Opinion column – The problem with being petite


Nothing annoys me more than when I’m shopping and I go into my favourite high street fashion store and there is no petite range. I’m an unfortunate petite girl; standing at just 4ft10 and yes finding that perfect maxi dress is not only a nightmare, but pretty much non-existence.  I love wearing fashionable clothes but trying to wear the latest trends, I might as well put a bin bag over my head until the next seasonal trends appears. If that store does not have a petite range, I will be out of the door and I won’t be coming back.

I can understand the problem here and it is not the fashion stores’ fault; it’s to do with the industry standard sizing done by the fashion companies, the average woman here in the UK is 5ft4, if that is the case than why am I being left standing on my (size 2 feet) own? The fashion companies don’t want to think about the average woman’s height, they prefer a legion of Victoria Beckham clones, size 0 and must pout in front of the camera. It’s the industry way of putting a blindfold on hoping the problem will go away.

But the problem won’t go away; I want to wear a maxi dress without it dragging along the floor like a wedding train or to wear a shirt with me rolling up the sleeve into a clumpy puff balls mess.  I might just be a minority here and the problem with clothes is my own problem, if that is that the case then why do I see girls wearing uneven proportioned clothes, it enough to make me shout at the individual ‘have you seen yourself in the mirror this morning?’.


I do applaud many high street fashion shops that do cater to ‘petite’ women, I mean I can go to the secretive section of the store without worrying someone going to patronise me, a little hidden corner hidden away from all the VB clones, like an invisible mirror only a petite person can see.  I can select an outfit and safely scream to myself I’m petite and proud.

What I’m getting at is that, being the petite size I am, I can’t always find clothes that will fit me, I don’t want to be patronised by any industry telling me I’m too short to wear a certain type of clothes. I should wear what I want. This is my call to say that the industry standard sizing done by the big brand fashion companies need a big shake up and wake up, there hasn’t been a shake up of average overall measurement since the 1950s – times have changed, money and the economy have changed. We live in an approved credit card society where anyone can get their fashion fix with a click of a finger.

I do count myself lucky to be living at a time when I can have my fashion fix at a click of a mouse button, I love online shopping and yes I can buy petite range clothes from various online boutiques from all over the world, where I’m not constrained by UK sizing standard. Thank god also for online boutiques that do made to measure, I can finally wear my dream maxi dress without the worries.

What do you think?

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  • Inez
    March 19, 2013

    I’m only 5’1 so I can relate to you. I tend to get my gran to shorten trousers for me. The petite section of fashion stores can be improved, they should do the same fashionable clothing as regular sizes, xoxo.

  • Buttons Apart
    March 19, 2013

    I couldn’t agree more with you, I always just end up buying regular size and hemming things myself.

    Sita xx

  • Krystel
    March 20, 2013

    I like your red hair very pretty, and I am also a petite and find it very hard to get dresses or pencil skirts that always look long on me 🙁 so normally I avoid buying things like this but ASOS do a petite section I like but may give some more options a go, lovely post x


  • Claire Nina
    March 20, 2013

    Hi Anna. I’m small too (5ft 2) and often have trouble buying dresses and skirts that are the correct length for me. I need to wear dresses and skirts that fall just above the knee, any longer then it doesn’t look right on me. Having said that, I would love to be able to wear a maxi dress without feeling ‘swamped’ in material.
    Claire x
    P.s the red hair looks great!

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Opinion column – The problem with being petite

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