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WHAT IS PETITE PLUS? — Natalie in the City


Natalie wears Eloquii ankle-length jeans, but the perfect length.

Have you heard the term “tall and small” much more recently? If so, you might be wondering what these two related terms mean. Historically, plus size clothing and petite clothing have been the opposite of the size spectrum.

Size Small is intended for women who are slim and under 5’3. Most small clothing lines do not exceed size 12, which tends to be the start of most plus size collections. However, there are a few brands that sell a small size 14-18 and XXL, which is technically small and plus size. While plus size clothes are made for women who are fuller or fuller. Plus size collections usually start at size 12 and go up to size 32.

Find out where to buy plus size clothing

What does petite plus size mean?

So what do sizes small and up mean? A true size small and large offer is designed for women under 5’3 and ranging from sizes 12-32. I personally am a size 18 and I am 5’2 which means I am small and plus size.

As I mentioned above, there is some overlap when it comes to small and large clothing, but it is extremely rare. However, there are other brands of small sizes to buy which today create women’s clothing that is both petite and curvy. And I would expect the term petite plus to grow since the average American woman is 18 and less than 5’4. While there aren’t many brands that are solely dedicated to selling plus size petite clothing, it seems most women fall into the plus size and small range.

Am I short and tall?

If you are under 5’3 and usually shop in the plus size section, you are probably short and plus size. For as long as I can remember, pants have always been too long on me and I had to hem and trim all my favorite socks. When I was a kid and didn’t know anything about tailors, I wore jeans and left them lying around. They were fraying at the ends and the holes would soon destroy my favorite jeans. When I was shopping, even until recently, I always told myself that I was just oddly built and that I could never find clothes that fit me perfectly because of my curves and size. But now, as a plus size and petite shopper, I know I deserve clothes that perfectly match my short curvy figure. I first realized that I was both tall and short when I saw that Talbots was tall and short. However, determining your height isn’t always so clear, but here are some other circumstances that can help you determine if you are short or tall:

  • When you try on plus size stockings, they are often way too long.
  • You find that work pants, jeans, skirts, shorts, and other stockings look odd on you.
  • The sleeves and bodice of your favorite plus size shirts, sweaters and blouses are too long.
  • Pants that have a cropped or ankle length cut are perfect for you.
  • You often roll or handcuff jeans, leggings, and pants so they don’t drag around.
  • Maxi dresses are usually too long and drag.
  • You must have all your pants made and hemmed by professionals.
  • Longer tunics and shirts could easily pass for a dress.
  • Leggings and jeggings bundle at your ankles.
  • High waisted skirts and jeans are often too tall for you and fit right under your bust.
  • Midi skirts could easily be maxi skirts on your figure.

Where to buy small plus size clothing?

While the term “little plus” isn’t widely used yet, I know more and more brands will start adopting sizes and clothing to meet the needs of plus-size fashionistas. Here are some of the brands that either offer a line dedicated to petite plus sizes, or have ‘petite’ or ‘short’ crotch options for most of their plus sizes. I’ll list them in order from brands I like and have tried before to brands I haven’t tried yet.

  • Universal standard: Universal Standard has the best plus size pants!
  • Bryant Way:
    From petite plus size dresses to jeans, Lane Bryant offers a variety of plus size and small options.
  • Torrid: Torrid’s petite and plus size jeans and leggings always fit me perfectly!
  • Talbot: Talbot’s offers an exclusive range of small plus sizes.
  • Eloquii: Eloquii was selling small plus size clothing, but they haven’t offered the option for some time. However, I find a lot of their ankle length pants to fit me perfectly!
  • Old Navy: You can choose a short crotch when purchasing Old Navy plus size pants.
  • American eagle: Similar to Torrid jeans, American Eagle curvy jeans can also be ordered with a crotch or small crotch.
  • Macy’s: Macy’s is a great place to shop for petite plus size work pants as they carry brands like JM Collection, Style & Co., Alfani, and Karen Scott.
  • Madewell:
    Madewell offers crotch or crotch options on their plus size jeans.
  • Street: If you need a smaller size jeans or plus size work pants, Avenue has a wide selection of pants designed for your figure!
  • The end of the country: If you need small plus size long sleeves or small plus size jackets, Land’s End plus sizes are the place to find basics that will fit your curves perfectly.
  • Attic: Although Loft does not have a true petite plus size clothing line, their small sizes go up to an XXL and a size 18.

Buy smaller size jeans

Natalie in the City shares what petite plus means, how to dress a petite plus body, and where to buy petite plus clothes.
Natalie wears wide pants from Eloquii, which have been hemmed by a tailor to fit.

How to dress a petite plus body

If you’re new here and don’t know me very well … Hi, my name is Natalie and I believe in petite plus no rules! If you search the internet for ways to dress your body, there will be thousands of articles telling you how to shrink it, stress it out, and never wear it. However, I think you should wear what you feel most comfortable and confident in.

Personally, I love clothes that hug my curves, show off my figure, and feel great on my skin all day long. I’m also someone who needs to be in three different places every day, from the office to the gym to a blog event. This means that I need a wardrobe that is very versatile, comfortable and gives me confidence.

There’s no wrong way to dress a petite body, but here are some of the “rules” or “priorities” I keep in mind when shopping for new clothes:

  • Find well-fitting pants that have a short crotch or ankle adjustment to lessen wrinkles or streaks.
  • Roll up pants that are too long to fit just above the ankle and top them off with a short heel to lengthen my figure.
  • Wide knee high and mid-calf thigh high boots are sexy and fun! You should wear them with jeans, leggings, skirts and mini dresses. (side note: don’t let anyone tell you you’re too short to wear them!)
  • Turn any top into a crop top by tying it up or tucking it in. This style lengthens my legs and I think it’s a great way to boost my confidence.
  • Find a comfortable pair of heels that don’t have a heel height greater than 2 inches. These can give you an extra boost when wearing pants that are a little too long.
  • When shopping for plus size maxi dresses and mini dresses, check for plus size dresses to make sure you get a length that fits you perfectly.
  • Embrace all the trends you want and don’t let silly fashion rules stop you from adopting the styles you love.

You can also follow me, Natalie in the City, on my blog or on Instagram. Since I am a petite plus size fashionista, you can find inspiration in the way I style my outfits. Most of the clothes I wear are not from a special petite plus size line. These are usually the larger size brands you buy today. I promise to always be transparent about the size and how I make certain clothes work for my figure!

Hope this article has been able to enlighten you on what the petite plus size is, and hope you have been able to see yourself in this article as well! Whether you are a certain size or always feel like you haven’t found your perfect size, I just want to let you know that you absolutely deserve to have clothes that fit you exactly the way you want. If you are tall and short, keep an eye out for other sizes and clothing lines in the near future, they are definitely coming! In the meantime, I’ll be including a purchasable widget below where you can browse the latest jeans, leggings, work pants, loungewear, joggers and more! Good shopping!

If you have any questions or concerns about the small plus size, please feel free to contact me by DM on Instagram or email me: natalie@natalieinthecity.com

Discover these little plus size socks:



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