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 Post subject: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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I have a problem: I have trouble finding clothes that are small enough for me. It's ridiculous, because while I'm thin, I'm really not abnormally small. However, time and again, I find that when I go shopping, the smallest sizes are too big for me, and it always makes me feel crappy. I'm not really petite, either. I'm 5'6, so petite stuff is always too short for me and/or doesn't fit me anyway. Juniors stuff sometimes works for me, but I'm trying to get away from dressing like a kid.

I see lots of ladies who are smaller than me walking around, and they've found clothes that fit them. I imagine that designer labels are likely to run smaller, but I don't have/want to spend that kind of money... at least, unless it's absolutely necessary and worth it. I am going to be needing more professional clothes in the future, and I'd also like to upgrade some of my current wardrobe, but having saggy jeans or pants or skirts and too-big blouses really undermines whatever professional look I'm trying to cultivate. It's really frustrating and kind of demoralizing to go out to attempt to buy clothes, and find that nothing fits, as I'm sure pretty much every woman can relate to. It sounds ridiculous to complain about maybe, but I don't like shopping to begin with, and when you throw the fact that nothing fits into the mix, it can be downright depressing trying to find work clothes or a fancy dress.

Anyway, my question: small ladies, where do you shop? Are there stores or websites that you find run smaller than others? How about jeans? Am I doomed to just have to get everything taken in, thereby negating the money I'd save by shopping at chain stores?

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Ann Taylor Loft. They have smaller sizes without needing petites, although petites sometimes still works in short sleeved or sleeveless tops and skirts. they usually run true to size, so it's easy to order online later, which is great since sale stuff in stores can sell out fast (they have good sales!)

When I first lost weight down to my lowest, I actually had this same problem. It was surreal to go from plus sizes to "regular sizes" to things being too big all in the space of a year. I couldn't even find Levis to fit because they ran big. A lot of department store designer stuff runs BIG. Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren do.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:47 pm 
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Oh hey! If you can wear black size 2/32 length Calvin Klein skinny jeans, I have a pair that was worn maybe twice that you can have. They are stretch denim so are probably sized closer to a 4 in regular denim.

Until I gained weight after my surgeries, my blue ones were my favorite, most comfortable jeans.

A tip on designer stuff: if you do want to get some pieces, the outlets usually have a lot of the smaller sizes because stores like Saks get lots of those sizes, but those aren't the best sellers at outlets, so you can get stuff 70% off.

For suiting: Marshalls and TJ Maxx almost always have great Calvin Klein suits really cheap. Last year I got a linen one for $60 for job interviews. I think you would like CK stuff because it's very plain, basic and not at all froufrou. You can usually find sizes 2-4 easily.

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Last edited by lavawitch on Fri May 20, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:47 pm 
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When I was once very small, but still tallish, I found most of my stuff thrifting. Clothes used to run smaller, I guess. I also found some weirdo awesome stuff from the Juniors department at Winners.

Or you could go to Japan!


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Thanks, guys!

The thing that makes me maddest is that I'm really NOT off-the-charts small, and then I feel like a crasshole asking about it, or telling people that I can't shop at such-and-such store because it's too big. Oh well.

Vijita, I do thrift quite a bit, and I have the same problem at thrift stores. It was better when I was in Canada, but here, things are very noticeably bigger. I loved shopping in Japan! I was an amazon woman there, and it ruled.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:56 pm 
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There's a store in the westfield mall called Aritzia that runs pretty small. I'm not sure if they have "professional" stuff though. They are more expensive than what I would normally buy but I have a hard time finding stuff that fits me too so I think it's kinda worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:01 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
Thanks, guys!

The thing that makes me maddest is that I'm really NOT off-the-charts small, and then I feel like a crasshole asking about it, or telling people that I can't shop at such-and-such store because it's too big. Oh well.

Vijita, I do thrift quite a bit, and I have the same problem at thrift stores. It was better when I was in Canada, but here, things are very noticeably bigger. I loved shopping in Japan! I was an amazon woman there, and it ruled.


I was shocked to find out that smaller women have the same problem larger women do. And nobody is sympathetic to that problem! I left the Levis store so stressed when I couldn't find jeans. I ended up going to Nordstroms and buying $90 Calvin Kleins just because they fit perfectly. The worst part was snooty sales clearks telling to wear juniors, but I have HIPS because I'm an adult woman.

I think shopping just sucks for pretty much everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:23 pm 
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Have you tried Zara? They have a lot of nice office basics. It's a Euro brand so things seem to run small. Or, at least, I can barely squeeze into the largest stuff they have and I don't consider myself that big. There's one in the mall and a bigger one next to Nike Town.

And yes, Japan. I felt like a beast.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:50 pm 
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I second whoever suggested vintage because sizes used to run smaller. Also have you tried H&M? You guys have H&M right? Their sizes run really small, I measured a UK16 skirt of theirs the other day & it had the measurements of a size 12.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:00 pm 
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I think maybe H&M US sizes are different because I remember barely squeezing into stuff in England and then easily being on the smaller end here. It's weird!


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:05 pm 
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American Apparel always has small sizes...at least everything there is too small for me :(

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:11 pm 
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vijita wrote:
I think maybe H&M US sizes are different because I remember barely squeezing into stuff in England and then easily being on the smaller end here. It's weird!


Their stuff really seems to be all over the place. I couldn't squeeze into a tank tops that say 12, which was one of the biggest ones on the rack, but I just got an M dress, despite not fitting in an L in another style.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 7:38 pm 
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I'd like to second the recommendations for H&M and Zara. I found that Zara runs really small, but they can be a little expensive (for what it is). I get most of my clothes at H&M or Target anymore. I don't know that Target necessarily has smaller than usual clothes, but I bet you could find some things in H&M as their seems to be a good deal of variation there. And some of the professional clothes at H&M are really nice! I'm always getting compliments on blazers I've gotten there.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:10 pm 
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In addition to vintage (or usually in conjunction with), I suggest higher-end consignment stores. I was an obsessive consignment shopper during college, and now I sell all extraordinarily small designer stuff to them because they cherish small sizes. You should be able to find nice things at really great prices, usually lower than the prices of new clothes at mid-level or chain stores.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Thank you, guys!

I have had very mixed results with H&M. I can usually find a few things to fit me, but whether or not the things that fit are things I like... I also am pretty sure the sizes must be adjusted for Americans, which again, puts me at the bottom or out of the size range.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to find stuff that fits me at Target, which is a damn shame, because you can get some really cute clothes there!

I will definitely try some higher-end consignment shops. I had not thought of that!

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:38 pm 
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I have a friend who is tiny, and she says the only place she can find clothes that fit (outside of children's stores) is Wet Seal.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:44 pm 
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the only place i can consistently find clothes that fit me is Urban Outfitters. the sizes vary between brands and i run anywhere from a 0-4, but it's pretty much the only place i can buy clothes these days. of course the downside is that a lot of their stuff is more trendy than clean cut. also i've found some nicely cut t-shirts at a store called Madewell, but they are pretty expensive and have a lot of wool products.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Wet Seal still exists?


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:53 pm 
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I hate how variable the sizes are at H&M. One thing in one size is totally different than something else in another size and I hate how they only make certain items in certain sizes. I wonder if this applies to bigger as well as smaller sizes. Some things they only carry up to size 10 or 12 and then others go up to larger sizes. Even though I've never really thought about it, I bet this applies to smaller sizes, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:47 pm 
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I recommend yesstyle.com or Asian sellers on eBay. You sound close to my size and I have to order from Japan to get a good fit. Either that or take stuff to a tailor.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 11:31 pm 
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My friend who is tiny like me has good luck with Forever 21.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 12:40 am 
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[quote="Nick"]I recommend yesstyle.com or Asian sellers on eBay. /quote]

I have a friend who is really small and she also orders from yesstyle.com and a few other Korean places. And ASOS, but that might just have been for outerwear.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:05 am 
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I always wonder what thin people in the US do when I pull on size 4 (or sometimes 2) clothes and they fit, 'cause I am not a small person. In my experience, Calvin Klein runs quite large, so probably stay away from that label. I also wouldn't bother with lowish-end chains like Kohl's and Mervyn's. High-end consignment shopping is a great idea. You might have luck shopping the clearance racks at decent department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's. Find out which brands come in size 0 and seek those out. Gap has sizes 00 and 0, so you should have luck there. I would say their bottoms definitely don't run big, though their tops might. An XS might work for you. Express also carries 00.

You've probably already figured this out, but if you're in the misses section and an item is sized S-M-L with no XS option, avoid the disappointment and don't try it on. "Small" is 4-6 (sometimes even 8), so it's almost certainly going to be too big for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:26 am 
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Momo wrote:
American Apparel always has small sizes...at least everything there is too small for me :(

Yeah they do run very small, just with messy ethics.

I also have friends who are about size 4 (Australian 6-8) and they seem to buy a lot of clothes off ASOS in whatever size the models wear. I don't know if you're into the style but on www.stopstaring.com I fit a Large when I'm 5"6' and about 145lbs, usually more of a medium in other brands. They also do a wide range of sizes, like 2XS to 2XL. They're really awesome clothes too, if a bit expensive, I think it's worth it for a few nice pieces. People always ask me where I got my dresses from. I have heard that US clothes are running bigger because the average size is going up, I think it's happening here a bit too.
What about Chinatown? Or Asian boutiques. I'm sure SF would have a few and you can at least try things on if you are worried about not fitting into things. They have awesome clothes too.

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 Post subject: Re: Small Woman Clothes
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 5:06 am 
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jordanpattern wrote:
I have had very mixed results with H&M. I can usually find a few things to fit me, but whether or not the things that fit are things I like... I also am pretty sure the sizes must be adjusted for Americans, which again, puts me at the bottom or out of the size range.



It sounds like you need to shop in UK H&M and I need to shop in US H&M! Their sizes are really odd, I have a UK size 12 dress from there but I can't get into their size 16 skirts / shorts even though I'm a UK14 almost everywhere else.

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