Sunday, 16 September 2012

Being a non-standard size abroad

I was going to call this post "Being a petite size abroad", however I guess that my problem is shared by many other women who aren't a standard size.  You go out to buy a pair of trousers and fail miserably in your quest to find a pair that fits you.  You may be too short, too tall or just the wrong shape.  

My local shops are either aimed at the young and slender - so even if I can squeeze into the trousers the design isn't right for me - or at the more mature women (I know, that includes me!) where the trousers usually drown me and are deeply unflattering.  I have already bemoaned the lack of jackets to suit me - and let's not start on the dresses!

Do you have those in short? I thought not!
When I lived in London this wasn't such a problem, as many of the department stores have petite ranges, as well as chains such as Marks and Spencer.  When I first moved to Spain I ordered clothes from the Wallis on-line store, who made me very happy until they suddenly decided to change the length of their trousers!  My existing pairs of jeans measure 69/70 cm, but when I checked their website the shortest pair was now 73cm and some even measured 76cm.  What is going on?

Marks and Spencer also offer petite sizes and deliver to Spain, but I am reluctant to order from them until I try on their clothes when I next visit the UK.  The last time I tried on M & S trousers, the "waistline" was closer to a "hip-line", which I'm not keen on.  Being small that makes my legs look even shorter, which is not the look I am aiming for!

I have recently tried Lands End, and I must say that so far I have been very happy with my purchases, especially as I know that I can return them if they don't fit.  The best thing about Lands End is that I can specify my leg length: they start at 26" and go up by ¼" or you can buy them unfinished. Perfect!  I have also discovered their empire-line dresses, which are very flattering.

This was a perfect fit for me.
What I find strange is the fact that many Spanish women are as short as me, if not shorter. However the only petite ranges I have come across here are in El Corte Ingles: Jones New York Petite and Zendra Petite.  This may explain why I see so many young Spanish women wearing trousers that are clearly too long for them - they are OK in summer though as they can wear miniscule shorts and skirts, which sadly is no longer an option for me! It must also be hard for young Spanish women who aren't sylph-like, as many fashion shops only seem to stock small and medium sizes.

I have booked my flight back to the UK in October, and am seriously thinking of flying there with an empty suitcase and lots of cash!  Does anybody else have this problem?  Can you recommend any specialist websites that deliver abroad?


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