Week of requests: the eight best resources for petite-sized clothing

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A few of you had rather specific petite requests, so I thought the best way to approach the topic was to lead you to those I think do it best, starting with Universal Standard, which accommodates the widest size range of any brand I can think of, and offers truly chic pieces that are what I would characterize as Cool Girl Classic.  Their Geneva dress, for instance, is a favorite of mine: a very Maria Cornejo vibe for a fraction of the price.

If you’re looking for on-trend pieces that don’t cost a fortune, check out the selection at Anthropologiethis dress, for instance, reminds me of Ulla Johnson, but isn’t nearly as pricey as her stuff. I was also pleased to see that this cute leopard print shift, which I included in a recent dresses with grown-up hemlines post, comes in petites.

J Crew has a nice selection as well, and I especially like their blazers, like this pink herringbone number, which is classic, but with a bit of a sense of whimsy.

 

Madewell offers a bumper crop of jeans in petite sizes. But I also really like their classic denim jacket.

I haven’t checked out Banana Republic in ages—it’s a brand that has seriously lost its way. But I did find a decent number of decent basics here, as well as this rather chic jumpsuit.

Boden has a nice range of well-priced petite options, including this versatile jersey dress, which—like most items from Boden—comes in a variety of colors and prints.

I found a few items I liked at Loft, including this peasant-y smocked top.

Reformation has some pretty cool petite choices too, and I particularly like this chic little skirt.

 

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21 Thoughts on Week of requests: the eight best resources for petite-sized clothing
    Jax
    15 Nov 2019
    12:44am

    I also want to thank Kim for including a petite jumpsuit. That’s the main reason I haven’t bought one yet, because so few jumpsuits are available in petite. Unless I can do a casual military pilot or flight mechanic type jumpsuit hem roll-up, the normal jumpsuit pant lengths are just not gonna work out.

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    Katherine
    14 Nov 2019
    12:51pm

    I have such trouble finding clothes that fit ~ being 5’1 has its challenges. There was this ad on Instagram which I sheepishly opened, and discovered Petite Studio NYC. They have a shop in Soho as well as an online store. I wish I lived in New York, but would be interested to hear what any of you petite ladies think if you happen to go there. Thanks for the petite post Kim!

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      Kim France
      14 Nov 2019
      1:28pm

      Yeah I checked out Petite Studio but was not nuts about it.

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    Summer
    14 Nov 2019
    2:06pm

    Uniqlo is great for petites. I’m 5’1”. Also, LL Bean has a lot of things in petite sizes, including button down shirts, when ch are usually hard to find in petite sizes.

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      Jax
      14 Nov 2019
      11:46pm

      I think Uniqlo is great for all-around petites (sizes 0-6 and short) but not for women who are size 10 and up, and short.
      Pants and jeans don’t work for me there.

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    Kathy O
    14 Nov 2019
    3:29pm

    Thanks for the petite post!

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    Viajera
    14 Nov 2019
    5:40pm

    I never shopped much at BR because the colors were too washed out for me. I knew people who did – one of whom was a petite. I am sorry to hear that people are unhappy with it though, since I retain a soft spot for all things Gap related, just because they used to try to treat garment workers well (and maybe still do … only, they don’t talk about it).

    From the bleachers, as someone who reads about it in the paper … it seems to me that part of it is just the overall internet shopping sucking all the wind out of retail, and also the fast fashion issue, and then third the hollowing out of the middle income categories. I’d love to be wrong though. I would say something clever about over-corporatizing and fear causing an inability to find a strong head designer … but all that is probably over my head. I hope they keep at it – it’s important. I still shop at Macy’s too … just because of the parade.

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      D.Morgendorffer
      15 Nov 2019
      10:48am

      An H&M literally took over the retail space that had housed the Banana Republic in our city.

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    Viajera
    14 Nov 2019
    5:46pm

    Btw … the leopard print from Anthro also comes in a really great blue print … which, did we talk about here? I am having deja view. I really really like it. How come nothing I like is ever in the store, where I can actually go see it? I feel like quite the dinosaur! That’s an awkward length for me – I’d have to shorten it into a top.

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    Patricia Garrison
    14 Nov 2019
    12:20pm

    I had truly left Banana Republic for dead, but this year….a few surprises — they have a good selection of pants for work, and they offer short and petite, so that’s a plus. And a few sweaters, a decent blazer (admittedly part of the goop colab, so there was a tad more style, and quality, than the BR usual these days). Not for anything special, but if you need to replenish the office stuff worth a look. For the first time in a long while….

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      Jax
      15 Nov 2019
      12:11am

      I think BR’s one of the few brands still offering 100% fine merino wool sweaters, which I’m loving more and more for California winters. The quality is there, but I’m really not into many of the colors they offer — just shy of the aging frumpiness of Talbot’s colors. The cuts and styles vary too, but I can get with some of the most classic styles.
      I just got this vegan suede trench there that I hope will work out in the petite size. The petites had sold out before and then they restocked and they seem to have sold out again. I don’t usually wear more “grown-up” styles like a trench, but this is actually flattering on me. Still deciding whether it’s too grown-up, even for my 40s self.
      https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=494428002

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    Hanna
    14 Nov 2019
    11:39am

    I’m so tired of the JCrew Anthro Boden circle of shopping. When did I get so cranky? Lately I’ve found a bit more variety with Rent the Runway (surprisingly). The short ladies do a good job of including fit pics so I know what I’m getting. I also buy less things that bore me just because they fit.

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    D.Morgendorffer
    14 Nov 2019
    10:35am

    If it wasn’t for my fashion purchase of the month being new prescription reading glasses (Armani cat’s eye!), I’d be eyeing that Ferne dress from Boden, or the Sasha or the Abigail. I’ve long appreciated how Boden comes out each year with jersey dresses that give a bit of definition at the ribs or waist, but are free and easy around the abdomen. Meanwhile, I agree with Amy,WHAT happened to Banana? I remember having Banana Republic wool pencil skirts for work in my twenties and being so proud of them.

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    Eloise
    14 Nov 2019
    8:44am

    Yay!! Thank you!!

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    c.w.
    14 Nov 2019
    8:44am

    Love that Madewell dress, but it’s sold out. The J.Crew blazer is kind of perfect!

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      Kim France
      14 Nov 2019
      9:59am

      Thanks for the heads up. I switched out the dress for another pick.

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        c.w.
        14 Nov 2019
        2:01pm

        Thank you!

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      Jana
      14 Nov 2019
      8:57am

      Re that Madewell dress: they still had a few at a brick & mortar store I visited on Monday!

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        c.w.
        14 Nov 2019
        2:03pm

        Well there’s a no-brainer than didn’t occur to this brain! Thank you Jana! I’ll call around to the brick and mortars here to see if they have it in stock.

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    Amy
    14 Nov 2019
    7:30am

    I noticed that about Banana too. They used to be my #1 as a young professional. J Crew was too trendy back in the early 2010s when they were at their height and Banana hit the perfect classic but not frumpy look I was going for. But then their quality took a dive… What happened?

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    Joanna
    15 Nov 2019
    10:15pm

    Thanks for this post! I’m five feet tall and have had good success with Everlane for many basic items. Thanks Kim for recommending Everlane on this site! You can also search Everlane reviews where people list their height and what size worked for them. I have three pairs of the side zip work pants in ankle length.
    https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-work-pant-ankle-atlanticblue
    I also really do well at Madewell and Jcrew for petite or small sizes. Also Nordstrom rack or Nordstrom’s.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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