Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Where are the Petite Plus Size Clothes?

6 Comments

It finally warmed up today enough for people to shed coats even if we still wore sweaters while we were out in the sunshine – something new and different, really. So I went clothes shopping. I wanted to pick up a few new spring things that fit me well where I am right now, which is up over last year, and was willing to fork over some $$ to get new stuff. Being a large round person, I know that there are limited options for shopping but I know where they are and where to go for what.

It was a frustrating day.

I went to two different places and tried on a bunch of things in each one – tops, dresses, pants – casual and work appropriate. Nothing fit. Not because they were too small – I was shopping in the Big Girls Store – but because they weren’t designed for short people. It’s infuriating.

Clothes for regular people are cut a particular way. Tall people and short people need different proportions, not just having the length be made longer or shorter. I tried on dresses and the shoulders were too broad, the back sagged, the fullness of the hips hit 3″ too low, and they fell to my ankles. It was totally ridiculous.

The one store used to be a great source for pretty petite clothes. There was a small section where they were all pulled together, easy to find, and ranging from dress pants to jeans to jackets to knit tops. It was wonderful and every time I went, I’d come home with something that fit me well and looked good. A few years ago the store policy changed and those petites got spread around the store, making them harder to find. Now they hardly have any at all.

How can I dress in cute clothes that fit me well, even at my large round size, if they don’t make them for short people? There are lots of short, fat ladies who need clothes and who would buy them if they could find them. If you know of any good spots – online or in person, though online would be better – let me know.

—- Edited to add —–

I’ve watched enough What Not to Wear to know the kinds of things that will suit my body type (triangle, with hips larger than the top part).  But they don’t make tops that are fitted at the top and nice and floaty on the bottom (i.e., not clingy) for petite plus sized people.  Somehow they think that boxy shapes work well for anyone who is large.  Not to mention the insistence on horizontal stripes.  What is up with that??

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6 thoughts on “Where are the Petite Plus Size Clothes?

  1. My local Macy’s has a large petite section that had a wide variety of sizes.

    And you are right – petites are annoyingly hard to find in larger sizes – and when you look around at people’s builds – that doesn’t make any sense at all.

    I checked CJ Banks for you – because I love their sister store (Christopher and Banks) and know they have petites in a wide variety – but like you have been finding – CJ Banks offers no petites. . .

  2. J.C. Penney online and in their catalog offers most of their clothing in a Woman’s Petite – usually size 14W-24W.

  3. Talbots has a pretty extensive plus/petites section. You have to find a “Talbots Woman” store to find them though. If it’s a regular Talbots store where they’ve just sprinkled in a few plus sizes here and there, then the plus/petites are very few.

    Of course, you can also shop Talbots on line if you can’t find a “TW” store near you. Unfortunately, like any other store, their sizes are not necessarily consistent – from one style to another I wear different sizes – and even move between regular and petite. Generally, I wear a size larger in petities than in regular, but often I need to go there to get the proportions right at least on tops. On bottoms, I can wear a petite skirt, but petite pants are too short.

    On the bright side, if you order from Talbots on line and need to return it, you can take it to any Talbots store (except maybe not an outlet) – even if they don’t carry plus sizes there. That’s very convenient for me, as there is a regular Talbots store less than a mile from my house, and I always go there to make my returns (from store or on line). I’m sure they love to see me coming! 😉 But it is a convenience.

    Good luck.

  4. My grandmother used to specialize in altering clothes for short rich ladies. I am guessing that with retailers in general not doing so well, “niche” sizes are the first thing to go. You can find more online but then you have no idea if it will fit/look good. For your really nice stuff, it might be worth getting it altered to fit well.

    I have a lot of fit issues myself and I don’t take my own advice — I think that most of us do because of the way clothes are marketed to fit some mythical average — average length, average size, etc.

    My husband has fit issues too, so it’s not just the girls! We can all be miserable together. 🙂

  5. U.S. female clothing sizes are soooo weird. It just amazes me that off-the-rack pants are usually the right length for me, since I have much longer legs than your average woman. Not that I can ever find pants I like. Nowadays, they are low-slung (yuck!) and usually don’t have pockets. The only ones with pockets seem to be jeans and those cut-off pants (which I still want to call peddle-pushers), and I want something to wear to work. I figure if it’s depressing for me, heaven help people who don’t have long legs or are overweight. There’s gotta be big money in this somewhere for some smart person who’s got the time.

  6. I recently discovered the site http://www.onestopplus.com
    and I love it!

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