Shopping Tips for Petites

Shopping Tips for Petites 



An FTF friend and follower, Wendy, requested that we do a post on finding fashion for petites and especially petite pants.  Since petite is no where in my vocabulary, I’ve enlisted the assistance of all my “Pretty Petite” friends – Terese, Lynn and Annie, who are also FTF friends, followers and supporters.  I tried to get Wendy to be part of this post.  However, she’s requesting that FTF do a fashion makeover with her…that’s a post for another day!

Here’s what our “Pretty Petites” had to say about finding petite fashions and pants to fit:


“I am a 5’4″ middle aged woman… I have difficulty shopping for pants at the box stores because they typically do not go small enough for my size except in juniors and I am NOT a junior…. I have had much success at Ann Taylor, Loft and Express. They have high quality clothing made for the modern woman and typically have awesome sales. My height is borderline petite.  I can go between regular and petite length. Sometimes the petite just fits better. When I have things that need to be altered, I take them to my cleaner lady who does a fabulous job with alterations.”


Lynn is 5’3″.  “Finding Petite pants has improved but still not great. Some of the nicer brands carry Petites (Chico’s, Boston Proper, Carson’s, Coldwater Creek (I think??), but in most cases they don’t carry the variety that a regular size has. Altering can be iffy depending on the style because most times so much has to be taken off that the shape of the pant doesn’t look right anymore and forget about any bedazzling at the bottom of slacks if they have to be altered. When I find a petite pair that fits and I really, really like them, I’ll buy more than one color BUT I wanted to do that with the Not My Mother’s Jeans and they didn’t stock any other colors (that are available in regular sizes).

Summer is good because I can wear cropped or capri and that solves the problem. This is also an issue with workout yoga pants – have to have these hemmed or I trip on them. For the most part, I won’t even look at pants that aren’t petite for fear of liking a pair and then can’t have them.  Long sleeve anything in a regular size is always too long on the arms.  I have permanent creases on all my jackets and tops from folding the arms up!”


Annie is 5’3″.  “Hmmm… I so rarely get pants altered. I’d say all my pants in the past two years have all come from White House Black Market; and they didn’t need altering.”

Here are FTF’s Top 10 Recommended Shops for Petites:

1.  J. Crew:  They’ve takes the most popular styles and shortened the sleeves, torso and inseam to better fit smaller frames.  Recommended for woman 5′ – 5′ 4″.
2.  Express:  If you haven’t set foot inside an Express for year, give it a shot.  You may be surprised to see a plethora of petite skirts, trousers and tops under $100.00.
3.  Anthropologie:  Since Anthropologie was a pioneer in modern petite market in the U.S., you’ll find a wide ranging selection of ready-to-wear with form-fitting arm holes, higher knee breaks and tailored sleeves.
4.  American Eagle Outfitters:  Looking for distressed denim, boyfriend jeans or bell bottoms?  Head over to American Eagle Outfitters.  On-line there are options for shorter inseams under $50.
5.  Ann Taylor:  Ann Taylor’s petite line has been around for years.  It’s particularly useful when you need plus-size petite clothing since options go up to size 16P.
6.  Loft:  Loft isn’t all work and no play.  They carry faux leather leggings (that don’t look cheap), oversized sweater dresses and even scuba pencil skirts.
7.  Gap:  Gap isn’t just for basic petite tees and denim.  You can also find a wide variety of dresses, rompers, shorts, skirts, and jackets.
8.  The Limited:  When you need sheath dresses and suit blouses, The Limited is still a go-to.   But don’t overlook the outwear.  Often, an affordable motto jacket or swing coat is hanging just around the corner.
9.  Old Navy:  Walk three feet into an Old Navy store and you’ll likely bump into a petite plaid top or toggle coat.  They also have very reasonably priced workout clothes.  (No need to trip on your yoga pants Lynn!)
10. Talbots :  One of the best selection for petites.  Offers both Petite and Women’s Petite.


  1. Kenlyn Nash-Demeter says:

    You girls have done it again! Great post! Good thing I saved my clutch purses! I am a purse alcoholic , and accessories of most any kind. My daughter loves to shop in my closet and drawers. YOU GO GIRLS!

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