Controversy: J. Crew Martie Pants in Bi-Stretch Wool in Petite 000

Like most women in the world, I struggle to find clothing that fits.  I often browse for reviews from fellow bloggers, which have absolutely saved me when it comes to deciding which items are worth trying and which items are not.  In my latest quest for reviews on J. Crew’s petite 000 work pants, I came across some rather interesting results.  Continue reading for my review and for details on the controversy…

As a slim, petite woman, I have NEVER been able to find a pair of pants that fit off the rack.  Admittedly too lazy to bother with a tailor, I’ve relied solely on skirts with bare legs in the summer or skirts with pantyhose in the winter as my workwear, as it is far easier to find small skirts than small pants.

Then recently, I came across a petite blogger’s (Jean from ExtraPetite) review of the J. Crew Martie Pants in Bi-Stretch Wool.  Jean, who is ever so slightly larger than me, fit size petite 00 off the rack.  Imagine my delight when I realized that J. Crew offered an even smaller size, a petite 000!  If a petite 00 fit Jean, a petite 000 had to fit me, right?  And it did:


For reference, I am just under 4’11”, with about a 24″ waist.  The waist and rear of the petite 000 fit perfectly, and the length of the pants hit right above my ankle bone.  From the side profile, the leg of the pants look nice and streamlined.  From the front, there is some bunching around the knees, most likely because it hits a little lower on me than it’s supposed to (i.e. on someone who is on the taller end of the petite spectrum).

Front View: no waist gap or extra fabric at the hips


Side Profile: pant waist lies flat on the body with no gaps in the front or back


I also purchased a chocolate brown pair, which was slightly looser in the leg than the gray pair.  The fabric of the chocolate brown pair was also softer than the gray pair, which was a stiffer, more structured wool.  So buyers beware: there are some small inconsistencies in fit and fabric.

Since the brown pair was slightly looser, I decided to bite the bullet and throw it in the dryer, crossing my fingers and toes that it wouldn’t shrink beyond wearability.  Buyers beware again: these massively shrink in the wash.  While it thankfully did not shrink beyond wearability, the brown pair went from being a bit loose to being very very fitted.


I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it was to put on a pair of pants and not see a waist gap.  For me, J. Crew’s new petite 000 and xxxs offerings were a light at the end of the tunnel.  Finally, there was a retailer that realized that not everyone can fit into traditional sizes, even the smallest sizes.

J. Crew’s new small, petite sizes were such a positive for me that I was surprised to find in my research that there was quite a bit of controversy regarding the new sizes.  I came across a handful of articles where individuals were outraged that J. Crew was offering such small sizes, accusing the retailer of encouraging an unhealthy and unrealistic desire to be so thin you would essentially disappear.  The retailer has defended its move, claiming that as it is expanding its business into Asia, where the population tends to be on the thinner, smaller side, it had to likewise expand its size offerings in the smaller direction to cater to its new demographic.

As I do not know the true reason for J. Crew’s move, I will not weigh in on the controversy. However, I will say that as a thin, petite woman who has struggled to find work pants that fit for years and years, I appreciated finally having an easily accessible option for workwear.



    1. Thank you! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that J. Crew will launch petite 000 sizing in their wider leg trousers as well. I’m on my feet all day at work, and sometimes I need to take a break from flats and wear dansko shoes, but they’re rather unsightly with skinny pants!

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