Review: Petite Suiting Under $150 – Express 00 / 00 Short

Over the next month, I’ll be doing a series of reviews on petite-friendly suiting at three different price points. I want readers to keep in mind, however, that the prices listed are full retail prices. So although the title reads $150, this suit can be acquired for less when on sale.

I debated between doing H&M; or Express for the most affordable category, and ended up choosing the latter. Although H&M; runs smaller (a 2 fits me perfectly) and is more affordable (full suit is around $80 retail), their suiting material can be downright cheap-looking sometimes. So when Express had a sale, I ordered the following suit for not much more than an H&M; one: 

Reviewing: Express Studio Stretch 1-Button Jacket in 00 ($98), and Editor Pants in 00 Short ($48), both in Medium Charcoal. 

Front and side views:

Flat-as-a-pancake-derriere view:

The butch n’ sassy look:

Stock Photos:

Despite how bad the suit may look on me at first glance, the problem lies primarily in the fit of the pants. If you look again at the above photos, the tailoring of the jacket is not perfect, but the overall fit is actually quite slim. The sleeves would need to be shortened because it’s not “petites,” but that would be the only alteration for me. For the price that I paid, I have few complaints about the jacket.

The pants, on the other hand, are a whole other story. Alterations that would be needed: take-in waist, slim hips, slim legs, plus a hem. I had to triple check that they were the right size – a 00 short!

Temporary solution – binder clip nearly 2 inches from the back (of course actual alterations should be done via both sides of the waist due to the amount of fabric being taken in. Refer to my old post on altering waists):

Before (left) and After clipping (right):

Instantly looks much better, but a slimming of the legs would still be necessary to address the bumps of extra fabric under the crotch and at the knees. The length of the pants are also noticeably “shorter” since the waist is clipped into place, but someone my height would still need about two inches hemmed off the 00 Short (I am wearing 3.5 inch heels in the photo).

What a difference it makes to have a well-fitting pant. The entire suit instantly looks more pleasing to the eye due to the makeshift waist “alteration.”

Revised front view, post waist-clipping:

In summary…

+ affordable
+ choice of basic colors plus seasonal ones
+ slim-fitting blazer
+ decent quality for the on-sale price
+ easy to purchase online with frequent sales & coupon codes.

– Size 00 Short Editor pants would require lots of alterations someone my size.
– Mis-matched proportions – size 00 blazer seems to run smaller than pants.

Final Verdict:
A very affordable option for those a size or more up. The blazer actually works on a petite my size, but the Editor pants needed too many alterations. I know ladies who swear by the Editor pant and own it in pretty much every color for work, so I was surprised at how bad the fit was on me.

*However* …while shopping at my local Banana Republic, I was chatting with two of the sales associates who were 00P / PXXS’s themselves (I should’ve handed out bloggy business cards : P ) and they mentioned that Express’ Illustrator Pant in 00 Short runs small. I overlooked these my first time around, but there are quite a few online reviews from extra petite ladies that reaffirm the small fit of these pants.