Petite Blogger Spotlight: Bivi of Alive as Always

Bivi 1This week, I’m shaking things up with a fresh perspective from Bivi of Alive as Always.  I’ve been following her for a long time because I can’t get enough of her razor sharp wits and delightful style.  You’ll find a treasure trove on her blog.  From interviews with illustrators to tasty recipes to–my favorite–spotlights on ethical fashion designers, her blog is always exciting to read.  

Now, at 5’3″, most American and European designers would consider her a textbook petite lady, but in her home country of Indonesia, she’s actually taller than average!  After spending time in Germany, though, she got to experience what it’s like to be petite–and she’s offered up some of the things she learned about fashion while she was there.

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Petite, huh? Now that’s a word I never thought would be used to describe me. With the height of 161 cm—which, if online length converters serve me right, makes me about 5’3”—I’m actually one of the tall ones among my girlfriends. Pair that up with a mature face, people tend to think I’m older than I am—repeatedly mistaking me for an older sibling to my big sister and the twin to my late mother. But all of that changed the minute I moved to Germany.

Living in a country where the average woman is an inch taller than me, for the first time in my life, I was considered the small one—granted, that most of the girls in my class were 5’6” at best. Delivery men and landlords kept asking me if I was already at a legal age of 18 when I was already 21.

It was here, too, that I discovered a sudden passion for clothing. I’ve shopped more than I’ve ever shopped in my life and, ironically, in a country where my size is considered small. I could shop in the children’s sections—which saves a lot of bucks, I must say. I could buy oversized items and make them look adorable on me. But, to be honest, I prefer getting secondhand stuff instead of buying new. Here are some of the things that I have learnt from the experience:

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SIZE IS SECONDARY

First and foremost, when it comes to thrifting—whether you’re petite or not—you should know that there is a very slim chance of finding an item which will fit you perfectly right. And that’s okay! You should first look at the style of the item, whether or not you will get a lot of wear out of it, and see if it can be altered into something you’d prefer. Then and only then can you look at the size and see if it’s possible for you to wear it at all despite it being a few sizes too big. Then we move on to the next one.

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LEARN TO SEW

You don’t have to be a pro about it, it’s fine. Just learn how to put a thread through a needle and sew a hem or take in a waistline—anything simple that will be very useful to tackle the size problem. If you’re afraid of making drastic changes, do it like me: fold the waistline and sew it in place. That way, if you need to take it out again, you can just pull the thread loose. Of course, if you want to take it a step further and actually learn how to sew your own clothes, that would be even better.

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LOOK TO YOUR INNER CHILD

As everyone who is categorised as petite would tell you: never underestimate the children’s section. Well, I’m just here to repeat the message. I can’t tell you how many times the children’s section saved me—or more like how my size saved me because children’s clothes are just so much cuter. I don’t know how the section works in the U.S. but in Germany the sizes are based on your height, so it’s so much easier to find an item which will no doubt fit you better than adult clothing.

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FIND OTHER OPTIONS

Aside from thrifting—both online and offline, you can also find ‘new’ clothes by swapping with friends. The best part of this is you can ask a friend with similar sizes as yours to do it. You can even make a whole party out of it, gather all your similar-sized friends and serve out drinks and snacks with the clothes. This would not only be the perfect chance to give addition to your wardrobe, but also get rid of something you don’t wear anymore and grab that top of your friends’ which you may or may not have been eyeing for some time now—score!

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EMBRACE YOUR SIZE

You know, being petite isn’t so bad. I think it’s actually the perfect excuse to be able to wear oversized stuff without having to bust out our wallets buying the newly delivered boyfriend items. At least, that’s what I decided to do. Often, I forgot to look at the size tag on items before I dragged them to the cashier. With everything fitting too big on you and the whole boyfriend/oversized stuff being back on trend, our petiteness actually allows us to be chic without trying too hard. Embrace that and swim in those sweaters—because we can!

Okay, I guess that’s it from me! I hope these tips would really help you find clothes for your size—though I still feel like a fraud calling myself petite. By the way, I blog over at Alive as Always, where I usually show off my mostly thrifted outfits, interview illustrators, share recipes, take you on my adventures  and—best of all—showcase ethical fashion. Do come by and say hello!

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Petite Blogger Series: Lee of Lee Thrifts

children clothes 7.jpgI am so excited to feature Lee of Lee Thrifts this week in the Petite Blogger Series!  Lee’s chic outfits are what first drew me to her blog, but when you peek into it, you immediately find a fantastic variety of outfit posts, reviews, tutorials, and so much more!  Her love of fashion and zest for travel shine through, and she’s always got the best ideas for clothes and trips on a budget.  Today, she’s sharing a tip for petite bloggers that saves money and is so much fun!children clothes 4

As I’m sure any petite person out there can relate – it can be really hard to find clothes that fit and not only fit but fit well. Sure, we can get things tailored but that can get very expensive very quickly. So, I’ve found another solution that helps me save money while still looking great…

Shop in the children’s section!

With the likes of Zara and H&M coming out with children’s lines now, there is no shortage of finding chic clothing if you’re petite. So I thought I’d offer up some tips I use when shopping in the kids’ department because I’ve had some pretty good luck! (Psst, most of the pieces in these photos are from the children’s section!)

Some really awesome reasons to shop in the children’s department are:

Saving money! Clothes are normally a lot cheaper.

You don’t need to get things tailored!

You can find some pretty unique pieces.

So now some tips on finding those great children’s pieces!

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1. Shoes
Shoes are the hardest thing for me to find in adult sizes that fit. It can be really difficult to find shoes that are chic but still fit my feet! Looking through the children’s section can also be a hassle because every shoe you see has sparkles and/or gaudy flowers on top. But some places I’ve really had some luck when it comes to kids’ shoes: Nordstrom (pricey but my favorite!), Target, Zara, and Payless. The nice thing about shopping in the children’s department is that your shoes are significantly cheaper!
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2. Look for Solid Colors

Some of the prints can definitely look childish if you’re not careful. So, I like to look for clothes that are solid colored to avoid looking like I’m 10 (I mean it’s not hard to do because I am 4’9” ha).

3. Maxi Dresses/Skirts/Jumpsuits

Maxi Dresses as a petite person can be a nightmare. I mean, there are articles everywhere telling us we shouldn’t wear them because they make us look even shorter! But I’m personally a big fan. And one of the only ways I’ve been able to find jumpsuits/longer dresses that fit (that I don’t have to get hemmed) are from the kids’ department. They’re also a lot easier to fit in terms of the shape of clothing. I find pants a little harder because girls don’t have hips, you know? But most maxi skirts are stretchy and comfortable! I’ve also had my fair share of luck with jumpsuits.

4. Don’t disregard the boys’ section!
I love finding boys’ shoes at the thrift store. I’ve found some of my favorite finds that way. Boys’ shoes also run a little bigger so you might have better luck finding some dapper kids’ shoes if you have normal sized feet! I also find some cool jackets and sweaters from the boys’ department.
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Thanks so much to Devinne for featuring me! I’m over at leethrifts.com if you’d like to stop by!

 

Petite Blogger Spotlight: In A Nutshell

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I am thrilled to feature Sara of In a Nutshell today for the Petite Blogger Series!  There are few who can hold a candle to her drool-worthy collection of dresses, and I could spend forever just flipping through her outfit pics.  Apart from her fabulous sense of style, Sara is also a very talented portrait photographer, an avid reader with tons of great book suggestions, and a kitchen wizard (try her glazed donut ice cream this weekend!)  Today, she’s sharing her thoughts on size and fit for some of the most popular retro-style brands.  Take notes–I sure did!

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I have always loved being petite!  5’2” is like my lucky number (though at my most recent physical, the nurse said I was 5’3” and I nearly laughed in her face – no way did I grow an inch. I am a 28 year old woman!) and I rather enjoy feeling small among the rest (although not being able to reach things on the top shelves of the cabinet gets rather old when I’m doing dishes…).

While I’ve never had much of a problem with clothes fitting me growing up (I have never been a skinny girl but was always pretty proportionate to my height, which always helped with shopping), I struggle with it more now. I have a short torso and long legs. I mean, not that long if I barely make it over the 5 foot mark, but you know what I mean. I am not flat chested these days (thanks 20lb weight gain in recent years!) but certainly my bust isn’t what stereotypically matches my other measurements.Photo 10

So with my short torso and short stature, some brands just don’t fit me right. There is seriously nothing more disappointing than finding a REALLY cute dress online, buying it, putting it on, and seeing that dreaded 1-2 inch gap on the shoulders or in the bust or the misaligned waist seam due to your short stature. It’s happened so often to me – sometimes I can get away with it by belting the waist nicely and just making due with a baggy bust area, but other times it’s just a waste of time and money.

Pinup Girl Clothing is sadly one of those brands for me. The waists on their dresses fall too low on me so I either have a ton of room in the shoulders if I wear the waist where it’s supposed to be or I pull the shoulders down to get rid of the extra space and then the waist falls too low. They also are quite long, no? I have had to hem all but 1 of my Pinup Girl Clothing purchase just so I don’t look overwhelmed. Makes me look less “sassy pinup” and more “mommy, can I try on your clothes?” Not a good look!

Sadly, I don’t buy from PUG much at all because of it despite how beautiful the clothing is. I am certainly not going to spend that kind of cash when the fit isn’t close to being right on my body.Photo 1

But have no fear, better brands are out there! Instead of focusing on the brands that don’t work, I try to return to the brands that do and simply admire the other brands on other gals! While I always see conflicting opinions, LindyBop’s styles fit me REALLY well. I see a lot of girls who feel their sizing is off but I’ve never had an issue and whenever I’ve gone by their size charts, I’ve had success.  Their prices are also lower than some brands and their shipping is fast for them being in the UK (I am in the US) so I tend to order from them much more than others.Photo 4

I also fit really well in Bernie Dexter. If her price tag were lower, my gosh, I’d own every single one! Bernie herself is pretty petite (I think she might be the same height or one inch taller, if I recall correctly) so it makes sense that her dresses flatter a petite gal very well.

Still, even though I have challenges with some brands, I never get frustrated or think it’d be better if I were taller. Sure, if I gain 5 pounds it shows IMMEDIATELY (oh does it!) and my size 9 feet look ginormous on a shortie like me (like seriously, how does a 5’2” girl end up with size 9 feet?), but I will never get tired of hearing my 6’ tall boyfriend tell me how “little” I am (his word, not mine!) or how he wants to put me in his pocket.

I mean, it gets a LITTLE old when I am trying to make a point and I try to be serious and he just laughs at my anger and calls it cute, but…

Okay, okay, I’ve gotten a bit off track. Back to the clothes!

Bottom line is – don’t feel bad if some brands just don’t suit you. Sure, PUG isn’t the best for me (now that I think of it, neither is Collectif) and I get a little envious of other blogger goddesses twirling about in the latest Mary Blair collection, but I make it work by hemming where I can and it’s no big deal because there are so many different vintage repro brands that do flatter my petite size.Photo 7

If you struggle with some brands mentioned or you’re curious about checking into some brands that have worked for me, here are some links to their websites:

www.berniedexter.com

www.lindybop.uk (or www.lindybop.us)

www.ladyvlondon.com

www.tatyana.com

www.heartofhaute.com

www.modcloth.com (their new ModCloth label fits me really well!)

 

Petite Blogger Spotlight: Outfit Zest

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This week, the spotlight is shining on Joy from Outfit Zest! With her adventurous spirit and infectious smile, Joy is the type of lady who inspires me to get out and LIVE!  Her blog features style portraits of her friends and family, creative outfit posts, and profiles on ethical clothing brands.  Today, she’s sharing a bit about her style journey and the perks of learning to define your style.

My name is Joy and I am the 4’11” sustainable fashion blogger behind Outfit Zest, a blog featuring ethical clothing and creative portraiture. Today I’m here to talk about body positivity and creating personal style. This is a journey that I want to share with you.

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Let’s talk about being short – for real. One misfit to another:

Growing up, I was always the shortest in the class. Nicknames like ‘shrimp’ and ‘wittle baby joyjoy’ followed me around. Adults and fellow students often talked down to me, thinking I was younger than I was. At about 13 years old, I stopped growing completely.

Like anything in life, there are pros and cons to being vertically challenged. As a tiny person, I can’t reach cupboards in the kitchen without climbing up on the counter, I only see my forehead in the bathroom mirror, and I have conversations at chest height instead of seeing eye to eye. But in a positive light, I can sleep comfortably on a love seat, I get cute hand-me-downs, and children immediately seem to like me. Today there is a competition among my nieces and nephews to see ‘who will out-grow Aunt Joy first.’ So instead of resenting my height (like when I’m climbing the shelves to reach the peanut butter or after the five-hundredth short joke) I feel I have embraced my tiny stature. I have had a lifetime to get used to it, but I like being little. Little is cute. I think my sense of style reflects that because I find myself attracted to bright colors and fit & flare silhouettes. Ya’know: ladylike and cutesy outfits.

As styling advice to the petite woman, I recommend above-the-knee hemlines with a defined waist to accentuate your curves so you don’t look too much like a child. But I firmly believe that you should wear what makes you feel confident: confidence is the sexiest accessory. Joy 5But even with a confident sense of style, there may still be days when you feel out of place, like you don’t belong. Like you aren’t sure who you are supposed to be. Like you are lost. Joy 6Self-doubt is normal. Everyone goes through it. I know I don’t always feel worth it. I don’t always feel pretty. But the good thing about feelings is that they are temporary. Some days I might feel self conscious: that I’m too short or my belly isn’t flat enough. These feelings creep into my self-esteem and wear me down in other areas. They affect my confidence and my sense of personal value. That’s when I have to remember that being dissatisfied with my body won’t get me anywhere. Joy 7Your body is the greatest tool you will ever have.

What I try to do (and encourage others to do) is embrace uniqueness. Personal uniqueness. Love your mind, your hands, your face, your height. Take care of your body, eat good foods, stretch, dance, and wear your favorite clothes because clothing is the second skin we get to choose for ourselves. Clothing is the most immediate form of self-expression. Respect yourself by dressing well. Wear what you feel confident in. This will define your style and make your wardrobe reflect who you are. Joy 8You can define a sense of style playing dress up as yourself. Wear a fancy frock just because you love it. Experiment with your wardrobe and discover new combinations that make you feel good. Wear the things that make you feel like you.

Here are three easy steps to help you with your process:

  1. Create a mood board of collected outfit images you love.
  2. Notice similarities in the pictures and pull out 3-5 words to describe them.
  3. Experiment with these looks and be honest about how they make you feel.
From here, you can learn through experimentation and prune out clothes that you don’t feel confident in until you have a look that is distinctly your own.
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Loving your personal sense of style won’t make feelings of self doubt go away entirely, but it will boost confidence and help you stay true to yourself. Everyone feels out of place some of the time. Don’t let that hold you back: fitting in is overrated. Nurture your personal style, try out different flavors and discover what works best for you. Soak in the little moments and have fun creating the best version of yourself.

All the best, Joy from Outfit Zest

It’s Devinne again–if you’re a petite blogger and would like to write a guest post for this series, send me an email at moxandsocks@gmail.com to get started! 

Petite Blogger Spotlight: Petite Fashion Monster

This week, I’m shining the spotlight on Avi of Petite Fashion Monster!  I recently found her blog on Instagram, and I’ve been crazy about it ever since.  Avi is a graphic designer with five years of blogging under her belt, and all that experience shows–her outfits are dreamy and fresh, and she includes a fabulous variety of other posts, from book reviews to blogger tips.  Originally from Mexico, her posts are often written in both English and Spanish!  

Today, Avi is sharing a roundup of her top five favorite petite bloggers.  I loved reading her list and finding a few new bloggers to follow, and I hope you will too!

As a fashion blogger, I love to follow other bloggers and get inspired by them. That’s the wonderful thing about reading blogs! My favorite bloggers are petite girls. I can relate to them so easily, and I like learning about new petite brands or their new opinions on clothing. Here are my top 5 petite bloggers that you need to know and follow through all their social media. Say hello to these beautiful petite bloggers!

Avi 11. Cathy from Poor Little It Girl: She is the sweetest. Love her colorful and girly style.  Not only does she run this blog–she is the co-founder of Blog Societies and shares her blogging tips on her blog. She is very honest on her blog posts. She is like your best friend. She is my number one petite blogger. 

avi 22. Jessica from JPetite: She is a fellow Arizona petite blogger.  I know Jessica personally. She is this little fitness tornado. Right now, she is into photography. You can look at my blog for some of the outfit photos she took of me. She is also a former Pure Barre teacher and really motivates me to go on. Her style is more boho than mine but I love it. 

avi 33. Jane from Extrapetite: I found Jane her years ago thanks to Bloglovin’, and since then I’ve not stopped following her. She is really petite–she wears a shoe size 5 and has a 28 inch inseam! You can read how she makes alterations to her professional wardrobe. Her blog features mainly professional and office outfits, but still you will find some girly and fun outfits. Jane is your #GIRLBOSS to follow. 

avi 44. Esmirna from Platforms for Breakfast:  She is a petite blogger from San Diego. Her looks are insane and amazing. She has a unique style, and you are always going to see her with her high heels. Esmirna shares her blog with her husband Alex, also a fashion blogger, and together they are a powerful couple. 

avi 55. Dulce from She Petite. Obviously I will have a Mexican in my top 5. We Mexican girls are petite by nature. That’s why I love to follow Dulce and her outfits. She is a girl who I can relate to the most. She is a social media manager. Love how real is. She is a girl you need to follow on Instagram. 

I hope you like my top 5 petite bloggers. If I’m missing one, let me know. I’m always looking forward to discovering more petite girls.

It’s Devinne again–if you’re a petite blogger and would like to write a guest post for this series, send me an email at moxandsocks@gmail.com to get started! 

*all photos belong to their respective owners

Petite Blogger Spotlight: Thoroughly Modern Emily

As a short lady myself, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration from other petite bloggers.  I’ve decided to launch a series of guest posts from some of my favorite pint-sized peers, with each of them tackling an aspect of getting dressed when you’re vertically challenged.  First up is one of my closest blogger buds, Emily from Thoroughly Modern Emily.  Her clothing style is both so classic and so fun, and her writing style is such a treat to read!  Here’s what she has to say about her style evolution:

Hi! I’m Emily from Thoroughly Modern Emily, and it’s my great pleasure to write for one of my favorite blogs (and bloggers!) today! I’ve enjoyed reading this blog for so long, and am continually in awe of Devinne’s photography skills and the thoughtfulness with which she writes about an enormous range of topics. Photo #1.JPG

Here’s my lightning-round introduction: I’m a recent-ish Chicago transplant who spent most of her twenties in grad school for political science. I’m also the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, a voracious reader, a space-race and Cold War nerd, and a huge fan of full skirts. Photo #2.jpg

This photo combines two of my favorite things: stripes and an actual Apollo capsule!

I’m also a total motormouth and Abuser of Exclamation Points, but I’ll try to keep that under control. Today, I’m excited to share some of my thoughts about dressing/living in the world as a petite woman with all of you.

As a political theorist by training who specialized in political ethics, I spend far too much time thinking about the ethical implications of quotidian actions. (Wow, even bringing up my academic alter-ego has me dropping the $20 words like they’re going out of style!). As a style blogger and unrepentant clotheshorse, I also spend tons of time thinking about what I’m wearing and what I’d like to be wearing. Naturally, these two trains of thought overlap from time to time. I’ve written about my desire to be a more ethical shopaholic on my own blog, and have been trying to walk the walk and live by the principles I set out there.

One thing I’ve always been hyper-aware of is the assumptions others make about me based on what I’m wearing. Sadly, as a petite woman who has looked quite a bit younger than her actual age for her entire life, I’m used to being underestimated. As a teaching assistant and later a professor, I’d generally get one or two audible, incredulous “that’s the TA/professor?!?” outbursts a year on the first day of class. It was as if they couldn’t believe someone who looked like me could possibly be qualified to teach an undergraduate political science course.

So, when I was 23 or so, I started to dress more and more formally in an attempt to put a stop to those comments. I’d wear heels when handing back graded papers, and rather severe dresses from J. Crew and Banana Republic whenever I went to campus. It wasn’t especially effective, even as I approached my 30th birthday.Photo #3.jpg

This was my ‘first day of school’ outfit in September 2014, and a handful of students were still surprised that I was the professor. Um, how many college kids wear dry-clean-only dresses?!?Photo #4.jpg

This dress was a starting player in my teaching-wardrobe lineup. I’m wearing my hair up here, even though I hate it, because long hair is ‘not professional.’

Recently, I’ve begun to really resent the fact that young (and especially, petite) women have to dress extra formally in order to be taken seriously. It’s been shown that people are more likely to give men the benefit of the doubt than women, and will rate men as more competent than women even when all else is held equal. I’m really tired of bending over backward to demonstrate my competence to people who see my gender, age, and height and draw erroneous conclusions. As I’ve felt more comfortable in my new job, I’ve allowed myself to give in to my indignation and dress more authentically. And it feels great.Photo #5.jpg

I started off by letting my hair down (literally)…Photo #6.jpg

…Then introduced bright red and a subtle novelty print…Photo #7.jpg

…and a bright-red lip…Photo #8.JPG

…until I finally felt like myself!

I wish I could leave it at that, but I know that people will still make assumptions about my abilities simply because I’m a young-looking, diminutive woman who smiles a lot. All I can do is keep on being as awesome as I can, and work toward disrupting assumptions about what competence, strength, and intelligence looks like.

It’s been an honor to write for you all! Hope to see you on Instagram (I’m @emily.hallock), Facebook, Twitter, or over on my blog!

It’s Devinne again–if you’re a petite blogger and would like to write a guest post for this series, send me an email at moxandsocks@gmail.com to get started!