Reader Mail: Made to Measure on Etsy for Petites

Reader Jacqueline wrote:

Etsy.com
As someone with the same body type as you have, I love reading your blog and getting inspiration for dressing. But, it seems like a lot of the items that work for petites aren’t available in my area. Ann Taylor doesn’t ship to Canada… it’s almost impossible to find quality designer jeans in my town… no BR, J Crew here, etc. It makes shopping difficult.
So I’ve recently turned to shopping Etsy for handmade, made to measure clothes. So far, I’ve only ordered from a seller called Ureshii, but there’s another called Lirola who has some really nice designs. The thing is that I’ve been wearing t-shirts and jeans my entire life, and I don’t really know what flatters my body! It’s hard to get out of that comfort zone and try something new and flattering.
I’d love it if you could do a review of some of the clothing shops on Etsy and pick some items that would be especially flattering for petites. :)

Great idea Jacqueline! I never thought to use Etsy for custom clothing. I did some snooping and here’s what I came up with:


I’ll start with the ones Jacqueline suggested:

Ureshii

I like Ureshii for it’s jersey rayon fabrics, and classic pieces. Jersey fabrics are stretchy and drapey, so they are easier to fit into than more structured material.

I love wrap dresses, so this Bamboo Jersey Classic Wrap caught my eye right away. With lots of colors available, and the option to customize the sleeve length, this is a great bet for petites. I would be sure to ask for higher arm holes if you find them to be too low in general.

This Sailor Dress in jersey, also looks universally flattering, and easy to wear. This dress could be styled up with a little waist belt to change the look.

 Lirola

 Lirola is another Etsy designer that produces items in jersey and lycra fabrics. These, just like Ureshii, will be stretchy and easier to fit to a petite woman. This designer adds lots of cute ruffle details to her items, which I find really fun.

My favorite is this Secret Garden dress, for it’s fun neckline, and of course, because it has pockets! There are also a few t-shirts and tanks based on this same style, in case you’re not in the market for dresses.

I also really like this Alice in Wonderland skirt. I like how the skirt looks just heavy enough to fall straight and close to the body, but light enough to be a cute summer piece. And…it has pockets. I think the grey shoulder detail top it’s paired with in the picture is adorable as well, but I fear being overwhelmed by it…oh well.

One Avian Daemon

This shop has some really simple and classic dress designs that look airy and ready for summer.

You know I can’t resist a nice wrap dress, so of course my favorite is the Seaside Seersucker Wrap Dress. Just look at that seersucker print! How can you resist? And I like how instead of a long tie to wrap around your waist, this dress has a simple button closure. I sometimes wish I could wear a waist belt with my wrap dresses, but the ties make it difficult and bulky. With this button closure, you could belt it easily. Out of all the items I saw on Etsy while doing my research, this one is my favorite.

I’m also very drawn to this classic shift dress…imagine it belted at the waist and  with colorful heels (what is it with me and waist belts lately? I’m obsessed!)

This next one may be a little trickier to find the perfect fit, as the items are more structured, but I really like the designs and couldn’t resist adding them to the list:

heartmycloset

I like heartmycloset because of the vintage and designer inspired pieces. My favorites are these tailored dresses in crisp fabrics that look classic and sophisticated.

The shoulder detail on the gray “Susan” pencil dress would help balance your shoulders to your hips, and give a more hourglass shape. Choose the fishtail detail if you like retro looks, or go without for a more classic silhouette. This dress actually looks a lot like this Black Halo Jackie O dress that I’ve secretly wanted for quite some time (and that Nukem is wearing here).

This white pencil dress with boning body, with it’s plunging neckline, is another amazing fitted dress for the more daring ladies. In fact, this dress is inspired by a piece from Victoria Beckham’s dress line.

Because these dresses are meant to be fitted, special care should be taken to ensure you give specific measurements to ensure proper fit.

——————–

The great thing about shopping on Etsy (as I also found when looking for petite bangle bracelets) is that the vast majority of sellers are willing to work with any special sizing needs you may have. Every Etsy seller I contacted reassured me that they could scale their garments to petite women (I gave them my measurements as a reference), and even said they have similarly sized petite customers. Most of these sellers also let you customize the color, fabric, and specific details of their garments.

The designer of One Avian Deamon also gave me a great piece of advice:

I would suggest that smaller women ordering custom clothing give the vertical distance between their shoulder and bust, bust and waist, and waist and hip, even if the designer doesn’t ask for them. These measurements are important for getting a good fit on smaller women, especially the shoulder to bust measurement, and I’m surprised how many people don’t ask for them.

Has anyone else ordered made-to-measure items from Etsy? Who are your favorite Etsy sellers?

12 Comments

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Erin

    GREAT post! I had never thought of Etsy for clothes either… that is genius of them to offer made to order clothing. I am definitely going to check these shops out :)

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Anonymous

    Good news! I just received reply from BR. They will ship to Canada starting early fall. Does anyone have a poor customer service when returning garments to BR??? I have experienced extreme rudeness… The garments were in impeackable unworn condition (tailor rejected to alter them).

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    PetiteAsianGirl

    Great post … I've never even thought to check Etsy for custom-made garments. Maybe this can be an outlet for Feldman to start selling her custom petite pants and pencil skirts!

    I like many of your picks and spent some time browsing Lirola. The prices of some of these items are slightly daunting to me, but are what I'd expect for custom-sized, handmade pieces on etsy. The designs are a little basic/conservative for me, but I can see them being great wardrobe staples for those who don't have luck shopping in-stores.

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    sparkygalore

    I don't normally leave comments, but I just received the 7 ways to wear it dress from Lirola, and it's perfect. Yes, it's a very classic shape (needed it for a graduation to cover up all my tattoos) but it emphasizes my small bust, and there are ways to tie the straps that flash a little skin. I've worn it once only, but got a ton of compliments in just that day! Liron was easy to work with, and the turn around time wasn't bad at all, maybe a month.

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    Anonymous – Great news about BR! I've never had any issue returning items to BR…maybe the sales associate you had was just having a bad day?

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    PAG – Yeah, the prices aren't H&M or even BR prices…but you're paying for custom measurement, personal service, and supporting independent designers. That's gotta count for something. =)

    sparkygalore – So glad you like your 7 Ways To Wear Dress! I almost featured it, but feared the extra fabric in the ties would be too bulky. Glad to hear it worked for you because it's really a cool piece!

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    PetiteXXS

    This is a great post! Being from Asia, I know how awesome it feels to have custom-fitted clothes made to your measurements (for super cheap!). That's actually one of the things I look forward to the most when I go back to visit. But I didn't realize that there's a reasonably-priced and accessible resource here. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Tamara

    I ordered a custom wrap top from Ureshii last year. It is gorgeous and I got immediate compliments! The only caveat is the jersey fabric is quite delicate and needs to be handled with care – I wash it cold in a mesh bag and dry flat.

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Jacqueline

    Great post! Thanks again for writing it! :)

    I've ordered from Ureshii a few times and have been stalking Liron's shop, but I wasn't aware of the last two sellers. The pencil dresses from heartmycloset are really nice. Makes me wish I had somewhere to wear them!

    I agree with PAG that the prices of some of these items is slightly high, but it is custom-made by talented people. I also like the idea of buying directly from the designer. My last order from Ureshii arrived with a faint wood-burning stove smell (which they warn may happen during colder weather). It was just kind of nice to imagine them in their own home, sewing clothes with the stove going.

    Besides that, the service is always excellent, and the outcome is reliable. What's better than getting a piece of clothing that fits perfectly, no tailoring needed?

  • Reply May 6, 2010

    Kerry

    I do have an Etsy account, although I have been using it to sell vintage patterns. I am thinking of offering pants (I don't know why, but I love sewing pants). I've got a few other ideas, and I can do made to measure…so far my job search has not been fruitful, this may end up being my 'job' for the summer.

  • Reply May 6, 2010

    kakiphony

    I've had great luck with cute skirts on etsy. I have a great seersucker knee length twirly skirt from http://www.etsy.com/shop/TallGiraffe. The elastic waist isn't gorgeous, but who can see it under a cute t-shirt? And my wrap skirt from http://www.etsy.com/shop/noelleodesigns is fabulous! I get so many compliments on it.

    I've been eyeing dresses from http://www.etsy.com/shop/nissalynn, http://www.etsy.com/shop/peel and http://www.etsy.com/shop/JRoseAtelier.

    I'm also in love with some of the stuff at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CrowsCloth, http://www.etsy.com/shop/treehouse28 and http://www.etsy.com/shop/ellainaboutique.

    I just adore etsy.

  • Reply May 6, 2010

    PetiteGorgeous

    If you want to be able to design your own jeans, check out this website: http://www.indidenim.com/oo/navigation/display-product-landing/productLandingPage/WOMENS-JEANS

    I can't comment on this retailer because I have yet to make a purchase.

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