Enter Henrietta Pertuz, a designer whose clothing is tailored for petite and stylish ladies like myself. Here are a few tips on shopping petite from Henrietta herself, as well as some photos of her pieces. Enjoy!
Henrietta Pertuz's five tips for petite fashionistas:
1) If you buy something off the rack in a regular size and you are petite (5'4" or shorter), it probably does not fit you correctly. I learned this the hard way, and it's the reason why I started my clothing line. I spent most of my twenties in clothes with sleeves that partly covered my hands, armholes that were too low, dresses that hit mid-calf and pants that were too long -- or hemmed with masking tape, or hemmed too short. Either find time for the tailor or buy clothes made for petite women.
2) Stay away from pants that are too long. I still can't erase the image of myself falling on my face in front of my college crush because my jeans were too long! A 29"-30" inseam works for most petite women. If you are a shorter petite (under 5'0") and must hem, still start with a petite size. This way, at least you know the rise and hip measurements will fit you and you won't have to recreate the whole garment.
3) Baggy clothes don't do us any favors. I wore lots of baggy sweaters and muu muu-esque clothes after gaining the freshman 15, and still shudder in horror when I see the photos! I looked like I had gained the freshman 30. The reverse is true, too. If you are tiny (say, under 100 lbs), wearing really baggy clothes can make you look much younger. Petite women have lots of different body shapes. If you are more voluptuous, as many petite women are, you should embrace your curves.
Dressing in one color and wearing vertical lines (pleats, ruffles, or
stripes) can definitely lengthen your frame. But finding the right fit
is just as important. Those stripes won't work for you unless the
garment fits well.
5) Finding good fit and quality is much more important than following a trend. If you like the way something fits you, and it is well-made, then you should buy it in 2-3 colors and keep it forever. Buy wardrobe "building blocks" that fit and flatter your body shape. Shift dresses, skinny pants that go from day to night, the perfect button down blouse to show off your lovely collarbone...these are examples of investment pieces that will never go out of style. You can pass down to your kids, nieces, etc. and they'll love you for it!