Shopping Spree Help Requested From a Reader
I like your blog I stumbled upon it while looking for a gift for my wife. I need some advice and was hoping that you could help. I am looking to give my wife a mini shopping spree in New York for the holidays, and I was hoping you could tell me where the best shops/boutiques for petites are in the city.
She has such a hard time finding things that fit, I thought this would be a nice gift. Any assistance you could provide would be great.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I've been very bad about updating it lately, but hopefully, I'll be a little more prolific soon. Thanks for reaching out to me for advice!
As far as what your wife might like, it really does depend on what kind of price range you're willing to spend, what sort of items she likes wearing, and whether she's able to fit into regular missy clothing (with alterations). A word to the wise - NYC has a better selection, but it's still not a shopping mecca for petites. There's always a lot of give and take in regards to the style/fit/price that taller women won't have. Also, as you might have noticed, I personally tend towards the more practical side than fashionable (due to my size/price restrictions), but I'll try to give you some help.
My main suggestion is that if you can afford it and she's not short waisted, to go to a department store and get missy clothing altered. If it's a spree, it really is a luxury to get all her pieces to
actually fit well. Obviously, it's annoying not to walk straight out with something nice, but that's the way it goes for the petite. Actually, regardless of where she winds up shopping, try to persuade her to get alterations if things don't fit perfectly. It makes a huge difference. The associates at the high end stores do get a lot of customers that are short and thin, so they know if things can be altered properly, and which brands might be a better match. A personal shopper would be really helpful to help your wife out in selecting things and making sure they're a good fit physically and aesthetically.
Saks has reinstated its petite section on the 9th floor - although I honestly haven't had a chance to really check it out yet. Bloomingdales does have a petites section, but they've definitely cut
back on it, and it's not great (then again, most places don't have a petite's section at all). I happen to like Bergdorf Goodman because of their service and atmosphere, but they don't carry petites clothing (only thinner clothing) and neither does Barney's. Again, if she's
taller and can pull it off, that's my suggestion.
If she's really short proportioned, then it's going to be more difficult. Since it's going to be a special trip for her, I hesitate to suggest the usual Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/Brooks Brothers thing, but it does work, since they are better proportioned for shorter women. Make sure to visit the flagships to get the best service. You mentioned that she has trouble finding things that fit - but she wears clothes from somewhere! Conservatively, a shopping spree for that brand would also work out (but again, a shopping spree is a good opportunity to find some other brands other than the tried and true....)
If your wife is a little more sure of her fashion sensibility and doesn't particularly like department store environments, a trip to SoHo would be fun. I can't offer you any particular advice on where to go since I don't know your wife's style - but many of the places
there are owned and operated by the designers themselves. I went to Calvin Tran's store and he was walking around the store helping people out. Similarly, Zoolook was able to specially alter dresses for me and do custom work as well (and the owner is the designer). I can't personally afford it, but if cost isn't so much an issue, and she can't find her size, your wife can
probably talk these designers into making something specifically for her shape.
Finally, if she's not looking for designer wear, she can get things custom tailored instead. I know Dara Lamb on Park does do full bespoke for women. They charge an arm and a leg, but I don't know too many other notable places that do full custom for women. Admittedly, I have not used them, but they produce quality items.
Good luck with the shopping spree planning! The main thing for a successful trip is to council patience with trying things on and being honest about whether things fit. If you'd like more specific guidance, let me know what her shape and style is like, and I'll try my best.
Don't forget, a slightly larger spree/vacation to Asia is always an option! Labor is cheap and sizing is smaller....
All the best and happy holidays,