Petite Lookbook: Classic Black Coat

Outerwear is one of the hardest things to shop for as a petite – and alterations alone can run pretty high. I spend a lot on my outerwear, but I feel like the cost is justified. Cold weather in the Northeast settles in around October and stays until April, so I get tons of wear out of them. Not to mention, a nice coat definitely makes dreary winter days more tolerable : )

Coat: Burberry F/W08 sz 2 (read about alterations here) (2009 version sold here)
Leggings: H&M; sz 2
Scarf: Abercrombie cashmere
Bag: Chanel Petite Shopping Tote
Shoes: Target Mossimo nude pumps sz 5.5
Shop winter coats in petite-friendly sizes:
1. The J.Crew Lady Day Coat and Wool-Cashmere Plaza Coat in P0 are still lurking on final sale in numerous colors. I’ve heard that their coats run smaller than their tops, but cannot vouch for this myself. Price was just lowered today to $150, but wait for EXTRA20 or EXTRA30 if you can.

2. Nordstrom Wool-Blend Walking Coat in Juniors XS is a very inexpensive option. This coat was introduced to me a while back by a reader. There are 90+ reviews giving it an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars, and it should run small since it is juniors sizing.

3. Victoria’s Secret Classic Wool Coat in P0, on sale as well. First came across this coat in a thread on the Alterations Needed forum. Per the reviewer (who is a tad bigger than me), the fit was decent, however the quality was not great.

4. Mackage Penelope Coat in XXS. Whenever someone hears that I’m a coat fanatic, they tell me that I have to try Mackage. According to the size chart, an XXS is for women measuring 32-25-34.5, which sounds like a P0 to P2. Any petites have experience with this brand?

This coat went through two rounds of alterations (first done by the retail store, second done by my tailors at Hemmingway). I prefer my coats a little shorter and the sleeves more slim, but overall I’m pleased with the results.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm from Montreal and have lived in Mackage for the past 6-7 years. They are a Montreal brand, and they tend to fit very snug on the bodice compared to American brands, so a XXS can fit us petites but if you prefer a less tight looking fit, XS would be more comfortable fit. I have bought J Crew coats in P0 and found the waist very loose, Mackage is always a nicely fitted in comparison. However, you will still have issues with arm length, I've had quite few coat sleeves altered.

    Posted 2.11.12 Reply
  2. Courtney wrote:

    I'm reading my way through your blog archives even though I'm not petite myself – I'm just learning a lot from you about how much of a difference tailoring and proportions make.

    I love the leggings under shoes look you have going here. Can you actually walk like that, or does your heel slip out?

    Posted 8.17.11 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! You always look so polished, and as a petite Asian girl, I love hearing about the experiences of others.

    Regarding Mackage and other small coats, have you tried Soia & Kyo (sister brand to Mackage)? I have a few trenches from this brand in XXS and they fit really well. I have somewhat similar measurements (30-23-33).

    Posted 7.30.11 Reply
  4. I have had uncomfortable experiences at many tailors (including Hemmingway which is my go-to, as you know, although I haven't gone to them in several months now) and it usually is a result of me trying to point out an error, a poor alteration job, or questioning the price. It's why I hate going to the tailors (any tailor) and I have yet to meet one who doesn't get defensive whenever an issue is pointed out, albeit politely. The lady at Hemmingway also gets annoyed at me when I question the price, so it's wise to ask exactly what the price is and have it written out before you hand over your items for sure. Sometimes the price is too much so i'll just say, forget this item…I'll just return it. I'm surprised that you didn't receive the bill slip for the $425 before you went to pick items up? Next time don't leave the total price up in the air. Ask for prices for each alteration type and be specific before dropping anything off. I went to a tailor closer to my house and it was $60 for an alteration that Hemmingway charges $25 for, so I always always always ask for the price now before committing to getting a garment altered.

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience, especially at a place that I've recommended, but unfortunately I know this scenario all too well and it's not unique to Hemmingway. I don't even get clothes dry cleaned anymore because different places have destroyed some of the fabrics of my beloved items, and there is NO recourse. If I bring it up, I'm usually met with attitude. At Hemmingway I've at least gathered up enough courage to ask for alterations to be re-done, and most of the times they've agreed (if the issue is clearly an issue) and once they just completely refused to acknowledge the issue so I had to go home disgruntled over paying $40 for an alteration that ended up botching a nice garment.

    Posted 7.23.11 Reply
  5. cinny wrote:

    Jean, I hope you still check comments on older posts!

    So I went to your Hemmingway tailors for the first time last week and got my items back today. I brought a lot of items, some for dry cleaning too. I was always a bit in a hurry because of zipcar schedule so I wanted everything to be efficient and smooth. Today when I took back my items… I don't know what to say. Though they did a good job, certain things really bothered me. I'm certain they lost the belt that came with 1 of my dresses, but when I very nicely raised my 'concern' about it, the head lady (who speaks English well) immediately shut me off, claiming no knowledge of it, basically not letting me speak at all. Then, when it came the pricing time… it was a whopping $425 total. I think it could have been the case because I did bring in a lot of items, but at the same time it was quite reasonable for me to inquire after a clear breakdown. Here was where it went very wrong. She did give me a $25 discount, saying their price was reasonable, but when I asked about 1 specific line item, she got mad… She repeatedly said "you don't have to come again", adding that why I kept asking about stuff like that when her price was reasonable. Sigh. I thought I asked in very nice manner. I left, she shut the door loudly, and I tried to call after her saying "see you next time!". I don't know if that pacified her, but I left feeling very uneasy, not knowing why I was made to feel so bad. And that lost belt, I guess I'll have to find an alternative. Doesn't she want customers? I don't feel welcome back at all.

    What is your opinion Jean? She seems very fond of you, as I mentioned learning about the place through your blog.

    Posted 7.23.11 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    I live and die for Mackage. The other petite girls in my office swear by it as well. Mackage uses high quality wool and has great cuts. I'm 5'1" 98lbs and can fit in both XXS and XS. I find the back and arms in the XXS can be sometimes too tight on certain jackets, especially when wearing a suit blazer. I would recommend their shorter wool coats that hit mid-thigh as opposed to their long coats. If you're ever up in Canada there's a store called Aritzia that has a bunch of fashionable XXS and XS clothes, including work clothes & jackets.

    Posted 6.17.10 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    sorry i might be a littl bit too late. but just to answer your question on Mackage coat or winter jacket. I am not sure if u r as small as me (5'1" & 90lbs) but i found that their xxs is still too big for me. I bought one a few years ago and probably have worn twice as it looks baggy on me (shoulder and waist part) hope this helps

    Posted 5.27.10 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Even though I am NOT extra petit, I love YOUR look…

    Posted 3.26.10 Reply
  9. Irene wrote:

    Just wanted to say that I LOVE YOUR STYLE – classy, sophisticated – LOVE!

    Posted 3.12.10 Reply
  10. i like this photo, you look fierce! i just found your blog and i'm loving all your outfits, you're gorgeous girl <3

    Posted 3.9.10 Reply
  11. Midori wrote:

    i tried on a mackage coat once at a store in ny that was going out of business and it fit so beautifully for something off the rack! unfortunately it was still $300+ and it just wasn't in my budget. wouldn't have had room in my suitcase anyway *sigh*

    Posted 3.7.10 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the new layout!
    There is a Mackage Summer Trench on ebay up for grabs in XXS. The bust and shoulder measurements look pretty tiny, and the XXS Mackages I try fit like BR 00p's, except for the way long sleeves. The quality is so worth the extra to have that tailored!

    Posted 3.5.10 Reply
  13. Miss P wrote:

    You changed your layout!! It looks awesome! You are so puurrty! I totally agree with you. It is really difficult to find a good fitting jacket when you're petite. Love, love, love the jacket…well, actually, I love your whole outfit you put together! Lol.

    Posted 3.5.10 Reply
  14. So pretty, you are!
    I like the ear muffs. I have the pink burberry ones. 🙂

    & great new layout. I just received this post on my blog reading list. I was wondering where the PAG was ..or extrapetite now 🙂

    Jess Mai

    Posted 3.5.10 Reply
  15. peachcharm wrote:

    Aww you are my first follower! 🙂 thanks for the comment. And yes, abercrombie kids is great for people like us!

    I have such a bad habit – online shopping. I should really stop! And yes, the cardigans do fit, not super fitted, but wearable. It may fit you better because I am slightly lighter (5 ft, 88-90lbs on a good day). I agree, most of VS clothing are inconsistent with their size- their coats and pants, as you've mentioned do run large. I find that the tops from their "tee shop" collection runs more true to size. Here is a pic of me wearing the top- (sorry it is the best photo I can get)

    I believe it fits more like an AE XS than a XXS. I hope it helps!

    Posted 3.5.10 Reply
  16. hi! loving ur new layout and website! sorry for the long blogging hiatus. love, love ur burberry coat!! thanks also for the tips on petite friendly coats! ive never heard of mackage, but i will definitely check it out:)

    Posted 3.5.10 Reply
  17. Love the coat! Looks super classy.

    As for Mackage, I have one myself in an XXS and unfortunately I'm not sure it would fit you. Then again it depends on how fitted you like your jackets. I like my coats to be snug for warmth and the XXS fits me perfectly. I can move around in it but it looks perfectly fitted around the body with no loose bits. In any case, though, the materials are great and the cutting on the coats are beautiful. I'd recommend a shorter cut with a back that is tailored, like this one:

    Also, your bf is quite good at playing photographer! 🙂

    P.S. What's your name, if you don't mind me asking?

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  18. love your coat!

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  19. Jonesy wrote:

    Great blog!!! I am a new follower : )

    Please check out my blog when you get a chance as well.

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  20. Tiffany wrote:

    love the layout!

    Gorgeous! love it. I have a hard time finding winter coats that don't overwhelm me. I always see coats online that I fall in love with but then when I get them I look like the coat swallowed me up!

    Mackage makes great jackets. I think they are the same company as Soia and Kyo, another brand you must check out! I just got this jacket;=en&devise;=CAD&genre;=F&coll;=spring10&cat;=fw2009sale&dets;=teot&detsc;=3&pg;=1

    It looks weird on this model but trust me, it's cute! I got it in an XS and it's very snug on me but still a good fit.

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  21. Angie wrote:

    super classy look! and i love your new layout too!

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  22. Thanks so much! He uses Nikon D3. And then I tweak the sh!t out of it on Adobe Lightroom 🙂

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  23. joliecoeur wrote:

    Hi, enjoyed reading through your blog! I am about your size and for the last 5/6 years have bought all my winter coats from JCrew in P0 and they fit wonderfully, no alterations needed at all. Only gripe I have is not all their jackets and coats come in petite sizes. Meanwhile in their tops and bottoms, it's been more of a hit and miss but 90% of my outfits are from JCrew. I think I might need to branch out a bit lol ! I do have a couple of pieces from AT and Loft but I never seem to want to wear them….

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  24. eki wrote:

    Hi! nice to see fellow petite pretty girl!! <3 you look great and all your clothing looks great on you!<3 I tried on that same pump at target it was disappointing that they didnt make 5 >_< started at 5.5 so it was slightly loss on me so I didnt get it but is really cute pumps :) well thank you for stopping by 🙂

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  25. i love your pictures! they are gorgeous.
    and that coast is too die for!

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  26. love the new layout! and these pictures look so professionally done!

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  27. WOW I just stumbled upon ur blog and I already love it so much.
    I'll definetaly follow u!
    Ur outfit is gorgeous and u look so pretty 😉
    And thanks for the tips, but how petite are you?

    Love, T. Linh. xxx

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  28. sophia wrote:

    You know what else we petites need – small jewelry! Did you look on hautelook today? Some GORGEOUS Jardin bangles but I know they'd be huge and fall right off our wrist >_

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  29. A.Co wrote:

    I have the exact opposite problem: I'm tall, and it's hard to find pants, sleeves, and all things long enough!

    Your pictures is ultra cute and I love that jacket – soo nice. I found your blog through Nice!


    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  30. You guys are so sweet. JEzzy – hah! there is nothing (yet) to teach. He is a photography novice and just plays around with the color settings.

    CynthiaC – I don't have a tripod/remote yet so my boyfriend takes the photos. He uses a Pentax 100 Super that we randomly found on clearance at Ritz Camera.

    Anonymous – it's the Theory Branden blazer in 00. It's actually on eBay right now in sz 00 for only $99!! I love it to death and it matches all my black Theory pants.

    Peachcharm – I lurk in the kids dept all the time. When I have to go somewhere (like a shabu restaurant) where I know the smell will linger forever on my clothes, I wear my trusty abercrombie kids jacket : )

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  31. peachcharm wrote:

    Hi! Great blog! I am also very petite. I agree, outerwear in super small sizes are really hard to find… I tend to lurk around the kids section hoping to find a somewhat stylish yet mature-looking coat all the time

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Nice revamp! Can I ask where the suit jacket in the banner pic at the top of the home page is from?

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  33. You are amazing, sophistication & all.
    There needs to be more women like you.

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  34. jenhe wrote:

    greaaat blog 🙂 love your outfits !

    Posted 3.4.10 Reply
  35. Theresa wrote:

    your earmuffs!! SO cute
    I love the new layout <3

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  36. CynthiaC wrote:

    Love the new site! I also really like your earmuffs from the second pic.

    Question: Who does your pictures and what camera does he/she use?

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  37. sophia wrote:

    Re: underbite … THANK YOU for your sweet words and sharing a bit of your grade school experience as well (fortunately for me my grade school was 70% Asian.. I was just the only one with underbite!). I'm definitely thankful for the wonderful people in my life who matter, and for all the sweet blogosphere ladies!

    Long live falsies~! And the girls who rock them ^o^

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  38. sophia wrote:

    What a lovely photo! Those Mossimo shoes look really nice, and expensive! I can't believe it's Target! Hmm I need to check if they have size 5….

    Hehe the bow thingy is a belt… would be cool if there was a wrist cuff like it too!

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  39. J-Ezzy wrote:

    Your bf needs to teach me how to edit photo's like this! If he can direct me to a site that may teach me a little something, I wouldn't mind 😉

    I adore adore adore these pictures!!!! You look so fabulous in that gorgeous coat! I need to buy a burberry coat, I own so many semi-decent coats, I could just buy a really good one! I never thought of tailoring a coat b/c I was afraid of the price shock.

    Technically I'm considered the "south" but it's still cold here long enough to own many coats, haha.

    Did you pull down the leggings to the ball of your foot or am I in need of new contacts? Love your new profile picture btw 😀

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  40. Thanks ladies! I have to credit my boyfriend who worked on all this while I had to "study."

    Kiraling – not sure if it was you who emailed me a while back about the Tulle coat. Hopefully the alterations go well and I'd love it if you posted results on AN's forum!

    AN / Stylepint – spoiled spoiled lol … let's see if your wishes change after visiting the Northeast for a month, preferably Feb : )

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  41. stylepint wrote:

    Great new layout! It makes me want to re-do mine. But anyways, the Burberry coat is a good fit and that Chanel bag…amazing! I wish it was colder in SoCal so I could wear coats more often.

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  42. Yay to the new layout!! It looks great!

    It's nice to see the Burb in action! It looks great. Your expert tailors did a wonderful job. Makes me wish it were cold enough here in SoCal to bust out my coat again…*sigh*

    And I loooove your Chanel!

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply
  43. kiraling wrote:

    Congrats on the new layout and site! Very professional looking.

    Awhile back I debated altering that Tulle walking coat and finally brought it to my tailor's yesterday, I pick it up on the 11th. Thankfully little alternation was needed (for me) and it cost less expected. Just a slim through the bust-upper waist area and relocating the pockets accordingly. Our winters only last from late December to mid March (at most), so I'm hoping it'll serve me just fine. 😀

    Love that Burberry coat! Your photos are so polished lately, I feel like I could be looking at a magazine ad. 🙂

    Posted 3.3.10 Reply

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