Style

Real Talk: Vertically Challenged Fashion

Best Petite Clothing

Ever since childhood, the word “petite” was not my favorite…

To my ears, it sounds fancy yet patronizing, like a complicated pastry, or a spoon that has a very specific purpose, which is to serve whipped cream into the mouths of tiny cherubs. Even the Oxford definition of the word: “(of a woman) having a small and attractively dainty build,” makes me want to light something on fire.

Nevertheless! I have learned to make friends with petite clothing. (It was either that, or go through life looking like I just raided my big sibling’s closet.)

Officially, petite garments are cut for women 5’4″ and under, though some collections will vary. If you, like me, are too frugal to take everything to the tailor, or are known to impatiently lob off the bottom portion of your jeans with garden shears, then this post is for you. By popular demand, here are some of my go-to sources for vertically challenged fashion — and I’d love to hear yours.

For wear-them-everyday staples: Elizabeth Suzann
These made-to-order pieces come in short, regular, and tall, so you can rest assured that everything will fit just right. My black jumpsuit is one of my most-worn wardrobe items, and I’m planning to add another color to my rotation this spring. While the prices are higher than fast fashion, everything is very high quality, and comes with the assurance that your purchase supports a Nashville based, woman-owned operation.

For dates and parties: Reformation
Bless you, Reformation, for marketing your “Don’t Call Me Cute” collection using words other than petite. Though not every item of their regular collection is available in petite sizing, the selection is robust, and offers everything from dresses and skirts to vintage-inspired jeans to their bridal collection. Back in the day, trying to find a dress for formal dances or family weddings was never fun. (I recall one unfortunate incident that involved cutting a long, tulle cupcake skirt right before my cousin’s sweet sixteen.) But now, when shopping for dates or parties, this is my place to go.

For easy, everyday looks: Madewell
Sometimes, while browsing the Madewell site, I will notice that something I like is available in petite sizing and I feel seen. While not as exhaustive as other brands, they typically have a decent selection of jeans and dresses (I’ve been eyeing this for a while now) and even a jumpsuit or two.

For classics: J.Crew
J.Crew has long been a reliable source for timeless pieces, especially when it comes to work separates. I especially love their well-proportioned, just-the-right-sleeve-length blazers, which can be especially hard to find.

For special things: Anthropologie
As any vertically challenged woman knows, a notoriously hard-to-shop-for category is maxi dresses. When I stand next to a maxi dress, ten times out of ten, it is taller than I am. But if you’re after an ankle-length maxi dress for weddings or summer gatherings, Anthro has got you covered. They also have an impressive array of patterned pieces, like silky blouses and flowy skirts in lengths that will not swallow you whole or make your sleeves look like you just raided a clown’s wardrobe closet.

For on-trend pieces: Topshop
Much like their sprawling, multi-level NYC location, Topshop’s petite section goes on and on, spanning all categories of apparel. If you’re on the hunt for a specific, fashion-forward item (a certain rise of jeans or a brightly colored faux fur jacket, for example) there’s a decent chance you’ll find it here.

For office-wear: Ann Taylor
Growing up in New Jersey, my school had a dress code of white button down shirts and navy or khaki skirts or slacks (like a band of adolescent attorneys). Back then, Ann Taylor was regarded as the mecca for tasteful workwear for women slight of stature, and was the only place I could find white blouses that fit me well. For office appropriate styles, they remain a solid choice.

For everything: Nordstrom
With a wide range of styles and price ranges, Nordstrom’s selection is constantly changing. By just typing one little search term (“petite,” what else) you’ll find workwear, formalwear, activewear and casual clothing all in one place, with free shipping and returns. It’s like having an appropriately sized department store at your fingertips, because that’s exactly what it is.

The newcomer: Petite Studio
I’ve heard wonderful things about this slow fashion brand that’s exclusively designed for petite frames, but I haven’t tried any of their pieces yet. Has anyone else? Would love to hear your thoughts.

The Golden Rule for Shopping Everywhere: Know Your Measurements
Unfortunately, not all brands or stores will have dedicated petite options, but you can sometimes game the system. How long is your ideal sleeve? Measure the inseams of pants you love, and memorize those numbers. How long is your preferred length of work slacks or cropped jeans or workout pants? These little numbers will open up the world, allowing you to confidently shop the land of the cropped and the ankle length and the midi.

To wit, I wear my 23″ Lululemon leggings and cropped Levi’s straight off the rack. Never do I wonder where those “cropped pants” that look like capris on the giraffe-y model will fall on my body. I know they will hit right at my ankle. And this, my friends, is a particular kind of joy.

Fellow petite folk: Where have you found your favorite pieces? Please share!

P.S. Caroline’s week of outfits and the #1 item for making clothes look their best.

(Photo by Nicki Sebastian.)

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Dana says...

    Late to the party here but 2-3 years back I bought a couple pairs of GRLFRND jeans in petite from Revolve. They were perfect and on trend — no or low stretch, high waisted but not awkward. I’ve noticed they don’t seem to be making them anymore and I’m so sad!

  2. Emily says...

    Just chiming in here re: Petite Studio. I’ve had the chance to order a few items from them over the past year and recommend for us vertically challenged ladies. The quality is quite good, and while some of the items can be bit too “cute,” they are a good mix of versatile staples and trendier pieces each season.

    If you want trendier pieces, ASOS has a great collection of petite-friendly clothes.

    For high-quality jeans: while AYR does not have a petite line, some of their amazing jeans come in shorter inseams that are petite-friendly (or at least come full-length for us). Side note: BEST. JEANS. EVER.

    Wish we had more petite-specific lines. I definitely buy cropped or capri/akle-length pants so I don’t have to hem everything, but even with those lengths (and hemming longer pants), the seams/proportions sometimes look off as they are made for a taller body.

  3. Amy Bragg says...

    Love this post! Thank you- the only other brands I would add to the list that I haven’t seen are: Athleta for comfort, and for a special event, dresses from Alice and Olivia (which I buy from Shopbop) always fit like a glove and never require a visit to the tailor). Occasionally, Zara has some dresses that work great as well.

  4. LC says...

    I’m 4’11” and am in between non-plus size and plus size clothing. Help!

  5. Beeing 5´1 is a challenge, especially if you are curvier. I like the British brand Boden, they usually offer 3 different lengths to choose from. One of my friends is very tall and she always chooses the “long” version and it perfectly fits her. Unfortunately their “petite” clothes end at size EU 40/ US 12. If you need a 44/ 16 or a 46/18 you have to pic the “normal” legth, which has totally wrong proportions for a short person- especilly dresses! So I keep my seamstress busy. But thanks for sharing your tips! I hope to discover a brand for myself…

  6. Leah says...

    Love this for my shorter friends and now this 5’11” lady would love a similar post for those of us on the other side of the spectrum! If you all are vertically challenged, what does that mean I am? Vertically….excessive? :)

    • Meg Dowdy says...

      Vertically gifted :)

  7. Tory says...

    I work for Buckle, a clothing store in a lot of malls, that specializes in fitting you in clothes that work for your body type and height. We have all kinds of jean inseams, rises, styles and sizes. It has opened up a new world of options to me!

  8. Lisa Haskell says...

    As someone who is 5’0″ tall, I so appreciate this thorough post!

  9. Nooworks is a female run made-in-the-USA store based out of SF. Their XXS / XS offerings are incredible, and they are open to chat if you have questions or concerns about sizing. I bought a jumpsuit that was a bit long in the legs, had it tailored and loved it. When I finally visited the storefront last fall, they walked me through sizing and helped me pick out an off-the-shelf jumpsuit that fit me perfectly without any tailoring. I highly recommend them for my fellow petite ladies!

  10. The post (and comments) that I have been waiting for! Thanks! Petite clothing is definitely better than it was a decade ago but the one challenge I still have is finding size 34/34 shoes that aren’t kids converse (good, but not for every occasion).

  11. Ally says...

    There is a great You Tuber called “Dearly Bethany” who happens to be petite and provides great styling advice, whether you’re petite or not (but especially helpful for the petites!) . She shows how to make brands like Everlane, Sezane, Reformation etc all work for smaller builds and gives great general styling advice about dressing for your proportions, whether smaller or taller…..

  12. Alice says...

    LOVE this! My main tip is that Uniqlo’s “ankle length” skinny jeans are literally the perfect FULL length on this 5’3″ lady and they’re the best!

    • I’ve been using this trick for years! Glad you shared :)

  13. Sierra says...

    Cool cool. Can you do the same type of article for gals like me? 6 ft baby, been wearing unintentional capris my entire life.

    • Maggie says...

      There’s a clothing company based in my hometown (Minneapolis) called Amalli Talli that was started by two sisters who are 5’11” and 6’3″. Everything you could ever want–sleeves that reach your hands, 35-37″ inseams (!!), and no unintentional crop tops. I love all of the pieces I have from them! http://www.amallitalli.com or @amallitalli on instagram

    • Rosie says...

      Hiiiii. I’m in the same boat at 6’1″. I only wear pants casually so I take advantage of Madewell’s long jeans. I think they are worth the price because they last a long time and are super flattering. They also carry long in plus sizes which my wife who is 5’11” and a size 16 really appreciates. I reserve a pair of black skinny jeans by Paige that I can kind of sneak into my business formal wardrobe from time to time. I wear business formal clothes 5 days a week so they comprise 99% of my wardrobe so my advice is a little specific. I own one pair of traditional work pants and probably wear them a couple of times a year, but they are J. Crew and their tall cut. I stick to knee-length dresses, but add tights and tall boots on cold days. J. Crew sells lots of their shift dresses in tall. Elsewhere, I buy midi dresses and if necessary get them taken up to a traditional knee-length. I also have been known to buy pencil skirts or shift dresses 2 sizes up and have them adjusted. I also recommend finding a dressmaker who can do custom business formal dresses. I spend a lot more on clothes than some people, but the upfront cost is worth it to me because they last a long time. I almost always regret buying cheap clothes. I have had my favorite Theory skirt suit since 2012 and still wear it at least once a month. I buy a new blouse or two every season, and I have to buy about 3 pairs of shoes every year, but I usually only buy one or two pieces of non-work clothing a year. I would love to hear how you approach building your tall girl wardrobe.

  14. Cherise Vander Heide says...

    Can you do a post like this for tall women? I have the opposite problem.
    It would be so great to get a fashionable tall ladies take on the best places she shops.

    • Rosie says...

      I just posted my tips above. Where do you like to shop? The Cup of Jo team seems to be kind of short so we’re probably better learning from each other!

  15. silly lily says...

    CHICOS.

    Honestly I think almost everyone can find something there. And lately they have been running incredible online deals. I have probably purchased eight tops recently for the price of $19 each. Next day they are back to their regular prices, anywhere from $60 and up. The thrill of the hunt causes me to check their website daily! Plus the quality and service are excellent.

  16. jude says...

    At 5′ 1 and 3/4″ and short waisted I tend to be petite for tops but not pants. This causes a struggle with dresses. I subscribe to both Nuuly and Rent the Runway to try different brands and have a better idea of what brands/items to buy/not to buy going forward.

  17. Mariah says...

    This 5’2 xxs lady thanks you for this! Clothing for the vertically challenged is definitely hard to come by! My favorite finds not mentioned are:

    – anything that is meant to be cropped is usually perfect normal fit for me
    – ASOS Petite
    – Ann Taylor Loft Petite
    – Kids clothing (big girls and jrs) – NO SHAME, and usually cheaper :)

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hahaha YES to the kids’ clothing! Crew Cuts will sometimes have a good find. And I usually buy children’s Converse because they are exactly the same but cheaper!

    • Double yes to kids clothes!

    • Katie says...

      The day before Thanksgiving I went shopping with my sister and when we walked into the old navy I pointed at a kids mannequin and went “see? That’s the kind of sweater I want. But apparently adult women can only have “high low” hem sweaters.” My sister just looks at me and goes “go see what the biggest size is” and IT FIT! I’m 5′ 5″ but my sister is smaller so she knew! In the same shopping trip I bought an xs mens sweater from banana republic so I was all over the place.

    • Betsy says...

      I knew a grown person who wore children’s Hunter boots – like Converse they have the same style for kids & adults

    • SARAH says...

      Yes to Children’s Hunter boots. Size 5 = women’s size 6-7 and not so high/loose on The legs.

  18. Scarlett says...

    Seconding (thirding? fourthing?) all of my fellow “giraffe-y” women and saying I’d love to see a post like this for the talls! And tall plus. Since there doesn’t seem to be enough out there.

  19. MALINDA says...

    EShakti makes custom clothes to order. You can alter the design of the clothes (sleeves, necklines, etc) and also have them made to your precise measurements. A very petite friend of mine tried them and can’t stop raving about them. My sister also got a dress from them. (I’m 5′ 3″, and they both make me look tall.) I’m still deciding what to try first, so I can’t give a review from personal experience yet, but I do like their designs.

    • TC says...

      I have two dresses from eShakti! I’m a giraffe with a long waist, so dresses are difficult for me (especially if they’re short!). I highly recommend!!

  20. Kimberly Cullison says...

    Currently I’m loving Venus, while they don’t have a “petite” line, the clothes fit my hard to fit body.

  21. Kate says...

    I’m 5 ft with a very short torso so dresses can be tricky in that aspect, but I’ve had good luck (especially for cocktail dresses) at Francesca’s.

  22. Cate says...

    Boo hoo hoo! I see this as a transparent and utterly predictable attempt by short girls to gain my sympathy and forgiveness for all the times they scooped the tall good looking guys in high school! Not so fast sister!!

    • Ambika says...

      This seems utterly unnecessary and like you’re pushing your own personal frustration on Caroline’s lovely post?

  23. Sephirias says...

    What a great post! What draws you to Elizabeth Suzann’s clothes, aside from the ethical work practices? Her line has always intrigued me but I haven’t pulled the trigger because of the prices.

    I’m Asian, 5’2 and 95lbs. Even by Asian standards I’m considered small sized so I used to shop from petite-friendly lines in the USA. Shopping sight unseen proved to be quite tricky! Sadly, popular petite brands such as Jcrew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Madewell don’t work for my frame. As my lifestyle evolved, so did my style. Today, I wear a lot of clothes from COS and local boutiques. COS clothes may look like they are made for an Amazon but some fit petites very well.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      I originally fell in love with her line because my similar-heighted friend (and CoJ photographer) Christine has a couple of her jumpsuits and looks so great in them. Since then, I’ve purchased two of her pieces (one canvas, one linen) and they are truly wonderful quality. They feel substantial and just holding them you can tell how different a handmade piece is from what we typically encounter in stores! They even have a little tag inside that tells you who made your garment.

      I also love that they create things in fluid shapes and basic colors, so you can dress them up or down. I’ve worn my jumpsuit with Converse to run errands and with dressier sandals and statement earrings to go out to dinner. And because her pieces are classic, I expect to wear them for years to come.

    • Lydia from PA says...

      I’m 5’1 and just short, not tiny, and I agree about COS. Not many of their items work for petites but I’m lucky enough to live near a store where you can try things on. I have 2 sweaters and a dress and they’re my most-worn items–great quality for the price.

    • Alix Omori says...

      For anyone who’s interested, Elizabeth Suzann is offering 10% off sitewide right now with the promo code HOPE10. As a small business owner, she and her husband are forced to dip into their personal savings to keep the business afloat but they can only last 4 weeks on that. As a petite person, I’m a huge fan of her brand but she also does a great job on sizing inclusivity overall. If you’re able to support small business like this one, now is a great time to do so.

    • KT says...

      I second this! I have a dress and a top from ES, and they are so special. Truly lifetime investments.

      And I also note that many of the brands listed here and in the comments have been accused of not providing paid sick leave during the coronavirus crisis.

      If you have the means, and you must shop, support small local businesses! There are also MANY other opportunities to provide direct aid to displaced workers in your community and elsewhere.

  24. Nori says...

    Coming in at 4’10” this post speaks to me -_-

    Banana Republic have a GREAT petite section — most of my work staples come from here.

    Asos also has a wide selection of petite clothing available if you’re looking for something trendier and less expensive. Plus free returns if anything doesn’t fit right.

    UNIQLO and Muji don’t have a dedicated petite section, but I can usually find flattering clothing there (or with most Japanese brands), maybe because their sizes run smaller and are meant to be more flowy. Uniqlo also do in-house alterations :)

    Madewell also have lovely pieces and they do in-house hemming for their jeans. For tops, Mango has a lot of cropped shirts that I sometimes cheat and wear as regular… no one will know…

  25. Jane says...

    I would love this same series for tall women and it would be great if you could include shoes. Sometimes a giant doesn’t want to be any taller than she already is.

    • Cd says...

      Ditto! Pants and longsleeves that aren’t too short !

    • Alyssa says...

      Yes, please. Especially for pants and one-piece bathing suits!

    • Yesss! This tall woman over here couldn’t agree more :-)

    • Sarah says...

      True, especially “tall” jeans that don’t end at my calf.

    • Amanda says...

      Yes to a tall version! A lot of stores here carry tall sizes, but not all do. I actually think it’s harder to find talls than petites.

      And shoes for big feet! I’m fine with being taller, but once you get over size 10 a lot of nice brands stop making shoes (looking at you, nisolo). I’m especially screwed as someone who wears size 10.5, which doesn’t really exist.

    • Laurie says...

      Ha ha, yes. I haven’t had a shirt cover my wrists since middle school. Size 11 feet for the win.

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Perhaps a tall jumpsuit even? I’m 5’6″ but with a long torso, I’ve never tried on a jumpsuit that didn’t ride up my entire crotch. No thanks to that idea.

  26. Eliot says...

    Oh, but what about when you’re 5’3″ and have the torso of someone who’s 6’0″ tall? I kid you not, my bicycle is the largest child’s size frame with an extra long stem for the handle bars. When you look at me, you can’t tell that my proportions are so strange but give it a minute and people are like, “holy hell, do you have extra vertebrae or something?” So I tend to have a totally different problem with clothing – torso’s are always too short and hems are always too long. Still, I have fallen in love with Elizabeth Suzann not just because their clothes are incredible but because I can order everything in Tall and get the legs hemmed! Ordered a Clyde Jumpsuit a few weeks ago!

    • Anna says...

      Me too! I took a pattern-making class in college and learned how to measure myself properly – turns out I have a 24” inseam to ankle but a 12” rise! Like an entire foot between my full hip and my natural waist! Thank goodness for high rise jeans.

    • MALINDA says...

      A friend just turned me on to EShakti. They make everything to order, so you can customize all of your measurements to got you exactly. You can also customize the pieces to fit your taste – neckline, sleeves, etc. Perfect for those of us with unique proportions.

    • Anon says...

      Eshakti… had never heard of it but I will investigate! As a petite person with small frame, I find it sooo hard to find pants that fit properly! Thanks.

    • KT says...

      Haha, I have the opposite proportions! I am 5’4″ but have the legs of someone much taller. I also use my bike frame to describe my proportions– I ride the largest size, but when I sit next to my 5’1″ mother, we look like the same height. Shirts just… disappear on me when I tuck them in. But I LOVE my Elizabeth Suzann pieces and hope to buy many more in the future when I have the means again.

  27. Lindsay says...

    I am petite in stature but not in size, so I wanted to chime in here that while J.Crew offers petite sizing, their petites are unlike some other brands where petite means “shorter sleeves, hems” but otherwise fits normally. For me, I can wear J.Crew straight size 12 jeans (that I get hemmed) but a size 12 petite hasn’t fit me for YEARS.
    Whereas at brands like Anthro, their petites seem to fit me the same as usual sizing, just with sleeves and hems that I don’t have to get cut.
    Madewell petite jeans have also been consistently sized for me and close to or match how I fit in their straight size clothing. I appreciate stores who do this. Especially considering how size 12 isn’t nearly inclusive enough in straight sizes, but MANY petite brands seem to think short women never pass beyond size 12 or XL. We do!

    • Anon says...

      Thanks, this is useful info!! As a women who is petit in every way, items are often too big. I should probably try JCrew! Maybe they’ll be a good fit.

    • Kay says...

      Amen to the opposite-of-generous J. Crew petite sizing! I’m a straight size 6 or 8 but can barely squeeze into a 12 petite in some of their styles (lookin’ at you, tailored pants!). I’m convinced they design mainly for snakes of different lengths. 😝

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      I am laughing out loud at “snakes of different lengths”

  28. Becca says...

    Nordstroms also offers free tailoring for any of their clothing purchased. We made use of this for our engagement photos.

  29. Bonnie says...

    I really like the petite line at Talbots. It’s expensive, but they do have their “red hanger” sale where lots of things are 70-80% off. I’m 5’3″ and don’t have to hem their pants. Their shoes also start in a size 5, so one of the only stores where I can buy shoes (Nordstrom has small shoe sizes, too).

    • Karen says...

      Ditto, Bonnie!
      They also offer petite options for curvy gals, too. Their petite cut jackets hit me in all the right places for a pear-shaped, shorter curvy girl :)

  30. Adèle says...

    Thank you for this post!!!

  31. Monica says...

    1000 thank yous for this post. I relate to “that particular feeling of joy” when I put on something and it fits just as I want it to. I almost wept when Madewell began offering petite sizing because I felt seen.

    • Thank you so much Leigh for mentioning us! We love offering sustainable, everyday wear for petite women. Being petite ourselves, we’ve made it our mission to help our fellow petites with designs that offers great fit, comfort and timeless style. Thank you again!!

  32. Brit says...

    Although I’m average height (if on the taller side!), I really enjoy this series called ‘Dearly Bethany’ – she’s a relatively new style influencer for petites, but honestly I just find her voice weirdly soothing and I get style tips I can adapt. Who doesn’t benefit from being reminded to get a great tailor? Recommended listening in these challenging and scary days! https://m.youtube.com/user/ZackandBethany

  33. Sarah says...

    Rosie; another pro-cute gal here! Standing 4’11”, it could be said the term fits. Like you, though, I find the adjective lies more in the spirit than the body. I suppose it varies greatly depending who’s saying so, too.
    Will small women *ever* reach a consensus on the best descriptor?

  34. Adley says...

    This was just a dreamy post in the middle of my coronavirus stress week! Thank you SO much.

  35. sarah says...

    Hello My People,
    I’m so excited for this post, and I can’t wait to read through all the comments!

    I’m 5.0 and 90-ish pounds. Very small framed. My solution is that I get a lot of my clothing tailored.

    I tend to wear the same few things over and over again for years but I want them to fit *just right.* Even tee-shirts! The woman at my dry cleaners does a great job and it’s worth the investment of a little extra cost if you keep you clothes a while.

    Examples of things I’ve had tailored:
    -The neck of a dress
    -Bodice of a dress
    -Straps of dresses
    -The sides of a lined wool coat (taken in)
    -The sleeves of anything (even if it’s a gathered sleeve, even if it’s a gathered sleeve with ties which is popular now)
    -Darts in the waist of pants
    -Making wide-leg pants just a little less wide and swoopy
    -Batwing/dolman-style sleeves on drapey tee-shirts that are a little too drapey

    I really wish I could get sweaters altered!

    It’s actually really liberating! The challenge is to shop and choose wisely so that you aren’t spending a fortune.

    I think it’s rare for ANYBODY to walk into a dressing room and get a perfect fit. For most people (of any height), it’s a struggle which ends up making us feel unseen by clothing companies and bad about our bodies.

    The tailor has empowered me to realize I’m in charge of how I want things to fit. That mentality alone makes clothes-shopping more fun.

    • Nora says...

      Omg, the term “petite” is the worst! BURN IT DOWN!

      I love these suggestions.

      But personally, I can wear anything from a 2 petite to a regular 6, so I buy the closest thing and rely on my tailor. As noted upthread, simpler jobs can usually be done at the dry cleaner and don’t cost a lot.

      The thing I spend the most time looking for are shoes that are both super-comfortable and with a minimum 2″ heel. I would love to see a post on this. My favorite are Sorrel boots.

    • Hi Sarah,

      We feel you which is why we created our own clothing brand for petites called Togethersegal. http://www.togethersegal.com. Check us out when you get a chance if you are looking for other options. @togethersegal

  36. Nicole says...

    What about Everlane? I’ve noticed they have petite jeans with good reviews and I’m going to order a pair soon to try. I’m only 5’1.

    • Abbey says...

      5’0″ and size 24 pant here! I live near an Everlane store and have tried on multiple styles in the past year. Their (skinny) jeans don’t work on me because they’re too wide at the ankles. They just look silly. Any other petite ladies struggle with the same issue? I haven’t bought new skinnies in ~5 years! Same issue with J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Madewell petite jeans…help!

  37. I’m 5’2″ and am lucky to have an Eileen Fisher outlet nearby. They have a lot of petits which work great for casual workwear. Yes. Expensive. Here’s how I manage: I bundle outlet prices with great sales with birthday month 50%-off-one-item and can get some beautiful sustainably-made clothes at great prices. And they last forever.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Did you hear that Eileen Fisher is planning to continue paying their retail employees through a two-week Covid-19 closure?

    • We love Eileen Fisher as well! She’s been an inspiration for us. Check our brand for another sustainable option designed for petites.

  38. Lisa Saffer says...

    I’m 5’2″ and shrinking. I call myself a big small girl, 32DD, junk in the trunk, wide hips and sturdy legs. I’m not chubby but I’m not thin. I’ve never ever gone by sizing. I like oversized things and am often buying size 10 or 12, have found size S in Eileen Fisher to be great and XXS to be too tight. Sometimes a PM fits very well, and sometimes it’s terrible. Eileen Fisher, although not inexpensive, has been my go-to. I’ve lurked around Eliz Susann and now may have to bite the bullet–I didn’t realize it all comes in short reg tall!! Genius.

  39. Sara says...

    ThredUp! Recommend with all the thumbs up! You can sort exclusively by “Petite” sizing, for the companies that offer them. Which means you have environmentally/budget-friendly access to Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, ASOS, WHBM, Anthro, etc. petite collections and WAY more choice than in any one of those stores individually. This is the only way I buy work clothes. I’m 5’0.

  40. Lisa says...

    Like Caroline, I’m 5’2 on a good day (it was recently revealed that I may actually be 5’1.5–quelle horreur!) and I’m so happy to see this post! As I often say, short people need clothes, too! I’ve put the Elizabeth Suzann jumpsuit in my cart a million times and I think I’m now going to bite the bullet. Caroline, are you wearing the “short” version? (I assume yes, but want to make sure!).

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Yes, mine is the short version! On me, it falls perfectly to the ankle, and if I want it a little more cropped, one roll is perfect.

    • Emily says...

      Caroline, do you mind sharing your size in the jumpsuit? Does it stretch out quite a bit? I’ve been eyeing it for a while as well… :)

    • Diana says...

      Caroline, how do you convert shoe sizes from adult to child? (Specifically for Converse, for example). I have found it confusing on numerous occasions and different numbers at different stores. (PS- I wear a size six :)

      Thank you for your help and wonderful suggestions!!

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Sure! I have the XS in the (canvas) jumpsuit, and in my experience, it’s a pretty substantial fabric and doesn’t stretch out at all. That being said, the cut is fairly generous throughout the body, especially in the mid-section.

      I think the linen jumpsuit has a bit slimmer fit, but I know their cuts change a bit from collection to collection, so definitely read the measurements provided on their site!

    • Alix says...

      Elizabeth Suzann is offering 10% off sitewide right now (promo code: HOPE10) to help keep her business afloat in these uncertain times. I promise I don’t work for her – I’m just a huge fan of the brand because she does a great job on sizing inclusivity and is doing everything she can to keep paying her employees at their full-time rates.

  41. Erika says...

    Thank you for all the great suggestions – I’m 5’1 and my 9 year old son is catching up quickly!
    I find the Gap does a great job with jeans/tees/leggings in petites sizes. Also, anything cropped (Madewell tees) fits normal – thank goodness these are still on trend ;-)
    My biggest challenge finding is exercise tank tops that come to the waist (not the hips) – I would LOVE any recommendations.
    Sincerely someone who is tired of tying all their tanks in knots at the waist.

  42. ErikaB says...

    Coming from someone who is 5’1 I am so appreciative for all the great ideas. I find that anything cropped fits regular on me, so I am so happy for that trend. I also have good luck with the Gap for petites items (jeans/tee’s/exercise leggings)
    If anyone can recommend exercise tank tops that come to the waist or just below please let me know – this is my biggest challenge. Being petite and short waisted. I am tired of knotting my tank tops for yoga or barre.

    • Amanda says...

      I’m 5’2, on a good day(taller than 5’1 1/2 but not quite there). I’m NOT petite. I’m short. Petite clothing does not fit me. The shoulders pull across the back with sleeves too short, even in a PM. Petite pants are too tight in all the wrong spots. I’m typically a 2 or 4 in pants and just have to go with whatever brand offers “short” or ankle length(like GAP). GAP tends to be my go to. I gave up on any fitted tops or clingy tops just because my entire torso shape is a little weird after having my son last year so I go for regular mediums. My sisters are petite, tiny small, delicate, itty bitty feet and fingers and I just look like I’m missing 4 inches from my legs 🤷‍♀️. I never notice my height until someone else brings it up or when I’m crawling the counters to prep and prepare dinner.

  43. B says...

    I’m shocked that I’m the first person to recommend Asian brands such as Uniqlo or Muji. They’re excellent because they cater to a shorter average (and often offer free tailoring). And if you’re ever in Asia – but especially Japan and South Korea – shopping for petite sizes (especially vintage) is amazing!

    • Coleen says...

      Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Hong Kong brands are best for petites too. Australia as well. Their designs and textiles now similarly match those of US and Europe but with an Asian twist.

  44. c says...

    You got to add vintage to this list! There are 100s of small vintage dealers (see etsy or instagram, like @comfyadventure threepigsvintage @psychicoutlaw @sonicwavevintage @shopfromthepast @roothogordieandco @recycledwhatnots @luxievintage @oldmoonvintage ), and they nearly always post the dimensions, which tend to be for shorter women. As a taller woman, I can’t tell you how many great pieces I find that were made for much shorter people.

  45. MA says...

    Love this. I’m 5’1″. Forever wearing pants slightly too long. I learned to sew a long time ago and now make a lot of my clothes to avoid the challenges associated with shopping. (full disclosure: I hate shopping in general!)

    My daughter (age 10) is in that weird phase of early puberty where some of her friends are taller than I am and she is shorter than …everyone! I keep reassuring her that it won’t always be like this. But its hard. Everyone comments on kids’ height. It feels like she is somehow failing something she has no control over!

  46. Eloise says...

    I am 5’ 2” and have had good luck w/Anthropologie’s Pilcro and the Letterpress “cropped” or “ankle” jeans. (I, too, hit up Anthro for ankle-length dresses.)

  47. Janice Ta says...

    I also recommend Stature, which has designers specially design close for the vertically-challenged among us.

    https://staturenyc.com/

  48. Ellie says...

    For me the only thing I REALLY need a petite is pants or jeans and even then sometimes I can just hem them or buy 7/8 or ankle length. Dresses can be tricky since I’m short from shoulder to waist. I get jeans from JCrew, work pants from Boden, and workout leggings shorter from Old Navy.

    One thing I learned working for LOFT and JCrew is that clothing marked short is literally just hemmed shorter, but petite clothing is overall scaled smaller (shorter sleeves, shorter waist, smaller pockets, etc).

  49. polyana says...

    5’1′” here! Agree with above comments on ASOS. I’ve had a good experience with them especially with more formal dresses that come in petite sizes.

    I’ve actually come to embrace both cuffing my jeans/pants, and visits to the seamstress. I’m pear shaped-ish – so I usually have to adjust tops because of my small chest as well.

    One brand I like is Levis for jeans. I’ve bought 2 pairs from their “curvy” line that I haven’t even had to get hemmed!

    Also – dresses! Usually short dresses will hit my knees, and I’m loving the mid calf trend now, because knee-length dresses from previous seasons are super on trend for me. Maxi dresses I still need to get adjusted, but will sometimes try to find those with adjustable straps.

  50. Laura says...

    So by using the term “vertically challenged,” are we to understand you prefer that term? I mean, I get that you might not prefer the word “petite,” but how is “vertically challenged” an improvement?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Yes. To me, the implications made by “vertically challenged” are so ridiculous that I see it as facetious and therefore humorous. (The dictionary listings also say it’s a euphemism and is typically used humorously.) But that’s just my personal preference!

  51. txu says...

    Am I the only height challenged soul who has been frustrated by ubiquitous overlong t-shirts that appear to shorten the appearance of one’s already abbreviated legs? Fortunately I discovered Eddie Bauer petites (available online) and haven’t looked back since. In fact, their long sleeved t-shirts which come in a range of colors and wear really well, have since become part of my daily “uniform.” The style is slightly fitted so they can be dressed up or down easily. (Fair warning: they run a little small, so best to order a size up) (Also: keep an eye out for sales.)

  52. Brenda says...

    Uniqlo is really great too. I’m 5’4″ and their cropped pants hit right at my ankle.

  53. Dana says...

    I am 5’1 and appreciate this post! What about short and curvy? I feel like it’s hard to find appropriately portioned stuff for 5’1 and size 12-14-16.

    • Shannon says...

      Word! Not all petites are stick thin! Do rough out there for a petite with wide hips, etc.

    • Coleen says...

      Yes, similar issue also for me. I was about to comment on petite sizes US 10 – up. Sizing varies on petite selections especially on the chest, shoulders and torso. Trying on the clothing items is key to find the right fit. Important is we are comfortable and owning are style.

  54. Kate says...

    Ugh. I’m that unfortunate 5′ 4″ gal who is in between. Petite is usually too short and regular length too long. Forever visiting my tailor.

    • Sarah says...

      Right there with you, Kate! And I find it strange that this is always the cutoff for petite given that the average height of a U.S. woman is somewhere between 5’4″ and 5’5.”

    • Anon says...

      Same here!! 5’4. I’ve never used a tailor, but maybe it is time to start.

  55. Lee says...

    I love your sandals in the top picture. Where are they from? TIA

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Thank you! They’re by Stella Luna. (From a past season, but I think they have similar styles this year.)

  56. N says...

    5’0 and very grateful for this post! So, so helpful! Also, does anyone have brand recommendations for wide-leg cropped jeans/trousers/culottes? I love this look, but struggle to find cropped trousers in petite sizing.

    • Amanda says...

      Check out Uniqlo! I’m 5’1 and their cropped, wide leg pants fit me quite well. I also have a pair from Topshop that fits very well for petite proportions, but it did require a hem!

    • S says...

      Just bought AG ex-boyfriend slim cut (sized down) and am loving them!

    • N says...

      Fantastic! Thank you for the recommendations everyone!

  57. Catherine says...

    5’2’’ here! I find a lot of work clothes at Banana Republic. Their trousers are always the right lenght for me!

  58. Maggie says...

    I have also always shied away from calling myself “petite,” Caroline! So relieved to hear someone else verbalize this particular annoyance.

    I’ve found petite sizing to be crucial for outerwear and sweaters- the things that are expensive or impossible to alter.

    I would love better petite options for outdoor gear and activewear. Things like hiking pants, snow pants, and ski jackets. If anyone knows of a good brand for these, I’m all ears!

    • txu says...

      Eddie Bauer has some outdoorsy petite wear online.

    • Lauren says...

      I’ve found that some things from the brand Mountain Hardwear fit better (a little more cropped, shorter sleeves) than Patagonia and similar brands! But I’m 5’3″ so not sure if it’s enough for other body types. I haven’t bought anything in awhile so I’m not positive this is still the case.

    • Dpmitten says...

      I’m 5’2 and about a size 4 and many items in the Patagonia boys department fit me and are way cheaper than the women’s.

    • Alix says...

      I’m quite petite and have found the brand Nils fits really well for snow pants and other ski gear.

    • Maggie says...

      I can’t wait to check out all of these options! Thanks!

  59. Kathryn says...

    Wow, such a different perspective. I hit my growth spurt early and remained awkward and lanky for way too long, my shoulders wide and my limbs like puppets controlled by… no one. To this day I’m envious when I come across a petite section within a shop or even a petite size on the hanger. To me it represents an exclusive club of women more properly feminine than I with a classy French name to boot. Grass is always greener!

    • Julie says...

      SAME! 5’9” here and size 11 feet.

  60. Michelle says...

    I’m 5’0 and I was so excited when I discovered (while buying clothes for my also vertically challenged 14 yr old daughter) that American Eagle sells jeans (online only)in EXTRA SHORT. First time I have ever been able to wear jeans without cutting them or having them altered, which never looks as good of course.

  61. cate says...

    Third the recommendation for tall women! Especially work pants. Everything is cut “ankle length” these days, which ends up being a super awkward calf length on me. I lust after all the cute pants on everlane, but they’re especially short.

  62. Alyssa says...

    I’m curious how some of these options would work for me as I’m both short (5’2″) and very busty. It’s this terrible game of needing things that fit over my chest, but don’t make me look like I’m wearing a sack or have me tripping over my feet!

    Any suggestions with thees types of issues in mind?

    • Amanda says...

      I am also busty and short, and I understand the struggle. I’ve had really good luck with clothes from Uniqlo. A lot of their clothes cut their arms at three-quarter length, and tops tend to be slightly cropped, which makes them good for petite people who need tops and dresses beyond xxs. I usually get a small or medium from them, and I find that the arms, length, and shoulders still tend to be petite-friendly, while also accommodating a bigger bust!

      For dresses specifically, I find Banana Republic has really good options in their petite section! They sometimes feel a tad snug across the boobs, but they never seem to look too small– think sometimes they only feel too small because I’ve gotten so used to expecting that!

  63. CharD says...

    For reference, how tall are you Caroline?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she says she’s 5’2″ on a tall day :)

  64. vertically perfect says...

    Curvy 5’0″ here! I actually dislike the term “vertically challenged” as it makes my height seem inferior to a taller height (which it’s not!). I’ve seen some brands equate “petite” with number size vs height/length, and it drives me crazy. A size zero does not equal a petite!! Bc of that, it might make more sense for clothing brands to have short, tall, etc, versus petite. For brands, I like Athleta 7/8 tights (leggings) — they fit me perfectly, without being too wide/loose at the ankle (which happens a lot when you try to wear non-petite cropped pants, and the part that hits everyone else’s wide calf, hits your skinny ankle).

    • ERIN P says...

      Petite Studio is amazing! I have a few pieces from them—their dresses got me through the summer! They are pricier as well, but well-made and worth the investment. I have adored everything I have bought from them!

  65. Baba says...

    Amazing, appreciate this post. I’ve had good luck with Everlane as well. A lot of tops that are “cropped” are a good length on me (5’1″). Their jean lengths fit well.

  66. florence says...

    Asos pants seem to fit me! I’m 5’3″. For dresses, tops, and shoes, I love shopping vintage as I think folks just were smaller and things were more tailored back then!

  67. Kelsey says...

    This is a great piece, and I’m sure there are many out there who can relate.

    I’d love to see a companion piece for those of us north of 5’10”. I’ve always maintained that it’s easier to hem or tailor a garment than it is to add inches to sleeves, skirts, and pants, and I’ve always been curious how others patch together the tall clothing options out there. Bonus points for plus-sized tall fashion (a disappointing number of retailers stop their tall sizes at 14/16)!

    • Christina says...

      That was the only good thing with the awful fashion of the late nineties, ie Buffalo shoes with high soles and pants that were supposed to be so long that you stepped on them. Yay, the only time I could buy pants that weren’t jeans. And I am not even that tall, only long-legged. And long-armed, sleeves are always 7/8-length or shorter. (Maybe I am an orangutang?)

    • Helena says...

      Hear, hear!

    • Amy says...

      Would love tall feature too! Thanks!

      (someone who’s over 5’10 and can’t find a jumpsuit to save her life)

    • liz says...

      agreed. Also most places that do sell “tall” clothing basically never offer those sizes in store, unlike petite offerings.

    • Alexandra says...

      Yes, please! 6 foot here. My work-options are J Crew, Banana Republic and Boden tall/long sizes. As they can be a bit pricey, I have been finding most of them on E-bay, usually classics like blazers from last season. You can find new pieces for a fraction of the original price. GAP tall T-shirts are great as well. And for cute tall pajamas, surprisingly, Victoria’s Secret has tall sizes (and they are nice looking, not the typical lacey, frilly VS stuff). One issue I have is that sports bras usually don’t have flexible length straps and tend to be really uncomfortable, and underpants never cover the crack. Of course, there is the granny option, but I don’t like that either – does any tall lady have a suggestion here? Same for swimsuits. I feel like I am stuck with the Speedo Modest swimsuit in Navy Blue ….
      Also, I love the higher cut jeans, a few years ago, all jeans were half-butt for me, and I really did not like that (especially when you have small kids and bend over or get on the floor often …).

    • Margaret says...

      Seconding this! “Standard” size but 5’10” and broad shoulders mean I never get a blazer anywhere unless I buy 3 sizes too big and tailor down. Shirts often the same, in shoulder width, sleeve length, and torso length.

    • LB says...

      Yes to a jumpsuit for tall people and shirts for those with broad shoulders. “5’10” model wears size 2″ in supposedly forward thinking store catalogues does nothing except tell me your progressive brand is not actually based in reality.

    • Hannah says...

      I have a 35 inch inseam and buy my work pants in bulk at NY & Co. They’re not the greatest, but I can usually get pants in sale at $20 each, and they do last several years in heavy rotation.

  68. Leslie says...

    staturenyc.com

    Stature NYC is my go to for all things smaller! I highly, highly recommend. They curate items from across brands that are incredibly stylish and also have partnerships with super cool local designers to make petite exclusive things for them.

    Wish more small businesses were featured in this post as those are really hurting right now and could use support.

  69. Stephanie says...

    Hope there’s a post for the “vertically gifted” coming soon?
    We women 6’0” and over have an especially hard time (petite ranges far more common than tall) and unfortunately don’t have the option to tailor… Always open to new ideas!

    • kaleba says...

      I am 6’2″ and was surprised some of these were on the “petite-friendly” list because in recent years their tall options have been excellent, for example, Madewell, J. Crew, and Ann Taylor. I actually have a SUIT from Ann Taylor, which I never thought would be possible. Nordstrom carries some jean brands that run long (Paige has been working for me later, but see also Madewell and J. Crew in that regard. Here’s hoping Madewell brings back their “Taller” option in more styles). Boden has a lot of dresses in Long which are not only add length to the skirt but the waist hits me better as well. I’ve also had luck with Banana Republic and Old Navy as well. (Though I have to say I’ve never expected to find a maxi dress that’s actually to the floor, and am grateful it’s currently cool to have pants hit at your ankle)

    • Em says...

      I second this request, Stephanie (and am sure it is coming) :). The struggle is particularly real with this cropped trouser trend, because now most pairs go down to a very unpleasant just-below-the-knee or mid-shin length, a la 1999 capri pant. Also, can anyone tell me where I can find some long leggings? (34″ at least)

      It is also interesting to compare the “plights” of tall vs. petite. Definitely true that more shops stock petite items, but there seems to be a bigger shoulder chip for shorter folks (re: the “lighting on fire” sentiment — I can’t say I love the term “Amazon” but it doesn’t irk me to any real extent). Some trends for women seem to favour the tall, and obviously model/high-fashion culture has a warped body norm that is tall and also abnormally thin and often alien-esque (in my opinion) so really that standard is a no-win for all of us regular humans.

      While I am now happy to be tall (I’m 5’10”), it was not the best as a 11-19 year-old. I felt un-feminine and unattractive (problematic perhaps, but true) towering over the boys. I still avoid high heels most of the time, despite gallant efforts to master them in my mid-20s.

      So, average-height folks out there, tell us! Is life all sunshine and rainbows?

      Thanks for this fun post on an otherwise unsettling day xxx

    • Julia says...

      I am totally on board for more tall content! I’m over 6’ but my sister is 5’2” so I’ve seen both sides of the struggle – we both complain about clothes but for opposite reasons! It’s just hard out there!

      I want to plug the COJ Week of Outfits from Hannah Proff in 2018 https://cupofjo.com/2018/10/lawyer-workwear-outfits/.

      It was great workwear inspiration on a tall, professional woman! Love to see it!

    • Lauren says...

      Here, here! 6’1″ reader here and would love a tall roundup! Bonus points for tall + size inclusions!

    • Stephanie says...

      There are some sympathetic comments here (ohh, wasn’t being a gangly teen rough?!) but these recommendations aren’t helpful, despite the best intentions! :/
      I understand why, but it’s rare to find international brands referenced on CoJ. Wish there was a British companion to this site – with equally lovely readers! <3

  70. Vihanga says...

    My friend recently started her brand and it’s designed specifically for petite women (5’3 and under). The line is pretty size inclusive as well :)
    It’s called Doyenne Petites. They’re based in Australia and they ship internationally!

    https://www.doyennepetites.com/

  71. tammy says...

    Yes!! Thanks for this post :)
    Tammy, 5’0

  72. celeste says...

    Your toenail polish is fire! And not Essir Geranium. Love!

  73. RS says...

    Boden in SO great for the vertically challenged as well.

  74. Audrey says...

    I’m 5’0 and HERE FOR THIS! Thank you for the recs!

  75. M says...

    5’1″ here. I think I would have preferred hearing ‘petite’ as a child. I was always referred to as ‘short’ which felt more like ‘inferior’, and also would make me want to light something on fire.

    I love the Loft petite line. Lots of styles to choose from. And the sizing is pretty consistent so ordering online is easy.

    • Adley says...

      Same here- I started saying “petite” as soon as I learned the word- it sounded SO much better than “short” to me. “Short” makes me think of…coming up short or something.

  76. Rosie says...

    I know this strays a bit from the point of this piece and I’m just focusing on what you said about Reformation, but I’m curious. Am I the only adult woman who would prefer to be called cute than nearly anything else? To me, cute reflects a specific personality with an attractive appearance. I want my wife to think I’m hot, but I like being called cute by strangers, friends, and co-workers and often am. I guess I find this confusing because I am extremely tall and hear ”Aww, you’re so cute” all the time based on what I’m wearing, when I’m being extra nice or making jokes. If I’m using the word to describe someone they probably have a bright, kind of preppy or trendy style, are high energy and like to laugh and tease people. I consider personality a big part of ”cute”. I’ve heard short people complain about this a bit and I’ve never really understood the problem. I don’t like comparing this to the rare woman who says she likes being objectified and doesn’t mind being cat called, but is it like that? Am I really in the minority? And if that’s the case, why does everyone use the word to describe me if it is so hated?

    That said, Caroline, if you hate people commenting on your appearance or infantilizing you in general that is a totally legitimate feeling, and my comment wasn’t meant to silence your opinions. I just wanted to break down what that word means.

    • Ari says...

      I think it depends on the person saying it! I love having friends/ acquaintances say “cute outfit” or “you look cute today!” because it makes me feel good, but the other day, one of my supervisors said, “aw, you look like a cute little girl!” and i instantly felt infantilized. for the record, I was wearing a black sweater with brown suede elbow patches, a black herringbone skirt, and black ankle rain boots and I was super into my outfit before that. :/ Probably the best solution is just to not comment on people’s physical appearances, I guess, but I like giving out compliments!

    • Sarah says...

      Rosie, your comment is very interesting to me. I am 5’ 2” and naturally very blonde and I hate being called or thought of as cute, because it makes me feel like people don’t take me seriously. Do young blonde women still experience that kind of “dumb blonde” stereotyping that I experienced growing up in the 80’s/90’s? I find myself admiring pretty, feminine clothing online, but I can never see myself wearing it for this reason.

  77. Carlin says...

    I’m vertically challenged and fairly thin but very long-waisted. As a result, petite sizes don’t fit me. I can get away with a petite skirt but that’s it. It’s a bummer!

  78. Kim Watt says...

    I’m 5 1’, 52 and have never really bought petite clothing. My size has ranged from a 2 to a 10. The rise on petite pants is often too short (my legs are actually long for my height) and blouses are often too narrow in the shoulders and bust. Same thing with other fitted top pieces like jackets etc. A good tailor is key as is knowing what styles can be altered easily. Example, skinny pants or straight legs are easy, flared ones not so much and can look wonky after. I agree with knowing your numbers as well as not being hung up on particular sizes. I also find that cropped jeans in “normal” sizes tend to work as well as bracelet length sweaters & blouses. For brands, I’ve had a lot of luck with the same ones. I’ve also found a few pieces at Eileen Fisher (winter coat, a trench, shift dresses) that are well made & sustainable. My trench/raincoat is Eileen Fisher from 2013 and is still going strong. Not an inexpensive line but definitely worth it.

  79. Annie says...

    Thank you!! 5’2″ xo!

  80. Lainey says...

    I wish every pair of pants came sized by waist & length (with multiple lengths avail.), & with those adjustable elastic waistbands they put on toddler clothing! I am 5’3.5″, curvy, & athletic…. I am long waisted as well & sometimes neither petite nor regular works! I hope high rise, cropped-slim pants & or joggers never go out of style! Learning how to alter my own clothing is also on my (loooong) list :)

  81. If you find a jacket that you absolutely love but the sleeves are too long, an alterations tailor specializing in menswear is a lifesaver. This particular alteration is made from the shoulder and will preserve the cuff (ie no need to remove buttons etc).
    -a former menswear alterations tailor

    • S says...

      Thank you for sharing this tip!!

  82. Sarah says...

    Ann Taylor often feels a bit matronly for my wardrobe, but I own a lot of petite things from Loft. Though I’ve found that sometimes their skirts and dresses are not actually tailored differently in the petites section – it’s just that the hems are much shorter – not always office-appropriate/comfortable, so I always grab both the regular and petite versions and try on both in the store. (I’m just under 5’2″).

  83. Cynthia says...

    I sew, so I am used to shortening pants. When cropped pants came out, I was actually able to buy pants and not have to hem them. I make most of my dresses and skirts, but sometimes I will see a border print maxi dress I like, but by hemming it, I would lose the border so I don’t buy it. I like Nordstrom and J. Crew for their petite sweaters. Over the years, the range of petite sizes has expanded, which is great.

  84. Grace says...

    I love being short (5’2″)! I’ve yet to meet a man I couldn’t date!

    • ARC says...

      I am 6′ (without heels) and have a shorter husband. He never minded and neither did I.

    • Joyce says...

      I’m 6’2 and my husband is shorter than me too, ARC! I do think it’s best to avoid suggesting that it’s only “okay” for women to date taller men. Why?? Just something to be conscious of. It can especially hurt the feelings of younger girls (like high school me.) I’m glad you love being short! I–now–love being tall as well :)

  85. sara says...

    OH MAN THIS IS GREAT

  86. Ari says...

    As a “petite” 5’1″ woman (better than cute, in my book), I agree with your list, Caroline! I’ve also found that ASOS’s Petite collection has a good selection of on-trend pieces, and I’ve never had to alter any of their dresses. Once I’ve figured out my size in popular brands, I’ve often been able to find pieces at Poshmark or ThredUp in my size, usually like new or still with tags on.

  87. Boerumama says...

    Incredibly helpful! Signed, 5’3

    • Minke says...

      Talbot’s (also has petite plus!!!)
      Banana Republi
      Brooks Brothers
      Universal Standard