17 years old, and you’ll find me in the children’s section


Clothes for short people are extremely difficult to find in stores. Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press

Veronica Mellring


Clothes for short people are extremely difficult to find in stores. Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press
Clothes for short people are extremely difficult to find in stores. Credit: Lucy Knowles/The Foothill Dragon Press

I sigh, frustrated; it has happened again.

I stare in dismay at the pair of jeans I’m holding. They say “Short,” but they’re practically as tall as I am. I look through the rest of the “Shorts,” but the only ones left are in sizes 04, 02, and 00, much too small for my larger waist size. I put them back, once again disappointed.

In the effort to cater to the general demographic, clothing stores have forgotten one group: little people. Day after day, small people have trouble finding clothes suitable for their size.

Jeans and shorts often run longer on small people, forcing them to get their bottoms tailored or just bearing the longer length. Sweaters and long sleeved shirts leave small people looking like those flappy arm men outside of car lots. And having smaller feet leaves us to shop in the children’s section.

It is a frustrating struggle for those of us who are more fashion conscientious, as we often find troubling finding clothes and accessories that fit us.

Once, in middle school, when Vans were very popular, I decided I would like to purchase a pair. Imagine my disappointment when the Vans store only carried my size in the little kids’ section, where all the shoes looked like a teeny bopper’s bedazzled dream.

For a long time, the only shoe place I could shop was Payless, because not only did they carry my size, but they offered shoes that appealed to my more mature fashion sense. The only store, besides Payless, that carries adult looking shoes in my size is Nordstrom; and while their shoes are nice, they are quite expensive, much too expensive for my teenage wallet.

It is ridiculous that I’m forced between expensive shoes and shopping at the same store simply because I’m smaller.

Not only are clothes too large, but the clothes that are made for smaller people are designed for skinny, smaller people. It is the general consensus that smaller sizes should be automatically slimmer while larger sizes should be looser, which is ironic since most fashion spreads show tall, skinny models. And because the American media shows that “thin” is beauty, corporate fashion manufacturers make their clothes slimmer to fit that “thin” image; the smaller sizes are most often subjected to fit the “thin is beautiful” mold.

For example, most of the “Short” sizes I find in department stores are in 00, 02, 04, 06, and they usually end there. There are a few stores (such as JC Penny’s, Gap, and Wet Seal) that expand the “Short” sizes well into 14s and 16s, but these stores are few and far between. This is a problem for plumper, smaller people, like me.

This general conception that ‘smaller’ means ‘skinnier’ and ‘taller’ means ‘larger’ is narrow-minded and hindering small people’s access to well-fitted clothes.

The solution? Clothing stores should start considering the short demographic and make clothes that are available to their sizes, whether they are skinny or stocky.

I understand a company’s concern that there wouldn’t be enough short people to buy clothes catering to them, thus losing profit; however, they should make these clothing options available (even if it isn’t that much) so that smaller people have choice in most stores and can actually purchase and own clothes that fit them.

Cinderella of Boston, for example, is a shoe store located in Westminster, CA, that carries petite women’s shoe sizes (2-5 1/2). They have a successful and thriving business that has been doing well since 1939.

If they can do well just catering to short people, then corporate store’s can afford to make more clothes for short people.

Clothing should be available for everyone, and small people should be seen and heard, not forgotten.

What do you think?