Saturday, March 17, 2012

Petite problems: clothes shopping

Yesterday I went shopping for clothes because I'm a girl, which means I'm supposed to like that sort of thing. I'll bet that clothes shopping is really fun when you can walk into a store, head to the section of your designated size, and pick what you like.

This does not work when you're short. Having been 4'10" for several years now, I can promise that there's not a whole lot out there for ladies who are the height of a 12 year old and the width of a well, 20 year old. This makes trying things on an embarrassingly long and fruitless process every.single.time. My shopping partner will get tired and frustrated. I will get embarrassed and feel about as attractive as a garden gnome. I will complain unnecessarily about how everything sucks and it's all just not fair. Do I want to shop till I drop?

So how to fix it. The most logical answer to this problem would be to shop in the petites section. Duh?
Well, no. This is why the petite section doesn't work:

1. Good luck finding a store/manufacturer that actually carries a petite line that's within anything you might call a budget. Petite clothing is both rare and expensive. And now it sounds like I'm talking about exotic cars instead of shirts and pants.

2. The standard measurements of petite clothing are made for women between 5'0" and 5'4". Apparently, ladies that are shorter than 60 inches don't exist. Humph.

3. Unless you're willing to shell out quite a lot of cash (again, which I'm not), the bulk majority of petite clothing resembles the nasty old bag of clothing that your great-grandmother left you in her will. Petite clothing manufacturers seem to really like elastic waistbands, vacation/Hawaiian prints, and seasonal embroidery. Pro-tip: some people are short before they turn 85. Don't prematurely age us.

Who even thought this was a good idea? I can't.
So, petites suck. But I can totally wear juniors' XS, right? Because that's like sooper small.

Not even close to true. The acronym XS is deceivingly undefined in the real world. As we know, it stands for "extra small," but what exactly does that mean? "Small" doesn't really define a height or a width, so it really just means "a little less fabric everywhere." What it boils down to is this:
XS =/= Extra Short
XS = Extra Skinny
I am not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be extra skinny. When I work out, my thighs get bigger (it's something of a phenomenon, really). This means that someone taller than me will be wearing a size XS, while on me, the same shirt might look painted on. That is not flattering. 

I'm extra short, but I'm not extra small.
Solution #1: Get basically everything I buy hemmed. This means looking for shirts with strategically placed seams that I can rip out and re-sew and for skirts that don't have un-alterable embellishments on the bottom. Hemming clothing is irritating though. It's time consuming (or costly, if you're asking your dry cleaner to do it), and who really wants to buy new clothing just to reconstruct it, anyway? Why can't everything in the world just be perfect the first time, every time?

Solution #2: Shop alone, buy only from the sale rack, and b*tch profusely. "Alter" clothing by asking Mom to do it, cuffing all skinny jeans, and cutting the bottom 4 inches off of all other pants, promising to fix the hem later.

And that's why shopping sucks when you're below average height. 


1 comment:

  1. Same thing is true if you're 6'9" or greater... not that i would know anything about that ;)