Despite all the research supporting the benefits of “retail therapy,” shopping can suck for everyone sometimes. Everyone runs into their own slew of dilemmas when searching for the perfect pair of jeans or a fancy dress. As someone who reached their max height in the sixth grade at 4 feet 11 inches (and three quarters!), I’ve had more than my bulk of shopping misfortunes to face.
Maybe you need an extra pillow on your car seat to comfortably see over the steering wheel. Maybe your friends will always think it’s funny to use your head as an arm rest. And maybe all of your sweatpants are fringed and curling at the bottoms. But don’t forget that being short can also be pretty awesome (no risk of making contact with low-hanging ceilings, for example).
Being short isn’t all bad, and it sure isn’t all good either. Here are five trendy pieces that give us height-challenged ladies trouble, and some alternative solutions to the ongoing battle of height of body versus length of clothing.
However, all rules are made to be broken and there are exceptions to all of these struggles because everyone’s body, short or tall, is different and beautiful.
STRUGGLE: MULLET SHIRTS
The mullet shirt will deceive you. It looks adorable on the hanger, making you think that something this loose and comfortable looking can’t be all bad, right? So, so, wrong. Surprisingly, I’ve seen some members of the Height-Challenged Club pull off mullet dresses and the occasional mullet skirt, but the shirt is just a whole other beast. It looks cute in front, and then completely bombards you with silliness in back.
SOLUTION: FORGET ABOUT MULLET SHIRTS
View photo: formal dresses online australia
Shirts that are the same length consistently around your waistline have been popular for decades. Mullet shirts have not. Plus, if your torso is the length of a regular person’s forearm you may be able to fit into some cute larger sized supposed-to-be crop tops, which I’ve actually done before. Yay!
Eventually, the mulletopolous species will die out and you’ll never have to worry about reaching for that cute top with a french bulldog on it only to find out it’s actually your worst clothing nightmare. (Bonus: Me trying on said shirt in Target last summer, only to be sorely disappointed by it’s disproportionate length. I still almost bought it.)
Note the rolled skinny jeans of a girl who may never find “short”-sized jeans that actually mean “short.”
STRUGGLE: ROBE SWEATERS
Unless you’re going as a tribal-print warlock for Halloween, this isn’t the best look to pursue. This was even more unflattering from the back.
SOLUTION: LONG IN FRONT, NOT IN BACK!
This sweater was much more appealing, plus it had an even cuter print. It had all the pleasures of being a longer sweater (i.e., wrapping yourself up like a burrito), without the misfortunes of the robe sweater (i.e., getting yourself stuck to the point where you actually start feeling like a burrito).
STRUGGLE: MAXI SKIRTS
I’m continuously unimpressed by maxi skirts (see face above). The maxi skirt is less of a struggle than the maxi dress, as you can always try to roll it or hike it up, but it is still quite discouraging unless you’re a sewing pro.
However, there is hope for maxis. I have recently found a maxi dress that fits my height, though I may have to shrink it to make it fit the rest of me. If you do manage to find one that works for you, by all means do no let this post dissuade you. Maxi dresses can make you look taller and leaner, but finding one that fits is about as impossible as Luna Lovegood finding a Crumple-Horned Snorkack.
PS: If you think this maroon maxi is the bee’s knees, you can find it online here.
SOLUTION: SHORTER SKIRTS LIKE SHORTER PEOPLE
Shorter tube skirts, mini skirts (I especially love circle skirts), and even the right midi skirt with pleats can be cute on our shorter legs without making you look like you’re 12. The one above wouldn’t have been my first choice pattern-wise, but the size and fit was great, plus the material made it feel like a sweater for my legs. Who doesn’t want that? I found myself not even wanting to take it off — a humungous difference from the maxi skirt that made me walk like a penguin and almost trip over the extra inches of material.
Jumpsuits aren’t something you’d want to jump into right away if length tends to be your major issue. This particular jumpsuit happened to bring up two problems that I often run into: length and zippers.
I will always and have always wanted a cool pair of skinny jeans with zippers up the sides. But will I ever have that? Probably not, unless I figure out how to hem a zipper myself. Here’s a closer look at where the leg of the jumpsuit ended up with the zipper zipped.
Not too practical, eh? Also, this jumpsuit was crazy tight in places it probably wasn’t supposed to be. Like, Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the original Batman series tight.
SOLUTION: THE LBD WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU
I know, I know. Jumpsuits were supposed to replace the standard going-out dress while also pretending to be pants-like as well. But jumpsuits just don’t work on most short girls (unless you’re down to do some altering), and the LBD looks good on everyone. The one I’ve picked even has a bit of bling on the shoulders to make up for that snazzy belt I’m missing out on with the jumpsuit.
STRUGGLE: LONG PUFFY JACKETS
I still associate these jackets with mom-wear in the nineties. My mom has literally been wearing hers so long it’s circled back and become trendy again. But let’s face it: These just aren’t very cute. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it’s functional. Sure, your butt is covered and if you fall ice skating it could serve as a useful cushion, but other than that, I’m not very interested in this style.
SOLUTION: SHORT PUFFY JACKETS
If you insist on cashing in on the puffy jacket comeback, grab a short one. They weigh less, and they look so, so, so much better. Both of these jackets (the struggle and the solution) are Michael Kors jackets, and they’re both crazy warm.
As I’ve said before, there are always going to exceptions to these struggles. But really, what are the chances of you ever finding them? Those exceptions have already run off with the mythical perfect pair of skinny jeans, all the cute items in your size on the sales rack, and the Easter Bunny.