• Review: My experience shopping Dorothy Perkins Petites

    Update – I would caution non-UK based customers against shopping at DP given the poor customer service. Unfortunately, after sending back my returns according to their instructions, it took over 35 emails from me over a span of 3 months to receive any sort of assistance regarding a refund from them. Their customer service is outsourced and only reply about once a week, often with one-sentence, automated messages stating that they cannot help. Since this post, I have also received numerous emails from readers sharing DP customer service horror stories covering a wide variety of issues. I apologize to anyone who may have ordered from DP based on this post of mine and experienced customer service issues.

    After reading Sydney’s post about the UK retailer Dorothy Perkins, I was very intrigued by their petite offerings in size 0P-14P. I signed up for emails to get a 15% coupon code, then ordered a small assortment of items (blouse, blazer, dress, and pants) to try on for quality and fit.
    Before I delve into details, some overarching notes: sizing and quality is similar to other UK fast-fashion retailers Asos and Topshop (but lower prices than the latter). The Petite 0’s I’ve tried from all three brands fit similar to H&M; sz 2, and feel smaller on me than American size 00Ps. Thus, I would suggest sizing up from your usual American clothing size. Shipping to the US and return shipping are not free (when I ordered, they were having a free ship over $75 promo). We are spoiled by ASOS’s policy – which I now realize is very generous and convenient for an international retailer.

    Petite Chain Link Sheer Blouse – Now $27 from $49 plus get extra 15% off from emails

    Thoughts: I am a sucker for chain print and really liked the easy-to-wear cut of this blouse. The yellow and blush pink colors were soft and feminine. I was slightly surprised by how sheer it was but that can be addressed with a skin-colored bra (which I have on in the photos) or under tank. My favorite details were the double-placket buttons down the front and small collar, which adds a pop of print when layered. Fit was “casual” (but not oversized), and the length worked well even un-tucked.
    Measurements: My 0P measured 16″ across throughout, 22″ front length, 23″ back length.
    Verdict: I liked many things about this top and debated over keeping. However, with my slowly-but-surely-growing wardrobe, I couldn’t see myself getting enough wears in to justify the price I paid ($41.65). I just went back online and saw that the price was cut to $27 (and eligible for the 15% off newsletter coupon). I would have kept it for that price.

    Next up, my favorite item from my order was this white linen blazer, but it was not perfect as-is.

    Petite Ivory Linen Jacket – $69 (also in tan)

    Thoughts: I’ve been looking for a new white, classic, single-button blazer. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit in the torso – this blazer was slim cut and contoured to my upper body, but not so tight that it was pulling across the back…

    Even without a vent, the back view was flattering on me. The quality was good for the price with lightly textured linen fabric and was fully lined in 100% cotton. The sleeves were slightly wide (but that’s something I’ve gotten used to taking in), and were also ruched up with additional button detailing in the back. They would only be 3/4 length even if I let down the ruching, and I had my heart set on full-length sleeves.
    Measurements: My 0P measured 13″ across shoulders when using just the seams, but 14″ with light shoulder pads included. 20″ length down back, 16″ sleeve length, 16″ across armpits, 13.25″ across waist when buttoned up, and 5.25″ across sleeves.
    Verdict: I hemmed and hawed over keeping this jacket as it was the best white summer blazer candidate I found so far. I had tried on others and didn’t love either the roomy fit, quality, or price points. In the end I couldn’t look past the sleeves, thus returned.

    I also ordered two items which I didn’t bother take clear photos in:


    Petite Floral Pocket Dresswas $69 now $39

    This dress called out to me online, but when I saw the print in person it was drab and mediocre on me. The quality was good at 100% cotton and fit me very similar to how ASOS petite tulip dresses fit (except my chest wasn’t compressed here). The torso area worked well on me all-around, but the hips have a few inches of extra room due to the pleats and tulip silhouette. Even though this dress was a quick return decision for me, I am glad to now have some gauge on how their petite-sized dresses fit, for future reference.

    Dress in 0P measured 15″ across the armpit, 12″ across the waist, 13″ torso length, 19.5″ skirt length, and 17-18″ across tulip hips.

    Petite Cotton Sateen Capri Pants (comes in 4 colors), now $27

    Lastly…these pants which looked unspeakably bad on me. The waist and hips were slim, but
    the legs were also narrow – I believe the snugness of the calf area contributed to the pants constantly bunching up on me with every step. I also didn’t like the slight sheen of cotton sateen. These were a definite return.

    Pants in 0P measured 13″ across waist, 8″ rise, 16.5″ across hips, and 23″ inseam.

    Clothing quality aside, some other notes from my first shopping experience with DP:
    Processing & Shipping: I placed my order 6/25 evening. It shipped on 6/27 and I received it 6 business days later. Even though there was free tracking, it was very inconvenient to dig around for the tracking # link. Packaging was a large plastic mailer bag like ASOS, but all items arrived on hangers.

    Customer Service: Literally one day after I placed my order using a 15% coupon code for signing up for emails, I received a new promo via email for 20% off. I immediately contacted customer service asking if they could make an adjustment. After writing a few more times (first got a generic automated response that didn’t resolve a thing, then some long delays before real human responses in strange English), no one ever resolved my inquiry.

    Returns: Returns are accepted within 14 days of package receipt. You need to go online and obtain an RMA returns number to write on your order slip. Cost is out-of-pocket, and for me it was over $16 to return four items to the UK via untracked, uninsured airmail. I absolutely dread waiting in line at the post office on a Saturday, but I chalked that time and cost up to “experimentation.”

    All in all, I’m pleased to know that the sizing of DP petites has potential. The quality in my opinion was fair for the price, but it may differ based on the fabric. I would order from this store again if I were really in love with the design of an item and fairly sure it would work out (to avoid the cost and hassle of returns), but I would not pay retail because they have a promo going on every other week.

    On a last note – if you can wear regular sizing (2-18, which again I suspect run a little smaller than typical American sizes), the selection is much more extensive. Here are some dresses in reg sizing only that I was eying – would have ordered the ivory sheath if sizes weren’t sold out.


    Readers – Have you ever shopped this brand? If so, please share your experiences or tips!

    62 thoughts on “Review: My experience shopping Dorothy Perkins Petites

    • ash2504 July 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Jean!

      I saw a similar chain link print blouse from Nordstrom and thought I'd let you know!


    • Linda Cheung July 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm


      I'm from UK and DP is one of my main & favorite brands to buy (Love ASOS and H&M; aswell). I am a rather weird shape (Uk Size 10/12), narrow shoulders big bust, no hips and really long legs (30% body/torso and 70% all legs) however I find these 3 brands fit me really well. I agree with the above fellow UK reader, that DP quality isnt as great as H&M; or ASOS, however I find that they are improving every year. Over the years DP was a 'granny' brand and has slowly updated its range to reach the younger audience. I have a few shoes mainly pumps from DP as well and find they do really nice nude heeled pumps that are not too high! They are fab for work trousers though!

      Great Blog Jean, even though I'm not a petite (and really quite the opposite) I love catching up on your blog because of the style tips!

    • Closet Full of Nothing July 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      This is a such a gorgeous look, Jean! Funny, I recently purchased a Dorothy Perkins blouse in yellow too. Just about to blog about it 🙂



    • Allison July 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

      I've gotten several great dresses from DP – BUT the first time I ordered, I ordered over $350 worth of clothes. I had to opay $150 in customs fees that I was not expecting. While I love all of the dresses and shorts I received from DP, the inconvenience of shipping and the customes fees will hold me back from ordering online there again.

    • Crystalin August 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Jean, you're always such a great resource! I just ordered a couple pieces from DP, but nothing petite. I kinda ordered on a whim… hopefully everything fits. I used a 20% off full price promo and free shipping over $75. So not too bad. We'll see…

      Funny story about the stripe J.Crew blazer. I called so many stores (the one you had mentioned too) looking for an XS with no success. I decided to wait until the additional 30% off sale praying they'd still have my size. No joke, 5 days later, sale! So glad it fit. Oh the life of tracking down the pieces we love, ha!

    • Anonymous August 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Miss Selfridge prices are closer to Topshop's level, but in my opinion, the quality often doesn't justify the price.

    • Anonymous August 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      I agree – Dorothy Perkins can have some great stuff, but the petite range is often quite limited compared to the regular range. They also tend to bring out the same items in 4-5 colours instead of having a wider range of different items to choose from.

    • Anonymous August 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Oasis and Warehouse don't have petite ranges, but their clothing is generally higher quality than the DP/H&M; level (with price tags to match). I'm 5ft/UK size 6-8 and have often struggled to get Oasis and Warehouse clothes to fit well – waist too low, shoulders too wide, sleeves too long etc.; their size 6 also comes up very loose in tops on me. If you want alteration projects, then they might still be worth a punt. However, I personally wouldn't order from Warehouse again after the long delay I had in getting a refund for returned goods – and I live in the UK!

    • Kelly Yeh August 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Your blog is amazing! You make a great model, great pictures! Already a follower =)

      <3 Kelly

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      Same here! I ordered $135 worth of items after hearing about it from this site. Three days later, I get a bill for $50 in customs fees. This is despite USPS rules that clearly state that packages under $200 are not subject to customs fees. But the fees are handled by a third party contractor, so I have no recourse against DP (who says they shipped it so it's out of their hands). It's absolutely absurd that they do not make it clear that as a US resident you may be hit with these charges (it is in tiny type in their policy page) AND even if you were willing to accept custom fees, you would never think that they were almost half the cost of your purchase!! I'm furious and no matter how well these items fit I will never, ever purchase from DP again. Absolutely shady practice all around.

    • Tanya B February 12, 2014 at 10:04 am

      I am a Brit/American who recently moved from London to New York and I also had a terrible experience with Dorothy Perkins. I wanted to replace my jeans and ordered exactly as the label read without checking the size chart (I didn't think I needed to). They ordered a 10 and they sent a 14. I thought they made a mistake, but apparently when shipping to the US they automatically convert the sizing. There's nothing I can do except pay $50+ to return ship or keep the merchandise I cannot wear. I was intending to re-order the correct size, but now I don't want to deal with them at all.

      What further angered me was that they are not running a proper US operation, but rather some confused mix. They don't have US customer service (but rather the typical rude UK call line), don't exchange and won't subsidize international shipping costs. Their operator asked me if I was 4 hours behind (what? no one in the US is 4 hours behind the UK) and when they said a supervisor was not available but could call me later, they called me at 5:30am the next morning.

      I don't see why anyone in the US would ever shop with Dorothy Perkins. They don't permit exchanges and require you to return to the UK at your own expense. There are so many great competitor options domestically, I would strongly advise not to shop with them.

    • StephaniePortman154 January 23, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Well, i will disagree.
      I got a lot of their clothes and i'm rather content.
      Indeed – i used discount vouchers like here – http://www.couporando.co.uk/voucher-codes/dorothy-perkins – to make the prizes more descent, but the quality is good and i like the style. They offer many chances to buy their products more cheapily.

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