Petite Pet Peeve

I’m a short girl. At almost 29 years of age, I’ve not experienced a growth spurt since 14, when all the boys and most of the girls in my year overtopped me. So here I am, at all of 153 cm tall (that’s about 5 feet for those familiar with the Imperial system).

And my pet peeve is this: I can rarely find clothes that fit me properly. What’s with all the short girl hate in Australian fashion?

OK, hate may be a strong word. But let me put it this way; in Australia, NO high street or local designer fashion labels I can think of cater to us vertically challenged ladies. Every time I finally bite the bullet and buy a pair of jeans or trousers, I always have to get them taken up. All these en vogue flowy blouses, longline tops, jeans with cool details on the hem (like zippers), certain cuts of skirts and dresses… As much as they look gorgeous on the leggy models, they just look all wrong for me. And I’m sure I’m not the only one with this dilemma.

But I shouldn’t complain — it’s no big deal, right? Just get those clothes taken up, taken in, let out, whatever… I will tell you now: no, no, no, a thousand times NO. The extra (and increasingly exorbitant) cost of alterations aside, many times merely taking up the hem alters the proportions of the garment. I am an adult woman with adult woman proportions, except shorter than the average.

Now, without putting too fine a point on it… there’s an entire industry catering to plus sized women and men. But there are no petite collections for us shorties. I either have to shore up the extra cash to cover the cost of alterations (and scour the land for a tailor that will actually do said alteration, particularly for the more interesting cuts and materials), or shop online or overseas.

It’s not like I can do anything to make myself grow the vertical centimetres I need to conform to the ideal. I suppose I’m supposed to shop in the kids’ department perhaps?

Don’t even get me started.

Context: Commercial fashion models tend to be at least 170cm or taller. The average Australian woman is 161cm according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.