Because of incorrect information supplied to the Sunday Source, an Oct. 30 article stated that Banana Republic sells petite clothing in 27 of its stores, none of which are in the D.C. area. Banana Republic sells petite clothing in 43 stores, including a location in Tysons Corner. (Published 11/4/2005)
Q I have a petite build and have found it harder and harder to buy clothes. What suggestions do you have?
Veena Siddharth, Washington
A Petite women who don't want to look like they play dress up in Mommy's closet sometimes have it tough. Sure, there's Petite Sophisticate, as well as companies such as Banana Republic, which offers an extensive selection of petite clothing online (and in 27 of its stores, though none in the D.C. area). Here are some additional suggestions.
Try the boys' department at Brooks Brothers. I'm not kidding: This is many a fashion editor's favorite spot for stylishly shrunken wool blazers, cashmere sweaters, argyle vests and oxford shirts. The quality is great; the prices, a bit lower than the company's women's line; and the palette, classic enough to please even the most discriminating grown-up.
Alterations are a more obvious place to start, but having your clothes taken in can be costly; not to mention, extensive nips and tucks tend to ruin the line of suits. Your best bet? Hit a department store such as Nordstrom, which not only houses a good petites' department, but also offers basic alterations for free on some merchandise.
Certain clothing shapes also work more readily than others. A good general rule is to look for items that require a less precise fit: Cropped-sleeve jackets fit the bill because they don't have to hit at a specific spot on the wrist. Empire-waist dresses, wrap sweaters and A-line skirts make wise buys for the same reason.
Last but not least, if it suits your style, vintage is another good option -- for the simple reason that people used to be smaller.
Wondering how to wear it? E-mail Suzanne D'Amato, Sunday Source's deputy editor and a former fashion writer at Vogue, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city and phone number.