Squawk Radio

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Dear friends,

I am here to complain on behalf of shorties everywhere. I’m five foot, one inch--which means it isn’t always easy to find the right clothes. This presents the same difficulties that women with other non-Kate-Moss bodies face . . . if you’re heavier than average, taller than average, or anything else other than average, you’re going to have a hard time finding clothes that work for you. (Incidentally, if you don’t like thong shoes and you try to buy new sandals this season, you’re screwed.)

So here’s the reason for my complaint today. The fashion options for short women have become even more limited. Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales are now closing their petite departments. The store executives point out that shorties can buy regular clothes and just have them altered. (Do they know how expensive that is? How time-consuming?)They also suggest we can buy clothes in the juniors’ department, as if dressing like Lindsay Lohan is a viable option for a forty year old woman.

It’s not easy being petite. I hate the very word. As one of my wallflower heroines, Daisy Bowman, complains, it makes one sound trivial. Daisy adamantly denies being short, because she is all too aware of how difficult it is to be taken seriously.

And when you get to the heart of the matter, it’s not easy being different. We should all be so lucky to fit into the mainstream, that great comfortable homogenized mass of people who apparently never have to hem, diet, wear skyscraper heels or resort to whatever it takes to be part of the herd. Someday, I think, we will all be more tolerant and inclusive of those who are different.

In the meantime, I’ll learn how to hem my own pants.

Do you have a hard time finding styles to accomodate your body type? What are the stores that have the best clothes for you? Do you feel there is a fashion bias against the short and/or overweight woman?
Lisa Kleypas, 9:30 AM