Advice for clothing the petite woman is often misguided and unresearched. I get frustrated when I see a “Petite Advice” item in magazines or websites that states, “alter down regular sizes” or, “shop in the Juniors Department”. The people writing these things are obviously not petite women, or have ever had to go shopping with one. I can stand in dressing rooms for hours, tugging and pulling at fist fulls of fabric, wondering if my tailor could nip or tuck an item into shape. I’ve found it also takes a keen eye to figure out exactly how something should fit, when you’ve never seen it fit properly on yourself in the first place!
Recently, I was in H&M looking for anything interesting, and found a little button up blouse that looked cut really slim. I liked the cut, style, and color, so even though it was polyester (yuck!), I was curious to see how it would look on. When I got into the dressing room, my eye first fell on the slim cut of the top, and fit in the arms and shoulder. “It fits!” was my first thought…but then I looked closer and realized something was off.
I stared for a little while and then realized what the problem was. Can you see what the issue is with this blouse? Click “Continue Reading…” to see the answer.
*Longer – to accommodate the longer torso of a taller person.
*Lower neckline – to accommodate the larger ratio from shoulder to bust of a taller person.
*Lower bust – to accommodate the larger ratio from shoulder to bust.
*Lower waist line -to accommodate the larger ratio from shoulder to waist.
On a petite woman, all these ratios are smaller than those of an average heighted woman, thus, details on the garment, like bust darting or waist seaming will end up lower on the body of a petite woman. Obviously, this is not in the right place, and on me, left unattractive, sagging bits of pleated fabric just below my bust.
When I grab a hand full of the shirt and pull it up at my shoulder, you can see the details of the shirt fall into their proper places on my proportions:
That looks better, but to alter this shirt to fit properly would be labor intensive. I am literally holding a fist full of fabric in my hand in the picture above, and removing this fabric would mean the sleeves also need to be re-worked. Is this worth it on a polyester shirt? NO!
Is this an alteration that can be done? I don’t know because I’ve never been brave enough to try it on anything with sleeves. Tank tops, tank dresses, and strappy things are easily fixed just by taking up the straps until everything falls into place. Sleeves however…I’m scared!
Anyone ever taken up a blouse with sleeves from the shoulder? If so, how’d it turn out?