Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

May 16, 2006

A Petite Mission

I live in New York - one of the most diversely populated cities in the world. People of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, and tastes live here. In this city, you should be able to find anything and everything. So, something as simple as clothing that fits me should be a cinch, right? I mean, for goodness sake, it's Manhattan! The Big Apple! Fashion Capital of the World (or at least, the States)! Really, I can't be that small!

Wrong. I have decided that Fifth Avenue has abandoned me and everyone else outside the average sizing categories. I've been to the H&Ms, the Banana Republics, and even the Bergdorf Goodmans. The trendy indy boutiques in downtown are also not helping me. Fans of Project Runway, I've even stepped into Emmett McCarthy's store EMc2. "My, you're tiny, aren't you?" he asks me, and then proceeds to let me down by telling me nothing in his collection will fit me. (He was very nice about it.)

Clothes should make you feel good about yourself. The right suit will make you more confident for important meetings. That sexy dress will certainly help turn heads. But wait, that's not for people like me. How comfortable do you really feel if that jacket is too big in the shoulders and waist? Still just trying on your mom's clothes? How seductive do you feel when every dress you try on is baggy and saggy? Doing the little dance in the dressing room to pinch and pin down all the parts that need a little nip, tuck, or hem lift (and hoping that tailor will actually do a good job)? I find it insulting that I regularly make it a habit to check the children's section since the "grown up clothes" don't work for me. Sound familiar?

This abnormally short, skinny girl must figure something else out. With no steady dealer of product, I have decided to finally step into the blogosphere and share with the world what I know best about fashion:

The trials and tribulations of the chronically undersized female shopper.

And maybe I'll pick up a hint or two from the rest of you out there.


Labels: ,

73 Comments:

Anonymous Anderkoo said...

Clothes sizing is a big problem for smaller men, too. There are "Big and Tall" stores for men, but despite the symmetry of the bell curve, there's no "Short and Scrawny" stores on the other end. Because of the boxy cut of most men's clothes, it's a fair bit easier for men to get our clothing adjusted, but the overall proportions will usually end up wrong. (For example, I can never wear my shirts untucked, because they end up looking like smocks). Anyway, good luck to your new blog :)

May 23, 2006 6:06 PM  
Anonymous La BellaDonna said...

Hi, Amy! I hate to mention the "S" word, the refuge of all of us who don't fit in with the usual consumer sizes or shapes, but ... sewing. Not necessarily you doing it, either; there's no reason you couldn't bring a pattern to a seamstress with your fabric and say "make this."

I mention it particularly because there are a lot of vintage patterns out there; the vintage size 12 pattern (ignore the number!) fits a 30" bust. Vintage sizes really do seem to be your best option. Go to Erin's Dress A Day blog for her dresses and her links - the links will take you to places that carry both vintage clothes, and vintage patterns, both of which will fit you better than most of what's out there nowadays.

Have you tried doing any of your shopping in Chinatown? You are certainly petite, compared to me (5'6"), but you are not outrageously short compared to a lot of the people, male and female, I see in Chinatown. I would think that with the increasing numbers of first-generation Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc., etc.) folks emigrating to the U.S., the clothing size range available should be increasing, not contracting, on both sides of the "average size" scale.

October 26, 2006 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amy!! It is nice to see your blog. It makes me feel that i am not alone. I am only 4'11" and 85 to 88lbs. It is pain for me to shop for business attire pants. Usually where do you shop??
BTW, I live in NYC too.

March 14, 2007 11:24 PM  
Anonymous boredq80 said...

I only read your first entry, but my friend who read your blog says its really interesting. I am also short, actually I'm your height, I am 4'10 but I weigh around 100 lbs and finding clothes that fit is insane! Not only because I am short but also because I'm curvey.

April 09, 2007 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Naomi said...

Hello Amy, I just seem to wander to this lovely story... I'm very relieved that there are people with the same problem as me! I must admit it is really tiring stolling towards the kids section, while my friends walk off towards the women section. I'm 4'11 and stuck like this for life. I guess its genetics (korean) So, I had to learn the hard way that I need to hem all my clothes. As they say "the younger generations are getting taller..." Bah, Only a special few get the short genes. Well, we just got to keep a positive outlook on life.

April 12, 2007 6:58 PM  
Blogger suzy said...

Hi Amy, I thought I was the only small short petite women that existed. I am 27 years old 5'0 tall and 85 pounds. Finding clothes to fit is absolutely ridiculous for me and I just don't have the time, money or patience for alterations and I don't sew and don't want to. Heming is one thing but that is not all I need altered in clothes. That all sounds bad but it is the truth. I can't wear childrens clothes. I already look about 12 and childrens clothes wouldn't help and plus they are not cut to fit the small curves I do have. I can't gain weight period. I try and try and try and I am trying right now. The scale just stays the same and I have no reserves for when I get sick. People don't think I look anorexic though, they just say I am very small and petite or "tiny". I am so glad I came across your blogger. This makes me feels so good to know that there is someone else out there like me. I have searched the internet and usually find teenagers are like me but not full grown adult women. Even the teenagers clothes are too long and too big. I wonder how small teenagers get clothes to wear. Where I live size 0 doesn't exist and people think it is God forbidden that a size 00 even exists anywhere in the world. Even if I find a small size I have to pay the full sales price and it is an expesive brand. The sales clerks always tell me that the smallest sizes go first yet they don't stock more of them. I usually have to order pants from Victoria Secret but even some of there pants don't quite right but I deal with it. I absolutely love shopping but I also get very depressed when I can't find anything to wear. I work in an office so I need to dress in office attire and finding dress clothes for me is almost impossible. There are specialty stores for plus size women but not for small petite women. Thanks for writing this and I saved it in my favorites.

April 22, 2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey Suzy and Naomi-

Thanks for posting! I'm glad it's allowed both of you to see how many other short women have the same problem. I agree Suzy - sometimes it's just so much of an extra hassle to get all your clothing to look right (even after the strenuous shopping trip). I've noticed however, that I just tend to buy fewer clothes because of it - for better or worse!

April 23, 2007 12:06 AM  
Anonymous MangoMilline said...

I think I'm late but I was searching for clothes to fit me, I'm 4'10" and 85-95lbs, I have a very hard time finding "grown up" clothes that make me feel feminine, at one point I actually gave up and dressed like a kid (I'm 18 so I have room to errr)!

May 18, 2007 11:54 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey MangoMilline! Thanks for commenting. What I find most frustrating is that my style and selection in clothing is incredibly limited because of my size. If you're going to college, you have another 4 years before you need to look adult, so enjoy it while you can! Besides, everyone assumes you're at least 17 or 18 if you're at some university....

May 19, 2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to all the truly petite ladies out there. I'm in my late 30's, 5' tall, about 88-90lbs, and also look much younger than I am. Unfortunately, I've been living out your fashion nightmares for a bit longer than you have and understand your pain!

First let me make it clear that I am naturally thin and short like many in my family, so it IS in the genetics whether other people like to believe it or not. While it's nice to see that many more stores are coming out with sizes like 00, they can be deceiving. The petite sections just seem to be normal sized clothing cut down for shorter people. Many times it's more of a marketing ploy to make larger sized women feel good b/c they can for into a smaller size. I've read several articles about this tactic.

It really annoys me when I read other blogs from people who are irritated by the complaints of healthy, smaller people like us. We all come in different sizes, big & tall, curvy, full figured, and, yes, small framed petites. While there are some thin people who may lead unhealthy lifestyles, there do exist naturally thin and short people like us. (Sorry, just had to vent)

The few stores that I've found to carry some decent styles that aren't too young or too old are places like Ann Taylor, Bannana Republic, Guess and Abercrombie. The first two have more sophisticated styles, but all can be a bit pricy. Alterations can also add to the cost. Then there are places like 5,7,9 or Too Cute that carry more reasonably priced casual clothes. I never buy online. I always have to try on my clothes, since I'm not only thin , but small chested with no rear! (Sigh)

As for shoes, it's usually hit or miss. For small sized feet you're just gonna have to live with buying the floor sample or at best, try on the sample in the store for the fit and then go order a nice pair online.

Best advice, if you find something you like that fits, buy it! And buy more than one in other colors.

May 30, 2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy, I am also one of the overlooked (no pun intended) group of frustrated petite women who can't for the life of me figure out why the fashion industry and department store heads fail to recognize that there are people who don't fit the average and tall category, who have a right to dress as stylishly as anyone else. Aside from not being able to walk into anything I buy without alteration (not just a hem), but buying lingerie (pantyhose, bras (short women are shorter between the shoulder and under the bust), stockings, etc.), I have small feet (size 4, and worse, they are wider than a B width), I am curvy with a height of 4'8" (I wish I had the extra two or three inches that a lot of petites have. I am in my 40's. My family is also short in stature. I also love to shop, but my enthusiasm for it has cooled a bit. I read in an article lately that department stores will soon not carry petite clothes, because they don't see it as being profitable and that they see petites as drab, dull, and unattractive. Petite stores who sell clothing for women 5'3" and under (forget the under part) basically sell for women who are 5'3". I myself look younger than I am and want to wear some of the pretty styles out there. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel helpless.

June 07, 2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Thank goodness for this bolg. I am 39 and am only 5ft and right now at 84 lbs. at the most i am 102 lbs. I work in an office there for need the office attire. I am tired of having to hunt for clothes anywhere where and I swear the shoe sizes have gotten bigger. I order a 5 1/2 for my wedding and behold they were too big. (imagine wearing heavy socks to keep them on because the store got them in late). I can not find dress shoes or dress/casual clothes anywhere. I absolutely hate to shop and wear my clothes until they just aren't acceptable anymore. I have found at least 1 store that capris and jeans maybe found is Aeropostle. I have actually found a 0 or 00 there. If you watch the sales rack you can get them at awesome prices too. Imagine only $5-$7 for them. Some of can afford the $70 for a pair of pants or shirt from the higher brands that the creators and stores think we can afford. There has to be something we can do somewhere. I just wish I knew how and where. Good luck with your blog. I think it is a wonderful idea. Like you I will keep reading. Hopefully, I too will learn tips. Kids clothes and shoes are just not acceptable for us approaching 40.

July 17, 2007 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know where i can buy stockings (not tights) for my 14yr old daughter who is very slim
and likes to wear stockings with a suspender belt?

kathy

July 17, 2007 3:28 PM  
Blogger Ursula said...

Hello ladies,

I see this becoming something big. I am 40 years old and 4'10 98lbs. I hear I look about 27 in average. I wear Pumas,Nikes and Adidas, Kids Jeans and whatever tops that don't look to big on me. Coats Bear winter gear because they too come in kids sizes. Why? Whatever petite clothes I find are far to expensive(so i buy them for special occasions) or just not fashionable enough. Its easier to be comfortable. As a younger woman I thought about starting a line with the kind of fashionable clothing as seen on oh lets(Audrey Hepburn,Jackie Kennedy,Grace Kelly, Gweneth Paltrow,Catherine Zeta Jones,Sienna Miller,Kate Moss,etc. Can you see the look i'm going for here? I already feel it in my heart and can see it in my minds eye but end up at the kids section by default. If anyone out there has any ideas pleaseeeeee help!

July 25, 2007 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the same situation I'm not sure what type of professional wear you need for your job but I am working and living in NYC as well and I have found Theory is the best bet for me to buy suits. I am 4'11 and between 85-90 pounds. In this brand they carry 00 the jackets fit me perfectly but I need the pants taken up (no surprises there =) Hope this helps. There are two Theory stores in NY and they are also selling their suits in places like Bloomingdales. I live by them...sucks but all my work clothes are from there and it's not cheap!

August 11, 2007 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Tisya said...

Hey Amy! Wow I'm glad to see there are other people like me out there. I'm 4'11.5" and about 85lbs (Malaysian) and when I was in NYC shopping used to be a really depressing past-time. The only place where I could find adult tops that fit was A&F but it was too expensive (I'm still a student) and with jeans, well lets just say that jeans shopping almost ends in tears especially because I'm not very curvy or have much of a booty for that matter lol And like the anonymous poster said, if I find something that fits I usually buy it in more than one color. Thank God I'm a size 5 for shoes so at least I could still buy my favorite Nine Wests heh

August 23, 2007 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am petite, 5' tall and 114 lbs so I have curves too. I have found the best luck with JCPenney petite sizes and Lands End petites. Lands End even offers custom pants which are reasonably priced.

September 01, 2007 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi i am a petite girl from Egypt, i am 5'0 tall and only 85 lb. the problem of finding clothes thats fits here is much, much, more worse than the USA.actually i stopped trying a long time ago to buy anything from stores.i just go straight to my tailor!

September 02, 2007 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm small in stature, 5 foot 2 inches. I am extremely short waisted - there's less than an inch between the bottom of my rib cage and my waist. I wear a 36C, and EVERY single bra I've had in my life does not or did not fit correctly. There's always a buckling of fabric on the underarm side of the bra. It's actually physically painful for me to wear any bra that's not a sports bra (and a sports bra is not a good look under a lot of clothes). If I happen to wear an underwire, I'm sore for more than 2 days. I tried demi cups, non-wire bras, all kinds of bras - nothing works. If anyone knows where I can get a bra for a small statured women, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

September 07, 2007 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Tanya said...

I just found this blog. I guess I'll have to give up the fantasy that I could actually find clothes to fit if I went to NYC. I'm 4'10 and about 95 pounds. Shopping is a nightmare for me. The thing that is annoying is that I am fairly active and it shows, yet I can't even find flattering workout clothes. Junior sizes sometime fit, but now that I'm in my late 30s, I want more sophisticated clothes.

September 10, 2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get very frustrated as well as many have you mentioned. I am 4'11 and 1/2 inches and I have found that the only petite pants I don't have to shorten are Ann Taylor Loft's. They are not that cheap but not too pricey either. Average I guess. It really frustrates me that even something that says petite needs to be altered. I think they should start making petite sizes for those of us under 5'. I guess because we are such the minority, designers are only thinking about the 5'7" inch women.

September 22, 2007 4:24 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

I am so glad to find your blog and some intelligent comment on the ridiculous situation we littler ladies find ourselves in, of being told they only make tiny sizes and then never being able to find anything tiny enough.

At 5'3" I guess I can't complain compared to some of you, although everything is still much too long and strangely proportioned. However I only weigh 93 pounds (and that drops by 3 easily when I'm sick or stressed) and I'm really, really small from the waist down. But I can't wear kids' clothes because I do have a waist and hips, albeit on a very small scale. Finding a bra for a tiny back and a not so tiny cup size is another one of my nightmares. Thank goodness for online shopping!

I second the suggestion of finding out where the Chinese women in your community shop - I've had some good luck buying jeans and work clothes in Chinatown! Work clothes is a really serious problem for me as teenage girls don't need business outfits so I can't even resort to the old standby of buying clothes made for teens.

Good luck with your mission :)

September 24, 2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on the same boat! I'm 4'11" around 85 lbs (in my late 20s) and shopping for things like dresses and coats is a NIGHTMARE. [Fortunately, I have "big" feet and wear 5-5.5 dress shoes and 6.5 sneakers.] I buy my every day clothes from Hollister, their xs is truly small. Often stores like Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and other teen stores are still too big. I purchased a gorgeous strapless dress (size 00P) from Banana Republic online a few years back and it fit pretty snug! Bebe and Ann Taylor also carry 00P, I'm more of a B.R. person myself. Most of us might just have to be really good friends with a tailor. Please let us know how your search progresses!
Recommended stores: Aeropostale (which is like Abercrombie/Hollister), Guess, Banana Republic, Bebe, Ann Taylor, L.A. Rack, 5-7-9, Honeydew (lingerie). Also see AAlingerie.com, figleaves.com and lulalu.com for lingerie and really small bra sizes.

October 19, 2007 2:21 AM  
Anonymous Tazz said...

Hi Amy!

I am in the same situation. I am 38 years old, 4'-11" and weigh 90lbs. I can't find dresses that fit me anywhere. I just spent my entire weekend in the Juniors department and the smallest size they have is a 7 or a 5. I am a size 0 and can fit into 00. Petite Sophisticate was the only store I could buy dress pants, skirts, suits, and some dresses, and they unfortunately went out of business. Victoria's Secret has some nice dresses in size 0, but they are so expensive. I get frustrated shopping and not finding anything. I'm glad you started this blog, it makes me feel good to know there are a lot of women out there like me having the same problems.

December 02, 2007 2:54 PM  
OpenID kissdamonkey000 said...

Hi Amy!

Im vertically challenged too, (I dont like the s word!), and there's no way im shopping in the kids section. I usually buy muy shirts and tops at American eagle or Aerpopstale, (they have small fits for petite frames), and my pants at Abercrombie kids (they are actually pretty cute and fit me perfectly). I also like alloy, which you can access and order from online.
:] Hope I helped.

December 29, 2007 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi!!
Thanks God I am not the only small person (some "nice" friend tell me "midget", which is kinda true but hurts..) I am 35, and tiny tiny...I look like a teenager, which is a bit of a problem for finding clothes that make me look "sophisticated" and a woman not a girl. The worse thing... i am single, so when going out only men in their 20´s put thir eyes on me...I want to look mature and sexy for men of my age. TIPS PLEASE!!!!!

January 19, 2008 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Wow, I definitely didn't realize that there are more of us naturally small and thin people around. I'm 5'0 and 90-95. I have barely any curves and I've been told I look around 16 max (I'm 23 and trying to find a job!) Finding professional clothing has been a nightmare. I have managed to find pants that turn out alright when I have them altered. But I basically give up when it comes to tops and jackets. Not only that, but I've got small feet. I usually buy my heels online from stores like Cinderella of Boston and Naturalizer (but it's a guessing game to see what fits and they tend to be pricey). On rare occasions, I've found long sleeve shirts that won't completely embarrass me (making me look too much like a kid or just bagging on me) at interviews. I'm on the broke end so getting more than a few business attire items that would reasonably fit me is always a problem. I've heard that Ann Taylor has a petite line, but the last I checked I couldn't find any 00P.
I hope you have better luck finding clothes! I would love it if I didn't have to choose between price and size.

January 29, 2008 1:54 AM  
Anonymous selene said...

hear, hear! I'm 25 years old, 4'10" weighing about 90 pounds. I attend a lot of big international conferences on scientific research and trying to convince people you're here to do talk serious with them about science is nearly impossible! I paid lots of money to alter "grown up" clothes to fit me, only to be seen as someone who borrowed "mommy's clothes". I can shop in the children's/teen's section, but it makes me look like... well, a child or a teen. Once I was able to "talk science" with some researcher, and 15 minutes later he asked me "where are your parents"? What?!

February 03, 2008 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 25 and about 4'11, ~85 lbs. I live in small town TN which is a shopping nightmare for anyone, but really the only trouble I have with clothes is finding nice work clothes. As annoying as it is to shop in the kid's section, I have to admit that places like Belk make kid's pants that fit and look like adult pants, and most small junior-size summer dresses and shirts fit me pretty well. Also, if you're patient, nearly every store has at least one thing that fits or can be altered to fit. When I'm lucky enough to find something good I usually hold onto it for years too, since I'm not getting any bigger :) I get my shoes from a catalog called Cinderella of Boston. They make nice women's shoes, heels, and boots in sizes 2 1/2 - 5 1/2. Fortunately I haven't needed a business suit yet, but I'll prolly have to take that one to a taylor.

February 24, 2008 3:41 PM  
Blogger Shasha said...

I am 4'9' but no one knows this except me. I even lie to my doctors that I'm 4'10 because I'm so embarrassed!I will be 40 in 3 weeks and about to separate from my husband so I hear all of you who get teased about your height. Fo me, it's on a daily basis and now having to meet men, I'm sure not too many will be interested in someone shorter than their 10 year old daughter! I cannot find sophisticated clothing anywhere. I was told by a salesperson at Ann Taylor that if you ask, they do carry 00 and will order items for you. They're not advertised. But Ann Taylor is too expensive for me. I can't believe their isn't a designer who has started an "ultra petite" line, especially the way Hollywood is shrinking before our eyes. I wish I was a seamstress to start my own company. I live in Long Island and rarely buy new clothes because I know how depressed I will feel when I come home with nothing...or some teenage looking clothes that I don't even like but looked the best of the worst.

February 25, 2008 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi small girls of the world!
It´s Anna here and I am 5´. I do have a "woman" shape but concentrated in a few inches, I am not a 0 zero size but I am curvy (typical latin-spanish shape). Sometimes I can buy women stuff and adjusting jeans and trousers is normal, but not dramatic. My BIG problem is finding dresses and skirts; the hips of a dress are on my knees!!!! so there is now way whatsoever for me to find a dress with a hip shape that corresponds to my hip shape and not on my knees. I do not have lots of money to go to a tailor to get done a dress that does not make me look like a clown. Do you know where can I get cheap but nice dresses??. Thanks a lot for you help.

February 26, 2008 3:35 PM  
Anonymous TLE said...

Hi Amy,

I just came across your blog and read some bits about the challenges you are facing finding fabulous clothes that fit. I can totally relate! I'm a little taller than you, I'm 4'11".

Have I got great news for you! Check out my website www.tledesigns.com (pronounced "T-Lay"). I started my petite clothing line last summer to fill the void in the petite market. Fun, modern, and most importantly, fitting!

Ciao!
TLE

April 22, 2008 11:56 PM  
Anonymous TLE said...

Hi Amy,

I just came across your blog and read some bits about the challenges you are facing finding fabulous clothes that fit. I can totally relate! I'm a little taller than you, I'm 4'11".

Have I got great news for you! Check out my website www.tledesigns.com (pronounced "T-Lay"). I started my petite clothing line last summer to fill the void in the petite market. Fun, modern, and most importantly, fitting!

Ciao!
TLE

April 22, 2008 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When can we expect your line to be released? We 5'0 100 pound ladies are waiting!

May 03, 2008 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try being 50 and looking at size 12 in the girls' department. Most people think I'm shopping for my granddaughter. I'm 5'0" and 97-100 lbs, and I can't seem to find career clothing anywhere - at least not that fits my budget. It's nice to be tiny, but not when you're shopping for clothes. Fortunately, I wear a "normal" shoe size (6.5) so that market isn't closed...yet.

May 05, 2008 6:08 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I am really petite. Do you know how bad it is to have your size be a 0 or an 00 and still not find your size? I am in my late 20s and I am 4'11 and 90 pounds. It is hard to shop for clothes. Petite Sophisticate is cool, but some of the clothes are boring at times. Ann Taylor has a small section for petite women. TGMax can work, but you have to dig to find something on your journey or a quest. However, what about women who wear small shoes. I wear a 3 in kids and I am in my late 20s. I like Cinderella of Boston. They have high heels, low heels, evening shoes, and flats in a variety of colors and styles that do not have Barbie pink, ruffles, sparkles, and anything else that says welcome to the kids section. Also, the number 0 or 00 can really make a female feel depressed sometimes and XXsmall is not that much better.
Mel :)

May 17, 2008 7:14 PM  
Blogger A said...

I'm oddly relieved to know that other people share my plight. Early 20s, 4'11''3/4 and with weight ranging from 95lbs to 103lbs, depending on whether I'm exercising, shopping is a nightmare. I wear 5.5 - 6 shoes, so that's not bad, as long as I shell out over $60 per pair but finding clothes, jeans, shirts, dresses is an utter nightmare, especially dresses. I have to find the Petite section of the store, but so far only INC and Ann Taylor's stores are actually truly "petite" with their 00P or 0P sizes. Talbots is just cruel....

June 07, 2008 3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 5'5 98 pounds and a 32 year old lawyer. I can't find any dresses that fit my small frame and 30" bust. For suits and sophisticated work clothes Theory is the only brand that I can wear off the rack. The good thing for you girls even smaller than I am is that I wear a 0 and Theory has a size 00 as well. The pants and skirts are long, but are really pretty small in the hip and waist. There is a Theory outlet in Wrentham MA and one about an hour outside of NYC. If you buy it off the rack at Bloomingdales and Saks it is very pricey, but decent quality. They also keep the same fabrics for years so if you pants wear out before your suit jacket you can buy the same pants a few years later and will be all set. There are also some good mix and match options. I really do wish more designers would make clothes for small framed girls.
Finally Thomas Pink makes tailored dress shirts that fit narrow shoulders and tiny torso. They are crazy expensive but try on a UK size 6 and get psyched that it fits your US00 body.

June 13, 2008 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Annie said...

I know everyone else mentioned it, but I too am so happy to hear there are other women out there with the same problem I have!

I'm 28 years old, 5'2" and 87lbs. I have always been small and thus have always had to deal with not being able to find age appropriate clothing. (Not to mention, having to deal with complete strangers commenting on my size and asking me if I have an eating disorder...really, do I go up to a stranger and say "Wow! You are big! Do have low self-esteem that forces you to overeat or what? ---Yeah, I don't think so)

I've found that a lot of things at H&M fit me, but it has to be a size 2 (which is actually like a size 0 or even 00), but even with them for some reason the work attire they sell is never smaller than a size 4.

I found Rock and Republic jeans to be amazing in a size 23. The length is ridiculous (36in inseam!), but usually any tailor can fix that without messing it up.

Also, Hollister sizes are really small. I buy their XS button down oxford shirts for work. The big problem with this store is trying to shop without becoming deaf. Why do they blast the music THAT loud?

My wish list would include -- lingerie that doesn't sag (is it THAT hard to make a bustier in a 32A?), knee-high boots that don't look like galoshes (come on people, not everyone has 14-15" calves) and finally -- pretty dresses that don't have the waist fall on my hips (AND aren't for little kids...I'm way too old for pink ribbons and ruffles even if the dress does make my ass look good).

Annie

August 07, 2008 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Ilisa, Captian, US Air Force said...

I am short but fat (compared to what someone of my height should be), at 4' 9" and 118 pounds. I am quite curvy. Wearing a size 4 or 6 makes me feel like a cow and none of my taller friends/colleagues quite understand it. I try to explain that when you're 4'9" and you gain five pounds, the entire world knows it. The good news is that when you LOOSE 5 pounds, the whole world knows that too. :) Anyway, on to my helpful hint for buying shoes! I wear a size 3 or 4 wide depending on the designer and I shop at Nordstroms or nordstroms.com because the have a huge selection of size 2-5 adult womens's shoes from AAA narrow to quadruple W wide. They are pricey, true, but once or twice a year they have a big ol' shoe sale and it's well worth the wait.

August 24, 2008 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried Ann Taylor Loft? They have 00 petites that usually fit me. However, I do sometimes have to have the pants tailored.

September 09, 2008 1:56 PM  
Blogger Pam Reinhard said...

I myself am not a petite woman, but my 13 year old daughter is. She may end up at 5'2 or perhaps 5'3", but she is naturally very thin. I try to alter her clotes as best I can, but somethings are just too complicated for me. I have been considering getting more into actually making her clothes once she picks out fabric and patterns, but it is also time consming with a full time job, another more average build daughter and a husband. I feel for her as I was naturally very thin when I was young, but I had an advantage of being tall. I was 5'8" by the time I was 13, so I was able to get away with just some darts in my waist or a belt. Clothes were definitely made differently back then (I am now 45). Thank you for starting this blog and to everyone that has posted. Perhaps if I have her read this, she won't feel so alone.

October 20, 2008 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez all of these women and only one has thought of starting a line specifically for petites. True petites, that is. Ladies do something about it. Get together, be your own proto-types for your line. NYC has a multitude of aspiring fashion students. Hello!!!

October 29, 2008 9:26 PM  
Anonymous shannon said...

i am 4'8" and 86 pounds, i know EXACTLY how you feel!

December 09, 2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4'11" and 96 lbs....i'm there girl.

Banana, Ann Taylor, and ATLoft are the way to go.

Of course, BR used to sell the ryan fit, which was the "smallest" of the fits. They seem to be getting rid of it.

Old Navy Girls jeans work. And I get so excited when I can find a pair that don't have sparkles on the hiney. HINT: the 14 Slim is actually cut smaller than the 12 regulars.

~ST

December 09, 2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im right there with ya!!

Try abercrombie kids for pants (im 4'10 and 90 pounds and I wear a 14 slim). Supisingly, their fits are wonderful and don't have any kiddish sparkles or colors on them! You can also try charlotte Russe, I like their 0 short pants even though they are a tad big. For business clothes, I think your best bet would be a tailor, although forever 21 and agachi might have dress pants that fit your waist, and then you can simply hem them to cut the length.

Best of Luck!
Remember, you are not alone!!

December 22, 2008 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

Hey Amy! I'm so glad I came across your blog. I'm 4'10" tall, about 94lbs. I can totally relate to everything your saying. You sound very smart, I am very smart and talented myself, but will anyoen ever take ME seriously? Me? No way. I'm too tiny to be improtant right? It's not that I don't love my body. Over the years, I have found it to be amazing. But it's so misunderstood that I get frustrated at time. Sometime I just want to punch people in the face. But I'm glad I'm not alone. Maybe people will stop being so stupid one day...until then, rock on petite sister.

Love,
Jackie

January 16, 2009 12:56 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Jackie
Hi! I am a PhD student and an instructor at a technical research institute. It is very hard to find clothes. I posted a comment on this blog in the past and it is refreshing that I am not alone and that there are other professionals who have the same problem. It is always hard for me to find dresses. I hate sparkles, pink , ruffles, and anything else that makes me look young. I try to stay away from that as MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Ann Taylor, Petite Sophisticate outlet stores, and other stores work for me. TGMAXX is cool too depending on the area. I am 92 pounds and 4 10 1/2. I just gained weight after the Christmas holiday and this is the largest I have ever been. I look really young. My student take me pretty seriously, but I have been teaching college classes for 7 years. You always get one person that acts stupid, but remember stupidity can be found anywhere and everywhere. The comfort that I have is knowing that as I quickly approach 30 that I will always look younger than everyone else and I will enjoy being carded. While finding clothes is a hard task when you do it is a great feeling to do so. :)

January 17, 2009 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! There are soo many comments, I can't read them all. I'm 22 years old, 4'9.5" and 95 to 100lbs. Is there anybody who has succeded in finding a place that accommodates to our size? I for one, (along with a friend my size) can't abide shopping for kids clothes.

Rebekah
Beckedy@gmail.com

March 03, 2009 2:07 PM  
Blogger Alterations Needed said...

Hi Rebekah-and all the only tiny petites out there!

From what I gather, aside from shopping exclusively in Asia, there's no end all answer to where we can shop. It's a complicated mess of hard to find brands, sizes and fits. I'm 4'11" and 85lbs, so I'm right there with ya.

Banana Republic started making size petite xxs which is a good place to start looking.

March 04, 2009 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize there were so many of us with the same problem. Trying to find clothes but not being able to find anything that fits, you'd think you're the smallest person on earth. Size 0 is consistently too big, except for the Victoria's Secret "Christie Fit," and sometimes even the new size 00 at Ann Taylor is too big. Children's clothes don't work, b/c they are cut for kids with no curves. I am thin, but I do have womanly curves, albeit on a smaller scale. Except for one Banana Republic blazer I found to fit me, all my suits and pants come from Victoria's Secret or Ann Taylor Loft. I think Loft is phasing out their suits, though. There isn't a single suit at their stores or website. I guess I will be spending 2X as much at Ann Taylor for my suits from now on. Only VS Christie Fit pants fit me, and most of the time, their blazers don't fit b/c their breast darts are too low, for someone with bigger boobs. Naturally, bigger boobs sag lower, so the breast darts would be lower for bigger boobs. They don't understand that generally, people who are size 0 would not have big, saggy boobs.

People are so rude, they either don't care, or don't understand that "You are too skinny," or "You need to gain weight" is just as rude as "You are too fat." Read this: "Too" much of anything is bad. By saying someone is "too" something is saying that they don't fit some ideal. So I don't look like a model? Thanks for that newsflash! I appreciate it!

I've had people accuse me of having an eating disorder. In our fat society, people just can't comprehend that there are naturally thin people out there. Just listen to all the vitriol directed at thin people in Hollywood. Can you imagine going up to someone saying, "OMG, you are SO fat. Do you have problems with self-control? How hard is it to stop eating when you're full?" Of course not! Being that rude is incomprehensible, yet people feel free to make equivalent comments to thin people. Some people are just so stupid, often saying to me, "Why don't you just eat more?" Geez--why didn't I think of that? All I have to do is eat more and I'll gain weight, and I'll have no more problems finding clothes!! What a brilliant idea!

May 30, 2009 2:27 AM  
Anonymous Nia said...

I never would have thought there were so many of us! I am 30 years old 4'9 and 89 pounds. The only place I ever had any luck clothes wise is the petite section of Ann Taylor loft. Their 00 usually fits me quite nicely although I do have to have the pants hemmed.

July 28, 2009 5:55 PM  
Blogger Jin said...

I live in AZ I'm 5 ft 1 and 85 lbs....
I have hell of a time finding clothes and I share your frustration

August 11, 2009 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I am as small as all of you who already wrote in. 00P is often too big for me. I actually wrote to ask a question. The people who live in NYC, can anyone let me know if UNIQLO actually has small sizes? It's a Japanese based clothing store. I am so far from NYC, there's no way I will visit for one store, but wanted to know just in case I visit in the future.
Thanks!

August 17, 2009 5:24 PM  
Blogger The Frugal Fashionista said...

I am pretty sure I fall under the petite category: I am 17, 5'1 and between 80-90 lbs. I like to shop at trendy teen stores like Hollister and Abercrombie, but I've read that their jeans are too long! I am petite, but my legs are pretty long (30 inch inseam). I have a hard time finding jeans that I really like. Plus the inconsistent sizing at stores--with some things I wear an XS, others a S. It's so frustrating!

September 22, 2009 3:23 PM  
Blogger shorty29 said...

Hi petite girls! I found this site by accident, but I am so happy I did. I also need help! I am 5'1/2" (of course the half inch only counts when you are petite). I am 30 and I need to find nice pants and khakis (suits would be a bonus), for my marketing job. I can't afford Ann Taylor, and Ann Taylor Loft 00P are falling off of me. Also, where do you girls find belts. I am back to my highschool size after getting married. finding a wedding dress was easy, but making it fit was nearly impossible, I am very toned, and nothing will fit my waist without a belt. where do I go?

October 15, 2009 9:11 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Grrrrrrr it makes me crazy I'm in my 50's 4'11" around 92 lbs. I walk into a store say Bennetton nice suits with some style only non petitie 0 (DO I REALLY WANT TO PAY MORE THAN THE SUIT FOR ALTERATION)? I DON'T LOVE TO SHOP... BUT I HAVE TO LOOK "RESPECTABLE" FOR MEETINGS oops sorry about the caps... a mistake. Anyway about $400 later online with Ann Taylor petites and they may just be getting it I dont want wide pants... and I still need to find another suit and all the other jazz. If you spend a lot of time shopping with no agenda Mad ave has a lot of small Euro sizes that you can catchon sale. I just find the whole thing such a time waste!

October 30, 2009 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Jenn B said...

I'm still young (21) but I have the same problem (I am 4'11" and a little over 80 pounds) and I get frustrated with shopping often too. I order from Victorias Secret online sometimes and have to deal with sweaters that end up being too long for my torso and I can't even buy pants from them unless they're sweatpants. I did buy a skirt suit from VS once that didn't totally swallow me up. I did have to get a lot of tailoring done to it though. If you're going to buy business attire from VS and you don't have a broad back/shoulders, I wouldn't suggest getting their jackets. I'd say their skirts are the safest. Of course it will be too long but that's the simplest problem to deal with. That's actually the only thing I had to have done to the skirt part of my suit, the rest of it fit pretty snugly.

As far as jeans - I have almost no shape, no butt, etc. and I shop at abercrombie KIDS! I suggest to anyone who doesn't have curves to try the kids store, not actually A&F. Most of them don't have any little glittery kiddish-looking stuff on them and they are shorter than adult sizes. They have names for their jeans just like A&F: Mackenzie=flare (but it's not really wide), Maddy=skinny, and Haley=boot cut. They do have others here and there but those are the 3 basic ones. Also, I sometimes buy sweatpants or regular pants from there too for their length. If you're extra tiny on top, sometimes they have cute button up shirts that could work for business atire. The good thing about shopping at abercrombie kids is it's mostly the same thing as A&F just cheaper :). I work there and I often see some of the same exact stuff in A&F but way more expensive.

For suit jackets, I go to H&M. I have a few size 2 jackets that fit me perfectly. I actually find that some of their dresses fit me pretty well too.

For lingerie, I buy from Victoria's Secret. If you have a small chest, they have a very wide variety of size A bras and they even have a few AAs. They actually just came out with this miracle push-up bra or something and I saw they do carry that in a AA.

Also - like someone else said, try Guess. Their jeans are a little big for my butt, but I'd say just give it a try - the smallest jean size they have is a 23. Their xs tops are usually pretty tiny and some of them are kind of nice. I also have a stretchy cotton dress from them that fits nice on me and actually makes me look like I have hips! But don't order online, definitely go try it on in the store because not all their dresses fit the same (I got a different dress in the same size and it is way too big for me).


To the woman who said she has been accused of having an eating disorder: I feel your pain. When I was younger, I had to get a physical for school and my doctor wrote on it basically that my mom wasn't feeding me. I've gotten lots of comments from people and even my dad constantly asks if I'm eating. I hate that people think I don't eat or don't like to eat...I LOVE eating! And I love food that's bad for me too! I went through a period where I ate about 10 slices of cheesecake (and it wasn't even regular cheesecake, it was a chocolate kind even worse for me haha) in one month and I didn't gain an ounce. In a way it's a blessing to me, but why can't others see it that way?

November 29, 2009 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Jenn B said...

I forgot to add something to my previous message about buying jeans at abercrombie kids...
Go to the store and try on a few pairs. So that you don't have to pay $60 for a pair of jeans, once you find out your size, I suggest looking on ebay for them. I've paid between $10 and $25 for jeans off of there. I have come across a few that did not fit, but it's worth it in the end.

November 29, 2009 3:17 PM  
Anonymous jheri said...

A petite friend sent me here and said I should add something.

I have a different but similar issue. I'm very thin and 6'3". Finding clothing that fits is next to impossible and everything needs to be altered. I have had luck with some jeans places like makeyourownjeans.com and indiDenim. Makeyourownjeans has zero customer service and is India, so you are taking a chance. IndiDenim has a body scanner in Watsonville. CA, so if you are around there they might be able to do a good job.

Those of us in the fringes have real problems and our numbers aren't big enough to interest anyone. I wish i knew how to sew well enough to make things, but I don't.

A friend and I were looking into what could be and he made this blog post. The links from Cornell are very interesting, but no one is moving on this.

http://tingilinde.typepad.com/starstuff/2009/07/towards-clothing-that-fits.html

January 31, 2010 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Ang said...

I too am petite at 5'1" and 96-99 lbs. I hated clothes shopping in HS because there was no petite nor 00p for my small curvy body. I gained weight in college (freshman 15) after my cheerleading days, so finding clothes was easier. Then 10yrs and 2 kids later, I found that my metabolism went back into overdrive, thus going back to my old depression over clothes. Everyone's suggestions have been great and I look forward to shopping again.

February 11, 2010 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all seem to have the same difficulties. Perhaps we as a group can find a way to appeal to designers, major stores...to MAKE them hear our voices. Do we not have economic strength just as any other group? Money speaks loudly! In addition, Plus size women are not afraid to be heard SO why not us.We are as articulate, and strong as any other group and I believe we should start speaking in this manner! It's no longer good enough to "victimized"; being proactive is a must.

May 29, 2010 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Mandy said...

I am about 5'-4" and thin, underweight according to the charts. Much to the surprise of those who have posed the eating disorder question, that is not the case. It's genetics. I'm just small. Being small should not mean that I look like I'm wearing my mother's clothes to work. I have looked everywhere for clothes. I am down to a size 00 at Ann Taylor which is almost exclusively sold online, so I risk not liking the clothes or not actually fitting when they get here. I can wear a 0 petite for pants, but I have to have the hems taken out to be long enough. It's really frustrating. I have resorted to start sewing my work clothes if I want to start looking like a professionsl. The problem now is that I can't find patterns small enough. Does anybody know of patterns that come in a 0, or if there is a pattern size that is equivalent to the store 00? Otherwise, I'll have to make a dress form to match my body. Fun AND expensive, but better than spdening money on clothes that don't fit anyway. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks
~A

June 20, 2010 9:20 PM  
Anonymous radar410 said...

I am so glad that I found your site. I so agree with so many of the comments. I am a guy, 4'10", 135-40 pounds, 52 years old, so I've been around for awhile. While I buy in the kids departments, and special order size 4 sandals for the summer, so I can avoid the kids neon colors, shirts aren't so bad. I wear large. I am landscaper and former gymnast and power-lifter, so my shoulders are broad. I was recently surprised when I saw a picture of my men's bible study and I had the broadest shoulders there. My wife pointed it out. Still... if it weren't for the fact that I work outside in the warm, humid Southeast, clothes would be very hard to get. I wear short sleeve dress shirts to avoid tailor costs. New suits are a trip to the tailor or extremely restrictive. I have ripped a couple of coats because the shoulders are always too tight. I just saw Anderdoo's comment about always tucking in, and it was funny, it was so dead on.

In my family, my 4'11" wife is the tallest woman in my entire immediate family, which definitely struck as strange to start with 26 years ago. My sister is 4'9", my sister-in-law is 4'8" and my mom is 4'10". My sister-in-law's mom was also about 4'9" to 10", but they're Cajun and that's more common.

My sister says something that I hope is as helpful to yall as it is to me, "Add a 'very' to anything you think about a very short person, very cute, very stupid, very smart, etc. and that is what most people think of you."

And my own, "If you call me 'vertically challenged', I'll pull my ladder out of my back pocket, climb up to your kneecap and bite your leg off." or "Anything I don't choose to hear or acknowledge goes over my head." Then I laugh. Oh, and long people are anyone over 5' tall. My wife and I are normal height people."

Have a nice day and smile at a long person. They can't help their condition. :)

August 20, 2010 11:50 PM  
Blogger Milly said...

Ladies,if you live in NYC I suggest you go to the Washington Heights area (Dominican neighborhood) and find a Taylor. I assure you the price will be very reasonable and a you can have work pants made to fit your figure. I am Dominican and and when I go to Dominican Republic I buy fabric and get pants well made dirt cheap (for around $10 USD). There is no 00P out there that fits me right. I am 4'9" and weigh 94 lbs. I wish I knew how to sew well . . .I get very depressed when I try to shop. I have a sister that is my exact size and we both struggele with this problem expect I stary away from stores more than she does. Designers out there, please do something for us 'real petites' I assure you there is money to be made if you keep prices reasonable. Millie

January 25, 2011 10:21 PM  
Blogger Ayesha said...

OMG! i found this page randomly while googling for something, and i am surprised. i am 4 10, extremely petite.. but i weigh around 33kgs which is like 73 pounds. i know im extremely thin. I have the hardest time finding myself a nice sweater or a coat. lately im in love with kate middletons beige coat. can't find anythin in my size. :(
my other issue is not being curvy!!
hope to hear from you. it was the bestest feeling knowing someone else is out there!

February 06, 2011 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 13 yr old daughter is VERY petite (and a physically "late bloomer," according to our pediatrician) -- barely 4'7" and about 65 pounds with little curves that have started to appear in the past year. Trying to find clothing that's not little-girlish and/or (heaven forbid) GIRLY is impossible. She wants plain, unadorned clothing. Wears only jeans. Refuses to wear pink or pastels or any color other than navy, grey, black, and sometimes red or dark burgundy. Old Navy skinny jeans work best (size 10 slim). But other than that, it's very difficult. Aero hoodies -- even the smallest ones -- swim on her. And the fleece sweatshirts carried by Target shrink to an unwearable proportion after the first washing. Ironically, she looks amazing in feminine clothing but that's not where her head is now. Any suggestions??

September 23, 2011 8:22 AM  
Blogger Miiya said...

yeah I feel ya, I'm 18, 4'11 and curvy, but not fat. I find that Asian clothes, that run smaller fit me best.In America I have a hard time find clothes that don't need to be altered in some way. Like today I went to an interview and there was only one pair of shoes i could buy that that decent. 3 1/2 size.

June 20, 2012 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, so is there a solution? I'm 61yrs old, 5'2" and 86lbs. This poses a problem at work when I have to buy kids clothes..

September 06, 2012 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Kay Tee said...

I am 5'0 and weigh anywhere between 90 - 95 lbs. I am now 39 years old. I had shopped in the kids section for the longest probably up until about 6 -7 years ago. It first started with scrubs (I am a nurse). The smalls were too big and too long. I hate for my pants to drag the floor. I just happen to go buy a scrub shop and she had X-small petite. It was like I was in heaven. She then would call me when she got things and see if I wanted her to order stuff in X-small. Eventually, some companies started making XX-small. I know it is very frustrating as you get older and want to dress like a grown person. Well, I finally went into a Banana Republic and Ann Taylor's Loft when I moved to St. Louis. I said to myself "there is a God". They are pricey, but I do catch a lot of sales. I also by clothes from New York & Co., but it depends on certain fits in their slacks. I do find good buys on Ebay also. Sometimes people like "us" are getting rid of clothes (sometimes with the tags still intact). I just don't understand why some stores like New York & Co. only have 1 or 2 size 0 petite as if only 1 or 2 people are alive. I actually wrote them about that like 2 years ago and I never got a response. I was thinking about opening up a shop just for small petite women. I still may.

November 29, 2012 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in California. I'm 4'11 and 97lbs, 26 years old. I'm still looking for a place to buy nice dress pants, a suit, just more professional clothes. Anyone know of any in California? I've tried Banana Republic size 0 petite, but they are too big on my hips and waist. The length would have worked with some heels, but they weren't slim. They looked like they were 2 sizes to big. I've tried GAP kids and they were too small and more of a school uniform style not for work.

December 05, 2012 2:54 AM  
Anonymous nv said...

Funny thing:I'm out in CA too. Los Angeles actually and my first pair of trousers that fit me PERFECTly, I had to "invest" in them and buy them online. I would never do this except, this store was in the UK for us petites and I felt like I had no other option. It was "special" so I bought two.
I'm 4'9, 110-117lbs- muscular, hourglass build.
30 bust, 34-36 hips.
http://www.petiteaffair.co.uk/home/t-aboutus.aspx

There are other sites and a new NYJD(spelling?) line on this site about a Los Angeles company that makes jeans.:D I'm doing more research right now. I kept wondering why I always look "big" and dumpy and why the shoulder seams always hung off my shoulders and be halfwayd down my arm. Lo and behold.... I wasn't crazy. We're all experiencing things like this.

December 10, 2012 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

count me in! i'm 39, 5 ft 2, and 100 pounds, and i have a round bubble butt and no chest. my flat chest makes it hard to look feminine, my round butt makes it hard to look masculine or wear kids' clothes, and...i just drown in everything i try on. if i were wealthy, i'd find someone to tailor-make clothes to fit, but i'll stay hopeful that someone will take this petite-clothing store idea and run with it! :)

March 02, 2013 10:49 AM  

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