Wednesday, April 4, 2007

On the Street…..Sixth Ave., Chelsea

I think most women her size (I’m guessing about 5’1″) would probably pass right by a coat like this in a store. The fear of a coat with that much pleating and length would overwhelm their petite size would keep most from even trying it on.

Next time keep this young lady in mind.

I’m sure most of you can easily see that her trick is that she has tightly wrapped the belt of the coat around her waist twice creating a cummerbund effect. This clearly defines her waist & her overall shape.


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 8:49 am

    So simple and so inspiring. I love the repeated pleated texture.


    • Simone Fraser

      December 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      It’s lovely, isn’t it!
      I love that The Sart notices and appreciates such details. I als olike that she hasn’t tried to add to her height by wearing particularly high heels.

  2. Erica

    April 4, 2007 at 9:09 am

    It is a lovely trench. I’m petite as well, and I certainly agree that it takes creative maneuvering to keep one’s silhouette clean, especially regarding outerwear. I’ve come to enjoy your blog (like so many other thousands of people), cheers to you!

  3. erin

    April 4, 2007 at 9:14 am

    the coat is cute, but the skirt/dress length looks dowdy, imo.

  4. Valerie

    April 4, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Wow, this is my first comment on your blog after having been a regular ‘reader’ for some months already :)

    The look of that young lady is exceptional and she looks truly fabulous! I can sooo take that look as a guideline since I am only 5’3” myself and often struggle finding clothes that fit AND look good. Just today I tried on a heavily pleated skirt in with with red flowery pattern but thought that it didn’t look good. Now I will go back though and buy it as it indeed CAN look good to wear full clothes on the bottom and be petit.

    Thanks a lot!

  5. Alice Olive

    April 4, 2007 at 9:35 am

    You’re right, she has emphasised her waist and overall figure beautifully by the way she’s tied the belt. And it’s fantastic!

    I actually think her petite-ness, rather than a larger frame, is perfect for the coat because when you look at it closely, there’s alot to it. Alot of fabric and folding. I’d be worried that would bulk me up. But on someone as petite as her, it’s perfect. Very Audrey Hepburn riding her bicyle in Roman Holiday!

  6. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 9:37 am

    There are so many trenches around at the moment, but sadly I think they are beyond most people. They are the kind of item that looks great styled in a magazine but in real life they can look a little contrived. This lady happily disproves this for me, and it is the fact that she is so tiny and it is belted so tightly that works in her favour. I would be interested to see the view from the front. Any chance of that?

  7. Jack Daniel

    April 4, 2007 at 9:50 am

    she’s probably the smallest lady I’ve ever seen, wearing a trenchcoat. Very cute.

  8. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 10:02 am

    She looks fabulous and I like the fact that she paired it with flats, as most petite girls are constantly trying to fight their height rather than work with it! Love the Sartorialist! You’re always spot on!

  9. James Middlefield

    April 4, 2007 at 10:04 am

    A lovely trench from behind. Would like to see the front of it too.

  10. editor

    April 4, 2007 at 10:23 am

    the well-defined waist is one point in her favor, but the other detail that keeps the trench from over-powering her is the longer hem of the skirt beneath it.
    erin, above, called it “dowdy”. on the contrary. no visible hem would make her look like a flasher. true, flashers are not considered dowdy, but here the extended hem makes her look about more than a trench. it is part of her outfit, no her whole outfit.
    also, the hair up and the bare legs keep the look very clean. great job.

  11. Candid Cool

    April 4, 2007 at 10:37 am


  12. Lisa

    April 4, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I totally agree, and that trench looked really fabulose!

  13. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 11:26 am

    this is inspiring
    i m a petite HK chinese gal.

    i rmb i hv a long white coat juz upon my knee~ it is supposed not for a petite gal like me, but end up a got lot of compliments!

    i also appreciate that she even wear flat.

  14. hoi polloi

    April 4, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Interesting. I’m 5’3″ and thought a belted trench would never work. If I were her I would’ve paired it with heels, but it seems to work with flats.

  15. Emily Lin

    April 4, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Wow… I wished I would look that great in that gorgeous coat too cos I’m short T.T

  16. whyioughtta

    April 4, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I agree with erin about the skirt length…more visible leg would give a better proportion. And I don’t think the look would be “flasher-esque” because of the dress-like bottom of the coat. There’s nothing “flasher in a trenchcoat” about this look.

  17. maritza

    April 4, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    That’s a great look, and she manages to pull it off beautifully, I think.

  18. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Perfection of proportion – and the proof is that it’s nearly impossible to tell how tall she is by looking at her. She looks like a dancer – holds herself like a dancer – wears clothes that move like a dancer’s clothes. She’s even found a bag that’s quite large, but doesn’t swallow her look.

    And Sart, your eye for a really wonderful coat is unparalleled! Thanks for this one.

  19. andrea

    April 4, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    There is some delicate strength in her stance, that helps too!

  20. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    i love the shoes

  21. Jasmine A

    April 4, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    I am 5’0″ and usually stay away from coats like that, but I think she looks fabulous. I also love to see other shorties like me wearing flats, I live in them! She has great posture and I think the skirt length is perfect for that coat.

  22. Carolina Lange

    April 4, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    That trench is really lovely, and would look good on so many women. She looks so sweet with it! The shoes go so well with the coat.

  23. micah

    April 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Anyone know who makes this trench? it’s so cute.

  24. Jessorz

    April 4, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I looooove that coat. and i also love the layering that she’s done with it, where the skirt is just a little bit longer.

  25. savvylondon

    April 4, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    gorgeous. absolutely stunning….very ‘new look’ meets the trench in some ways….that luxurious full skirt…yum.

  26. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    She looks stupendous! Amazing!

    I would never have known she was short without being told. The proportions are marvellous.

    One tiny nitpick, and it really is a tiny nitpick, is that, with the flats versus the volume in the skirt and the trench and the bag and the hair, it’s a little bit top-heavy and maybe heels would have made the balance absolutely perfect. On the other hand, the look is so close to being perfect anyway that maybe heels wouldn’t make much difference.


  27. Rafe Totengco

    April 4, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Now that’s a great trench coat. It almost evokes Dior’s New Look without the petticoats. Gorge!

  28. t.r.b

    April 4, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    that is pure elegance! and the beautiful thing is that she looks so simple yet modern…i think she looks like a goth ballerina oddly enough….gothic and modern. i do wonder though how she looked face on. i know many people equal that “look” with audrey hepburn, but i think she only favors her in proportion. ms. hepburn’s designs had perfect proportions!

  29. nycinside

    April 4, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    You love to shoot the trench coats. I agree and think they’re an important addition to ones wardrobe. I wonder if she knows how much conversation is going on about her pleats?

  30. dileri

    April 4, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    the coat looks fabby on her. it reminds me of eva-marie saint’s wonderful black coat in “on the waterfront” – it too had a very defined waist and a very full skirt.

  31. VertigoVirgo

    April 4, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    She looks like Thandie Newton from the back

  32. Miss Scarlet

    April 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    I LOVE this coat. Wow.

  33. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I think she looks absolutely fantastic, so cute with flats. She pulls it off beautifully. Thank you for a wonderful blog!


  34. Anonymous

    April 4, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    I love this.
    I was considering taking a trench like this from my school’s costume closet ( i help with costumes for the plays) but i thought it’d look odd. I’ll definitely have to look back into it.

  35. Kathleen

    April 4, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Agree with those who liked the flats. It gives a sweet tone to the entire look, and keeps the focus on the trench. (Which is AMAZING!)

  36. np

    April 4, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    She looks like my sister did in the early 60′s – the volume of the skirt, the flats. I like it. Forget the rules: try it on. Take a picture, even. You may be surprised!

  37. vanessa

    April 4, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    so lovely.

  38. lamere

    April 4, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    This is just fabulous. It proves yet again that we should take more chances in this country in terms of fashion. The coat is killer. The skirt is perfect. This looks so perfect, yet so unconscious.

  39. Anonymous

    April 5, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I am small as well and if you get the proportions right you can really wear almost anything. This woman has done that and the little black flats give her that neat, “dancerish” quality.

  40. Andy

    April 5, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    The coat is nice, but it’s the beautiful posture I notice first.

  41. sirius

    April 6, 2007 at 1:56 am

    The symmetry of the pleats in parallel add stature to her, and her posture is brilliant, like a dancer. Everything above her calves is counterbalanced by the delicacy of stance and those strong yet neat ankles…

  42. ~Alicia

    April 7, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Absolutely outstanding! Woulda never guessed her height, and I’m even 5’1″.
    AND, flat!! I’m scared of them actually, cuz of my height!
    She’s a muse!

  43. Anonymous

    April 7, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    From a 5’1″ woman: Merci, Monsieur, for this picture, which inspires hope, confidence and relief to those of us who fall below the average or above-average beauties on the scale of height acceptablity. Is your wife petite? because the fact that you actually see petite women is a real miracle. Are we not human? Do we not bleed? And do we not shop and dress? According the fashion world, No, Nah, Nein, Nyet. Only 5’9″ and up pituitary cases need apply. I think she is perfect, I think she is sexy, and I think she is a WOMAN with a WOMAN’s body. I love the hour-glass-shape of it all. I love the drape. I love her strong back and wide hips and firm stance with her powerful legs…strength in grace. I love her dignity and her sense of belonging in the universe. Thank you again, Sart, for seeing the beauty in the world in all of us.

  44. Katherine

    April 8, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Imagine that this lady layed her long hair with this coat. She sure knows what to bring up, when something’s down heavily.

  45. cranberry

    April 9, 2007 at 4:50 am

    Wow, just wow.

    Thanks for that sort of inspiration. :)

  46. Anonymous

    April 12, 2007 at 4:03 am

    I think her secret is the layering of the slightly longer dress below the coat too…kudos to her!

  47. Anonymous

    May 22, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    I have this same coat in black and pale peach/beige. I love them. huge fan of pleats.

  48. Anonymous

    September 13, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I love her coat! It looks very Mary Poppins-ish.

  49. Anonymous

    March 28, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    You should do more back shots. It shows a side of the clothes we don’t get to see enough, it catches them in a more natural stance, and it looks more like we’re catching a bit of what is going on in daily life–even though your regular shots aren’t very posed.

Leave a comment

Related posts