01/07/2014 06:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tailoring Options for the Petite Plus Size

By Cass

If you're petite and curvy, then you know that it's virtually impossible to find clothes that fit off the rack. Plus-sizes are proportioned for taller women. Petite sizes are sometimes too small in key areas like bust lines or hips, and stylish petite plus-size options are few and far between. As a curvy and petite gal, virtually every piece of clothing I purchase undergoes some form of transformation. I've resigned myself to the fact that almost all of my clothes have to be altered, but alterations can be expensive and sometimes tricky. It's useful to know what to look for while shopping to minimize the number of alterations required and to know what can and cannot be changed.

Tailoring Options for the Petite Plus Size

Hemming pants and blouses is one of the easiest and cheapest alterations, and it makes a world of difference! With the exception of intricate hem or ankle details, most shirts and pants can be hemmed. I've rarely forgone an article of clothing due to it being too long. I'm 4'9". Everything is too long!!!


Tailoring options for the petite plus size on The Curvy Fashionista

If an item fits everywhere else, then hemming is well worth the cost to get a good fit. The outfit I'm wearing here fit fairly well, with the exception of both the blouse and pants being too long.I had the shirt hemmed halfway up from the original hem and the bottom button, and the pants were hemmed past the lower ankle (hemmed a tad long to allow for shrinkage).

Voila! I have an outfit that is much better proportioned to my frame.

Pants, Shirt: The Limited (Available here and here); Blazer: New York & Company (old); Heels, Clutch: Target (Heels available here)


A quick note about button-down blouses and larger bustlines: Larger busts, shorter frames, and poor button placement often leads to gaping in the bust area. Button-downs can't easily be let out or otherwise altered in the bust area. While double-sided tape can prevent gaping, it seems like too much trouble to me.

Purchasing clothes that are ill-fitting and that can't be altered is a recipe for disappointment and body bashing.

When buying button-downs, I look for a proper fit in the bust area. Purchase button-downs to fit the bust, and the rest can generally be altered.

Do you have clothing altered, and if so, what are your typical alterations?

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