The nine best swimwear brands for petites, srsly

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I am asked all the time where to get swimwear that is petite-friendly. This post is all my favorite swimwear brands for petites in one place based on years of experience. I am always on the lookout for flattering, high-quality construction in small sizes, so please let me know if you have any tips about other brands!

AERIE

The lead photo is my current pick from Aerie. LOVE their “VOOP” (V-neck plus scoopback) concept, and love this VOOP one piece, but it looks like the one piece fit might still have some design issues to work out. I am not sure about quality and durability, but their sizing should work well for petites. The suits are usually padded.


Acacia

My favorite suits from Acacia are the ones that feature native Hawaiian plant motifs. Acacia makes very flattering suits in small sizes. I’ve never seen a top from them that has any padding, but the seamless (or near seamless) construction (two pieces of spandex fabric sewn together along the inside edges) they seem to consistently opt for is extremely comfortable to wear. So much so that I no longer want to wear any of the older style of swimwear construction (you know, those thick edges folded over with a meshy nude or white colored lining).

L Space Bikini Top & BottomsL*space

L space also makes very flattering suits that are comfortable and stylish.

https://i2.wp.com/n.nordstrommedia.com/ImageGallery/store/product/Zoom/3/_100353523.jpgViX

ViX has been in the swimwear game for a long time and is known for their high quality thicker fabrics that last a long time and stay put in the water. If you like a touch of gold hardware on your suits and rouching, they always seem to have that. They also make classic silhouettes that are very flattering.


Mikoh

Mikoh always has very cute, very strappy, very flattering unpadded swimsuits. They do a lot of colors that would work well for cooler skintones, like the Lychee colorway of the bikini top pictured above. Their suits can be hard to find, but you can shop their website now. Construction is similar to Acacia where the garment feels like a silky second skin, but may not offer enough coverage for some.

 

French cross-back bikini top
J.Crew

J.Crew makes some tiny swimsuits, at least they have in past seasons, which actually make sizing a little tricky, but shipping and returns are complimentary. The French Cross-back Bikini Top is my current favorite. It comes in a multitude of colors and extensive sizing options. They have had some iteration of the French Bikini Top for years, and I like to think they are refining it to perfection, although I wish they would bring their other version of the French Bikini Top back (you know the one with the band along the bust line).

Hurley Quick Dry Tie Dye Women's Surf Bottom Hurley

Hurley was being manufactured in the US, at least partially, by Swimspot for a while but the inventory there seems to be tapering off, which makes me think that manufacturing has moved overseas. I’m not sure where the fit, quality, and styles will end up. Such a shame. They made some great suits for a while.

https://i1.wp.com/static.quiksilver.com/www/store.quiksilver.eu/html/images/catalogs/global/roxy-products/all/default/hi-res/erjx303454_cubagangwoventikitri,w_rzm6_frt1.jpg
Roxy

Roxy is a little hit or miss, both size and design wise. They consistently make good quality suits at affordable prices though, like the Cuban inspired print above. Just keep checking back until they come out with a silhouette that looks promising in a print that you like.

https://splashhawaii.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/BGP_8974.jpg
Splash! Hawaii

Trends come and go, but this suit by Splash Hawaii is always on point. Flattering, wide range of sizes and colors, great quality, affordable, made in Hawaii. I always have this suit in my closet as a go-to staple. You can’t go wrong with a basic triangle bikini top and Brazilian cut bottoms. They have a lot of other styles made in-house, too, and also carry other brands, including a lot of the ones mentioned above.

Have you tried any of these suits? Did I miss your go-to brand? Please let me know in the comments.

Back to black

Afycollection

 

Black Dress / One Shoulder Dress / LBD / Little Black Dress / Pencil Dress / Prom Dress / Party Dress / 330 / marcellamoda - MD003

marcellamoda

 

laminuinette

 

black pleated long dress/ elegant and minimalist/ urban look and simple/ evening dress

yennodiusstudio

 

simple A line linen dress with your choice of sleeve length made to order listing

linenclothingbyanny

 

custom linen bottle spiral dress made to fit listing

linenclothingbyanny

 

Black Kaftan/Asymmetrical Tunic/ Black Dress/Black Casual Kaftan/ Party Dress/Dress/One Shoulder Dress/F1470

FloAtelier

 

After years of snubbing the color that is all colors in favor of the bright and bold, I absolutely cannot get enough of black (is anyone else ogling Michelle Obama’s style, especially the dress she wore in her latest appearance covered by the media?). Most of the dresses featured in this post are made to order to your measurements with very responsive shop owners. This is great news for petites or anyone hard to fit! Is there a black dress you can’t live without?

Current petite-friendly favorites at J.Crew

Textured summer straw hat

I’m not loving stripes or ruffles or the off-shoulder look as much as everyone else it seems. What I love the most at J.Crew right now are the few staple items that have stuck around for the past few seasons.

Topping this list is the Textured Summer Straw Hat, which comes in black and a natural tan. This hat is a head turning statement piece. It makes everything else you wear instantly chic. It’s proportions are perfection. I hope they make this forever. I’m sure they will not. Stock up while it’s available. Everyone should have one. The description for the current version says it is foldable and packable, although in past seasons it was not and it looks the same as past seasons.

French cross-back bikini top

Next up is the French Cross-back Bikini Top. It comes in a multitude of colors and extensive sizing options. The sizing is a little tricky but with free shipping and returns, it isn’t too much of a hassle to get the right fit.

Ebbets Field Flannels® for J.Crew Brooklyn Eagles ball cap

Love this twill Ebbets Field Flannels hat. Ebbets Field carries this hat in wool. It’s nice to have the twill option here, although wool sounds good, too…

Knot-back tank top

The one thing I like out of the new arrivals is this Knot-back Tank Top. It has a more modest overlap in the back than some of the other versions I’ve seen, which is a nice option to have if you aren’t a fan of a more exposed back.

Lovely vintage summer swimwear for petites

on LAYAWAY - - - - - - - Vintage 40's 50's 'Catalina' Red Scalloped Cutout Two-Piece Swimsuit XXS or XS

1950s Catalina red suit with cutouts and scalloping

 

Back to the 1930s with this coral Jantzen one piece

 

Another red 1950s one piece by Rose Marie Reid of California with scoopback. Another small 1950s one piece by Rose Marie Reid.

 

1950s Alfred Shaheen one piece

 

vintage 50s retro swim suit / size sx

Black and white one piece

 

1950s Vintage Jantzen Plaid Swimsuit size 14 (XS) bust 28-32

1950s Jantzen in plaid

 

Retro Rose Mary Reid One Piece Bombshell Pin Up Girl Swim Suit Floral Pattern Button Adjust Straps Cute Ladies XS/Small

1960s floral one piece in brown and orange

1970s deadstock one piece belted in neon plaid

 

1980s Adrienne Vittadini strapless and floral

American made ball caps

Brooklyn Eagles 1935 Vintage Ballcap
Ebbets Field Flannels 1935 Brooklyn Eagles ball cap

After several hat purchases – all products imported from abroad – that have been underwhelming for a variety of reasons, and after seeing J.Crew carry American-made hats, I became curious about what hat options are left after all of the imported products are filtered out.

Well, there are only three companies that I can find that make (or at least firmly claim to make) their baseball caps in the USA.

But first, here are some amusing statements I’ve seen along the way:

USA Seller
(printed in red white and blue flag-like graphic reminiscent of classic Made in USA logo)

Made in USA and/or Imported

Made in USA and Imported

 

Ebbets Field Flannels (see lead photo), based in Seattle, looks like a pretty cool shop that specializes in reproducing vintage baseball paraphernalia with great attention to detail, craftsmanship, and material selection. It’s hard to choose just one of their many hat styles. They even offer blank hats now and they’ve been collaborating with J.Crew.

 

Light Liberty Clouds Ball Cap

FairEnds Light Liberty Clouds hat

 

FairEnds says their hats are made in California, and they’ve collaborated with Madewell in the past. They seem to focus on minimalism, eschewing logos and branding in favor of producing a classic product that works for everyone, kind of like the Rayban Wayfarer of baseball hats. Their hat silhouettes somehow manage to simultaneously feel both vintage and modern, at least on the heads of their Madewell-esque models.

 


Bayside hat

 

Finally, there is Bayside, which makes both structured and unstructured caps in brushed and washed twill using 100% cotton material. They also have union made t-shirts in five styles. These are pretty straight-forward hats veering towards utilitarian, free of any hipster-like qualities. They only come blank, ready for your own creative printing project, crafty embellishments, or minimalist styling.

That’s it! I could only find three! (For comparison, according to one website, about 43.8 million baseball caps are sold in the US per year as of 2016.) Anyone know of any other American hat manufacturers?

 

Sunday Funglasses

https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/aeo/5499_3183_800_l1?$pdp-main$
Aerie Pineapple Sunglasses

Yes, I am fully aware of how frivolous and unnecessary funglasses are. Nobody needs a pair of cheap shades with lenses shaped like hearts or fruits or charismatic pandas. The lenses are never as clear or sun-protective or scratch-resistant as the glasses one might procure from an opthamologist in standard oval, square, or cateye shapes. They never have the option to add a custom prescription or anti-glare coating. They never come polarized.

Yet I have been sporting a pair of classic heart-shaped sunglasses for the better part of two years that I got for just a few dollars at Claire’s of all places, and am delighted to report that while nobody’s life is changed by standard eye-doctor sunglasses, a pair of classic heart-shaped glasses has the power to transform other people’s ordinary, errand-filled, hum drum days into hum drum days punctuated by an extraordinary moment of highly memorable joy.

Funglasses are an easy way to filter the debbie downer grumps from those gems of humanity that have a healthy sense of humor and appreciation of creative self-expression and random quirkiness. Because the most highly evolved humans do not judge you sternly for your decision to pursue frivolity and fun in your fashion choices. No. They are overcome with amusement and giggles and delight in the silliness of it all. They understand that life is hard, so why not shape a pair of eyeglasses into pineapples.

I am all about delicately balancing form against function, with function as the foundation of good design. Eliciting pure joy from a form that also (mostly) fulfills its utilitarian goals is what great design is all about.

Pink Heart Sunglasses from Paper Source. (Unsure about sizing.) Also, Unicorn Lipgloss and heart shaped drink straws.

Daisy Sunglasses, also from Paper Source. (See product description for sizing info.)

Pink Flamingo Party Sunglasses / Tenacious Peacock (Unsure about sizing.)

Wedges through the ages, 1930s-now

1930s gold wedges | vintage 30s shoes | size 4.5 5 wedges

Today I’m rounding up wedges currently available for sale in small sizes starting with the oldest pair I can find, a pair of gold 1930s gems, pictured above. Apparently, Salvatore Ferragamo is credited with inventing modern wedges in the 1940s, but another source dates his invention to the mid 1930s, citing a limitation of leather and rubber as the reason he employed cork and wood. The same source says the lack of leather and rubber during World War II contributed to the wedge’s rise in popularity during that era. The wedge silhouette isn’t exactly the first shoe shape to come to mind when one thinks about the 1950s (understandable), yet examples do exist. Who knew the wedge sandal never really went out of style? But first, the 1940s.

Vintage 1940s 1950s Cream Studded Wedge Ankle Strap Peep Toe Sandals Shoes - size 35

1940s wedge.

 

There was the lady who lived in a shoe, and then there is the shoe with the home carved into it by hand, apparently circa 1940s.

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.oldgonzalescollege.com/ebay_pics/dgreenbowslip_6.JPG

50s wedge slippers.

 

70s slingback wedge. Another floral wedge.

 

1970s red velvet wedge platforms with flowers  - size 5 - 1970s platform sandals - red platform shoes - Taxi Driver - red platforms

Red platforms.

 

Psychedelic wedge.

 

Bright green wedge.

 

PEEP SHOW Vintage 1970s Suede Peep Toe Platform Sandals / Size 5 / Montgomery Ward

Peep toe platform by Montogomery Ward.

 

70s Platform Sandals w Fruit/ 1970s Wood and Leather Wedges/ See Thru Shoes/ Womens Size 5 5.5

Fruity platforms.

 

70s Vtg Whiskey Brown WOVEN Genuine Leather & Wood  Platform Wedge Sandals / Hippie Boho Stitch Bonded Made in California! 5 Eu 35

Huarache wedge. Similar pair for even smaller feet. Another similar pair.

 

Mix-matched lace-up slingback wedge.

 

Another red wedge.

 

Glitter wedge.

 

Striped foam platform wedges, circa 1990s.

 

90s Vtg Killer! Black + Silver STUD Velcro SPORTY Platform Wedge Sneaker BOOT / Club Kid Avant Garde Cyber Punk Deadstock! 6 - 5.5 Eu 36 35

Studded mega platforms.

 

DKNY clear wedge sandals / clear sandals / 90s sandals / platform wedge sandal / 5.5 - 35.5 / minimalist / clear heel sandals / clear wedges

Clear wedge.

https://i0.wp.com/n.nordstrommedia.com/ImageGallery/store/product/Zoom/6/_100178006.jpg

Marc Fisher wedge, circa 2017.