Why the Smallest Clothing Sizes are Understocked via YouLookFab

You’re reading your favorite petite fashion blog when you see the blogger wearing a fabulous blouse that would fit perfectly in your wardrobe. Even better, she’s posted a coupon code to get it at a nice discount. You click over to the retailer website, ready to purchase that fab blouse…but wait…your size is already sold out!

If you wear a small clothing size, then you’re probably familiar with this scenario. Small-sized clothing sells out fast, and by the time the item hits the sales rack, the best colors and smallest sizes are long gone, having sold out at full price. But have you ever heard the reason why?

A wonderful article over at YouLookFab (thanks go out to Curls and Pearls for tweeting, and Miss Modern Classic for posting) explains why retailers don’t have enough small sizes to go around…a little thing called a “size curve”.

Here are the take-away points from YouLookFab explaining what’s happening to these small sizes.

1. The most bought sizes in the US are sizes 6 to 10. This simply means that women who are sizes 6 to 10 are the ones making the most clothing purchases.

2. Since most shoppers are sizes 6 to 10, it is less risky for retailers to overstock these sizes. Retailers know there are enough women to buy these sizes, and feel more secure that these items will sell. They will buy more of these sizes, because even if they go on sale, there are plenty of women in this size range to take the clothing off the retailer’s hands. It’s also easier to sell extra merchandise in sizes 6 to 10 to discounters like Marshall’s and T.J.Maxx.

3. Sizes smaller and larger than 6 to 10 are risky investments. There are less shoppers in those size ranges, so if retailers buy too many of those sizes, they might get stuck with merchandise they can’t sell, and lose money.

The result is a size curve:

Fashion Buyers are responsible for selecting the items and sizes that sell in a store. They will order in a style from a manufacturer over a very carefully distributed size curve. When they place the order it makes sense to order more of the sizes that are popular, and fewer of the other sizes. So for example, buyers bulk up the order in sizes 6 to 10 because those are the most shopped sizes. That way the store can make the most profit AND offer the most correct size to their customers.

The thing is that they don’t create the size curve to exactly match the popularity of sizes. They order a little less of the unpopular sizes and a little more of the popular sizes.

- Angie from YouLookFab

Petite shoppers feel this crunch even more, and here’s why:

1. Special sizes, such as petite sizes, are less shopped than standard sizes. Even though height statistics say roughly 40% of US women are 5’3″ or shorter (via Wikipedia), not all “petite” women are shopping petite sizes. These women either find standard sized clothing fits them just fine, don’t realize they could be getting a better fit with petite sizes, or simply don’t know what good fit is, and wear ill-fitting standard sized clothing because they don’t know any better.

2. Because special sizes are less shopped, less of them are stocked. Just like the smaller sizes, it is more risky for retailers to overstock on special sized items, in the event they get stuck with unsold merchandise.

3. There is less variety stocked in special sizes. Retailers will stock less color choices and style choices in special sizes than they will in standard sizes. Once again, it is more risky to offer a full range of colors and styles when there are not many shoppers buying those sizes in the first place.

So, if retailers are afraid to stock too many small sizes, and are also afraid to stock too many petite sizes, think about how many small-sized petite items retailers will stock…not many, right?

That’s why this XXSP shopper has near anxiety attacks over purchasing my size in time, and often ends up resorting to pay full price.

Does the retail “size curve” effect the way you shop?

Disclosure - Clicking or purchasing through the links in this post may yield commissions for AlterationsNeeded.com. See the Alterations Needed Disclosure for more details.

47 Comments

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    Abhitoabby

    Hmm…Not surprising and yet disturbing :/. Just yesterday I was at an Ann Taylor and "as usual" this store didnt even stock size 00 or 00P. I made it a point to tell the Floor Manager how they are losing out on a huge asian market (sorry for the cliche' but it was the quickest way to get her the message).
    This post proves yet another reason why your blog is doing '[Fashion] God's work' I say :P

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    Michelle

    Lol! I can relate to the "near anxiety attack"! I know that my local LOFT's only stock one xxsp and oop. I have learned from you and other petites that I can always get it shipped to my house by calling another store…that eases the anxiety a bit!

    Abby is right…you would think Vegas stores would want to stock more petite sizes, especially since we have so many Asian tourists!

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    ShortBlonde

    @Michelle

    I always think the same thing going to the Woodbury Common outlet/mall in NY! There are SO many tiny Asian women tourists, so why aren't there more tiny sizes? C'mon now. Everyone there is a XXSP.

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    ShortBlonde

    And mind you, I LOVE all the small Asian women…I feel there's some sort of petite solidarity going on. Stores need to pay attention to their growing populations of small customers :)

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    Anonymous

    I waited too long to order the pin tuck tie shirt from ann taylor and now can't get it in the color I wanted. I'm not even that small. I'm a size 4 petite. It's frustrating. I do buy regular sizes at certain places and buy petite at others. At ann Taylor I almost always buy petite when I can or a size smaller in regular or the same size and hope for a good tailor job, at Brooks brothers I buy a size smaller and everywhere else things get hemmed. Sizing baffles me to no end. Everywhere else I'm a size 6 with things being hemmed. Suits at AT is size 4 petite and Brooks is size 2 for fitted shirts but between a 4 or six for their suits hemmed.

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    R.L.

    Interesting! I always assumed that the smaller sizes sold out faster because teens and petite women tended to be more shop-happy. But I in no way fault retailers for the way they stock sizes. It makes complete sense to cater to the majority, even though I'm personally getting the short end of the deal.

    I prefer to look at the bright side of things so to speak. I spend less since a majority of items are too big for me. And with the advent of online shopping (and the generous retailers who offer free shipping/returns!) it's made petite shopping slightly easier. I actually sort of enjoy the "challenge" (though I admit it is frustrating not to find the elusive Theory 00 blazers for a good price…)

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    Jenn

    This post totally appeals to the math nerd in me. Great points!

    Complex Cardigans

  • Reply March 15, 2011

    Angeline

    Interesting! I'm not a petite (I'm 5'4 but have long limbs, so I wear regular sizes with heels), but I always have trouble finding my size. Makes sense based on your research!

    I wonder if it also varies based on region and the more prevalent sizes/body types in that region. I remember in NYC I felt like my size was more frequently available, but when I moved back to California, there were fewer small sizes out there. I don't have any actual data to back this up, but it was just a feeling I had.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Amy

    Another great post, Kelly! This issue has always bugged me!! I know their reasoning behind it, BUT if the small sizes are always selling out, doesn't that tell them that they need to order MORE of those sizes?!?! It makes me crazy! It can't be that much of a risk to order a *little* more, so certain sizes aren't selling out immediately! I'm the same way as you…if I love something, I often end up paying FP b/c I know it will sell out if I wait. :P

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    CynthiaC

    @Michelle I'd think so too, but I heard somewhere that the average Asian woman is about a size 6, especially for 40-somethings who've had a couple of kids – that would fit your typical Asian Vegas tourist. However, that completely ignores the young, child-free 20-something or 30-something! If they want money (and stores want money), they'd make more small sizes.

    @Angeline Where in California are you? I would have thought that there'd be a lot of small sizes out there since there are a lot of Asians??

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    thesmallone

    I call the petites dept at Ann Taylor the "petite ghetto." It's usually stocked with like 5 different items in size 10P. It makes me so mad I rarely even shop in there.

    I do most of my shopping online because I don't have the patience to visit store after store only to never find my size.

    I don't think America's generally expanding sizes is helping the situation, and just feel more pissed off when people assume shopping for a tiny woman must be so easy and fun. It's actually a total pain in the ass. I am sure if I were the same scale at 5'7" it would be a breeze, but at barely 5' even, it's terrible.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Tamara

    @thesmallone – LOL "petite ghetto"! That will have me laughing all day. It's true though. I always wistfully pass through Ann Taylor's regular sizes section drooling over the awesome pieces they will never stock in petites. The petites corner is way in the back with a pathetic sampling of the worst of the season's collection.

    But to Kelly's original question – yes, I buy full price if I love it and it fits. Those chances don't come along every day. I feel like I spend WAY more of my life shopping than I ought to because it's such an odyssey finding my size.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Angeline

    @ Cynthia – I've lived in Orange County/LA and the greater Sacramento area and noticed it both place. I chalked it up to either a) too many small people bought up all the small sizes or b) the stores don't stock as many small sizes due to the prevalent car culture in suburban areas leading to more overweight people. People here aren't all that small. :/

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Linda

    This topic has crossed my mind many times. I completely understand the size curve and profit margin from the manufacturer's viewpoint. However, many of us know that the first size to sell out is XXSP and 00P. What about the last sizes to sell out: XL and XXL? Is it just me or don't they carry more XL/XXL than XXS knowing that XXS will be the first to go while XL/XXL will be remaining all the way down to final sale clearance?

    Personally, I think tiny petites generate more revenue for the companies. While regular sized women can afford to wait for sales (or wait for the same look to get reproduced next season), we can't and are forced to purchase at full price.

    In addition to the size curve, I'm sure a portion has to do with America's viewpoint on how an increase in smaller sizes may promote anorexia and whatnot.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Anonymous

    I actually can only shop online anymore. I live in the mid-west, and so we really don't really have a strong Asian population (sorry for the stereotype-I'm Irish BTW), we have even less options then everyone out in the Cali Area. I recently went to Cali with My boyfriend's Aunt, who is only slightly bigger then me was nice enough to take me to a few chain stores and I was amazed at how much petite sizing there was compared to here.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    maryeb

    Interesting post, I suspected some of this but didn't know for sure. I, too, have found shopping very frustrating because of the shortage of small and petite sizes. On the bright side, I've spent a lot less money.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Cori

    Ug, this is so true. And I am such a deal shopper. I cannot buy something full price. Seriously. I'm clearance addicted. Which also means that I hardly ever find my size… sacrifices, sacrifices.

    la vie petite

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    curls-and-pearls

    Kelly thank you for the shout out!! I knew it would pique your interest ;) I honestly thought that the smaller sizes went quicker because of the age group shopping more. Obviously small sized petites are of every age range but I would think the majority would be in the age group of having a diposable income.

    I guess it's the same as shoes, I have the most popular shoe size so although my size sells out it's usually at the point when they on clearance already.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    kileen

    the stock limitations certainly affects the way i shop for shoes! i know that stores usually only carry 1 size 5 and that's it. so if i see a size 5, i usually will end up paying full price for it. my wallet hurts as a result, but at least i have cute shoes. ;)

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    SugarNikita

    What I don't understand is if the petite sizes are usually sold out, doesn't that show there is an interest in that size, and they should therefore stock more the next time? My guess is they just keep stocking the same amount, which is turn just makes the customer mad, and they lose money on potential sales. And that make no sense to me.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Anonymous

    I find the explanation for "1. Special sizes, such as petite sizes, are less shopped than standard sizes" a little condescending because it seems to imply that petites who don't buy petite sizes are ignorant people.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    CynthiaC

    @Anonymous But it *IS* true that many petite women, especially those who aren't size 6 or below, don't buy petites. Most medium to larger sized petite women I know who *DO* buy from the petite department are either formerly thin or in the fashion business.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    Grr…Blogger just ate my comment…let me try this again:

    @Anonymous – Sorry you thought that. I assure you, it's not meant in that way at all. I did not go into further detail in the post for brevity's sake, but let me explain further here:

    1. Women who are technically "petite" (5'3" and shorter) sometimes don't need petite sizes to find good fit, especially if they are on the taller end of "petite". I have friends who are 5'3" or so and find great fit in regular sizes. Their body proportions are not as short as a woman closer to 5'0", and so regular sizes work for them just fine (besides a pant hem here and there). I consider them lucky!

    2. Lots of "petite" women don't even realize that petite clothing will fit them better than standard sizes. These women generally think petite means incredibly short and slim, and maybe they are a larger size, or on the taller end of petite. For example, my half-sister is 5'2" and always shops regular sizes. I bought her a pair of "petite" work pants once and she was overjoyed at the perfect hem length. She is a petite who never considered shopping petite sizes before!

    3. Lots and lots of women have no idea that clothes are not fitting them correctly, because, well…they've never had well fitting clothes to begin with! I was one of these women! I bought the smallest sizes I could find, and kept wondering by I looked different in my clothing than my average sized friends. I thought there was just something wrong with me, not that my clothes didn't fit. It wasn't until I started to actively search for information about how clothes "should" fit (what? your bra is NOT suppose to show through the arm hole?) that I actively started shopping petite sizes.

    There are many more reasons (like the pre-conceived notion that petite = matronly), but these are the broadest ones I could think of. Hope that clears things up! ;)

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Frankincensy

    This has got me wondering how similar the size curves in non-US countries are. I'm in the UK (where the average woman is a couple of sizes smaller than her US counterpart) and this reminds me of what I often see at Marks & Spencer – they start at UK 8 or sometimes 6, but it can be hard to find anything smaller than a 12/14 there. I don't have the same issue at Topshop or H&M, which is why I do so much of my shopping at those stores.

    With regard to petite sizing, a lot of UK brands start their petite ranges a size lower than their main ranges. I'm not sure this translates to more choice for petite customers, though, since petite ranges tend to be limited.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    CynthiaC

    @Frankincensy I've found petite departments at "hipper" stores in the UK to be shockingly small with very little selection. I was at TopShop Oxford Street – the MAIN FLAGSHIP – back in September and was really surprised at how tiny the petite department was relative to square footage of the store (Banana Republic flagships in Toronto and New York had more space for petites). In addition, the most common size there was a UK 10P (US 6P). One of the jackets that caught my eye was ONLY AVAILABLE in a UK 10P – there were like 15 of them! I ended up purchasing a UK 6 regular. It was a little long, but I'm making do.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    hannah

    Ugh. This doesn't even address the utter lack of small shoes. Shopping the stores is always such a nightmare. I've found I've had better luck online (going store to store is MUCH less of a hassle) and surprisingly, thrift stores. I've found more cute clothes in my size at one time than I ever find at typical retail locations. Shoes, though, those I am always struggling to find in anything less than a 6.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    CynthiaC

    @hannah I totally get you on the shoe front. Saw a pair of gorgeous and comfy shoes this afternoon at Cole Haan only to find that size 5 was not available, not because it was sold out, but because it never came in a 5 (at least at that store). The sales associate sympathized with me, saying that the store has been trying to contact the distribution centre about the lack of size 5 issue (the store has a lot of small-footed clients).

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    SB (New York City Pretty)

    I had to go to 5 different ATLs to get that top in an XXSP! Perseverance paid off but more often than not, I end up out of luck.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @Abhitoabby – Oh yes, I was really sad when Ann Taylor pulled their smallest (and largest) sizes out of stores. With all the huge improvements in petite styles and brand offerings, it was a giant step backwards for petite shoppers.

    Telling the floor manager is the right thing to do, as a few stores who got a lot of requests/complaints have started to re-stock those sizes. Tell your local stores you want your sizes back ladies!

    @Michelle – Ack! Only ONE xxsp/00p in your local LOFT store? That's terrifying! A sales associate at one of the LOFT stores here in San Diego told me she has a petite client who she calls every time new stock of sizes comes in so the client can get first dibs on small sizes…GENIUS!

    I've had good luck with small sizes inside the casino boutiques in Vegas, but don't think I've ever tried the major mall chains like LOFT. I'm surprised they don't consider the petite tourist population (asian, european, hispanic) when stocking their sizes!

    @ShortBlonde – I love seeing hoards of fellow tiny shoppers too…I always hopes it means I'm getting close to the mother load of petite clothing. ;)

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @Anonymous – Oh boy…sizing inconsistencies is a whole different animal. Unfortunately, there's no sizing standard set in place, so every brand/store/designer decides what measurements to use for each numerical size. Depending on the demographic of customer they are trying to reach (young women, mature women, women pre or post children, etc.) a size 6 can vary wildly across brands. Most US women have at least 2 -3 different sizes in their closet because of this.

    @R.L. – Yeah, I understand the reasoning behind it, I just wish retailers would get a little braver and take a chance on stocking more special sizes. Especially with the growing number of special size communities online, I bet they'd be able to sell their merchandise easier than they think.

    @Angeline – I bet there is a correlation between stocked sizes and regional demographics. Some ladies in the comments of YouLookFab's post were mentioning the same thing and how sizes vary where they live. I've also heard NYC is a heaven for small sizes compared to California. Even more reason for me to finally take the trek to NYC (aka, heaven). ;)

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @Amy – Thank you Amy! My sentiments exactly. If the smallest items are selling out so quickly, I wonder if retailers are leaving money on the table by not ordering even a tiny bit more to better meet demand. Or, would more small sizes lessen our anxiety, so we would wait for items to go on sale before purchasing, and cause the retailers to lose money? I wonder how much retailers depend on our full-price purchases. Hmmm…

    @thesmallone – LOL! Petite Ghetto! I think you just coined a new term. ;)

    Oh boy, I feel like I'm constantly explaining to people that clothing, even small sized clothing, is made for average/tall people, not short people. It's really only the friends who have gone shopping with me that realize how hard it is to find clothing for petite women.

    @Tamara – Yes! I feel like I'm constantly shopping! I'll even start getting anxious thoughts that I'm missing out on a lonely, perfect xxs clothing item sitting on a store rack because I haven't been at the mall lately. LOL.

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @Linda – I wonder if retailers order the same amount of the largest sizes as they do the smallest. There are regional inconsistencies with what sizes women are having a hard time finding (some say large sizes are always sold out and small ones always on sale, and vice versa), so maybe that's part of the problem. Or maybe larger sizes are easier to unload at discounters?

    @Anonymous – Uh huh, it's sounding more and more like geographical demographics make a big difference in what sizes are stocked in stores. Thank goodness for online shopping, although even those stocks are low in small sizes.

    @maryeb – The money I save not being able to find well fitting clothes is probably off-set by the money I spend getting others altered. LOL. ;)

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @Cori – Oh, that's tough! I usually check the sales racks as a last resort only, because I can never find my size in there.

    @curls-and-pearls – Yes! Thank you for posting! My inner garment-industry-nerd is very happy. ;)

    @kileen OMG, shoes! My Christian Louboutins were an impulse purchase after freaking out because the sales associate told me they only received ONE PAIR in size 35. Ack!

  • Reply March 16, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    @SugarNikita – I agree! Shouldn't there be some kind of market test to help find a sweet spot between size demand and retailer stock? Seems to me retailers are leaving money on the table.

    @Frankincensy – This sounds to me like customer age trending is at work. Topshop and H&M tend to have younger customers, going down as young as pre-teens (at least here in the US. I assume it's the same in the UK?), so they probably carry more stock in those really small sizes for the youngest of their customers. Marks & Spencer probably have a much older customer, with less of them wearing those really small UK6 & UK8 sizes. You're probably seeing a much steeper size curve because of age demographics.

    @hannah – Oh yes…less and less stores are stocking shoe sizes below a size 6 these days! I always make it a point to pummel sales associates with questions who tell me they don't carry size 5 anymore (What? When did this happen? Why did you stop? What are your customers going to do? Where am I going to find these shoes now?). ;)

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    Frankincensy

    @Alterations Needed Absolutely agreed that age demographics are a factor. H&M and Topshop are very popular with teens and twenty-somethings here, whereas M&S is aimed more at women in their 30s-50s and up… though I've heard customers in that demographic complaining about inflated sizing there, or inconsistent sizing in general.

    Perhaps the age thing also influences how brands respond to their customers? M&S has customers who have been shopping there for decades and might have very strong expectations of the brand, possibly extending to "I'm always a size X here", and maybe those people would react less well to a change in the size curve. That's all just conjecture, though. :)

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    mer

    @Linda

    I was just thinking the same thing about how petite shoppers may be generating more revenue because they frequently buy items at full price.
    —–

    I wonder if the buyers understand how many XS&/or petite shoppers are leaving their stores empty-handed because they cannot find their size. And when they look at the sales figures they see that the store always sells all their XS sizes but may not realize how many *more* they could have sold if they stocked a quantity that accommodated the demand. Since they don't realize how many shoppers are looking for XS and petite sizes (and would buy them) they are not stocking adequate amounts. I wonder if it's just a matter of updating shopper demographic data.

    I'm really curious about this now. If the buyers knew they were selling out of small sizes and still didn't increase the stock doesn't that almost seem discriminatory?

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    evelynne

    @mer

    This is EXACTLY what has been bothering me about this analysis. I think they're way underestimating how many small-size sales they could be making, and they may not be taking regional differences into account. My local Ann Taylor and Loft usually have lots of my size (0P or 2P), but I couldn't tell you how many times I've gone into other stores and walked out because my size sold out ages ago or they never sold it in the first place. I think I am going to start telling salespeople (or maybe I should ask for a manager) when my size is sold out to try to raise some awareness of potential sales they're missing out on.

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    CynthiaC

    I'm wondering if too many of us are walking out after not seeing our size on the floor rather than approaching a sales associate. I'm guilty of doing this all the time. Also, some shoe stores around here display the smallest size, rather than the sample 7. At these stores, I often walk out after I don't see a 5 in the style I like rather than speaking with someone. Most stores only get one or two pairs of size 5s and if you're not on a list, chances are, you're not going to get it!

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    R.L.

    @Alterations Needed

    Just to add to your explanation… some petites prefer regular sized clothing for some items even after comparing them to the petite version. I'm 5ft, 95 lbs. So larger than you and 50% of the time 00P and XXSP works for me. For many casual tops I purposely shop regular even after trying on the petite. I like loose/slouchy "boyfriend" fits and I appreciate the longer length shirts which I feel evens me out since I have a very short torso. I guess my preference in this regard isn't helping the petite community as a whole though. :/

    P.S. Blogger has eaten my comment so many times that I now copy my comment before hitting any button lol.

  • Reply March 17, 2011

    Linda

    We petites need to unite and email/call these retailers to address this situation :D I take my mom shopping quite often. She's 5'3, 115 lbs, and has the easiest time finding great deals on great clothes. However, I am never that fortunate. Once while shopping a clearance rack, she angrily clutched an XL top and said, "They need more 'Linda size'. Less fabric, less thread, less work, same price! Everybody happy!" The comment stuck ever since, and I've been on a quest to make that happen for the benefit of every other petite woman out there.

    @Mer
    I agree. Perhaps they are just unaware of how many petite women exist in this world and our frustrating shopping experiences

    @Alterations Needed

    We have a good even mix across the board where I live from the extra petite to the plus size.

    I feel like stores such as AT and Loft who are notorious for their petite sizing should definitely carry more of the particularly high demand sizes like XXSP and 00P. I can't for the life of me understand why AT doesn't carry the Perfect Pump in sizes less than 6.5 in stores considering it's a basic, timeless staple that will always be there.

  • Reply March 18, 2011

    hypertigur

    With so many of us petite bloggers around complaining about not having smaller sizes, you would think companies would start carrying more, at least in the areas we are at~! There is a market for it!! *hint hint* 0:]

    But yea, my mom was in charge of choosing stock back then. She told me that they usually one would order 1 smallest size to 50 of the "normal sizes". And only order the smallest size in neutral color so that it sells easier. After hearing that I was so sad.

  • Reply March 18, 2011

    Frankincensy

    @evelynne I'd given up on asking "do you have this in [size]?" because the response would inevitably be "sorry, if it's not out on the rack, we don't have it", but maybe if more customers keep asking, shop staff might become aware that they're missing sales.

  • Reply March 19, 2011

    Thu

    I'm soo glad to have seen this post! I always have some kind of theory about why it's so hard for me (I'm Asian, but don't consider myself all too petite for my height), versus most of my friends (and they are Asian too, ironically) are able to find great bargains almost all the time because big sizes are available but I can't! Most times have to spend more just to get the right color, size etc like you said! Sales stuff was either too tiny or too huge in my experience. My mom used to get on me for spending a lot, but there's great reasons why!! Feels good to know there are others struggling too. Sometimes I do resort to ill-fitting clothing (such as looser fit tops because they feel more comfortable; sizing down to the "right" one often feels too tight). Thanks so much for this!!! First time follower of your blog!:)

  • Reply May 16, 2011

    Anonymous

    I haven't read through every single post, but why not collaborate with a custom dressmaker who can make a "sloper" JUST FOR YOU. This is a master pattern with your custom alterations. It is used as the basis for ANY STYLE of ANY GARMENT YOU WANT. Of course, you won't have the thrill of following the crowd, but you will be UNIQUE.
    Seasoned Petite
    Hingham, MA

  • Reply April 20, 2012

    FkngANNOYED

    I’m a 5’11 female with a 36 inseam and am 123 lbs, 34A-25-35.

    IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND CLOTHES IN STORES.

    SO….you petite ladies are luckier than I.  :(

  • Reply June 11, 2013

    Ellen

    Really? In stores’ sales racks and even among the full price merchandise, it seems like there are plenty of size 0s left if most of the other sizes are sold out. Being a taller woman, I also think there is WAY more petite clothing available than “tall” clothing. Although I guess that one’s own search for a specific size colors one’s perceptions of what is most available.

    I’d say my main issue with clothing availability is shoes. I wear US 9.5-10. The average woman’s shoe size is now 8.5, but it seems like manufacturers haven’t caught on and sell very few shoes in the 9-11 range. These shoes seem to sell out first and are not often on sale. Also many manufacturers do not make 9.5, my true shoe size, even though they make 5.5, 6.5, 7.5 etc. I once went to a local shoe boutique that had a closing sale. The owner told me that she literally didn’t have any shoes left over in size ten. She said that size 10 is popular with customers, but she usually doesn’t have much to offer these women because she orders shoes wholesale in a bulk lot that usually only includes 1 pair of size 10s.

  • Reply September 3, 2013

    Dan Watson

    I have a smaller face size and have historically had problems with finding eyeglasses to suit. I was getting fed up of being offered kids glasses. Ben 10 frames are not a good look with a business suit in my profession. On-line has come to my rescue too and I now buy my petite eyeglasses from a firm called SpecsPost in merry old England of all places. The URL (I don’t know if I am allowed to post this?) is http://www.specspost.co.uk . You do have to wait a while for the glasses to be shipped from the UK to the States, but the products are really good. You also have to be able to translate pounds to dollars too, the eyeglasses cases are a bit sketchy too, but in my experience its worth it for the great fitting smaller glasses and I just use a different glasses case!

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