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?

March 15, 2007

Japan Will Solve Everything!

I've been receiving a slew of letters lately and I'm loving it! Definitely keep them coming!


I stumbled upon your blog today through a series of links, and I knew I had to send you an email. I'm almost exactly your size (an inch taller!) and I've had all the same clothing frustrations you're having. Currently, though, I'm living in Japan teaching English, and I wanted to tell you that in Asia clothes are actually EASY to find. I read your post on Uniqlo, and you should know that Uniqlo in Japan stocks sizes that fit the "petite" set in America. Their size S fits me perfectly, and I've been stocking up on their basic pants and shirts to bring home. I can walk into almost any store and find my size (I'm still the smallest size, but not so small that it has to be special ordered or altered). Many of my friends have gone to Thailand and have had suits custom made for $100. You expressed some hesitation about going to Asia and not being able to find stuff that fits. Bite the bullet. Buy the ticket.

I got into making my own clothes before coming to Japan, and will probably go back to doing that once I move back to the States. It's something I like to do, but it sure is nice to have the option here of going out and finding a new shirt on the weekend. Even the GAP sizes here are much, much smaller. I've worn Banana Republic Petite 00 pants and shirts in the past, and while they usually work fine, they break my budget just a little bit. I went into a thrift store here, and for the first time in years found clothes that fit off the rack.

I've always dreamed of coming to New York to go to all the little Soho stores, but now I'm re-directing that desire to Thailand or India where I have hope of finding my size. It's just too depressing to find cute things I can never wear. If you ever get into sewing and want to know how to alter patterns for the petite set, I can be of service.

Long live the petite woman!

- Kendra at Kyushu Chronicles

Hey Kendra!

Thanks for writing, and thanks for linking here! I totally know I have to suck it up and take a trip to Asia. I worked for a sizing/shape consulting company for a little bit and was told that I am actually shaped very much like the average Japanese female! Believe me, when I can slap together enough to take a trip over there, I'll be beaming over in a jiffy. Maybe you can even be my guide?

I also have a Japan Uniqlo shirt in Small that fits perfectly (thanks B!). You have no idea how frustrating it was to walk into the giant new Uniqlo downtown and find that everything I wanted (hello cheap well made cashmere sweaters...) was way too big! I'm completely unsurprised that the American brands there are Japanese sized. There are plenty of European brands (and obviously Asian) that size way up for Americans here - it's just catering to your market.

Unfortunately, your fabulous alteration advice will fall on my deaf ears (but perhaps my readers will find it useful?). I have NO sewing experience whatsoever. It's a miracle I passed home economics in high school (not my choice - it was required for both genders) since I couldn't figure out how to properly thread a sewing machine!

Don't feel so badly about missing out in SoHo. It's fun for ideas, and besides, think of all the money you'd be saving! Thanks again for writing Kendra. Definitely keep us posted on what brands may be good buys in Japan!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I completely empathise with your frustrations in trying to find sizes that fit in American (or European) stores.

I just wanted to mention that the reverse is also true when it comes to clothes-sizing for a market: American brands often sell much more appropriately scaled (for me) garments at their Asian stores.

I remember being particularly impressed with finding J. Press (the uber-preppy New England label) stocked in a high-end Tokyo depatment store, and the sweater I bought was sized "M"--the "S" was too small! Meanwhile, I can't fit into any actual clothes from the US stores because even "S" is comically large on me.

- J

March 15, 2007 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm 5'0 and 95 on occasion (I fluctuate very easily). I just bought a bunch of clothes for work and even though I was able to find some xs (wet seal has a few, and rave does too), when I tried them on they fit me around the waist but b/c I have very little curves on top, I get this weird baggy area that pops out on the back of my shirt! I'm trying to figure out how I can possibly alter the blouses if even, b/c they were as close as I could possibly get to fitting me and being affordable. I hope to start learning how to sew and alter my own clothing instead of relying on tailors!


May 13, 2008 5:28 PM  

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