Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE my fashion. This love however, often leads to frustrating, pull-your-hair-out experiences when it comes to buying clothes because I am petite and curvy – what a fashion nightmare.
I am the exact opposite to every model that walks the runways the world over –long limbs and boyish figure I do not have – which means I fill out and drown in pretty much all the clothes available on the high street.
And before you point out that most brands do now have a petite range, let me say that being curvy means most tops are frustratingly too small around the bust and too wide around the waist if you go up the sizes to accommodate said bust.
I personally find that most petite ranges are not so bad for the bottom half, especially with skirts because as long as the waist fits, the rest of the material either hangs down or is stretchy enough to accommodate a bigger bum. However, I’m not too sure how well these ranges fare for those with very big bums, as I don’t have much of an issue in this department. Do comment below if this is an issue for you.
I find that fashion and the fashion industry still isn’t as accommodating for all the different body shapes out there. It is still one body type that is considered to design, create and display products, which comes across as a sweeping generalisation of women and their bodies.
Online shopping is a particular nightmare, which through trial and error, I have become better at. In my trial and error, asos.com has become my much-loved go to place. (Mainly because, for a tenner a year, you get unlimited next day deliveries and free collections – who else offers anything of comparable value?)
(Mind you, if anyone does, let me know!)
Looking at every single model on asos.com, I am once again hyper-aware of the complete opposites in body type these women are in comparison to me.
However, I have learnt a few tricks to aid me in my decision making process – whether something will look good on me or not and whether it will fit me or not. I don’t always buy from the petite section and so as a shorty, I always make a point of noticing the lengths of the clothes I like – for dresses and skirts, the point at which the hem finishes on the model tells me where it will sit on me.
Dresses that are super short on models, and border on being potentially indecent anytime other than standing, are the ones that will fit me best. And while this may not work for all short girls, as the torso area will also be a bit bigger in proportion with taller girls, having a bigger bust negates this problem.
Similarly, when looking for midi skirts that are not part of the petite range, I have to look for those skirts that fall at the knee or just slightly above so that when I wear them, they will fall at mid-calf. For maxi skirts, when looking outside the petite range, there is not much that can be done, except tailoring them. Luckily for me, this is an option and so I look for those that do not have elaborate patterns and adornments at the hem, so that the skirt can be cut from the bottom.
As with maxi skirts, when I buy trousers, I usually just tailor the hem to make the length shorter. But my ultimate favourite over the past year, and a current winter staple, is the peg trouser. Usually mid to high rise waist and tapering down to circle the ankles, it is a flattering cut, which looks good on everyone I have seen wear it. It is also a great solution for those girls with tiny waists and a bigger bum.
On to the top half of the body, and buying tops that accommodate bigger busts can be very much a hit and miss – having a bigger bust means being aware that tops will always fall slightly higher on you than on a girl with a smaller bust, as is the case with all the models.
One such item is the crop top. These have been bang on trend since last year, and don’t seem to going anywhere for the coming year. They are also a bit of a nightmare – most crop tops are of stretchy fabric so it’s more a case of being aware that any items models wear will always come up higher on us than sits on the model.
Bralet-style tops and dresses are, at least for me anyway, simply out of the running as they just do not fit properly – yep it’s the bust and waist problem. This is because most only come in the standard numbered sizes or in small, medium or large, rather than by bra size.
And those were some solutions for the nightmare experiences that fashion, and in particular, online shopping, present for us petite and curvy gals.