My first fashion post is dedicated to one of my favourite retailers for petite items, the one and only ASOS. I seem to be drawn to ASOS like a moth to a flame about once every couple of months and when I do go, I go to town and paint it red.
Before I get into what I bought, here’s why I love ASOS:
- The choice is so vast, there’s something for everyone for any occasion
- It’s really easy to order and delivery is quick (two days usually and that’s not even opting for next day delivery)
- Returns are free and easy and once you’ve become a frequent shopper they recommend the sizes that should fit for each item you’re looking at due to past orders. I tend to overbuy when I shop there because I know that not everything will fit or suit me. So many times I’ve bought items that look amazing on the models and then when you try them on yourself you end up looking like you’re wearing a bin bag or a tent. But returns and exchanges are so easy so it’s worth being adventurous and trying new things with the knowledge that you can send them back and pretend you didn’t buy a pink trench that looks like a labcoat that went in the wash with a pink pair of socks when tried on (not this time but it has happened)
- They have a points system for everything you buy and offer birthday discounts, vouchers for ‘A list’ members (ie people like me who shop there regularly) and email round vouchers/ offers every so often to tempt me out of my I must not shop anymore this month mentality
As most of you know (and if not you should have guessed by my blog name!) I’m petite. I’m around the 5ft and a half mark, with the half being really important and rounded up to five foot one for the sake of ease (and because it makes me taller!). I’ve always wanted to be taller, I remember being interviewed at primary school and being asked what my ambitions were when I grew up and my one goal was to be tall (my parents have a video).
Sad times, as that didn’t happen!
I’ve always found shopping for clothes quite difficult because I’m about five inches shorter than the average person and therefore most trousers, dresses and skirts won’t fit me. For skirts and trousers they are going to be too long and yes you can get them taken up/tailored but that’s an added expense (and sewing has never really been my strong point). As for dresses, not only will they be too long but they probably won’t be at the right place on my waist and hips because they’ll be designed for someone with a longer body shape. I’ve had plenty of suggestions to shop in kids ranges (and I know plenty of petite people do) but there’s just something that feels awkward for me – I’m lucky to look young but shopping in the teenage section when you’re twice the age just makes me feel like a woman child.
On the high street some retailers have petite ranges (eg Top Shop, Miss Selfridge, New Look) and they do some great clothes but it’s always a smaller selection and as I’m not in my thirties I do wonder whether I’ll soon be a bit too old for some of those retailers. Recently I’ve found skirts in Zara which did fit (I was shocked) and that’s great but it’s always going to be hit or miss because ultimately they’re not designing the clothes to fit my body. I’m lucky that I’m also small framed because being petite and curvy is even harder to find clothing that fits. Don’t get me wrong, the options for us shorter ladies are so much more extensive than they used to be but there’s still a way to go before we have as many options as those of us above 5ft 3 (but below 5ft 9!).
However, back to ASOS. It’s the retailer that has the largest collection of petite clothes (to my knowledge anyway, if anyone has any recommendations for other petite retailers then please please let me know!). ASOS collates petite ranges from Miss Selfridge, Maya, Little Mistress, Glamorous, obviously the ASOS own brand and many others. Therefore, there’s a lot more choice and variety in terms of brand and style of clothes.
The other night I’d been sent a 10% voucher to celebrate mine and ASOS’s 6th anniversary, (congratulations to us!) and so on I went to have a look at the sale (there always seems to be a sale, another good thing about the site!). I did return a couple of items but here’s what I lept and why I like these items.
I’ve taken some photos of me in the outfits – I need to put a MASSIVE disclaimer on here because I am not a natural model. Phil and I went up to the roof terrace on our building (which does have amazing views of London) but it was cold, grey and windy and I’d be lying if I said I found it a natural experience. However hopefully they show off the clothes (and me in them!)
This is really unusual because it feels like a fleece, essentially it is a fleece, but it’s a longer length (ie a fleecy dress). It doesn’t naturally suit a petite frame because of its bagginess and the longer length but I like it anyway. It has these cut outs on the arms which make it a little bit sexier, it has the black flowery design on the sleeves and the front and it’s also warm and comfy. I contemplated getting the smaller size because this feels a bit big on me but it’s a sweater dress and it’s designed to be loose. I think this could be paired with boots or trainers but I’ve paired it with boots to dress it up a bit and elongate my short legs.
I find playsuits really flattering on a petite frame because generally they show off most of your legs and they’re slimming on the body because they give a straight silhouette and cover up any lumps or bumps on the tummy. I like the white lace flowers detail on the black and the cut outs on the arms. I tend to find playsuits are often more flattering than dresses for me because they aren’t too tight on my stomach (also good for going out to restaurants and eating a big bowl of pasta!)
Jackets are definitely items where I can be less choosy about whether they’re from a petite range. As long as the arms aren’t too long I think you can get away with a regular size and a slightly looser fit, especially if you are putting layers underneath. This jacket is completely different from anything I have – from the metallic silver to the colourful embroidered flowers and butterflies to the studs. It’s a feminine take on a biker jacket, it’s really unusual and would look great jazzing up almost any outfit. I’m always cold in the office so I’d be tempted to bring this with me and wear it at work as well (who said jackets had to only be worn outside?!).
This dress is a nightmare on a windy roof! We took so many photos of the ruffles and the hem flying everywhere before we settled on one of me inside. It’s definitely more of a spring/summer addition to the wardrobe. This sort of floaty dress is another example of what I think can work well on a shorter lady. It’s a mini dress and therefore you have to feel comfortable showing off your legs but if you do then paired with heels or trainers the dress will show off your legs and can make you look taller without looking like you’ve made a massive effort. I find mini can be the most flattering length, there’s definitely midi skirts which cut off around the knees and because they’re cutting off what is already a short silhouette they can make you look shorter. If the dress was longer it could be a bit too cutesy with the ruffles but because of the length it makes it a bit cooler and sexier. I like the floatiness because it’s comfy, the ruffles are a nice edition and give it a bit more of a spring/summer vibe. It’s really thin material so it would definitely work on holiday or for going out at the weekend and depending on what shoes and accessories are worn can be dressed up or kept relatively casual.
And that’s it for my haul. Apologies if I make no sense, it’s surprisingly difficult to describe clothes (hence why I love watching shopping hauls on YouTube). If you’re petite and have similar issues to me I’d love to hear about your favourite brands or shopping experiences (or disasters!).