Reader Jacqueline wrote:
Etsy.comAs 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 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 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.
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:
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.
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?