Store Showcase – Petite Sophisticate

I consider shopping more of a hobby. Like collecting stamps or coins, I collect clothes. Brick and mortar, online, thrift, doesn’t matter I will shop it. Now consider every time you shopped nothing fit right, no matter what. That sounds like absolute torment. But that is the way it was for so many women.

Petite sophisticate store
Image from “Stores of the Year 6” – 1991

Mr. Saul Skurow of Cincinnati, Ohio had been in the fashion business all his life and decided to take on the challenge of easing this pain. He understood that there were older women with petite figures who didn’t want to dress like teenagers, because at that time there wasn’t much else available to them. His solution was Petite Sophisticate. A retail store exclusively for petite women.

petite sophisticate storefront
Image from “Stores of the Year 6” – 1991

Petite Sophisticate was a place women could go to not only get a properly fitted outfit, but also a fashionable one. Suited for their age, their career, whatever the occasion called for. Mr. Skurow worked directly with manufacturers to create pieces for their own label. But they also carried brand names such as Liz Claiborne and Evan Picone.

Petite Sophisticate Store Layout
Store Layout – Petite Sophisticate

The store itself let it’s merchandise be the main color and decoration. With light wood fixtures and peach colored walls, the store was warm and inviting. Upscale without being intimidating. They even designed a custom fixture that had more capacity then your standard rounder, which allowed for much more display opportunities.

Petite Sophisticate Store Interior
Image from “Stores of the Year 6” – 1991

For me, Petite Sophisticate’s major contribution to the petite woman came In 1992 when they started carrying a line of pantyhose for petites under their label. As a lady I can fully understand how this one item could make a world of difference. And I am positive this store is still missed by many.

Petite Sophisticate Ad
Finally, fashion that fits – 1992 Advertisement

4 Replies to “Store Showcase – Petite Sophisticate”

  1. AMEN to that! It sure has been a nightmare since the loss of this store. I have to try things on in 3 different sizes because nothing is standard, so shopping takes 4 times as long and is the torture as you say.

    Such a simple and great concept (clothes in that size range) and I don’t understand why someone hasn’t done it again.

    1. I agree! At 5’2’ I have terrible challenges finding nice adult professional women’s clothing. I used to live at Petite sophisticate. I’ve been hoping they come back or that we would have the female version of Men’s Wearhouse near us. Retailers don’t seem to understand the demand. there are stores for plus size clothing why not petite?

  2. My relative was in a Petite Sophisticate commercial down in South TX at the Padre Staples Mall in the early 90’s (’93 or ’94). She accidentally taped over the footage years ago and we have looked all over the internet to find the commerical again. but to no avail. If anyone has any info on this particular commercial, please reach out to me. My email is Long live the 90’s!

  3. You don’t realize how much I appreciate this blog! haha! I don’t know nothing about Petite Sophisticate only the Petite section in Kohl’s which I heard that they are getting rid of lol.

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