Photo by Scott Cotton Photography
Growing up I remember thinking that the Petite section in stores was for older ladies. Every time my Memaw came to visit we went shopping and she would always be looking for the petite section. I remember one specific shopping trip that has made my sister and I laugh to this day. We were in JCPenney with Memaw and Momma looking for the petite section per usual, and Memaw saw a hanger that said JCP on it and said, “Look here it is JCP, for JC Petite!”. Of course we knew that JCP really stood for JCPenney and giggled at Memaw, and then helped steer her towards the right department.
As I’ve gotten older (but not too old :)) I’ve come to realize that the petite section is not just for older women. It is meant for all women that are small in stature and size. I have also come to find that many shops that have specific petite sections have become my favorite places to go for dresses, skirts, and sometimes pants (shops such as Banana Republic and Loft). The dresses and skirts aren’t super long on me, and the pants fit better in the hips and length.
Finding clothes that fit good during pregnancy is hard in itself. Finding clothes that fit good and that you like; something that you feel good in can be even harder. It’s especially hard when you are 5’2” with a petite frame! Most maternity clothes are surely made for the average size woman, which according to search results is 5’4” and 166 lbs. Obviously I’m not trying to shame anyone or make ladies feel bad about their body size. Ladies, we are all beautiful how God made us. This post is to benefit those women out there that have always been petite though, and have trouble finding maternity clothes that fit because of this.
Usually stores will tell you to pick your normal size in choosing maternity clothes; to pick the size you were before you became pregnant. The problem with this is that many maternity stores and websites do not even carry the size I was before my pregnancy, which was XS. I tend to think I am a fairly normal woman. I don’t think I am extremely small, especially for my height, but I also obviously don’t think I’m big by any means. In my eyes I seem average, but when it came to finding maternity clothes I quickly realized that this was not true! Everything was too long, or too wide, too hippy, or too busty.
Here are my tips on where to shop if you are pregnant and petite, which for me was being 5’2”, 108lbs and a 32C before my pregnancy.
This is my top pick if you are small. Even if you are tall and skinny this would be a good choice for you. H&M is a European company so everything runs small, which in this case is a good thing. I have bought all of my maternity jeans here that I like. They fit much better than any other maternity jeans I have ever tried on or purchased. Their jeans look and feel like normal jeans, and I still feel sexy in them (which is so important during pregnancy) because they hug in all the right places without being uncomfortable. Here are some pictures of them on me.
Sweater on the left is BCBGeneration that I got from Dillard’s this season and might still be in store. It is an XXS and still fits great at 27 weeks now. The top on the right is a short sleeve top from H&M that I got from my first pregnancy and a cardigan from TJ Maxx that I got this season and is still in some stores. It also has a button at the top that makes it into a poncho. I love it and have one in black as well.
You can find the jeans here:
You will probably need to purchase a size or two up from what you normally wear in US sizes. For example I usually wear a 0 or 2 in US sizes (24-25 waist) and I ordered a 4 for my maternity pants. There is a size chart to help you with this on their website, again I would go with the measurements you were before you got pregnant.
I have also purchased shorts and tanks here from my last pregnancy, and a few tops for this pregnancy as well. I have been very satisfied with everything I have purchased here, and it’s definitely my favorite place to buy simple, but stylish maternity clothes. The other wonderful thing is all of H&M maternity wear is reasonably priced. I have never been one to want to spend a lot of money of clothes that I will only wear for a season of my life.
I know this is a pretty common one, but it really is my next favorite. I don’t tend to get super dressed up when I’m pregnant and this store is great for all your casual needs. They finally started carrying XS in their leggings this year so I have purchased them in 3 different colors of course and wear them all the time. They are actually on sale today and you can find them here. I also have 2 pairs of jeans from here. While the secret fit belly on these is a little more comfortable than my ones from H&M, I just don’t like how they look as much. They get worn around the house when I’m not really going anywhere and will probably get worn a lot more towards the end of my pregnancy when I am bigger and only want comfort. Both pairs of jeans I have from here are PXS and Indigo Blue and Jessica Simpson brands. I wasn’t able to find the exact ones online to link to, but any PXS will fit about the same ( I have tried a lot of them on).
These are the Jessica Simpson ones which I tend to wear more out the two pairs.
Shirt is Pink Rose from TJ Maxx and cardigan is from Urban Outfitters
Sweater and leggings from MM. Leggings are XS Secret Fit Belly and sweater is Small.
With my first pregnancy I really liked their tanks and v – neck tees, but haven’t been able to find the same ones there this time around. I did find some on their sale today though for $5 a piece though! You can find them here. have a couple light sweater tops from here that I like, but I’m not big on many of their tops because they tend to run a little big and not many of them come in XS. I did purchase 2 pairs of Jessica Simpson shorts here with my first pregnancy and wore them all the time. Here is a picture of me in the white ones:
I like this online shop if only for it’s uniqueness in stylish maternity clothes. I have found a few things that fit well, but most of it runs quite large or long. I have not ordered any pants from here, so I can’t really give advice in that area. My advice is to stick to thin flowy long sleeve tops, or ones that look like they fit the model snug. All the sweaters or hoodies I have purchased from here I ended up returning because they were super long and huge on me. They were not flattering at all and definitely not made for short women. I’ve also tried a few dresses from this site and did not like them much either. They were all too wide, too long, and too busty for this petite frame. Here are a few of the tops I have from here that I actually did end up keeping from my online orders (they are all on sale now!):
Many of the things I still wear for now are regular clothes. My favorite stores to shop for non-maternity clothes that will possibly still fit after the pregnancy are Dillard’s, Forever 21 and TJ Maxx. I just purchased a few tops at Dillard’s when BCBG had a great sale going on and I love all of them even at 27 weeks pregnant. Dillard’s has a great selection of flowy longer tops, which are great for when you are pregnant. Forever 21 is cheap and has so much to choose from. My favorite thing to buy here with my first pregnancy was maxi dresses and stretchy tanks. I haven’t bought much here with this pregnancy, but I just really haven’t had the time to look yet. I usually feel like I need lots of time in Forever 21 because the racks are so full and it’s just all consuming! When you are already a momma to a growing needy toddler you don’t have much time to shop in stores like this.
These are my top picks for trying to find maternity clothes to fit a petite frame. I have looked many other places without much luck, but I would love input if anyone reading this has advice on other shops. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on clothes that I won’t wear for long, so I haven’t tried any boutique shops and haven’t ordered lots of things to see what works and what doesn’t. I hope this has been helpful for women out there that have had trouble finding stylish maternity clothes that fit well. I will most likely be posting some weekly outfits from here on out till the end of this pregnancy.
Thanks for reading,