday at Dress Barn was a good example. I exercise an hour a day and watch what I eat and now I'm being told I'm too skinny. You can't win. Same thing with my husband. We are buying his clothes in the young men department and I go to the little girls department. I may try your suggestion and go online. Thanks for the tip.
 
Ha! you think you have it rough. I'm 4'6". Yup that's as tall as I'm ever going to be. I would love to find adult styles in 2p. (and I still would need to hem them.) As for shoes!! has anyone found adult styles shoes in a size 3.

Cheryl
 
I am also a frustrated size 2 (which is often a little large) - 5'2" 98lbs - 62 yrs - I don't want to wear clothes made for a teen - I look everywhere for dress slacks that actually come to my waist - none out there - even the low swung ones are so short from crotch to waist band that they give one a "wedgie". I'm thinking about having some slacks tailor made. For less dressy pants, I have found some at Target - get the Capri style - they will come to your ankles!
 
You can find small size shoes starting at size 2 at CinderellaOfBoston.com, and lovely, classically styled petite clothes -- yes! even size 2 petite!! -- at Talbots.com. Happy Shopping!
 
I am a very frustrated, size 2, 5.1", 18 year old. I shop in the juniors dept. but they rarely have "short" jeans and when they do they are still way too long, and the shorts are far too immodest. And forget the petite section! The smallest I've found is a four, that's too big. And I don't understand why over a majority of the clothing is for older women. What about the young women? Swim wear? I've looked every where. I can't find any tankinis that are modest and also for a petite size 2. Does anyone know where I can find modest size 2 tankinis?
 
I agree with all of you! I remember at one time I was a size 4, and then the sizes seemed to change (so that larger women could be a size 10 instead of a 14 for instance) and I fell off of the size charts somehow...I believe I'm now a 0. It doesn't do much for my self confidence to identify myself as a "zero" :) I also find it difficult to find shoes, but have found some luck with Cinderella of Boston. Please, everyone, keep posting store information when you find sizes. I'm sure everyone who is small is tired of surfing the internet, like me, searching for small sizes.
 
Wow nice to meet felow size 2's. Like many of you, I am 5'2" and about 104 lbs. SOmetimes...ok many times accused of being underweight! but believe me I am so healthy and heck even the BMI proves that!
anyway, here's some great stores I shop at:
-CLUB MONACO(amazing size 2's)
-GAP of course
-JOE fresh (at Loblaws/Superstores...very similar to Club monaco styles)
all in canada.
 
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