Last October I delivered a Stylish Empowerment talk to the 
Transportation branch of General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania.  

Yay. It was great.

Erie is actually absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed doing "Northern-y" type things i.e. going to a hockey game.  I love live hockey... who knew?! Go Erie Otters(?!)  But really, why Erie?  Good question.  Here's a snapshot of 97% of Pennsylvanians look/dress like:

While I really want to RANT over the topic of hoodies and the like, 
I already did that upon my return from Pennsylvania,

So (clearly), my number one question was:

Here are a list of Erie's best shops -- keep in mind that every retailer carries different items from store to store; for example, the Talbot's at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta carries (quite) different pieces than the Talbot's in Erie, Pennsylvania.  TJ Maxx, DSW (designer shoe warehouse), Talbot's, Old Navy and Target.  And that's what we had to work with in Erie.  Close the book, end of story.

This is what happens (not the un-matching shoes, I'm talking about the puddles of fabric) in towns that do not have stores with Petites sections (slash/ when you don't know that your adorable height and proportions also curse you to a life of alterations when and if you do not choose to shop Petites.)

Obviously -- and rightfully so -- the lack of options in this town was sad/frustrating and this was an important topic during Q&A with the GE gals.

Anywhozer, my solution is online shopping. Duh.

Nope, not rocket science and I'm sorry if you hate yourself for reading this far only to find out such simple information.  But there is absolutely a smart way to do this.  Whether you're 5'2" or a size 22, there are resources out there.  For you.  

Step one:
  • Identify the brand(s) that reflect your style (more on that later)
    Whether you are petite or plus-size or tall or pregnant or whatever, there ARE companies, brands and stores out there for you. Promise.  See step 4 if you don't believe me.
    Some of my fave shops are listed to the right of this blog, under the SHOP category.  There's a large variety listed there so go ahead, take a gander.
Step two
    Does this process suck?  Yes.
    Might you be discourage?  I dunno.
    Might you be empowered with the knowledge of your true sizes?  Totally.
  • Almost all online retailers offer sizing charts.  And they don't do it just to be cute.  Use them.
    "Regular" meaning not tall and not petite. 

              Sometimes you have to suck it up and get things altered.  My build is a cross between curvy and athletic (enter eye-rolling here) and my arms are 7 inches longer than my height (you read that correctly).  Sometimes you have to "go custom."  It's not a terrible thing, although it is a little time-consuming.  Here's a great success sotry:  One of my all-time favorite blazers was a Goodwill purchase and two sizes too large.  But the sleeves fit.  A little nip and tuck and -- voila -- I have a golden piece on my hands.  The trick is to actually go to the alterations place and not let a bunch of stuff get piled up in your closet with the one-of-these-days intention of taking them to some random place that happens to have a sewing machine.

Step 4:  No time for steps 1-3?  Hate shopping even if it's online?  Hate me for making you measure yourself?  Call in the big guns, I'll find your items for you.