• Nam D.

Shopping when you are small

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

To begin with, I’m 5’7 and 120 lbs (or 168cm and 55kg). Of course, I have this Asian thin frame and even before coming to the US I knew I would have hard times shopping for clothes. And just like everybody out there, I love shopping and I could spend 5 hours going through different stores in Downtown or Newbury just to buy a sweatshirt.

Therefore, from all the hours and energy that I spent on shopping around, here are some tips that I want to share on Alien Thoughts' blog with you in order to have better shopping skills in the Greater Boston Area.

T-shirts – Shirts - Jackets

Primark: My favorite spot for real. I always go here because it’s so cheap and the quality is okay but you get what you pay for. And for quick fashion, this is the heaven. But watch out carefully because the clothes were made for Westerner body frame so some clothes may be too long or the shoulder part may be too broad.

Zara, F21, Macy’s or H&M: You could actually just get XS clothes from these stores. I find them fit me very well. Some are a little long but for casual/smart casual style, I think it’s totally okay. I mostly go to Forever21 or H&M because those are my style for everyday wear.

Uniqlo: You also wanna try this, which is a Japanese brand that has a lot of simple Asian types of clothing. I find clothes from here have good quality, decent price and t-shirts/shirts/jackets are not too long unlike other brands.


For me, this is the hardest part and always gives me a headache. My waist size is 26/27, which is even smaller than XS size they have here in most of the stores. This is where the kid section comes to life and be your guardian angel (I’m not even kidding).

H&M’s kid or Macy’s kid: Most of my pants were from here which can be a little awkward when you first shop there but you’ll get used to it unless you wanna wear the same pants for a whole year. I actually got my dress pants at Macy’s kid (for 14 years old) and it fitted me perfectly.

And again, Uniqlo: I just love this brand so much because it’s beyond perfection and it changes my life in the US forever – has pants that fit small people like me and they providing FREE hem for your pants.

outfit bought from Levi's and H&M kids, international students blog boston, alien thoughts
Sweatshirt from Levi's - Sweatpants from H&M's kid

Suit Jacket/Blazer

This is also tricky but it’s doable, unlike pants. Of course, for formal clothes, you want it to fit your body well enough and actually has a professional look. For me, there are 3 options that I could do here:

  • You get the smallest suit from any clothing store and get them tailored, which will be pricey a bit but I think it’s worth spending money for clothes that you would wear for big events or job interviews.

  • Diving into the kid section at Macy’s, which is actually what I did. My suit jackets mostly came from here (for 16 years old kid haha).

  • Or find a specific brand that has clothes for small men. I would say J.Crew and Uniqlo (again haha) are best options in Greater Boston Area.

The suit jacket which I got from Macy's kid
The suit jacket which I got from Macy's kid


For me, this is the easy part because shoes are just easier, unlike shirts that can be too short or too long. But I think the best options would be to order them online because most of the shoes they display in stores are over 8 (my size is 7.5 by the way) and it can be hard to buy them directly at the store.

However, you can just go to the stores to try a bigger size to see how it looks with your outfit and then order it online later, which I think very convenient sometimes.

Those are some tips that I wanted to share with you, all the Aliens that are living in the US. I hope you’ll get some new ideas for your next shopping trip.

Hit me up if you go to Primark!!!

Tips from Alien Thoughts Boston

International Students Blog

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