Short Girl Problems: The Best Petite Clothing

They say that good things come in small packages – but what if the package wrapping just doesn’t fit?

Lauren and I are both self-confessed hobbits. I always liked to ambitiously declare myself as 5’3, though a cruel machine at the gym recently broke the news to me that I am in fact 5’1.8 (the .8 makes all the difference). Lauren comes in even smaller than me – some rumours suggest she is as little as 3 feet tall, and just wears special shoes like Tom Cruise.


Here is a recent photo of us.

We both quite like being short – you never really have to worry about finding a boy who’s taller than you, you’re brilliant at hide and seek because you can easily fit into most cupboards, and you can often get away with paying child fare on the bus.

One thing which is a proper snore about being short, though, is the clothing issue. Trousers drag along the floor. Midis cut us at awkward angles. We trip over our maxi skirts (Lauren face-planted in the middle of Birmingham City Centre just a few weeks ago due to this. Of course I didn’t laugh when she told me. Not one bit). Yes, these problems could all be fixed by altering our clothes but, frankly, the furthest I ever got in textiles lessons in school was making a puppet that was supposed to be a rabbit but more closely resembled something you might pull out of the hoover when you have a blockage. The domesticated life is not the one for me.

Another option is sizing down in ‘normal’ ranges. I have quite a few size 6 dresses in my wardrobe which, if you saw my hips, you would know is NOT my true size. But going a size smaller means you have less material, so it can be spread across your body better (sorry, I couldn’t find any better way of saying that). This is a good tactic with bodycon stuff, dresses in particular – I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a pair of jeans, as fitting a size 10 bum into size 6 jeans will just result in an arse split that will be difficult to hide as you hand it back to the shop assistant.

My TIP TOP TIP though, is to find out where do good petite ranges. Things just look so much better when they are made for someone of your height – they keep you in much better proportion, plus you have less bruising from falling over all the time. So, here’s my list of the top 3 places to head to for petite clothes.

Petite - Clothing - Topshop
Topshop Petite
Topshop are hands-down one of my favourite shops that cater to my little-legged needs. They always have a decent sized range and often do petite versions of the season’s best-sellers, so we don’t have to miss out just because of the poor genetics passed onto us from our parents.

ASOS Petite
ASOS Petite
ASOS’ petite range is another personal favourite of mine, particularly for maxi skirts and dresses. Whereas Topshop only stock sizes 4-14, ASOS go up to a 16 so the majority of us tiny tots (did I really just say that? Yep, moving on) can find something to wear. What I also like about ASOS is that they do a lot of pieces exclusive to the Petite range. This makes me feel like I am in some sort of special club and can sashay around in amazing dresses that would leave taller girls flashing their foofs.

New Look 915
New Looks – 915 Range
Okay, DO NOT LAUGH. But buying kids’ clothes really is a superb idea if you’re petite. Have you seen how tall these 14 year olds are?! I have a slight problem with New Look’s 915 range because as I browse the crop tops and mini dresses, I can’t help but wonder where on earth 9 YEAR OLDS are going dressed like that. But that is a problem for parents and not for us short shoppers – so just enjoy the cheaper prices and worry about the nation’s children at a later date.

Are any of you petite? What are your tactics for dressing for your height?

4 Responses

  1. Nicola July 24, 2013 / 10:36 pm

    As a fellow shorty I must confess to often looking in the kids sections and I’m not going to lie secretly loving I can still wear ‘age 14’ haha! I always look there for plain pumps/sandals too – cheap shoes yes please – until I see a 6 yr old with a matching outfit

    • Claire July 27, 2013 / 4:42 pm

      Haha yeah, it’s all fun and games until a toddler shows you up! I have the same onesie as my 6 year old niece… xx

  2. Lise May 4, 2014 / 5:51 pm

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks for this post and introducing me to new look teens! I do have a question though on sizing. I’m usually a UK4 petite in topshop. What size would I be in asos petite / new look teens? Or better yet, what sizes do you take for comparison? Thanks so much!

  3. indy October 14, 2014 / 6:42 am

    Hi so I was looking for a dress on asos and I found one only problem is is that they don’t have my size I found the exact same dress just a lip shorter but it’s in the asos tall I really want it abd I’m kinda in a rush because homecoming is on the 25 of October (I know two weeks away but I don’t have shoes or jewelry yet and can’t decide until I find the perfect) please help me
    It’s call asks bardot body-conscious Dress with cut out back

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