Vicky, a dynamo from Boston came to me in the Spring for help with her style. (Yes I work with women from all over the world!)
Another happy client referred her to me because her experience 5 years ago was so positive.
Here’s what Vicky said, “ I am short, petite, short waisted and curvy/bulgy in all sorts of places.
Besides the usual struggle of finding clothing that fits my not-skinny body, I’m perplexed by the current popular silhouette of skinny pants and blousy shirts that make me look pregnant.
It’s been a year or two since I’ve been able to find clothing that I’m genuinely excited to wear and that makes me sad.”
After our DEFINE session where we measured her body, defined her color type, and pinpointed her unique style I had some refreshing insight for her.
“It’s not your fault that you can’t find what you need in the stores.
In fact there is a very small amount of clothing that is made for you and your shape and coloring.
Your size is a challenge and not one that many designers design for (14P-16P which is often labeled as petite plus).
It’s going to be a challenge but I know I can help you.
Rest assured that this is nearly impossible for you to have succeeded in this endeavor on your own.”
Vicky was relieved and she should be. It’s totally not her fault.
The market is saturated with items for women size 4-6 and very lacking in size inclusiveness.
So many designers aren’t designing for her size or designing incorrectly for her size.
For example if you design a top for a 2P in a lightweight fabric and just simply size it up to 14P it often won’t be flattering on the 14P.
Not too much thought goes into designing for real women. (Average size in North America is 14 and so many women are petite)
Together we edited out about 80% of her closet to have a clean slate.
We shopped Lord and Taylor and was able to build her a spring/summer wardrobe that she could work and play in.
She was even able to have a few dresses that worked perfectly for the wedding she had to go to.
We bought a range of sizes which is normal because I always focus on fit with my clients.
Most of items were tailored to perfection.
Her new capsule wardrobe mixed and matched with ease because we kept her color palette contained.
She also purchased a few new key necklaces, shoes, and accessories to complete her outfits.
Styling outfits was straight forward and easy for her.
Over the summer she reported that wearing a dress didn’t feel as awkward as she expected, getting dressed was easy, and her negative self talk stopped.
The next season was Fall and Lord and Taylor reduced it’s fall merchandise buy so significantly I decided it would be a waste of time to shop there.
They are closing their flagship store and this loss for Manhattan is huge.
There are now zero decent quality department stores in Manhattan that carry petite, plus or petite plus.
Bloomingdales, Bergdorf, Barney’s, Saks, none of them stock sizes besides 0-14. And 8-14 being most rare.
So after a mediocre shop at a mall with a Nordstrom we completed the season shop by doing online shopping and video chatting to decide what to keep and what to return and what needed tailoring.
The online shop enabled her to fully get prepared for the Fall/Winter season in snowy Boston.
We got her a whole new seasonal wardrobe and showed her how to use her existing items for the transitional time.
The reality is that now there are more options on line than there are in stores.
The tide has tipped and especially for those speciality sizes.
Vicky is an example of one of the most challenging cases and yet she is enjoying complete style success.
She now reports: Having outfits that fit and flatter my figure has been game-changing for me.
Now when I wake up in the morning, I think about what outfit would be most fun to wear instead of what outfit will best hide my physical ‘flaws’.
Clothing is such a huge part of body image, and my work with Alexandra has made a big impact on how I view myself.”
So if you are struggling to find clothing that fits you properly why not consider working with a stylist such as myself?