Realising I’m ‘Petite’ in my Thirties

Growing up I was always quite chunky – I had chunky legs, chunky thighs and was quite broad all over. I realised in my late teens that I had stopped growing taller too so I was 5 foot 3 and pretty… dense. Just quite heavy for a short teenage girl.

But then life happened. I moved out of home, ate less, worked constantly and found myself, at nineteen, pretty slim, too slim – and still short. But, back then, flares and baggy jeans were in fashion. Although I wore midriff exposing tops and had my navel piercing on show constantly, my jeans were always too long and I wore clothes that were comfortable rather than fitting perfectly.

But then I met Dave and got into that content phase of dating, going for meals out or just sitting on the sofa with a sharing bag of crisps each and big bags of chocolate – after eating a takeaway. The weight piled on and I became chunkier – but happy.

Then we had children. I ate for six through my first pregnancy and ballooned up to nearly 15 stone the day after my daughter was born. It took me just under a year to lose it and get down to my weight watchers goal weight of 10 stone before finding out I was pregnant again – and the weight crept back on.

This time, it’s taken me until Little Man was three to fully lose the baby weight. I am now at the lowest weight I even remember being – 9st 9lb – and have been going shopping, trying on clothes and trying to have a wardrobe of clothes that actually fit me properly. How hard can that be?

But, at 5ft 3 all of the jeans I bought were miles too long for me. Standard lengths would need me to wear heels and on the school run I just want to wear my Converse and a hoodie. I couldn’t find many places that did short leg lengths but then people online suggested petite ranges which I discounted immediately. You see, petite means…


pəˈtiːt/adjective (of a woman) attractively small and dainty.”she was petite and vivacious”

I have never in my life been small and dainty. I still have chunky legs, chunky thighs and size seven feet. Although my top half is incredibly slim my bottom half is anything but dainty. So petite jeans just aren’t something I would ever consider trying.

But then on a whim, I raided the Next clearance section online and bought four pairs of petite jeans. When they arrived the next day I held them up and laughed – they looked like kids’ jeans. About half the size of my typical jeans.

But, when I tried them on – they fitted. They were the perfect length to wear with trainers and they were comfortable. I was so surprised but so happy that I could wear jeans and flats again. Jeans that actually fit me too – rather than being a size too big or inches too long and scuffing on the floor.

So, at the age of very nearly 32 I have discovered that I’m petite. That actually, I’m probably not that squat, heavy teenager anymore and in fact, I am small and I have lost a lot of weight. I can finally buy clothes that fit me and that is a pretty amazing feeling.

32 and petite. Who’d have thought it?!

Realising I'm 'Petite' in my Thirties


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

Similar Posts


  1. You look brilliant D – all the work you’ve put in really shows! I have decided that for now I am just going to accept my extra weight until Gabe starts sleeping better and I have the energy (and time) to do something about it!

  2. I love being petite! I’m 5′ 1″ and my 13 year old is currently a good 4″ taller than me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂 Welcome to the petite club x

  3. Glad you have found clothes that fit! I’m 6ft tall so have issues the other way and things are never long enough.

    Isn’t it funny (and not in a good way) how your perception of yourself from younger days stays with you. I was chubby at secondary school so always think of myself that way. In reality I’m not sure I am. I’m not as slim as I was when rowing a lot and pre-pregnancy (pretty sure my daughter has actually stretched my hips…not making excuses I really think she has if that’s possible) but I’m still not carrying much extra weight.

    Hope your new clothes help you to accept the shape you are now and let your old image go!

  4. We are the same height! I too have the same issue with trousers etc. Pleased you’ve finally found something that works for you. You look great!

  5. High five for petites! I’m 4’10 and even petites I struggle with LOL but when I find a pair of jeans that are the right length I just throw all my money at the cashier and buy the lot! back when we were young petite really wasn’t about much, so glad they’re so much easier to find now! Teenage short/ tall girls will never the actual struggle there used to be find these sizes LOL

  6. This sounds exactly like me Donna! My weight has fluctuated wildly throughout my life. Not sure how much I weighed after my first son but it must have been close to 14 stone. I’m 5 foot 2.5 lbs and also 9 st 9 lbs – the smallest I have been as an adult.

    I desperately need to go clothes shopping too. I must have a look at the Next petite range. gap do a short leg range too which I like…

    Great post 🙂

  7. You look amazing! But then I haven’t known you long and you’ve always looked amazing so nothing has changed. You’ve done amazingly to lose so much weight though, totally inspirational.

  8. I’m 5’3″ too and have slightly long legs for my height. Regular jeans are too long and petite ones are round my ankles, nothing’s quite right. I lost 4 stone after small boy was born but its only since I started running that I feel really good. I’m the same size, shape and weight as I was at 17 (apart from the tiny saggy boobs and mum tum) but I feel so much better in myself. Probably means I grew up or something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *