What It Is: Express’s new petites collection, which launched this spring
Who Tried It: Sharon Kanter, Deputy Style Director, resident petite staffer measuring a solid 5 tall
Level of Difficulty: 1 - it’s just buying clothes, and there are tons of options!
Shopping can be challenging for a shorty like me. I’m only 5 feet tall, therefore I always run into the following issues: Skirts never hit at just the right length. I dream about a cropped jean that actually looks cropped. Blazers always look abnormal going all the way down to my knees. Oh, and jumpsuits? Yeah, right! Seriously, forget about it.
The age-old solution, of course, is to invest in tailoring. In fact, I spent over $500 on alterations last year. Scary, I know! Because everything needs to but cut, sliced and hemmed to fit at all.
However, recently I have found that I’ve gravitated to Petites sections just to cut down on all of the messiness. (Who has that much time and money to spend at the tailor?!) Anthropologie has a pretty satisfying Petites department (especially for dresses), while Banana Republic Petites has saved me many times (their skirts rule!).
So when Express announced its new launch of Petites this season, I was eager to try it out. After all, the headline on the landing page guarantees “perfect proportions to fit and flatter your 5’4” and under frame.” Could that really be true? So I ordered a handful of pieces - right now the collection only available online, but with the free shipping discounts often available, that didn’t deter me - and guess what? Most of them fit. Perfectly.
The blouses definitely fit like they were made for shorter torsos, and the ankle-length pants actually hit my ankle rather than dragging on the floor (woohoo!). But I found the jacket selection to be the most satisfying. I have a lot of trouble with jackets hitting right, so I was beyond pleased when I tried these two pieces above - the classic trench ($128) and the crepe boyfriend blazer ($98), the latter of which comes in both black and white.
The trench cinched right at the waist (which, if you are petite, you know that’s a victory), while the boyfriend blazer didn’t hang too low on my thighs. In fact, I’ve worn the blazer in white to work almost once a week since getting it, including to interview the fabulous fellow petite Eva Longoria, who commented that she loved it, too.
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But my ultimate favorite was this micro-pleated skirt ($69.90, on sale for $48.93), worn by yours truly below. It’s one of those pieces that fits just right at the waist (I’m wearing an XSP) without the need for a belt or anything. I’ll definitely wear this all spring long.
The only downside of the collection is that the pieces sell out fast, especially certain sizes, so you may find that options are limited. But, Express replenishes stock quickly - which is good, because I have my eye on those two dresses up top next.
Tell us: Would you try petite-specific clothes? Let us know in the comments!