I’m a petite size 12 and the world of trousers is not one that I can easily inhabit. Finding perfect-fit pants on the high street (or from designer brands) is like a needle in a haystack and it is incredibly rare that I can buy a pair of jeans or trousers without having to factor in the remedial work of hems needing to be taken up or waistbands needing to be taken in to accommodate my waist-to-thigh ratio. Fortunately, I’m not too shabby when it comes to sewing (thanks, fashion design degree!) but in all honestly I don’t have time for absorbing yet another life admin task or the budget to keep carting everything I own off to a tailor. It’s why you’ll often find me wearing dresses and skirts rather than trousers, but 2022 is nothing if not the year of the tailored slack and I’ve missed being able to join in on the fun. I bought a pair from COS earlier in the year—you know, the wide-leg ones everybody raves about—and while they are fantastic, I did have to get them professionally altered to be a good 20 centimetres or so shorter. It was yet another reminder of why my trouser collection is so lacking.
So, when I recently stumbled across two petite trouser options—one at Marks and Spencer and one at Abercrombie—I couldn’t help but hit purchase. M&S have both short and tall options for many of their pieces, but I have to admit it’s not a route I’ve explored before as I often think of myself as not really being petite in the sense of being super-duper small, I’m just short. And in the past when I’ve opted in for supposed petite options they just come up really small rather than my size but with less length. Abercrombie is a retailer you might not have once associated with size diversity but it has, in fact, become one of the leaders at this affordable price point. Where most brands peak at about a size 31 waist for jeans (at a push!) Abercrombie & Fitch go up to a 37, and they have extra short, short, regular AND long options for hemlines. Amazing!