When I was 10 some kid took it upon herself to tell me that I was a runt.Â English was my third language at this point yet I was notÂ exactly literate in any of the three, so I wasn’t sure what that word meant.Â But from the wrinkle in her nose I knew it wasn’t a compliment. You might say this entry is aboutÂ the revenge of the runt.
OK, so I’ve always been tiny. I hit a growth spurt around the age of 13 and to this dayÂ have only reached 5’3″ when semi-tiptoeing. In my favorite Louboutins I might pass for a gal of average height, but there’s not much I can do about the small frame. I won’t complain about the difficulty of finding ready-to-wear pants or swimsuits that fit because judging from the size of the aforementioned disaster area better known as my closet, I’ve managed to do all right. But I will say a big part of my buying decision often revolves around the difficulty (and expense) of getting the items altered.
Once in a while, however, it pays to be pint-sized. Exhibit A: the Stella McCartney collection for GapKids.Â Yes, Kids. As in children. I’ve long been a Stella fan since she helmed Chloe and am now following herÂ eponymous label. My sister and I have been anxiously waiting for this collection to hit the store since we saw blurbs about it on WWD and elsewhere…she, more so for her baby Lil A, and I, well, for my baby Lil L (that would be me). She lives in NY so by 8am my time she’s already on the ground with details of the items in hand: the band jacket is super cute but small, things are selling fast, and where is that pink tutu?Â Around 9:45 I speed dial the stores that I’d already researched a few weeks before.Â A fewÂ locationsÂ end up not getting the collection as promised. By the time I reach a live person at the flagship store the band jacket is sold out; the store has been open forÂ only ten minutes. Sigh. I knew Stella would be a huge hit in NYC, but here in LA, too?
I call the last and most geographicallyÂ unlikely store on my list and amazinglyÂ they still have everything. Sometimes I can’t contain my excitement (mostly in a fashion context) so this nice lady on the phone pinky-swears me that she will pull items in my size and wait for me to arrive within half an hour. For some reason she tells me to drive safely. I get there in 20.
The mall is completely dead for a Monday morning, and I’m the only customer out of the 5 people inside the store. I like these odds. A petite mom pops in, though, but I see that she has a toddler by the hand so I’m relieved. Â I mention my holds to the guy who greets me. He gives me a once-over and I think the light went off in his head: Ahh, the stuff is for you!Â He shows me all the pieces they’ve received so far and we add a few more tops to my pile.Â He jokingly shows me the shoes, but no one over the age ofÂ 13 should be allowed to wear them. 15, tops.
And then it was time….for the walk of shame. To the dressing room. With no kid in tow.Â Thank goodness the store is not busy with judgmental eyes, but I could have sworn the stocker averted her eyes when she saw me entering the room. See? They can’t even look at me!
Everything is small here; clothes are small, racks are small, stools are small:
But the piecesÂ look so cute hanging on the wall of my dressing room:
By the time I’m done trying the clothes on, the store is hopping with customers and the salespeople are all in a great mood. The gal ringing me up tells me that she’s jealous that I could fit into theseÂ clothes.Â There’s no shame in shopping in the kids’ section when the clothes are so Stella-fab, she continues; it totally pays to beÂ small.Â I’m just happy the kiddie clothes come withÂ runty prices! And the adorable shopping bags you see in this post are whimsical enough to make me smile:
By noon the collection is made available online and I do a little more damage, this time from the anonymous safety of my desk. But all fun and games aside, this all begs the question…can I really step out the door of my house in this outfit?