Theory Petite-Friendly Items & My New Suit

For my job interviews a few years back, I had just one sad pant suit from Banana Republic. But this was before they had expanded their sizing to offer more options for petite women in 00p and XXS. My suit was a 0p (smallest size I could find) and I pretty much swam in it. The suit was already expensive for my college budget, so it never crossed my mind to spend even more to alter a mediocre pant suit. Ended up selling this to a fellow petite after just 2 wears.

A year later I was no better off, with one H&M skirt suit lined up for the first week of work. The suit was cheap, and I spent more on alterations than the suit itself. I had it tailored relentlessly (shoulders, sleeves, waist, length) from a baggy size 4 to fit my small frame. I don't believe H&M makes suiting in size 2, which is fine I guess, because who wants to wear H&M suits anyways if they can fit into better stuff?

The weekend before I started work, I stumbled upon a Theory outlet store, which, looking back, was pretty much a life-changing event! The prices were eye-bulging for my fresh-out-of-school self, even though everything at the outlet was a good bit below retail. But the stuff was gorgeous ... tailored wool suit separates, beautifully dyed silk blouses, soft cashmere sweaters, dresses in contemporary silhouettes. I had to have it. Some current picks from Bloomies:

Not everything is suitable for tiny petite frames, though, but here are some things that work for me:

1. Theory slim / "skinny" work pants in 00. I am obsessed with these because they elongate short legs unlike flared or boot cut pants. Also, I can wear them with flats without ruining the bottoms. For boot cut pants, however, Mark B is the smallest cut of Theory pants I've found.

2. Theory stretch dresses in 0. 0 is the smallest size they make in dresses, and the ones in stretch fabric usually run quite small.

3. Theory classic blazers in 00. I own Gabe B, Branden, and Hayward, and only had to have sleeves shortened on each.

4. Theory knits and sweaters in size TP. I'm guessing this stands for tres petite? No idea. Size "P" is almost always too big.

I plan on posting my favorites from each of the above categories in the near future, but today's post is dedicated to my most recent find: a classic Theory tweed dress suit!

While shopping at Saks Off 5th last month, I discovered this lone jacket hanging on a rack. I was enamored by the fabric, "Dialogue," a fine-textured black tweed with specs of metallic silver. It was a cropped style in a size 00. The jacket fit great pretty much everywhere, with 1 problem - the bottom flared out, making me look pregnant and stout. It even looks bad on the model below!

I wasn't sure if this could be altered without ruining the overall shape of the jacket. But as I was pacing around the store debating, I stumbled upon the matching dress and my heart nearly stopped... it was a stretchy fabric shift dress in size 0! The petite clothing gods had bestowed upon me a perfectly coordinated, tiny Theory tweed dress suit at almost 70% off retail, and there was no way I was passing this up.

Thankfully, my tailor did a great job tapering that flared bottom:

The dress on the other hand fit like a glove right off the rack. I just got the hem shortened (in retrospect I may have gotten this an inch too short, but that can be undone). Post-alterations:

In person, the fabric is gorgeous! These pics don't do it justice:

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  1. omg I'm so jealous. It's gorgeous. I wish I lived somewhere near a Theory outlet store. :(

  2. am a fan of the same designers. benetton skirts have worked well before, but can run big. enjoying the blog.

  3. bobbyb2 - Thanks! No worries if you don't live near a Theory outlet - this outfit was found at a Saks Off 5th. I've also had luck picking up discounted Theory stuff on eBay and other discount stores like Filene's Basement, Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call.

    Rosalynn - I've never tried on anything from Benetton before...will have to check it out sometime : )

  4. Your tailor did a great job on that Theory jacket! Cute!

  5. Unfortunately, no Saks Off 5th for me either. I'm from Canada.

    Hey, the top part of the dress, what kind of fabric is that? Is that their "Tailor" fabric?

  6. bobbyb2 - Funny enough Im wearing this dress at work today. Its not tailor its more like a stretchy ponte fabric...very fitted. And look what I found! If you happen to be a size 00/0, search eBay US for Theory Yeneth Dress. Listing ends on November 1st and is currently only going for $64! Not to mention, they ship to Cananda.

  7. this is nice... i would like to get something like this and i will from here...
    because they make dresses exactly to my size...

  8. I am unable to find the Theory Slim Work Pants Online anywhere labeled as such. Is there a specific name for them or can one only find these at a Theory Outlet. Thanks!

  9. Hi I am a 5'5" guy that just discovered Theory suiting at Off5th a few days ago and was stunned at how it fit and made me look/feel compared to everything else I've tried over the past few years. Consequently, I've come online to find out more about Theory and after several hours of surfing, stumbled upon this page and your wonderful blog. This post resonated with me because I felt it was a great expression of the "discovery" moment that I also experienced. The dress and the dress with the jacket really look great on you. Your other posts and photos are amazing too, especially all the stuff about alterations. Your outfits are all great and you look really chic and put together. I hope I can get to even a quarter of the male equivalent of your style. Thanks very much.


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