I’m short. Those of you who know me won’t find that a shocking fact. After all, you’ve spent most of our relationship looking down on me. I mean that in a literal sense. If you’ve been looking down on me in an idiomatic way, I don’t want to know about … and screw you.
Anyway, my height. With the exception of my sister during her first 13 years of life or so, it’s likely the rest of you are more familiar with the top of my head than I am. I know this. And I don’t know this.
Sure, I fill out my height on various forms. 5’ 2”. And if I’m in a particularly grumpy mood, I make sure the extra 1/4” is attached to that measurement. I can’t see the top of my refrigerator unless I’m on a chair and there are shelves in the kitchen that may contain spices from 1982 because I can’t see what’s on them.
But forms and reaching for rarely used tools in the kitchen aren’t activities I perform every day. So I forget how short I am … until it’s Spring and I shop for warm-weather clothes.
Take the cropped pant, for example. I like how it looks on other people. On me, it looks like I’ve been taking swigs from some Wonderland growth potion.
Last year’s long, flowy dresses? They’re a good 6″ taller than I am. In fact, one of my rules when shopping for long dresses is if the top of the hanger is above my head and the bottom of the dress is only an inch or two from the floor, I walk by. Way too much tailoring needed to make that dress work for me.
Boyfriend cardigans and long jackets/sweater coats? I like this look, too, but when I try something on, it doesn’t look like I grabbed something out of my boyfriend’s closet (even if he were a power forward). I look like a six-year-old playing dress-up in her power-forward big-brother’s closet.
Shopping in the petite section doesn’t help. There were no long, flowy dresses there. Designers didn’t even bother. Petite-sized cropped pants or long sweaters just look weird. The fashion industry defines petite as clothing for women under 5’5”. The proportion of most petite clothing is aimed at woman around 5’4”. So when you get down to my height, the proportions are just off.
It’s a sad world I’ve just come to accept, albeit with bursts of frustration when the weather gets warmer and the spring fashions mock me. I’ll be the woman walking around the mall, making sure the top of her head looks good and trying not to trip over the ends of her jeans that are just a little too long. Say hi.