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Friends, I am a lot of things. I’m a wife and a mother, a sister and a daughter. I’m a business owner and a podcaster. I’m a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast and a McDonald’s diet coke lover. But there’s one thing I’m definitely not and that is petite. So while I’ve personally dressed hundreds of petite women and given advice to 1000s more, I thought it might be fun to get an actual petite style expert on the show. To give you her expert petite style advice. Let’s get started.
Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to the everyday style school, the podcast that gives real lifestyle advice to real life women. If you’re new here, welcome. I’m your host, Jennifer Mackay Mary. I’m a wardrobe stylist who has been dressing everyday women for over 20 years. And I’m the founder of everyday style where we are on a mission to inspire women to love the way they look and give you the tools to make getting dressed easy. If you’re a longtime listener, welcome back. I’m always so happy to have you with me. Today, I am excited to share my conversation with petite style coach Angela foster with you. And if you’re not a petite and you’re feeling like oh, this might be a good time to bounce and go check out a true crime podcast. I want you to stick around. This was just a really fun conversation that went in lots of different directions. And you’ll get to hear Angela reinforce a few things you’ve probably heard me say a time or two before. If you are petite, though, this episode is an absolute must listen, Angela was so generous with her knowledge and we covered so much, including the seven measurements that are different in petite clothing, the universally flattering proportion for petite, and some of Angela’s favorite petite brands I loved talking to and learning from Angela, my only regret is that I didn’t hit record sooner and that I stopped recording when I did Angela and I chatted for about 20 minutes pre interview and another hour after about everything from our shared love of helping women feel incredible about themselves to the importance of modeling self care and self acceptance for your daughters to even the times that the line between wardrobe stylist and therapist has gotten a little bit blurry and that one might be more often than you think. I love when I meet a wardrobe stylist who comes from the same perspective I do who just wants women to feel beautiful and incredible. And I have to say I just think Angela Foster is she’s just good people. So I am excited to share this hour of conversation with you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Before we get into it though, let’s meet today’s expert. After 20 years as an executive in the fashion and beauty space, Angela foster now helps high achieving petite women feel more confident by creating a class that they love. Her clients show up prepared and confident to brand photo shoots, keynote presentations, and everyday life because they enjoy a wardrobe filled with clothes that fit their height, flatter their body shape, and that they love to wear. Here’s my conversation with Angela. I hope you enjoy. Hi, Angela, welcome to the everyday style School.
Hi, Jennifer, thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to have this conversation with you.
I am too I am too. Like I mentioned in the intro, I am not petite. I am the person they asked at the grocery store to get the thing off the high shelf. And as my listeners know, we bring people on who talk about things that I can’t. So I am so excited to dive into real valuable advice for our petite women to help them love the way they look and deal with some of the unique challenges that petite ‘s face. But before we get into that, how did you get started? How did you start your business? Tell us your
story? Yes. Well, thanks for asking. So I was an executive for various fashion and beauty companies for over 20 years. And I was actually out of town at a sales meeting. And I was having cocktails after the day with a co worker of mine. And she had just had her second baby. And her husband had just asked her for a divorce. And so she was going through a lot of insecure right a lot of body changes. Oh yes. Yes. A lot of personal issues and all of that. And she said to me, she goes you know, I don’t even recognize my body anymore. I used to have a style. I don’t know what it is anymore. Nothing fits nothing, you know, all of that. So there was obviously you know, some some mental that you like some minor challenges going in there too. And she’s like so but you always look great. You’re always so pulled together. Would you mind helping me? And I was like 100% I am here for you. Let’s do this. This will be great. But I think that the thing that just struck me so much was she was is so smart, talented, such like a brilliant woman is so confident I had always just really admired and respected her. And for her to be filled with so much self doubt, and all of that it was just, it was heartbreaking. I was like, this is just not this is not right. So we work together randomly for, you know, four to six weeks. You know, Jennifer, this was probably five, six years ago. So I laugh I laugh when I look back on what we did together, then and elections changed. Yes.
Go to a mall?
Oh, my gosh, yes, yes, it would take a picture. Yes, please. It was just it was it was very organic. But after the four to six weeks, you know, we kept working together a little bit more after that. But her personal circle of friends said, How in the world? Have you gone through all of this, you look amazing. You seem like you feel so much better. And all of that. And so she said, you know, like, hey, Angela, do you mind if I give them your name and number? And would you be willing to help them to? And I’m like, Well, you know, I have a real job. Like, I’m happy to help. But I do have a full time job. And but then it just kind of spiraled after that. And I think it was one of those things. I was like, my job was great. You know, I would probably still be there. But there’s just and you know, this, there’s something about helping women make that transition from not so confident to feeling great in their skin, to you know, sending you an email or a text or a picture or a mirror selfie and saying, You know what, look at this put together, I feel great. I’m so excited. I’m going to kill it today. There was something so just beautiful about being able to help women make that transition that there was really like, I was like, if there’s you know, if I have to decide to do one thing versus another, there’s no contest, no contest,
I gotta say that feeling. That’s my drug. I have no other drugs that I really enjoy. I’m not even a big drinker. But that moment, and going back to the mall, when a client would look in the mirror, especially when it was something she was like, I wouldn’t have chosen this for myself, whatever. And she looked in the mirror and she saw herself for the first time in the mirror. Like she sees herself in her head, right? Like we all have this vision of ourselves in our head. And it’s like the best vision. And we think oh, that’s never possible. But that moment, that face I live, I live for that face. That is my drug right there. I love it.
Jennifer, you just gave me goosebumps. Yes. When you say like, and there’s just like that sparkle in their eye. And that smile that just couldn’t get any bigger because they’re like, oh my gosh, this to your point. This is exactly what I had imagined. Yeah, it’s game changing. And
I feel like from our perspective as the style professionals knowing that that is possible for every woman makes you want to just do it more and more and more and more and more like this is not a one off unique thing to this one woman who has a very easy to dress body and a ton of money. Right? Like this is possible for every woman, every woman. Yes. And
every woman deserves that. Yes. Every woman deserves to feel that great when she gets dressed in the morning. Yep, Yep, absolutely. keeps you going.
It does. It does. Even on those hard days. Even when you walk them all for nine hours. You’re like, okay, I can do it. I can do it. So you specialize in petite? Yes. Are you a petite? I am How tall are you?
I am almost five, two.
Okay. All right. You know, they’re petite when they put the almost in there.
You said you seem true. I never noticed it until I started and then all of my clients do the exact same thing.
You’re going to eke out every half inch every you’re gonna round up.
That’s exactly right, girl. You are not kidding. Okay, so
before we hit record, we were talking about tick tock and my love of watching Tic TOCs I’m not I don’t like doing tic TOCs. But I love watching them. One of the best things I have seen on tick tock in a long time is this guy who goes to the gym and ask the other guys who are working out hotel they are and they’re like six two, and then he pulls out a measuring tape and he’s like let’s check. Yeah, and most of them are not six to some of them run away some of them get mad. It is if I can find the tic tac again, I will post the link in the show notes for this because it is so good. It is so good. So you get you get your almost five to you eke out every inch. So with that said, I want to talk about what petite actually means because there’s a lot of confusion that it’s just about being short that the pants are just shorter. Oh
my gosh, yes. This thank you so much because so few people ever actually like really drill it down. So across the board, it’s technically five, four and under. Okay. Now, the other misconception that a lot of women have is they think it’s a weight thing. Thank you. Yes, it has nothing to do with your weight at all. It is strictly a height deal. Now from a clothing standpoint, and this is what really does because a lot of my clients when they first start working with me is there’s actually seven different measurements that are different between true petite clothes and regular size clothes. Okay, so we go through my clients that I will go through and determine whether they’re a true petite meaning petite on top and bottom, or if they’re a fancy hybrid, whether they’re, you know, petite on top and regular on the bottom. Because in you know, and I’ve heard you mentioned this before, when you’ve talked about body shape, you know, not every body shape is created equal. Well, just because you’re short doesn’t mean every Short Girl is the same and, and you know, when you’re short, you know that right? Because you go into pair a, you know, into a store and trying to pair a petite pants and they don’t fit, or you know, they and you know, the waist is too big, or the inseam is still too long for you and that type of thing. So, but yeah, there’s seven different measurements. So you have to determine, you know, what are you petite on top or bottom? And then also, of course, the struggle of how that translates into different brands and different designers because we know all every designer is a special little butterfly.
They are all special little butterflies, but you know, so I am I’m five eight ish. Okay, but I can wear some petite bottoms because I am all torso. I am all torso. Yes. Yeah. And you know, it’s funny, back when boot cuts were the thing before, right. I know they’re becoming the thing again, we’re back to that. But I used to have clients who were petite who would want to buy non petite jeans, bootcut jeans, or like, I’ll just have them hemmed. And I was like, So now you’ll have a straight leg or like a weird? Yes. Because all the proportions are so different. So different. Yes.
One of the reasons why clients come to me a lot is because they say Oh, well, you know, I shop and then I have to have everything altered. But to your point, you know, if you take off and I don’t know what your sweet spot is, I’d be curious to hear. I tell clients, though, depending upon the style, no more than four inches. If you’re cutting off more than four inches, you have completely thrown off the shape, and it’s going to fit you weird. And what’s worse, it’s going to look strange on. Yeah.
So what are a couple of those seven measurements?
Yeah, absolutely. So if we’re talking about the top is shoulder with elbow allowance, arm opening, obviously sleeve length. And then when you
say, I don’t want to interrupt, but when you say elbow allowance, what does that mean? Is that like the shoulder to the elbow?
No, it’s actually where your elbow bends. Okay, there’s a little bit more space to allow for movement. Same thing in the pants. There’s a knee allowance, like where your knee should be. Every petite who has ever tried on a pair of regular size, distressed denim, where the distressing is supposed to be at the knee and hits him at the shin? Uh huh. They know what the allowance is. Like, if
you have an elbow patch jacket. Yes. And if you’re petite, it’s going to be above the elbow that’s going to be down on your forearm. Yes,
yes. And they’re going to be like, no, why now? What do you do that you wear out that part of your?
Of your sleep? So leaving a lot like what are you doing?
Hanging out at the bar? Yeah.
One of the things so I do I do virtual one on ones with clients. And so many of the women who come to me are petite. And the first question I asked them is, are you buying tickets? Right? Because most of them will say like, oh, no, like, it just doesn’t come together. For me. I just feel frumpy, nothing ever looks right. And they say are you buying tickets? And they go whoa, like, it’s easy. Yes. And I kind of like you could have saved yourself a whole lot of time and money by coming to the session, because you could just buy potatoes. Like, if you are petite and you are listening to this step one, by potatoes by closer fit you.
Yes. Well in Jennifer, this is the thing. So you know, 44% of women in the world are five, four and under. Yet you look at designers and brands and there is still designing for women who are 510. The thing about it is though, is that you know, and so we you know, like short girls, we all complain about that and say well, gosh, there’s just not enough selection. There’s not enough stores or and all of that type of thing. But on the flip side, we’re not doing ourselves any favors by not supporting the brands that do make putties available.
That’s a really interesting point. I read this article years and years ago about it was about plus size clothing and it was before plus size, you know, plus size women now say we’re underserved in the market. And I say that’s a myth that plus size women are hanging on to so you don’t have to just invest in yourself the way you are because so many brands have come along and fill that gap. There’s great plus, plus sized stuff out there. What I’ve seen is the petite, diminish, diminish, diminish. When I was shopping with clients at Nordstrom. I saw petite go from a department to two round racks that that was it. That was it. But I read this article from Ann Taylor and they had done a plus sized line years before anybody else had done it, I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but they had a plus size line and extended size line. And they said people just didn’t buy it, we offered it, people didn’t buy it. So I think that’s a really interesting point that you have to support the brands that are doing the thing. Yeah,
I think that’s interesting. I’ve noticed the exact same thing at Nordstrom. And the problem is to then is then they get rid of the fun, petite clothes, and then are left with ugly black pants that nobody needs another pair of right. Like, that’s what you’re on that all those two racks, that’s that’s what’s left. But then the other thing, it’s so Banana Republic has completely they have a great petite line, but they’ve stopped carrying it in their store. So then you have to online shop. So there’s a lot of little things like that. The mall
where I used to shop with my clients outside of Washington, DC, they had a banana republic petite store, all store. Can you imagine? I again, because I was there. And now it does not exist now. It’s like the size of the clearance section in the regular stores. It was very sad. Very sad. Yes, absolutely. So we’re going to talk a little bit about good stores for proceeds and maybe some brands that people haven’t thought of. But what are some of the unique challenges that petite have when it comes to style? What do they struggle with the most?
So, you know, you and I both talk about body shape a lot. And that and as far as I’m concerned, that’s like the basis like let’s get that down pat first, right? From a petite standpoint, everything is just a little bit more difficult, you have to put a little bit more thought into it when you’re short. It’s not because we want to look taller. In fact, the majority of my clients are completely happy being short, you know, they liked themselves, they liked their shape, they liked their form and all of that. It’s not that. But from a proportion standpoint, you have to put so much through that filter of is this making me look shorter, because if it’s making me look shorter, chances are it’s also making me look wider. So proportion becomes where it’s important for everybody, it’s essential for petite to understand what’s the right proportion for my height, because we just don’t have as much vertical real estate. So if we make a mistake, it can really be detrimental to the overall look of our outfit. So I think that the proportion pieces is something that you know, some people they’ll stop before they get to that piece that is really what ties it all in together. I also think once you know the proportions that work best with your height and your body shape. It’s so empowering because it goes from I have an outfit on and it’s not quite working. And I don’t know why to I do know why. And what’s even more exciting is I know how to fix it. Yes, if I tuck the blouse in, if I pop a belt on, if you know I look for, you know, higher rise pants from now on, if you go through those things, and it’s just like anything else, once you know how to fix it, then all of a sudden, you’re like, Damn, I’m good.
Yep. And I always think that’s the best use of body shape. Knowledge, right? It’s not to do, I can’t wear this, I can’t wear this, I have to wear this. It’s like, oh, I don’t like the way this looks. But I know why. And I know how to fix it. So for listeners who don’t know what you mean by proportion in your outfit, break it down. Super simple. Absolutely.
And it’s probably the easiest for me to give you two clothing examples. So say somebody is five feet tall. And they have a pair of pants on and then they have an oversized top on that hit some, let’s say, upper to mid thigh. When I’m looking at that woman, it looks like she just chopped herself in half because half of her height. So two and a half feet come from her legs. And then two and a half feet come from her, you know like the top of her head or the top of her shoulders to the bottom of the blouse. Well, very few petite, say I want my legs to look shorter. Like that’s just not that’s not on their mood board for their closet. But what that outfit combination has done because of the proportions, the long top, you know, chopping you off right at your thigh, it’s effectively cut you in half and made your legs look shorter unintentionally. What’s so much more attractive is and I have my clients do this if they stand up and they place their arm against the side of their body and bend at the elbow, where their elbow hits is a great spot usually for their visible waistline. That’s not saying that’s really actually where your waist is. I know mine isn’t it’s you know, it’s higher than that. But when you’re getting dressed, if the top of your pants, the top of your skirt, whatever, your belt can hit you right there. That’s going to be a huge, almost universally flattering proportion for petite because it makes your legs look longer and it makes your torso look smaller. And it’s just overall very flattering. And that’s just an easy way to like check and see where the visible waistline is.
I love that tip. I know that our petite listeners are like that was worth listening right there.
Don’t stop there’s going to be more good So if not, that’s worth it right there. So that’s probably one mistake. I hate to use the word mistake, but let’s use it anyway, that’s probably one mistake that you see petite women using frequently. But what are some other common petite style mistakes.
So probably the biggest one that I see is, you know, as women, our weight fluctuates, things move around, and all of that a lot for a lot of us, it goes into what what one of my girlfriends calls the box, right, upper thighs, stomach, hips, okay, hold that hole box area of our figure, it’s probably just natural to think, you know, if you put on a few pounds in it, like gravity, that weight gravitates towards that area, I’m gonna buy a bigger tarp or illusio, a looser tarp or a line or a tent blouse, and that will camouflage, you know, where I’ve added a little bit of weight or thickness. But I always remember what my chemistry professor said. And he said volume plus volume equals more volume. So what we do is we have an area of our body that has volume naturally, then we put on a tent blouse or an a line blouse or whatever, we just added more volume. So then all of a sudden, we look really wide in that area. I mean, it’s natural, we’re like, we don’t want everybody to see our stomach or our thighs or whatever it’s I mean, it’s nice. So I’m going to camouflage it. Unfortunately, that does not camouflage it. In fact, it can bring more attention to that area. And we’re actually undoing what we think we just accomplished. So that’s a big one.
Yes, yes, I talk about that all the time. But I also think that’s part of shopping with our mind mirror. And I talked about the mind mirror a lot is you put on a few pounds, and all of a sudden, you have this vision of yourself again, how you see yourself in your mind that has put on like 150 pounds, right? And is a completely different size. And you know, all these everything is different. And when I used to do closet edits with clients, I would make them put on all the clothes they said, Oh, those don’t fit those are too small. And they’d be like, oh wait, these do fit. Or oh, these are they’re just like a little snug. They’re not they hadn’t changed that much. But what they had done is bought a bigger size, a looser thing, whatever. And then mentally and physically kind of grew into it. They stopped looking at themselves as they really are and there’s a mental shift. There’s a mental shift. Yes,
you know, and I’ve heard people talk to like to teen girls about this a lot. You know, take pictures now because you’re younger, prettier thinner more gorgeous than you will ever remember be right like and think about that it’s so true. You look back on a picture from you five years ago and I’m like oh my gosh, I don’t have any wrinkles. And I was complaining back then like oh my gosh, I need Botox right you know what I mean? We we have such a misconception of what we actually look like and that’s the perfect example of Yes, I you know, I put on two pounds so I’m gonna go buy a larger size Well, probably not necessary. Right? Right.
Right. And I think you know, your feelings are not data let’s let’s let’s work with actual data, how your clothes fit is data. So talk to me about pattern and scale. Because I feel like petite think they can’t wear certain patterns or certain scales are there some that are better or they should avoid or wear which you love. So
you know how we were talking about how you know PT just adds an extra layer of complexity to the whole style style situation. And patterns, accessories, handbags, all of that is a perfect example of this right so petite can absolutely get overwhelmed with very big loud prints. I say to my clients, I don’t want I don’t ever want my clients to feel restricted. If they love a huge floral print. Let’s figure out a way to make it work right? A B and you can work around it. There are just some things though that are easier to make flattering, right? So it just depends on you know, if you look at that big loud, humongous floral print skirt, do you love it so much that you’re willing to put the work into it to make it look flattering to pair it with something clever on top or to you know pair it with you know tall pair of boots or something to you know, distract from it. So it just depends on how much you love it right and usually when you put it through that filter then that really makes the buying decision easy like I love it that much or Absolutely not. Yes, big prints can just easily overwhelm specially when it’s addressed and it’s from you know, shoulder to hem. If you love big prints, try to keep it smaller and like a shorter skirt, or you know, maybe a sleeveless blouse or a blouse underneath a jacket, something like that to make it maybe break it up a little bit. Smaller prints will be easier though for you.
Okay, But if like small little ditzy flowers are not your jam, don’t wear him because you’re petite. No,
no, no, no, absolutely, absolutely. No, first of all, don’t ever buy anything you don’t love, like,
thank you. Yeah,
I mean, like, that’s just completely we have we have money that we can spend on other stuff. And yeah, like I said, I just, I don’t ever want my clients to feel restricted. I think that because, you know, our I mean, unless you were just blast and I haven’t met anybody yet that has been with just a super stylish mom, or a sister who would just like knew everything there was to know about style. Just nobody teaches it to us. So we’re left to figure it out on our own. Well, that was one thing when you and I were growing up, right, but I think about girls now and there’s so much bad information out there. So you try to solve the problem. And then it just ends up being even more confusing. So for my clients, I mean, I definitely have a framework that I start with. And it’s almost the same as like when you first learn how to drive, and you’re scared. And you’re like, you have your hands on the steering wheel at 10. And two, and they don’t move ever. And you have like the two car links in between you and the car in front of you. Like you follow all the rules. And now you know, like, whatever. 20 years later, you like drive with your knees while you’re open up opening up the m&ms. And you’re like what?
Well, we never do that. We never do that.
Big. I mean, like that was a dramatic example. But you know, you mean when you’re first starting learning styles, some parameters help. And then once you get past that point, then you’re like, Okay, well, I can break the rules. And I know how to, you know, still create a flattering outfit.
Yes. It was Picasso who I sent it. I’m probably butchering it. Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. Yes, yes. Yeah. lovemaking of driving. Totally non style related. You know, I have a 15 year old. She’ll be 16 In just a few weeks. So she is driving. I’m still alive. Everything is good. Do you know it’s not 10 into anymore?
No. Clear? Yes. Oh, I’m 150 years old. I
don’t know me too. I learned to drive like a horse and buggy. I get. It’s not. And I thought if I had to like relearn that. I think it’s like, I don’t know. 12. It’s because of airbags. Because if you’re holding on to your steering wheel at 10, and two, and your airbag goes off, you’re gonna punch yourself in the face, apparently. Oh, my gosh, I put Did anyone tell you this? Whenever no one ever told me? So I’m still I’m intended to grow.
Right? I will. I will say I’m probably more of a six o’clock girl.
At this point. 1130 Somewhere in there. Right. Exactly.
The Jennifer. That’s just exactly what we were talking about having kids keeps you young. Yeah. Like I sound completely outdated. Because I didn’t know that we had changed.
What I didn’t know we had changed until until I told my dad I’m like 10. And she’s like, No, Mom, you don’t do that. I’m like, uncle. Another thing. I don’t know.
You are her style icon. So that’s all it matters.
Yeah. So again, before we were recording, I was telling Angela how my kids do not allow me to follow them on social media, which I understand I get it. But my daughter’s phone was open. And I saw an Instagram post that she had done. It was a candid picture of me. It was super unflattering. I would never reshare that if I mean, it was terrible. But the caption was my style icon. Ah, y’all, she’s 15 she’s 15 I just and I just it’s so 15 that she would think that about her mother and not tell her. Do you know what I mean? Like, I will not say nice things to say them about you. them to you.
Jennifer, I just think that is a sign that you are doing something so so
right with her. I just got easy kits. That’s all it is. That is all it is. That is all it is. I that one was Switched at Birth i i am not going to look for her real family because I just She’s amazing. Anyway, they’re built there. Okay, so you touched on something as we were just talking about actual style things about all the advice that’s out there, and some of its really bad. Are there pieces of petite advice? I just did a show about what traditional body shape advice gets wrong just in general. Is there a petite advice that is kind of mainstream everywhere that you disagree with? So
where do I start girl? Yes. I think that two pieces, especially for your listeners, I really want them to just you know what I mean that maybe they can put this through the filter. And then the first one is is all of these petite influencers. And just like every girl who’s five seven is not built the same. Every girl who’s five two is not built the same. So just because she looks like a cutie patootie in that whatever she has on that she’s trying to sell you doesn’t mean that it’s going to be great on you. There is no replacement for knowing your measurements. Knowing your body shape and really knowing the styles that you feel comfortable in the both are comfortable and flattering both sides I think sometimes petite gravitate towards that. Oh, so she’s short. And I’m short. So surely they’ll look, it’ll look great on me too, right? And then it doesn’t. And then you start you blame, you don’t blame her, you blame yourself or your body or your height or your shape, or whatever the situation is. And then that just puts us into a spiral. That’s not helpful. Second thing isn’t it’s not really advice so much as it’s the whole it goes back to the whole petite brands and petite designers and all of that. I think one of the things I find the most irritating is when a store a designer, whatever, will like create this super boxy blazer that is oversized and long. And then they pop a petite label on it. Now, yes, petite can make oversized boxy Blazers look good. But it goes back to the big oversized printing, it’s tough, and you have to work at it. So when there’s petite only brands and they create styles that are going to be so difficult for petite to make look good on them. It’s I find it irritating. I’m like, Come on, guys, you’re not doing us any favors at all. And then especially because you’re not even pairing it with something proportionate. That would be pretty, right. Like, if you’re gonna do that fine. But then tell us what you know, like, tell people what to wear with it. Because it’s not the oversized blazer, and then the big Palazzo pants, because you just made me look like an envelope. Ah,
okay. Very few people can do that one. Well, I mean, that is really tough for anyone to do well. And further, I think it’s really tough for anyone to feel good in. Right? You know, you can wear it, if you put it on you like it, that’s awesome. But I think it’s really hard for people to feel good in. And then you look at all the advice out there, you look at all the influencers, and you’re like, well, they’re obviously wearing it, they must feel good in it. Right? Maybe they don’t maybe they just took picture of it, because they want you to buy it right. That’s a lot of what that is. Exactly. They
have some collaboration with the brand. And you don’t I mean, they just think all of that kind of stuff. I think it just, it just keeps the disinformation going and going and going and, and all of that. It’s just, it’s frustrating. And then of course, you know, like, if somebody doesn’t come to us so that we can tweak it, then you know, they’re just kind of in a downward spiral, and they don’t know what to do.
And then they just stay stuck and think gets them back back into their own heads. I totally get it. So one of the things I see about parties all the time petite can’t wear crop pants or ankle pants, what do you think about that?
So again, is that going to be the easiest length to pull off? Probably not, right? Like, you know, skinny jeans, or more tailored, thinner, thinner leg shape, definitely going to be a more flattering leg shape. Especially the hits like ankle or toe grazing is definitely going to be more flattering and easier to pull off. Especially if you’re curvy. I love cropped pants, there is no better joy in life than being able to throw on a pair of flip flops and run to the grocery store and not have to worry about your pants dragging on the ground. That’s where the length of the top really comes into play though, right? Like, okay, cropped pants and a long short shirt. Probably best to be avoided. Because again, you just chopped yourself in half. And that’s not a flattering proportion. But no, again, it goes back to petite can wear anything they want. Some things are going to be easier. Some things are going to be more of a struggle. But really proportion comes into play
without. And I would imagine to like crops and ankles. That’s a very different pant, like a crop pant. That can mean so we’re seeing like the new Capri length. Yeah, yeah. But then a crop pant would be kind of like bottom of the calf. And ankle could be right to the ankle bone, which would be already very different. I would imagine. Yeah. So
I think it’s such a good point what you just said. So because there’s a whole I have a whole module about pants, because I think there’s a simple pant formula that every woman wants she has hers will make life so much easier. And to your point inseam is critical. And I don’t know that I’ve ever worked with two women that have the ideal inseam for all four pant legs. I just don’t think it did. I mean, it’s just, you know, even though it’s like I worked with such as you know, like a small height range of women very rarely. And so getting that inseam right is critical. So yeah.
And how do we get the inseam right? What could we do
sadly, so most women will have a pair of pants in their closet that they love. And what you want to do is you want to measure on the inside of the seam from the crotch to the hem, then and so Say, for example, to Jennifer’s point that those are a cropped pant, and the inseam is 24 inches, then what you can do is you can say, okay, so if I add put you probably safe to say three to four inches to that inseam, then you’ll likely have your ideal ankle length. Once you have a pair of pants that you love, where it hits you, it’s perfect for those shoes, it’s perfect for wear flats, or flip flops or whatever the situation is. Write that number down, I have a like my clients get a folder of all their important measurements so that when they’re online shopping, or when they’re in your store, whatever they’ll know exactly, they’ll remember exactly what to look for. But you can keep a Notes app on your phone, whatever, wherever it’s easiest. But that also eliminates so much time shopping and wasting time trying on something that you know if that has a 32 inch inseam. Don’t try it on. It’s never going to work. Like don’t waste your time. Don’t get sweaty, don’t take your clothes off.
Right, the pants you have take your shoes off, and that’s when it gets hard. That’s when you’re just like I don’t care. It’s the shoes, man. It’s the shoes. But also I would think if 27 is your perfect length, and that pant is 28 I know a lot of women who are either going to accept 28 Or are going to keep hunting for 27 when everything else about the pant is perfect, right? And to those women I would say face at a tailor just go to the tailless
well, it honestly Jennifer. I mean if they’re if it’s denim, and you’re gonna throw it in the washer, it’s gonna shrink anyways. Like, it’s no worries. Yeah, yeah.
But I just know a lot of women who keep hunting for like the Holy Grail, expecting off the rack clothes to fit perfectly. And that one garment was designed for like one fit model, school probably wasn’t you. So expecting it to fit you perfectly, is a little unrealistic. Like I always say like, do the best you can off the rack. And then if it matters to you, if you want that perfection, finish it the rest of the way. I just I remember having a client and she a skirt was like two inches too long. And it was like a straight skirt. And we spent the next three hours searching for the right skirt. And I was like the time you invested in me was a lot more expensive than a trip to the tailor for that skirt. Just saying, Jennifer, I
love that so much. And it’s so funny because I do I have had clients who are rule followers. Like there isn’t like once I say something like there is no like that is we won’t accept anything but to your point. Yep, no, no coloring outside the lines. But it was funny. I was having a conversation with a client. She was asking me about the whole like summer winter spring color analysis tool. And it got me to thinking because you know, uh, you know, it’s like, super popular again. And I remember my grandmother took me to get my colors done when I was like 11. Yep. And because she swore by it, and she had the fan of color swatches in her purse. And she anytime she like she wouldn’t try it on. If it wasn’t in her fan of, you know, color swatches, she wouldn’t do it. So yes, there’s people who and I always, you know, it’s like everything else. It’s a good guide. Yes, but it’s not it each year. But it’s not the Holy Grail. It’s not the 10 commandments, it’s, you know, we have to be a little flexible sometimes. I
also think it’s about priorities, right? Some women are like, I don’t care if I look tired in dusty blue, I like dusty blue, cool wear dusty blue. And there are some women who are like, I don’t want to look tired, I will never put on anything that makes me look, you know, a little less bright and shiny than I am. I will never cool, that’s fine too. You just have to know where those priorities are. But I also tell clients a lot, you can have like one top priority, and everything else might have to give a little. So if you are somebody who’s like body shape, I have to wear the right neckline for my body shape. And I also have to wear the best colors for me. Oh, and it also has to be this and this and this and all of a sudden you have four things you can wear. You know, if you are an easy to dress body shape, if you are say, let’s say you’re a winter rectangle, so you can wear black well, and most things can work for your shape. That’s great. But if you’re not, you got to be a little bit flexible. You got to be a little bit flexible. And look for those key things in your wardrobe that really make a difference. And also if you’re tough to shop for when you find it buy it Yes, yes. In every color. Yeah. I went to target the other day. And even my daughter’s said, Mom, look at it. It’s all your colors. And they didn’t mean like on your color card. They just meant like the things that I wear. And it was an eye shopped a lot because, like the specific springy colors are not always easy to find. And I was like, alright, while they’re here, I’m going to stock up. So if you’re tough to buy for, if you’re a petite and you find a great pair of petite pants, by him by him, yes, absolutely may not happen again. Right? Just might not suit you. So I promised that we would talk about some of your favorite petite brands and stores, things that we may not may not know about things that we may not be shopping, where, where do you go? Where do you take your people? Where do you shop for yourself.
So the majority of my clients are entrepreneurs and executives. So career wear is typically the first part of their closet that we tackle, because they’re they work a lot of hours, or they’re highly visible. And they need those outfits that they feel comfortable in when they’re representing their company or their brand. So one of my favorite places for for petite career wear is Petite studio, okay, and she is a short girl too. And they actually size their clothes on three different parties before they make it. So which I love. Because as we talked about, not all you know, all parties are not created equal. So the chances of you having a good proportion is super high. There are pieces are very classic. So if somebody has a more classic or conservative, traditional office style, it’s a fabulous place to yet it’s not trying to be a dude. Like it’s still feminine enough that you really mean that you like and feel like a girl when you have it on. So that’s one of my favorite places. One of the things I think, is underlooked are European brands. So many like Italian brands, even British French brands besides everything smaller. So even though there’s not like a p p on the label, a lot of times they’re a good fit for petite because they’re shorter, they’re smaller, they’re more narrow and all of that so I love bash and I love mage both have that it’s it’s almost a transition type of thing you can definitely wear it for you know, a dressier casual, like if you were you know going out with girlfriends on the weekend for brunch. And it can also you can also make it work for the office. But both of those styles they do cut them a lot slimmer. So if you know somebody loves an Italian brand, try that. Even like there’s a Italian hosiery brand and the name is escaping me right now. But you know, a lot of times petite will have like with hoes and tights and that type of thing have a problem because they’re there, the waist is right or whatever. But then the toes are three inches too long. So there’s, so there’s a great read, and they do some fun patterns. And right now you know, patterns and textures and all of that is so hot. So so that’s a fun one. But definitely keep those two in mind. And then there’s I love American Standard denim. I also love buccal one of the reasons why I love buccal is because of their filters. And I know that sounds ridiculous, but you know we get very efficient at shopping. Yep. And the fact that they have every inseam ever created and you can drill down into the six potential pairs of jeans that will fit your height is a beautiful thing to me. And I mean you can drill it down so much that if you know that eight inch rise on your pants, 25 inch inseam and you like you know this kind of bootcut you know what flair, whatever, they will only show you the six pairs that you that will work for you, which I adore. Because I mean even if you shop for a living like you and I do you we still don’t Emily still don’t want to waste time like don’t show me stuff that’s not going to work for my client.
And then you have to read every single clothing label. I mean, when we put together our link database for the capsules, I mean, I personally check every single link in there which we have 39 pieces, minimum of 12 links per piece. I read every clothing description. It’s a lot. It’s a lot like
you know what, I’m so glad that you brought that up because I meant to meant to tell you I have so much admiration for what you do. I know no it’s I don’t I don’t know that anybody really realizes how difficult what you do is like I get off. No, I get off so easy. I work one on one with a client. I mean by that, you know like we’ve been working together three, four months. I already know what’s in our closet. I know what she likes. I know what she doesn’t like you’re trying to dress, oodles of women. And I mean and you do such an amazing job at it like an intro. Please know like the rest of us. We know how much work you put into it. It’s mind boggling. I would be like throwing up my hands go in nevermind. Let’s work. Let’s work.
First of all, we’ve been doing it a long time. I this was my eighth spring capsule. No way Yeah, and I just found the first one on Qantas that I couldn’t even find that so actually that might have been my ninth but i i The first one I ever did I had to do like on the on Photoshop or something it was so ugly but I found the spring 2017 one on Canva and my Canva account lost somewhere and it was the clothes were cute I’ll still say that not all of them are current looking. But like the guide was so ugly it was so ugly and it’s just such a good reminder of like how far you come right from the early days maybe I’ll maybe I’ll drop it into our membership so people can see what that looks like but oh, boy you should you should have her like
a retroactive like on your anniversary this year. Yeah, isn’t like look back type of thing. That would be fun.
Oh my goodness. We’ve come a long way baby. And now there’s a team now there’s a team so I’m not shopping every link but I’m I’m vetting every link I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it now without them. No way. No way. I would just cry. I would cry. Well, but thank you thank you for the compliment. Oh, it’s
no it’s so so true. So
I think you were saying what is it 50 54% of women are under five four or 4444 44 Okay, we also know that a significant portion of women in the US are over a size 14 Yep. And I believe the people who are really underserved in the markets are plus petite. Completely agree. Do you have any good resources for them? Yes.
universal standard I adore I love reformation. Reformation has what I would consider more career or classic wear so because I know that for my curvy petite clients work where it can be quite a struggle bus right and so sometimes they’ll default to like more inexpensive fast fashion type of places which really doesn’t send the message that their position at work she needs to send right so like the fabrics aren’t quite quite as great and all of that also love page for denim. Let’s see ASOS for casual weekend less expensive Asos Curve is fabulous. What I love about it so much is they really embrace body shape. So they under it’s not just a tunic it’s do you know I mean it’s a wrap dress that like has some definition right under your bus which is so flattering and it has you know like maybe a slip up look the leg it’s so sexy. You know what I mean? That’s it’s just it really is celebrating body shape versus well it fits. Well if that’s the best thing that we can say about is it fit right that’s like we can we can do better than that.
So better. Okay, that is a real that’s a real challenge real challenge for people. I know. We source a lot. Talbots is very good for size inclusivity for a lot of like the basic, you know, kind of affordable things. I think J Jill does some plus petite things. Land’s End used to be a very good source for Do they not anymore.
I know, right? I feel like and it’s been a while since I’ve looked but I felt like I look the last few times I’ve looked. It’s been very vanilla. Do you know what I mean? Like just
they’ve always been vanilla. But then they had this moment where they had really cute things. And then that moment was over. And it lands and sorry lands and but we used to put them in the capsule guides quite a bit. And I noticed in the last few years we haven’t. And so I kind of went in and I was like what can we source from Land’s End, you know, it used to have a great return policies, some great basics, and I was like they had some cute jeans. So I will say that.
So another brand that your listeners should check out is Bowden especially because this you know this spring preppy is so the whole preppy trend is so huge right now. And Bowden I think just does a really nice job. There. fabrics are great. They have a lot of fun color options, which are perfect for spring, so I have been shopping there more lately.
Do they offer a lot of petite options? I feel like when we shot them, everything I want them to often petite is not.
So no just the styles that Jennifer’s not looking for.
I know apparently, apparently that’s good to know. I find Bowden TO BE ALL OVER THE PLACE size wise. And I find that their size chart is not accurate would be an overstatement. Right? It’s because I order if I look at the size chart on something, and I order that size, it’s always going to be so huge unless like I can’t fit it on my shoulders like I don’t I don’t why did they even put size charts if they’re not going to follow that themselves?
Well, and the same exact size chart for every item on your on your page. Like that’s not realistic, right? Like I’ve noticed, you know, they’re doing less of that. One of the things that I like and I think that we’re going to keep getting More and more and more is one of the sites that I shop at a lot talks a lot about model specs. So she is 510. And the skirt hits are at the top of the thighs, well, you know, I’m five, four. So I can say it’s going to be, you know, six inches longer. So I don’t have to worry about flashing my underwear type of thing. So I almost find the model specs are more helpful, then the size charts, which have a tendency to be very generic. There’s another site that I love that you will put in what size you are in a specific brand. And then they translate it to their other brands.
I’ve seen that Where did I see that? What is it called?
Of course, it just,
if we think of it, we’ll put it in the show notes.
Yes. Well, and I will say and I’ll look it up afterwards, and I’ll pop an email over to you. But I love that because then if you know that your whatever OSI is to in Amanda up, Richard, and you’re looking at whatever, it’ll translate it for you, which I love. So those are but to your point, the size charts are hit or miss depending upon where you’re at. So yeah, it’s
challenging. It’s yeah, yeah. Especially when everything is online, you have no choice, but to just hope for the best. Yeah,
and that whole return thing can be really troublesome. So the more research that you can do before you hit Add to cart is so good. I mean, if the information that you’re working with is good, because I have so many clients who are like, you know, I have five bags in my trunk that I’m supposed to ship back, and I’m like, Girl, I hear you, but because I don’t want clients to waste money, and I definitely don’t want them to settle for stuff that doesn’t work. So I tell them before you can buy, you know, just don’t allow yourself like I cannot do any more shopping until I get those five returns out of my trunk
that my listeners know I struggle with this. And basically everything I buy online is final sale because I ended up forgetting to return it for getting, you know, I’d be like Oh, go to the store and return it of the stores at the Mall of America. And there are some times that sounds like a fun time and other most of the time I’m like, I can’t know. But I am learning like factor that seven, eight $10 Whatever the return fee is factor that into the price. If you’re going to order more things to get free shipping order and other size of the same thing. Yes. Oh, instead of like a clearance t that you don’t need. Yes.
If your listeners can walk away with one nugget right there, that’s it. Yes, if you are concerned about it, you know what I mean? Order that 10 and the 12 or whatever. And then that way, you’ll have a good, better chance,
a better chance, I think that is just something that I was thinking about this this morning for no reason. When you go to, to the stores, which most people don’t anymore, but when you go to the store, you have a better chance of ending up with a good wardrobe. Right. And I remember being I think I was like at loft with a client. And she was between a medium and a large and we tried on all the mediums and all the largest. And there was one that fit best, you know, because of variants and all that good stuff. There was one that fit perfectly, you don’t have that option when you shop online and you probably don’t even know that that is an option. So you’re just like my good enough. Good enough. It’s definitely more work. And, you know, it’s, it’s hard, it’s it’s hard to go to the stores now. But man when you can,
and I’m sure you’ve noticed this too, but I mean, the amount of shopping I do in store I mean it’s almost more going into look at fabrics, look at you know, see find new brands for clients and that type of thing then versus actual shopping anymore. Just because even when you go in there, they’re the amount of sizes that they have, you know, they only have an extra extra small and an extra extra large and everything in between has already been sold out. So you’re like, do you know which just adds to the frustration for clients? You can order it online.
I know we can but like I know that’s a choice but we came here so we didn’t have to Oh my gosh, yes.
No, I love I love that I’m like right but I put makeup on and I drove across town and I parked
shoes
I washed my face for goodness sakes.
Come on now. Yeah, yeah, it really it is really really difficult. It’s, it is now to the point I think that online shopping is easier. In store shopping is just become like you said they sell out of every size. They just want to send it to you online. But feeling those fabrics.
See no very tactile and yes, so absolutely. And you just even you know to your point you can read the you know the descriptions and the product details and all of that. It just isn’t the same as being able to feel it and to sense the quality and be able to you know and all of that so the
drape. The drape of a fabric is everything to me. I live for drapey fabrics. sweatshirts with a little bit of drape T shirts with a little bit of drape pants. So being able to see the drape is really, really important to me. But then I do leave frustrated, having just ordered everything online. Oh, well, oh well. But then I get to ride a roller roller coaster in the middle of the mall. So, you know, good times.
See, there’s always an upside and where else are you gonna get a pretzel with fake cheese?
That’s a very good point where, indeed. So, as we’re wrapping up here, what are some of your best petite Style Tips two or three like quick, quick top hits. Okay? So
first things first, when it comes to handbags and accessories, always use a full length mirror. Proportion is critical. And it’s easy to buy a handbag that you’re like, This is amazing. And it’s also as big as a house and it completely overwhelms you and you don’t realize because you don’t see it in a full length mirror. So being able to see yourself from head to toe. Yes.
Can we pause for a second because my style circle members, you know, I love you. i you i i think about you every day I adore you. Go buy yourself a full length mirror, go. They’re like $8 You don’t even have to invest in a fancy one. You can get one for $8. But the teeth are not. Right. The whole thing you got to see the whole thing. Yes. Without standing on the edge of your bathtub. Because I’m afraid you’re gonna fall. A lot of our members will post pictures standing on the edge of the edge of their bathtubs to get the whole thing. And I just worry they’re
gonna fall. Yes, yes, no, that’s dangerous. It is dangerous, especially if you have heels on. And when the hot fireman comes to rescue you How the heck are you going to explain this? But
you really can’t. Reminds me of a story. I haven’t told it a long time and I’m going to take a minute to tell it the client who had fire pants in her closet. She had like four pair of fire pants and I was like Linda because we call them all Linda. Linda what our fire pants. And she’s like, if there’s a fire. These are what I will change into shop.
That is hysterical.
And I was like first of all, I don’t know what to say to that. Second, it was like, Okay, if there’s a fire, and I am not properly dressed, right? It’s probably in the middle of the night. I’m gonna get my kids, my dogs. I’m gonna let my husband fend for himself. Right? He’s a grown up he can he can handle that. Kids dogs laptop. We’ve got about maybe not even laptop. I’m not worried about my pants. Third thought was this. You really only need one pair of fire pants below. I think maybe Linda was amazing. We had a good time. And we laughed about fire pants for a long time. But if it’s successful, you can rewear the fire pants. It’s not all the fire pants are gonna go up in flames. So one pair of fire pants every one one pair, one pair. And I couldn’t decide Are these like the good jeans that you change into for the hot fireman? Or are these like, you know, clients always you say I’ll just keep it to go go to the grocery store. And I still don’t understand like, why are we changing into worse versions of what we’re wearing to go? Why is the grocery store like this third dimension? I don’t get it anyway. Are they worse than your regular jeans? Or are they better? I still couldn’t figure that out. But we donated all the fire pants they had to go.
Oh my gosh. Well, I’ve seen some firemen and I’m thinking they probably make her butt look amazing. Yeah, that would be my thought.
That’s like your main concern. Like your home is going up in flames. You’re like, but I look good, right?
Have you checked out? checked me out from the back? Yup.
Ma’am, ma’am, move. I’m trying to save your home move. Job it. Oh my god, you’re making me cry. Fire pants, figureheads. Okay, so tip number one for petite. It’s really for everyone. But petite. You may not notice that huge bag. So get a full length mirror. Yep. What are a couple other
quick hits. And the same note The same applies for accessories. It’s not so much a thing anymore. But a couple seasons ago like the big oversized necklaces, lots of layers and that type of thing. So again, it’s out with accessories. It’s always best curvier petite can get by with bolder jewelry. But if you’re both short and skinny, really, really, really, really watch that. And then the third thing that I’ll say and this is what I tell all of my new clients is when it comes to dressing for your body shape, pick your favorite feature first. Whatever that is, whether it’s your boobs, your legs, your waist, your bum, whatever it is dress with the intention of accentuating the heck out of that first, and then worry about the other stuff. Yep. If you love your legs, and you get dressed every day and you’re like, Damn, my legs look so good. You’re going to feel amazing when you leave the house and that is the most important thing because honestly Feeling confident is the most powerful thing that women can do for themselves. I
love that. I feel like we could leave it right there. But there’s a question I asked everybody, every single person, our women are busy, we’ve thrown so much at them today. So much good stuff, so much randomness. But what is one thing if they can only remember one thing, and it can be something you’ve already mentioned? Or something new? What would you like them to remember and take away from today?
Proportion, proportion, proportion, proportion, especially for your short listeners. That is such a game changer. Because you all of a sudden understand how to tweak an existing outfit that you already have in your closet and make it look even better.
Love it. Focus on proportion. Yeah, fantastic. Okay, tell everybody where they can find you. Oh, my gosh, yes. And what you do,
I hang out on LinkedIn. Okay. That’s my suit from a social wealth, social media standpoint. And then also, I do have a free gift for your listeners, which is the body shape quiz. They answer a few quick questions. And then they get thrown over into a really short video tutorial, where I give them some tips on styles and silhouettes that are going to flatter their shape the best and the easiest. If they go to Angela foster.co, forward slash, Jennifer, they will land right there.
Perfect. We’ll have all the links in the show notes. Absolutely. It’s
a quick, easy one that really like built to your point, they are busy. They’ll walk away with some really powerful insights on what to look for, and more importantly, what to not waste their money on.
Love it. And for our petite listeners who maybe want more help, how do you work with people.
So I work one on one, I have a five step framework that everybody goes through first. And we talked about body shape and your perfect pant formula, your perfect assessories the colors that look best on your skin, how to really refine your style so that you know the styles to stay away from and the styles that really make you feel great. And then we do a closet edit. So that’s how we start off but it’s one on one, private and all of
that. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. I had so much fun today. I hope you only this was this was great.
Definitely the most fun hour I’ve had all week. So thank you, Jennifer. And
it’s Thursday. It’s Thursday. Right? So I’m sorry that this is the most fun. I’m sorry, you haven’t had more fun before this. But hey,
I know. I actually now that you say that. I’m sad about that, too. I’m just kidding.
We’ll get together next Monday so we can start on a high note. Absolutely. It’s a date. Thank you so much for being on the show. I just I really appreciate it. I learned so much and you were just a joy to have.
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Oh my gosh, isn’t she fantastic? I loved what she had to say about focusing on proportions. Whether you are petite or not, it’s a great place to start. I hope you enjoyed this episode and that you’ve learned a lot about dressing your petite body best. Be sure to head over to Angelus site and follow her on LinkedIn. Of course we’ve got all of those links and more in the show notes. I will see you next time. Until then remember that your everyday matters. So get dressed for it. And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening today. If you’re loving the everyday style school podcast, I’d like to invite you to become a member of the style circle. It’s our monthly all access membership that gives you everything we create to make style easy, so you can save time and money have easier mornings and more confidence all day long. You get our seasonal capsule wardrobe guides, all of the master classes we offer and our exclusive members only podcast, the everyday style school extra credit. Plus, you’re invited to the Facebook community where you can get even more style support and inspiration. I would love to get to know you and support your style journey. It’s just $19 a month, less than the cost of a clearance shirt you’re never going to wear. Come join me and make your everyday style easier.

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