InStyle Magazine’s “Top Brands” for Petites

Last night I had a pleasant surprise when a sweet reader (thanks so much, Thu!) and the ever fabulous Anh of 9to5chic shared some snapshots from February 2011’s InStyle magazine:

I had a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart seeing the petite blogging community get some positive press. If you haven’t joined the Alterations Needed forum for petites yet…I love Kelly’s forum for asking and answering questions on fit, reading recommendations, and also buying or selling (or requesting) petite-friendly items. It’s a great way for bloggers and non-bloggers alike to join in on the fun.

That aside, I had a few eyebrow raises reading through the top suggested brands for petites. Keeping in mind that “petite” is being used here to indicate short (under 5’4″) versus small overall, I’m still not sure how InStyle whittled the world of petite offerings down to this eclectic list.

Topshop and BCBG? Although I like both (I am a huge fan of Topshop’s tiny size 0P), both retailers’ petite lines are extremely limited and difficult to find/purchase. Anne Klein? Suiting starts only at 2P, plus their website was impossible for me to navigate for petite items. Target? I guess they do have Merona petites, but my orders were always too “blah” to blog about.

Where is the petite-favorite Ann Taylor? Or Talbots? And my boyfriend’s first reaction: “Gasp, where is Theory?” Lol! I realize brands like Theory and H&M; don’t have petite lines and would never be glorified as petite brands, but they retain the top spots in my heart as awesome brands for tiny ladies.

Readers – What do you think of the recommended brands? What are your personal favorite brands for petites?

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  1. Congrats on the mention!

    Janice (Couture and Crayons)

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  2. Rinny wrote:

    I don't exactly agree with their list of top petite shops either, but congrats on being featured! 😀

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  3. PetiteXXS wrote:

    My reaction exactly too… Anne Klein? Really? They obviously have not been reading petite blogs very well! But congrats again! This is huge and hopefully will bring more readers to the petite blogger community, followed by attention by retailers so we can see more smaller sizes and a stop to size inflation! 😀

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  4. Toi et Moi wrote:

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you 🙂

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  5. Elaine A wrote:

    So excited about this for both you and Kelly! So excited when I saw this! I was chuckling at the brands listed as well. Maybe someone should write in to InStyle and give better suggestions!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  6. Wow, congratulations! I am so going to buy a copy just because you're in it!

    Stay Happy and Positive!




    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  7. Congrats to you and Kelly both! That is super cool. I sure will pick up a copy of InStyle magazine for myself 🙂

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  8. Michelle wrote:

    How cool!! Congrats to you and Kelly on the mention!!

    Definitely a strange list. Like you said, "petite" to them just meant height, not weight. It is almost like there needs to be a list for work and a list for fun clothes.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  9. Congrats to both you and Kelly on getting featured!! You should get it framed 🙂 You both are truly inspirational and I'm so thankful that you started your blogs.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  10. Congrats on being featured in Instyle! That's so cool. I would have to say I agree with Loft and Banana Republic. I think Jcrew fits really big and I never really notice much of a petite section at Target and Topshop, or BCBG. I agree with Erica, I like Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, and H&M;.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  11. Erica wrote:

    That's awesome that you got mentioned! You earned it. 🙂

    Some of my favorite petite-friendly brands that were not in the article are Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and (like you said) H&M;.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  12. Congrats to you Jean! I know I'm on cloud 9 over this! =D

    Yeah, Target and Land's End made me go, "hmmmm…" But, I get it. They had to present a variety of price points and size ranges, so it makes sense. But I agree with Cynthia, let's get some petite designers in there!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  13. DSK Steph! wrote:

    I knew it was only a matter of time 😛

    I'm so proud of you!!!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  14. Danielle wrote:

    Congrats on the great publicity! I really think you should be famous out in the real world 🙂

    I'm surprised you like Talbots. Their stuff seems HUGE to me. I can fit comfortably into their size 2…when usually I'm a 6, haha.

    I'm curious what your thoughts are on Espirit and White House/Black Market.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    love theory and instyle

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  16. Vicky wrote:

    Congratulations, Jean! If I were you, I'd being jumping up and down now. 🙂 I'm sure you feel extremely proud of yourself! I can't wait to get out of the house tomorrow and get a copy of the magazine. We got almost 20 inches of snow today. I'm sure it's about the same where you are. Stay warm, and congrats, and big hug!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  17. I'm 4' 8" so I'd say that the recommended brands are still very large. To me, 5'1" to 5' 3" are still tall. They can fit majority of brands in regular size as long as they are not small boned and very thin.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  18. kileen wrote:

    huge congrats for making it into InStyle magazine! the brands that they mention seem a little questionable to me too… Anne Klein?! I've never been able to fit into anything from that brand! and neither has my mom and she's 5'4"! makes me wonder how they did their research…

    but congrats either way to you and Kelly!

    cute and little

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  19. Mimi wrote:

    oooh, wow, yay congrats on that! 😀

    i am petite too, and i've found really good length jeans at forever21.

    <3, Mimi

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    As an XS petite, I think the list is a bit off! Target? I rarely find stuff to fit me there. Plus Jcrew (as much as I like their clothes) isn't super petite friendly. I think they run really large and I'm usually swimming in their stuff.

    Congrats on the mention!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  21. Beatrice wrote:

    Yay, congrats! I was so happy when I found your blog, I immediately put you in my Bloglovin' list!
    And the InStyle list comes in handy! 🙂

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  22. Midori wrote:


    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  23. Kate Gene wrote:

    'InStyle' has always been one of my favorite magazines. What an honor! I am SO proud of you! This is HUGE! I love it when I see my favorite bloggers/vloggers get the recognition they deserve. Your blog is so professional, informative, and you're model gorgeous. Way to go!


    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  24. Megan wrote:

    Congrats – Instyle is huge!! I'm a little bummed they didn't call and tell you first. One would also think that, given they nodded both you and Kelly, that they'd have checked to see the most frequently referenced brands…oh well. Hope your staying dry and warm inside today, it's ugly out!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  25. congrats! that is awesome girl!

    I can kind of understand the list because I'm considered "Petite" to the clothing world but I don't consider myself "petite" like you ladies in the petite blogging world. I don't tend to buy lines that are targeted for petites because it doesn't fit my body right (like pants are always too short and I'd rather buy them in regular size to get them hemmed to my preferred length) I've found that BCBG definitely does fit small. But with that being said, the list does seem a bit random. I mean Target? Where did that come from?

    And really I mean, if they wanted to name certain brands, brands like See by Chloe, Elizabeth and James and Rag & Bone fit really well on petites, much more than the brands they named.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  26. InStyle?!! Someone's a big deal!

    I can think up of 1 reason why they wouldn't mention Theory or H&M.; If they are to include brands that carry small clothing sizes that happen to fit petites (but not necessarily having a specific petite line), wouldn't they have to be fair & mention others like F21 (which is regularly worn by petite bloggers such as Kileen from Cute & Little or Annie from Really Petite)? Or how about A&F;? They carry very small sizes, but I wouldn't necessarily say they intentionally market towards the petite community. and well, from there the argument can continue into a whole list of European designers/brands that cater to a population with thinner frames (on average), but not originally meant for petites.

    But in my opinion, I'd rather them not mention these other brands and give the space to some of my favorite bloggers instead! Wouldn't you agree?? =D

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:


    I love Uniqlo. Even if I can only get it from phone orders in the USA sized for the US/Euro market (instead of the Asia market where a US XS is a M in Japan)!

    I find that certain brands take care to fit the small sizes to a petite fit model, not simply mathematically size down a single pattern. It totally makes sense since the same shape looks different on someone smaller. Since doing this takes effort/time/money and produces a different pattern, I usually find that expensive brands can spare the money to do this.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  28. daisy351 wrote:

    congrats ladies! it's nice that you guys are getting recognition 🙂

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  29. Congrats!! Keep up the great work. 🙂

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  30. prosephina wrote:

    Yayy congrats again! Very cool 🙂

    Anne Klein does offer suiting in 0p but they might as well be 2p because it's so huge. 🙁 How surprising that not only Anne Taylor isn't on top, it's completely left out? Hmmmm

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  31. Annapurna wrote:

    Congrats Jean! What a nice surprise on your snow day!

    I am surprised they didn't mention kids' sizes (Burberry, North Face, etc). Maybe there are rules against that.

    I always thought it was nice that Talbots offers options for plus size petites. Too bad they don't have similar love for tiny ones.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  32. Jackie wrote:

    Silly, me I just saw it lol. Woohoo!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  33. Jackie wrote:

    Congratulations on the feature!! OMG I was so happy to see both you and Kelly in it!

    I'm surprised that LOFT isn't listed! That's by go-to brand for no alternations.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  34. Tara wrote:

    Congrats again! I also thought their store list was interesting…no Ann Taylor..crazy!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  35. Anh wrote:

    Congratulations again and again! The InStyle feature is so well-deserved, plus only the beginning, I'm sure. =)

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  36. Abby wrote:

    Big congrats on being mentioned! I dont know much about petite brands even though I'm really tiny, but always on the lookout for petite friendly stores.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  37. A huge huge congrats to you and Kelly! If anyone deserves it, it's you two!! YAY!! 🙂

    And I laughed at the list too! My fav is LOFT and Theory:) It seems to be the best fit for my frame!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  38. Erin wrote:


    TOTALLY agree – would have been nice to see a petite designer make the list. Baby steps, I guess!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  39. Erin wrote:

    Very awesome!! So happy for you and Kelly!

    Here's a thought… Maybe some of these brands were taken from what petite celebrities wear? I know TONS wear J Brand… but the rest do seem a bit "interesting" 🙂

    I am not so sure about Land's End… I just got an order from their Canvas line and some XXS garments fit me when I am usually an XS. Perhaps it varies among pieces.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  40. Lor wrote:

    Congrats for being in the magazine!!

    One of my faves for petite clothing that wasn't listed is Aritzia, but I guess that maybe because there's not many stores in US? The only store I've seen in US is in Bellevue, WA.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  41. Kiki wrote:

    Congratulations!!! You deserve it! I never knew about the petite blogging community until I stumbled across your beautiful blog one day… Keep up the great work! xoxo kiki

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  42. CynthiaC wrote:

    I think they should have listed some petite fashion designers!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  43. R.L. wrote:

    Congrats, congrats on your first magazine mention!! I'm sure there will be more 🙂 I was also surprised to see BCBG and I actually read Anne Klein as Ann Taylor originally. How can someone not have Ann Taylor or H&M; in their vocabulary as a petite shopper? Nevertheless, I can't wait to buy InStyle's Feb issue now!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  44. Congratulations on being featured in InStyle! What a great and well-deserved recognition!!! 🙂

    xx Vivian @

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  45. Elle wrote:

    Congrats on the feature Jean! 🙂 Kelly and your blogs are definitely terrific resources for tiny petites. I agree that the list they came up with left out some old fav's but overall not too shabby. 🙂 Though I am sad AT and Theory and Talbots (who has a PLUS WOMAN division) were left out.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  46. Tara wrote:

    Yay for petites, Congrats! You totally deserved it, love your blog.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  47. Ashley wrote:

    on, and congratulations on the magazine mention!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  48. Ashley wrote:

    I think, like you said, this list was defining petite as less than 5'4". A lot of the brands listed actually work really well for me – but I'm a size 8P or 10P. I know it's probably more difficult for small size 0 petites to find clothes than it is for me, but like I said, the list works out pretty well for me!

    I really like banana republic's petite line, although their quality has gone down quite a bit in recent years – poly dresses, loose threads, etc. Generally speaking, though, I can pick something off the rack there and know it will fit without any alterations.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  49. siwing wrote:

    lol i am not petite so i'm not sure of petite friendly brands.. but congrats on being mentioned in the magazine! =D you are one of my fav bloggers!

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply
  50. thesmallone wrote:

    Why doesn't The Limited or Express ever get any love? They both carry petite sizes and tiny size 0s.

    Posted 1.12.11 Reply

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