We all have our go-to brands that we love to shop with, but when you want something fresh, because you’re petite, you feel limited.
Not everything is going to fit and because you’re on the shorter side when it comes to height, the cut and fit of majority of clothing is going to sit a little differently on you than it would if you were a touch taller.
So, to eliminate the pain and suffering of falling love with an item in store but feeling like nothing suits you – I’ve created this post which you can feel free to print out or screenshot or even wallpaper the inside of your wardrobe with. This post is dedicated to determining what alterations you need for your clothing when you’re petite.
What if I don’t have an alterations company that I go to?
Fear not, the best thing you can do in this situation is to contact your nearest reputable retailer or hotel. They’ll give you details for companies they work with regularly so you know you won’t be getting a dodgy hemming job. If you’re a Sydney sider, you may have heard of Mimi’s Alterations, the woman that I trust with all of my client’s clothing. She’s on level five in Pitt Street’s Westfield.
What if I don’t like having things altered to suit my figure?
If this is the case, I’d recommend only shopping in stores that make clothing for shorter women. Ted Baker, Marcs, Topshop, Basque Petites, Jane Lamerton Petites and Forever New all have suitable options. However, do remember that not everything is going to fit you perfectly because the fit model they use to make their clothing may be of different proportions to you and sometimes the smallest of alterations can make the biggest difference.
Now that I’ve converted you, here are the six alterations you need to consider and that’s pant length and shape, dress length and jacket length and shape.
These days there are a lot of cropped style jeans which, in some cases, may be the perfect full-length pant for you. But if they’re not, have your slim and skinny leg pants altered to just above or on the ankle bone and your wide leg pants to 2cm’s off the floor.
If you have to take more than a few centimetres off the bottom of your pant then you should have the pant tapered in to follow the original shape of the pant. As each pant is cut towards the fit models leg shape, you’ll need to adjust it to your own. If you only hem your pants without tapering them in, they’ll sit in an unflattering position on your leg and never look quite right.
Shirt & Jacket Length:
If your shirt or jacket exceeds your crotch, you can make yourself look a little dumpy without even realising it. Stand in front of the mirror and get yourself a few pins and play around with the length. It will differ for everyone, but a safe length is just above, just on the hip or mid-crotch.
If you would like to look a little taller, a good thing to do is to have your dresses shortened. Just above the knee is the best place for petites as it elongates the leg and makes you look much more proportional. Beware of midi style dresses and consider the drape of the dress. Some cuts (ie, asymmetric) will be more expensive to alter than others, so always check with your tailor first if you’re unsure, or keep the receipt for peace of mind.
Your arms can look gorgeous, longer and more toned with the right sleeve length. It makes all the difference. Have your shirts and your jackets altered to sit just where your wrist and hand meet. If you have a heavier weight coat, these can be a little longer and you should have them altered to sit just in line with the start of your palm.
This is a quick and easy alteration that can make all the difference to your waist! Think of your buttons like a light that directs the eye to the area they’re sitting. If they’re sitting too low on your stomach, it can make your stomach more noticeable, consider having your buttons moved up a touch on things like blazers and jackets if they’re bringing attention to areas you’d prefer to conceal so that all of your outfit focus is on you and your assets!