Will This Crowdsourced Petite Dress Change How Shorties Shop?

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KS CoverPhoto: Courtesy of Carolina Alvo.
Fact: Half the women in the U.S. are 5-foot-4 and under. That’s 50 million women for whom minidresses are knee-length, and who send their tailors' kids to college with all that hemline pinning and inseam trimming.

Carolina Misan Alvo is one of those women and, inspired by her own shopping struggles, she's now on a mission to create the perfect petite dress. As she tells us, “I am 4-foot-9 and have never had a shopping experience that wasn't teeming with frustration. Pant legs with 8 inches of extra fabric, and tops I could wear as dresses are my norm!”

Hearing the same complaints from her friends convinced her something had to be done. So, she polled petite shoppers to better understand their pain points. They shared with Alvo “what they hated shopping for most (pants! dresses!), how much they loathe department store petite sections (why all boxy pantsuits?), and how, despite spending a small fortune on tailors over the years, their clothes still don't feel quite right.”

With that intel, Alvo created the world’s first crowdsourced petite frock, the Kathleen dress. It’s a versatile fit-and-flare dress designed using a 5-foot-2 fit model. Alvo also recognizes that all petites are not created equal, so the Kathleen dress will be available in “multiple hem lengths to accommodate petites of all heights." After all, a 4-foot-8 woman’s needs are very different from a lady who stands tall at 5-foot-4.

Alvo hopes to fund the dress' production through Kickstarter — the video for which is both a hilarious catalog of the microagressions petites face daily (for the record, a pat on the head is maybe not the best way to show affection to your shorty friends), and a rallying cry that shopping for a shorter bod shouldn’t be so damn hard.

The Kickstarter has currently raised $4,800 toward its $15,000 goal, with 21 days left to go. And, if the Kathleen is a success, there are plans for a full line of Carolina Alvo pants and shirts, so petites can finally get their perfect fit. You can check out Alvo's website here, and help fund the Kickstarter here. So, get to it, shorties. This one could change the way you shop in a big way.