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The Ultimate Petite Clothing Guide: Gym, Work, Weekends

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Petite is a very kind, very French way of saying you're no taller than 5'4" (which is the average American woman, BTW). There's good company in the petite game, too: Kim Kardashian comes in at 5'3", Rachel Bilson at 5'2", and Ashley Olsen at 5'1" while Mary-Kate's just 5'0".

Despite being genetically predisposed to adorableness, petites do face challenges, most of which include reaching things and shopping for clothes that involve an inseam. Here we've rounded up the thirteen best stores for covering petite needs, from denim that doesn't need hemming to running tights that won't bunch at the ankle and blouses and outerwear with sleeves that are just the right length (we've even thrown in a few places to look for extra-small shoe sizes).


Maxi dress, $198; blouse, $78; jumpsuit, $168

Anthropologie: Find everything from tees and knits to coats and even loungewear designed just for petites. Brands include denim from the likes of Citizens of Humanity and J Brand, Karen Walker and Tracy Reese dresses, plus Anthro's own in-house lines, including Leifsdottir.


The Ciggy, $175; The Skinny, $175; The Slouchy Jean, $225

AYR: Launched just this past winter, Bonobos' sister brand AYR offers up easy denim with inseams as short as 25"!


Playsuit, $96; jeans, $90; top, $44

Topshop: All of that trendy, British goodness sized down, because you really need that romper to fit just right. Find denim, dresses, shorts, even crop tops in the plentiful selection.


Coat, $116; pants, $39; skirt $40

ASOS: Further satiate trendy needs with scaled down pieces from the ASOS main line, plus brands like Glamorous and Vero Moda. Inexpensive basics are on offer, too (leggings!), and we've got to shout out the shoe department, where sizes start at US 4. Shipping and returns are free, just part of why it's easy to become an ASOS addict.


Long-sleeve tee, $23; jacket, $88; sweater, $60

Gap: The Gap Inc. family of brand is very good to petites. Its namesake brand carries sizes 00 through 14 scaled to size for petites. Your best bets here are easy basics that fit just right, like tees, sweaters, and pants.


Yoga pants, $20; capris, $27

Old Navy: From Old Navy, find more of the basics you need (cardigans, t-shirts) on the cheap, and definitely check out their activewear, which includes affordable compression run tights and yoga leggings that won't bunch at the ankle.


Pant, $59; tights, $79

Athleta: If you're looking to invest a bit more in activewear, try Athleta's selection, which is heavy on petite-sized bottoms from run capris to wide-leg yoga pants (and a surprising populace of jeggings).


Blazer, $198; blouse, $80

Banana Republic: Start at BR for suiting separates, and mix in their impressive range of blouses (many of which would look just as good under a blazer with a pencil skirt as they would with jeans). There's also a good collection of sophisticated denim in the mix for petites.


Jacket, $179; dress, $159

Ann Taylor: Another solid choice for suiting, much of which has a modern kick like single-button blazers. An expansive dress shop is another must-note: styles span from bridal to work to casual, all perfectly proportioned.


Anorak, $178; romper, $80;

Loft: Skirts, dresses, trousers and more in prints and colors that will breathe a little life into your work wardrobe and may even pull out on the weekend, too.


Coat, $398; dress, $275; shirt, $88

J.Crew: Shorter sleeves, inseams, and more from everyone's favorite fancy mall store. Everything from suiting to denim is on offer here (there's even some petite maternity available), with some of the biggest hits in outerwear and occasion dresses.


Tree dress, $139; 'Oil Painting' dress, $154; floral dress, $138

Nordstrom: The department store doesn't skimp on petite offerings, with a massive range in categories from head to toe. They're famed for their shoe selection, which starts at size 4.


Blue jean, $79; high rise, $74

Urban Outfitters: A must-hit for denim starting at 26" inseams. Brands include their own in-house BDG line as well as lines like Cheap Monday and One Teaspoon.

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