I wanted to do a post comparing pieces from some of the most loved categories of the Nordstrom sale (BFD, joggers + leggings!) and how the styles fit a petite frame. I also wanted to include some simple outfits with pieces I got in previous years that are back for this year’s sale!
Barefoot Dreams Cardigan Guide
Around this time of year I always get questions on the cuddly Barefoot Dreams cardigans, and which style is best for a petite frame. I have a small collection from over the years and pretty much lived in them during pregnancy, postpartum and for travel back in the day. They also make a cozy gift for mom, MIL, aunts, sisters, even grandma!
For fit reference, I’m about 5 feet tall, size xxs / 24 in jeans
1. Barefoot Dreams Long Cardigan size xs
Weight: CozyChic Lite
In recent years, this has become the favorite of my BFD trio! A while back I didn’t even consider it, thinking it was too long for a petite frame. But tastes change, and as I’ve gotten older I find this length more flattering and versatile with the casual outfits that I usually wear. This one is cut a little slimmer throughout the body and the sleeves, helping it look sleek and drape well. Like with the other styles, I do cuff the sleeves up on this one.
2. Barefoot Dreams Drape Rib Cardigan size xs (Updated version)
Weight: CozyChic Ultra Lite
This made a cameo last year as a limited edition style. It’s the lightest weight out of the bunch but only by a little. UPDATE: they updated this cardigan to be a few inches longer and the sash belt is now removable, versus stitched on like it was beefore.
3. Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan size XS/S
Weight: CozyChic Lite
The most popular style of the BFD family! And my first step into this cozy, snuggly world many many years ago. I think this cocoon shape is the most universally flattering cut out of the bunch, and the sizing is a little more flexible, so would be my pick if you’re shopping for one to gift a friend or loved one.
If you’re debating between the long and the circle cardigan ~ same outfit, slightly different looks:
Leggings Guide (Zella, Comando, Spanx)
I rotate my Zellas for running, light workouts, lounging and travel while I love a good faux leather legging for everyday fall-winter outfits. Here’s a rundown of some popular styles and how they compare:
1. Zella Studio Lite Pocket 7/8 leggings size xxs
My favorite Zellas for everyday wear thanks to the shorter length and convenient, generously sized pocket for holding my phone! Mine in the photo are a prior year version, and they’ve since moved the pocket up to make it more flattering and flush against the leg (I do own this year’s but they were in the wash when I snapped these photos!). The 7/8 length in a regular size XXS hits nicely right below my ankles. Update 2022: I tried the 2022 version in store and find them to be the same quality as mine from a few years ago. I suggest sorting the reviews by most recent, as I think they may have changed these back to the original after some complaints!
2. Zella Live In leggings size Petite xs
The original Zellas with nice and smooth compression fabric (a tad thicker than Studio Lite) and a little slot pocket hidden in the waistband. I personally wear the Studio Lite Zellas more due to the pockets and shorter ankle length!
Just added these to my staple leggings collection! After two babies, I’ve been wanting a slightly higher rise and more compression, and these delivered with a subtle pebbled faux leather finish. The Commando have the look of lightweight leather pants with a higher rise, while the Spanx below are more like stretchy activewear leggings with a slinkier feel. Heads up, the Commando leggings fit small with a lot of “shaping” power and took me a little time to wiggle on at first. The length is a little long on me but have a raw cut bottom hem that is very easy to fold under.
These are thin and light, liquid style leggings with a wide banded waist and side seams. A Petite XS was a little too much like a tight second skin on me and showed my knee grooves, etc (and was ~ 2 inches too long), so I had to return. Compared to Commando, though, they are a lot stretchier and more like athletic leggings, so I can see how comfy they are for all day wear and sitting!
I was curious about their very affordable kids sizing so gave these leggings another try, unfortunately the Kids XL pictured here is too loose throughout and pretty long (hems are folded under a few inches in the pic), though might suit someone who is a Womens XS and taller. Someone my size should fare better with their girls size Large.
Zella Joggers Guide (Restore vs Live In)
Next, a quick look at Zella’s two most popular jogger pants and how they fit a petite frame!
1. Zella Restore soft joggers (regular inseams only)
There are my old favorites (read my review) and one of the top items I’d recommend from the sale! Even though they are regular sizing, the xxs length is petite-friendly on me. The fabric is incredibly soft and comfortable, but still has a smooth finish which is nice (not “fleecy” which can get pilly or nubbly on pants).
I’ve also heard that some of you got the kids version of these! I haven’t tried the kids in this particular style but I usually take a kids size L in Zella bottoms.
2. Zella Live in joggers (regular + petite inseams)
In comparison to the Restore, the fabric of the Live In joggers is less cozy against the skin and more of a lightweight woven material, making these better for athleisure outfits and running errands, compared to the Restore which I wear to at home to curl up at my desk or on the couch in! They also have a small zippered pocket convenient for things you don’t want to lose while working out, like keys.