I sometimes feel like Zara was put on this earth to taunt me. I hop onto its site, confident as can be, certain that I'll come away with a bounty. I leave either empty-handed or with a lone pair of shoes. Clearly, there are worse things in life (plus, you'll find some spectacularly expensive-looking footwear options in-store right now), but I'm always a bit disappointed that those tailored flares are so long they'd lose their silhouette if I took them up or that the standout dress I've been ogling online would be perfect if only the waistline sat in line with my petite proportions. I have an hourglass figure, too, and Zara's clothes appear to be far better suited to people who are tall, straight up and down and within a rather limited sizing range.
Many of us appreciate the impeccably high standards of Zara's trend-driven goods, but if only the retailer would cater to people around the 5'1" mark more often, right? I've tried on enough pieces over the years to be able to confidently say that the below categories do tend to fit me better. There are a few key pointers below, as well as some of the most petite-friendly new-in pieces. As always, buy the items that are built to last, suit your personal style and work within what you already own. Hope it helps you, my fellow short friends!
1. CROP TOPS
Style Notes: I know it sounds obvious, but if you buy shorter tops, they will be more in proportion to match up with the rest of your wardrobe. Longer styles can be bulky if you want to tuck them in.
2. STRETCHY DRESSES
Photo:@hannahalmassi / WHO WHAT WEAR
Style Notes: Whenever I've tried dresses from Zara that are more fitted or have buttons, waist-wraps or anything more structured, they just never ever sit in the right place. So I've discovered that their knitted, stretchy and jersey pieces work best.
Style Notes: Zara was basically built on tailoring, so where trousers are always, always going to be too long for me to even bother trying (unless I buy culottes or cropped trousers and wear them long) jackets, especially blazers, actually do fit well.
4. SHORTER HEMLINES
Style Notes: Opt for shorter-hemline skirts and dresses, and they should still be a decent enough length. Don't even think about buying a maxi dress unless you're happy for it to trail through mud and be destroyed!
Style Notes: Where jumpsuits and dresses can be tricky to get right for petite proportions, it's a little bit easier with co-ords as you can have the flexibility to style them to suit. For example, you could knot an oversized shirt to tame it. Warning: You may still need to get trousers tailored to length.