Little Lady, Big Deals: The Grown Woman’s Guide To Shopping Smart in the Kids Department

I have a confession to make: Although I have no kids, I have no problem whatsoever putting on my big girl pants to shop smart in the Girls department. The styling is practically identical and while the cut is slightly narrower, this doesn’t pose a problem if you know how to navigate the subtle nuances in fit.

So, how did I end up playing dress-up in the change room amidst piles of “Size 13-14” Kids clothing? Total frenzied fluke. While shopping (hoarding) during an annual Zara Sale, I fought my way to the change room, loaded with sartorial hopefuls that weren’t yet stained with makeup, deodorant or torn to shreds. While sorting through the possible contenders, I noticed “Size 13-14” Kids pieces peppered into the Woman’s mix. The styling was practically the same. The sizing certainly didn’t look much different. The fact that they had inconspicuously found their way onto the Women’s racks was intriguing enough to try them on. The fact that a 5’3, 120lb woman could easily fit into children’s clothing was a bit mystifying, but judging by the Amazonian height of preteens towering over me on the subway (target market!) I suppose it shouldn’t have been.

The clothing fit!

The tailoring was slightly different (snug throughout the shoulders), but appreciated on a slight frame. The price was the game changer: $19.99 for an bubble-shaped tweed dress? The answer is “Yes!”. Less than $40 for a cool denim jacket? Don’t ask me twice! If you’re a petite woman with a penchant for saving a buck or $50, shopping in Kids department is a real style steal.

But before you run to your nearest high street to shop the deals, know the rules:

1. The neck is slightly smaller. Big noggins need not apply.

2. The bust (or lack thereof) is reduced for obvious reasons. B-Cup or less, my friends.

3. The back zipper is significantly shortened, meaning stepping into a dress is out of the question (unless you have zero hips). Pop over head only to try on, or risk a panicked, sweaty, tug-of-war attempting to get the damn thing off your ass.

4. Kids are cute, therefore the styling can be too. Avoid sparkles, sequins, bows and logos to keep your “Kids” status under wraps.


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  1. This is so interesting. I love how these tips are really practical, but I don’t think I could fit my hips to anything – head OR feet first.

    That being said, I’ll DEFINITELY keep my eyes open in the little boy’s department. I feel like the extra bag there could allow for a little more chub.



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