Shopping for any body type can feel impossible, no matter how well you know your proportions — and what will and won’t work for them. In effort to make the hunt for well-fitting clothing slightly (but only slightly) easier, stores like Top Shop and Forever 21 have come out with lines for tall sizes, plus sizes and petite sizes. Brands like The Gap even go as far to make jeans and pants available in a variety of inseams (tall, regular, petite). Having these types of options when shopping makes it easier than ever before to dress for your body — the problem really lies in that these inclusive and versatile brands are few and far between.
As a petite woman — that admittedly most brands cater too — I only recently learned how important it is to find clothing catered to your body. And so begins the telling of the time I split my jeans open in public.
I was out with friends in San Francisco at a bar called BOOTIE (you will soon realize how ironic that bar name is) when I danced a little too low. I heard the sound of a loud rip and thought to myself while in a squatting position… “no, there is no way.” Yes, my favourite mom jeans from Top Shop have spilt wide open revealing my entire right butt cheek.
After sending a few emails back and forth with Top Shop’s customer service — Arcadia, a British multinational retailing company — I was told they would be more than happy to give me a refund or exchange the jeans in store. When I visited the store a week later, the sales associate kindly asked me, “is there a specific reason you were wearing the Petite style in these jeans?” I instantly realized my unintentional mistake. I’m 5’8 — there was no good reason for me to buy Petite jeans. She explained to me how the reason the jeans split the way they did, and where they did, was due to the fact that the Petite clothing line is proportioned a certain way to fit a certain body type and height. Everything made so much more sense.
Before this wardrobe malfunction, I never paid attention to any label other than the size and sometimes the material label. Unfortunately this Top Shop location was sold out in the MOTO vintage blue mom jeans I wanted — and they only had petite.
I was not going there again.
I exchanged my damaged pair of mom jeans for a similar pair and happen to like these even more. After trying this new pair on I noticed that where my previous pair had fit slightly tight in the knees, these fit perfectly. Moral of the story? READ THE LABELS MY FRIENDS – they are there for a reason and are very important. They can make your shopping experience much easier because sometimes they will help you know what to look for.
Thank you Top Shop for your incredible service (and for not laughing at me)!