Fellow petite women we feel your woes, trying on jeans to find that they may be better suited worn with a pair of stilts, to the disappointment of a 'knee length dress' that ends up drowning you and fitting like an unhappy sack... there's nothing wrong with being in the 5ft and barely over category, but when it comes to shopping for alternative clothing it can be a mammoth time consuming hobby, endlessly scouting out those suitable pieces of new attire.
As someone who's barely on the cusp of 5ft myself it's long been an irksome search for clothing that actually fits me without making me look like I've started a new trend for the 'alternative bag lady'. Add in being on the smaller dress size category to that and you may as well give up hope in finding clothing that actually fits properly.. yet we shouldn't be made to feel like a burden on the alternative scene, there's nothing wrong with having a petite frame, we should rejoice in all body shapes and sizes, no matter what your dress size.
When shopping it can seem like many alternative companies have left us shorter ladies out of their range, with most favouring a standard body size and height where do you turn to for clothing that will make you feel fantastic as well as fitting you snuggly and comfortably? Thankfully my many years of endless shopping, changing room visits and home shopping have resulted in a favoured list of alternative companies to shop from, ones who haven't left us smaller framed ladies out in the dark, who are certainly worth paying a visit.
Fabulous fitting tops.
Tops have been my major brunt as a petite lady, not every company gets it right, how many times have you tried a petite fit top on only to be left glaring at what looks like an ill fitting crop top? But one company who have got their fit down to a 'T' for tops is Lady K Loves, so much so that I've often worn their tops to death, the fit is just that amazing! With limited edition designs, you'll need to be quick to snap up their latest ranges, but your wardrobe will thank you for their snug fitting, flattering tops.
Continuing the rockabilly trend, Collectif are another must visit for their range of tops, whilst admittedly they can be a bit hit and miss at times, their fitted blouses and shirts have never failed me yet. A must visit for their dresses also, with many of their designs having a flattering fit even on a shorter frame.
Another company worth paying a visit is Miss Fortune, with tops designed for a high waist fit these are perfect for those of us with more of a petite frame, offering a snug fit with their amazing knitwear range.
For more of a darker look, Killstar do offer some shirts and tops in their range that are a great fit for petite frames, whilst their vests may be little too low cut for us petite ladies, their shirts are spot on for fit.
Snug fitting trousers and jeans
Jeans are a real pain as a petite lady, even capri's don't fit as they should, often sitting like pair of shrunken jeans left in the wash for too long. With many companies failing to offer anything below a 32" inside leg, short of sewing turn up's on those jeans we're left with few options to turn to.
Leggings are of course an option, but not all of us want to wear a pair of jeggings as our nearest jeans option. Thankfully, I've found Phaze's trousers to be a good fit in the past, with most of their jeans falling at 30-31" inside leg.
Banned apparel are one to try, although their smaller sizes are often the only ones where a shorter fit is available, with their size 26-30" jeans available with a 30" inside leg, sadly for sizes above those you'll be left with a 32" inside leg at best.
For more of a straight fit jean go to Freddies of Pinewood, with a 30-31" inside leg available on a selection of their jeans range, you can find a comfortable fitting pair of jeans. Their New Norma jeans and Rivet jeans offer the best fit for us petite ladies.
Great fitting dresses
Dresses can often be a bit of a pain when it comes to length, we may as well cross those maxi fit dresses off the list, lest we end up cutting off more layers of fabric than we'd like to ensure a decent fitting frock. But all hope is not lost, there are some great brands to shop from when it comes to alternative dresses.
One brand I can't fault for a great fit when it comes to dresses is Hell Bunny, the sizing is spot on with their pencil fit dresses offering a great actual knee length fit for a petite frame. As a brand that's widely available in most alternative shops around the country this is great news!
Hearts & Rose London are another brand offering a great fit for petite frames, with a great selection of gothic and rockabilly styled designs available across their range. Another brand that's widely stocked in most alternative shops, so you can try their dresses on with ease to find the best fit.
Whilst there still is a long way to go for petite alternative clothing, with the only other option available being custom made attire when you want to shop alternative. Thankfully, these brands appear to be taking some notes on their fit when it comes to petite frames, designing items that look great no matter what your size or shape.
There are, gasp, some high street options available where petite sizes are catered for, although even those have often left me sighing in the changing room at the poor fit and sizing. Don't be afraid to shop around for petite clothing, my best advice is to try everything on before buying, thankfully a lot of alternative retailers offer returns, making it somewhat easier at least to try those new items on in the comfort of your home.
One final tip for making petite clothing shopping even easier is to google those new purchases before you shop, especially with bigger alternative brands, some retailers will list full clothing measurements for their items, including the length to gauge just how well that item will fit. Search for those clothing items by name and you may well stumble upon a shop or two listing full measurements for that item. Yes, it may be a little time consuming, but it's stopped me from making some costly sales purchases that would have been a disappointing fit when they arrived!
Hopefully, alternative companies will start to listen to us petite framed ladies all the more often, taking us into consideration when listing sizing options and cutting out new designs. For the time being at least we have a few trustworthy brands to shop from.