Jeans that Run Small: Paige Premium Denim

Ahh…the search for the perfect pair of jeans. Living in Southern California, jeans are a necessity. We seriously wear them EVERYWHERE here. So it is important to have jeans that not just fit, but also look expensive and dressy. In a designer denim-less crisis, I desperately tried all the heavy hitters, like Seven for All Mankind, Joes, and Citizens of Humanity. Being as petite as I am, I couldn’t find anything that fit slim enough in the thigh, or had a low enough rise. That is, until I found Paige Premium Denim.

Paige Premium Denim in size 24 (the smallest available) runs pretty small. I’ve had good luck with the fit of the thigh (very slim!) and the rise, which fits low on me, even though I’m short waisted. The fits I’ve had luck with so far are Hollywood Hills and Laurel Canyon, which have a lower rise than some of the other fits. Paige also comes in a petite size, but I found the petite size 24 to run a tad bigger in the leg and thigh than the regular size (weird!). The fit also depends on the wash, so it’s worth it to check out a few washes and fits to find the ones that run small. I’ve found the McKinley wash to run small.

Even though Paige Premium Denim runs small, I have still had to take in the waist and get the length hemmed, but this is not costly, and completely worth it.

Some of my Paige PD Collection – all size 24 regular length after alterations.
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Brand that Sometimes Runs Small: Banana Republic Petites

My closet would be in a sad state if it weren’t for the Banana Republic Petites line. While not everything works, I find a few gems here and there. The BR aesthetic is pretty close to my person style, so it has been a great resource for me. The petite XS and petite 00 items either fit just right, or seem to be about 1 size too big. Here is a rundown of what the fit has been for me so far:

Tops/Blouses:
I put the tops in 3 categories: silky, button down, and rayon/stretchy.

Silky tops in PXS always fit about 1-2 sizes too large on me. This includes the bust, waist and sleeve. I suppose a tailor could make one work, but it would need to be altered to within an inch of it’s life, and I’m a little nervous to take that leap. For instance, this top looked ridiculous on me. The puff sleeve certainly doesn’t help.

Petite silk tie-neck blouse


Button down “work” shirts in PXS are always about 1 size too big. The sides could be taken in easily enough by a tailor, but I’ve found the shoulder is also a little big, and might be more difficult to take in. Try it if you’re brave!

Rayon/stretchy tops in PXS usually fit pretty well. The stretchy fabric certainly helps the fit, since they’re cut smaller. Most of the things from BR I own are of this variety. For example, this top fit me fantastically!

Petite sleeveless tie-neck top (rayon/spandex)

Jackets:

I’ve found a few blazers in P00 that have worked me, and each one has had the word “stretch” on the label. Go figure, since the stretchy fabric garments are cut smaller right? Look for things that say “stretch”, and there’s a chance it’ll fit.

Pants:

Just like with the jackets, the P00 pants that have the word “stretch” somewhere on the label have worked for me in the past. However, I still have needed the waist taken in just a bit, but this is an easy alteration, and not really a big deal. My favorite cut was the Ryan, since it was a little slimmer and sat lower on the waist (I’m short-waisted, so lower waists on pants are more flattering), however, I haven’t seen the Ryan cut in a while, and think BR is phasing it out. So sad! I really hate the wide leg trouser look this fall/winter, as my little legs get lost in all that fabric! Oh well, maybe fitted trousers will come back in soon. If need be, a tailor can slim the legs on your trousers.

Petite plaid houndstooth wide-leg pant (way too wide for tiny legs!)


Jeans:

Forget it! BR jeans run big all over. The waist, thigh, and leg are always huge on me. I’ll pay for premium denim that fits WAY better any day!

Dresses and Skirts:

BR dresses and skirts in PXS and P00 run about 1 size too big. On dresses, I find the shoulders a little big, and the chest seaming too low, so the girls are never where they should be. The sides usually need some taking in, and the hem is usually just a tad too long. The dresses that have the most promise after easy alterations are the silk sheath dresses. Just get the sides taken in a bit, and, wallah! Perfect. Similar to the dresses, the hem of the skirts is usually a little too long, and the waist has always been too big, so that they sit on the low hip instead of the low waist where it should be.

All in all, BR petites is definitely worth checking out! There are gems to be found, and with some simple alterations, most items will work well.

All photos from bananarepublic.com

Introduction

At 4’11” and a slim 85lbs, I’m quite petite. Now in my mid-twenties, I’ve found myself in a bit of a fashion crisis. Like many 20-somethings, my wardrobe was a bit schizophrenic. A hodge podge of “schlepping to class” basics left over from my college days, cheap “fast fashion” clubbing attire falling apart at the seams, and a collection of clothes that I didn’t really like, but bought because “it fits” or “it was on sale”. My wardrobe was immature with no style and no direction. After a frantic closet clean-out, I was left with little clothing, and a mission. I want to be stylish! The problem that faces me now is how to build a respectable wardrobe when even 00 and petite sizes are too large.

Juniors sizes can sometimes fit, but what twenty-something fashionista would be caught dead in a cherry laden mini skirt off the racks at Hot Topic? No, no…give me Marc, Miu Miu, even Chanel. But, those beautiful clothes in my size? Fat chance. Tirelessly scouring the fashionable department and chain stores for something, anything, that runs small, I turned to the internet community for help. Surely there are other tiny petite women with the ingenuity and knowledge I need to quench my fashion thirst?

I found quite a few fashion blogs catering to the petite woman, but I found it largely useless in my particular case. Being petite in general isn’t easy, but try being the petitest of them all! In this era of vanity sizing, I’ve been sized out of many clothing lines, petites included. I need more than just information on where to purchase size zeros and petite sizes. I need to know where I can purchase TINY size zeros and petite sizes. I found my plight to be often overlooked.

Add my ego to this equation (I like to call it petite elitism), and I refuse to look anything less than polished.

So, the point of this blog will be to share the things I find that work for me, in the hopes that it will be helpful to other tiny petites looking to dress as fantastic and stylish as the big girls.

For reference, my by no means professionally taken measurements are:

Height: 4’11”
Weight: 85 pounds
Bust: 30 inches
Waist: 23 inches
High Hip: 29 inches
Low Hip: 32 inches
Thigh: 17.5 inches
Calf: 11 inches
Inseam: 29 inches
Shoe: 5/35 (ranges from 4.5/34.5 – 5.5/35.5 depending on the brand)

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