Sunday, November 14, 2010

A tisket, a tasket, a green-lined tea-dress I photo with.

On a whim from Sandhya's post, and to mentally stave off Ohio's newly chilly weather (it is officially fall-like outside!), I'm going to post about my favorite dress.

I refused to wear pants until I was in 6th grade; the answer was always dresses or skirts, usually with leggings or tights (which I could pull off then, I just don't look great with them now). As soon as I discovered jeans, I sort of fell in love and distanced myself from dresses for quite a while. I can still rock a dress every so often, and lust after twirly skirts that I see at swing and contra dances garbing my friends, but on a whole, the answer is pants.

Purchased for a cool, under twenty dollars during my senior year in high school, I wore this tea-length dress with a bit of a crinoline bottom to prom. And unlike most prom dresses, it fit me gloriously, and was simple enough that it has been happily recycled for many dressy occasions, and is companion to several similar dresses in my closet (maybe I'll post some additional photos soon).

One of my favorite things about being small is that many of my favorite outfits from yesteryear still fit me quite nicely. I most recently wore this dress to my senior cinema showcase last May.

Photo by the delightful Ben Plaut. The number of photos that contain me modeling with my camera should make me be a Nikon camera model :D

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Make It Work, or Not

As a short lady, I've memorized most of the basics ins and outs for dressing yourself to look taller: horizontal striped pants, nude heels, monochromatic outfits, etc. One thing, however, that has me puzzled is why some of the worst options for shorter women are sold in practically every department store petite.

Today's perpetrator is the ankle length skirt. On most wearers, the long skirt makes one look like a member of a religious convent or a 17th century Pilgrim (See Exhibit A). There's also the floor length floral skirt* which, again, should be reserved for 1970s style Halloween costumes.

I have simply found that longer skirts do not flatter most people, regardless of height. The styles for longer lengths are limited since it's clearly not practical to buy an ankle length pencil skirt- if you plan on at all walking. For every girl who can rock a floor length skirt a la Blake Lively, there are twenty others who are sectioning their bodies into terrible proportions. Blake succeeds in this outfit because the skirt gives the illusion of being part of a one piece dress which is much easier to wear even if you aren't 5'10" like she is. I've seen a variety of dresses that give the illusion of wearing a skirt by combining a cropped top with a more flowy bottom.

Longer dresses present a similar problem for petite girls. Shorter dresses that expose your legs trick the eye into making you look taller. They are also much easier to shop for than, say, pants. Anna, Ma'ayan, and I went to college in Ohio and understand that cold weather doesn't always permit us to wear shorter skirts and dresses in November (or even March for that matter), but if you learn to layer clothes properly, you can use some of your dresses in the winter.

If you do want to wear a longer dress, try to shop for one that is less bulky. A long sleeve floor length dress is going to look bulky. Consider pairing a turtleneck under a knee-length jumper or looking for a dress that, at the very longest, hits you mid calf. I've also seen a variety of woolen leggings this season, which look fairly cozy.

Remember, if it's that cold, you can even layer leggings or throw on some pants.

*Admittedly, I have purchased this type of skirt, but haven't worn one since I was 17 and a vegan.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hello, world.

Surprisingly enough, this photo is from two years ago. Little girl, big book. (There's another version of this photo from 16 years ago, too. Trend? I think so...)

My name is Ma'ayan Plaut, and I'll be a guest contributor here at Little, So Chic. I'm not so good at fashion and stuff (though I appreciate it, it's a hard to appreciate something so difficult for me to wear. Sandhya's post about how cutting/hemming your pants doesn't make them "fit" is a good reason why.) so I'll be contributing "short" stories about my life as a short person.

I'm 4'10'' and have been since I was twelve. I've been told I have a big persona and people don't realize I'm short til I'm standing next to them. Being little doesn't mean you can't act big.

I work predominately in higher ed communications, specifically on the web, where no one can see what height you are. Even if you can't see it, I'm sitting with my 4-inches-too-long pants with my ballet flats behind my desk riding my kids' sized bike to work every day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Casual Introductions

In a world where height reigns supreme, Amazonian goddesses float along couture runways and grace the covers of Vogue, Elle, and Visionaire. It would be nice if the perks stopped there, alas height is just as important in playing essentially ever sport I attempted as well as to not being stepped on while worming your way through large crowds. Eventually I found myself (and thankfully stopped trying to play organized sports).

The struggle to find pants that don't drag on the ground, however, never stops - though I do respect that tall women have the opposite problem. I've been told countless times, "At least you can hem your pants. You can't add to the bottom of your jeans." Any true fashionista knows that simply chopping several inches off the bottom of a pair of pants doesn't magically make them fit. The width of a pair of pants meant for a tall girl's lower thigh, no matter how skinny she may be, does not correspond to my ankle. I can't recall how many times I've accidentally tried on capris and then, wondering why the fit is so awkward realize that they are not petite length pants.

I can live with looking a little harder to find shorter inseams in the same way that wider girls can live with shopping for plus-sized clothes. What I cannot live with is the exclusion of the shorter girl, that is shorter than 5'5" from the wonderful world of high fashion and couture as an art-form. If the average American female is 5'4" (I've allowed an extra inch above, which is fair considering the "Petite" cycle of ANTM had girls up to 5'7"), just as many of us fall below that mark as those who fall above. The average female super model is generally between 5'8" and 6'1", a good 4-9 inches above the average girl. This blog is dedicated to the rest of us who, whether 5'2" or 4'9," know their Louboutins from their Blahniks and that petite section isn't limited to outdated holiday sweaters and sportswear for senior citizens.