Since I started my job search in October 2012, as a girl from Asia, soon I learned of the difficulty in finding work clothes in the United States. I am 5'3'' tall and 115lbs, which is on average in terms of the size of Taiwanese girls. However, in the U.S., I look so small, and the clothes in most of the stores are too big for me.

People around me suggested I should look for "Petite" clothes. According to Wikipedia, a petite size is a standard clothing size designed to fit women of shorter height, typically 160cm (5 ft 3 in) or less.

Being a frugal shopper, I started with discount stores such as T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. I used to be able to find clothes in my size in these stores when I was looking for casual wears. However, I encountered barriers when looking for professional wears, both suits and business casual. Sometime it was the pants that were too loose and long, sometimes it was the tops with shoulder width being too wide for me.

And then some local Asian friends suggested I check out Banana Republic, Loft, and Ann Taylor. I could easily find my size in these stores, but again as a frugal shopper, they looked so expensive. Since I landed a job, I had been wearing a few clothes I bought from these stores with discounted prices at an outlet, along with many other cheap clothes in wrong size that I bought from places like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. Soon I realized that I did not feel confident at all when wearing those clothes that were in the wrong size, and gradually I just stuck to the only clothes that look fit on me. Given the limited number of clothes, I reached out to the Internet to learn how to match different pieces of clothes to create variety but still look professional.

Then I found this website (http://www.extrapetite.com/) run by an Asian Petite named Jean. She is 5 feet tall and 94 pounds, living in Boston. Apparently she was struggling in finding professional wears but later on she learned where to shop for clothes and how to match up different pieces to look good. In addition, she also shares some DIY tips and brands that petites might be interested in trying. I have been enjoying reading her blog and was inspired by her that instead of owning many cheap clothes with wrong size, owning a few good quality clothes with right size might be a better option.


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