Whether you prefer being called vertically challenged, petite or short, it’s not easy finding a pair of jeans when you’re under five foot three. From skinny jeans that leave you with a pool of fabric at the ankle or distressed details that hit at the total wrong spot, there are plenty of woes that arise when slipping on denim that wasn’t designed for your frame. That’s why I’ve used my expertise as a fashion editor (and a short one, at that!) to round up the 12 best pairs of jeans for short women, all of which are crafted to fit your body—and approved by actual petite shoppers.
1. Madewell The Petite Perfect Vintage Jean in Enmore Wash
One of the sales associates at my go-to Madewell in Brooklyn told me that the Perfect Vintage Jean somehow flatters every body type. And that applies to those of us on the shorter side, too. This high-rise style is infused with just the right amount of stretch and distressed to look vintage—without your having to dig around a thrift store. Plus, with a 24-inch inseam, these are cropped jeans that will actually do what they’re supposed to and let you show a little ankle.
2. GRLFRND Karolina Frayed High Waist Skinny Jeans
Baggy styles can totally dominate your small frame, but petite girls still deserve jeans that have a little breathing room. These skinny jeans from GRLFRND come in a petite cut, aren’t skin-tight but will still cling to your curves, so they’re a total win-win. They’re also cut from 100 percent denim that is super durable and features a raw hem (which means you can cut them a bit shorter without changing how they look—or having to take them to a tailor).
3. Joe's Jeans The Blake High Rise Crop Wide Leg Jean
These blues might not be marked as petite, but that hasn’t stopped one PureWow editor (who is five foot four) from raving about how they fit. She seeks out Joe's Jeans's cropped styles because “they sit perfectly just above my ankle.” Finally, you don't have to worry about cleaning the floor with your fave pair of pants.
4. Pilcro Mid-Rise Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Anthropologie really gets the plight of the vertically-challenged. See, for example, the in-house denim brand, Pilcro, that is entirely offered in petite sizing options. Want a wide leg style that won't drag on the floor? Here they are. What about an acid wash finish or a tapered and pleated style? Yup, you can get those, too. We’re partial to this boyfriend shape that’s relaxed and lightly distressed. Wear yours with a patterned blouse, a pair of woven slides and you’ve constructed an easy summer uniform without having to think too hard.
5. Levi’s Wedgie Fit Straight Jeans
Does your favorite T-shirt need a new partner? These classic Levi’s are up for the job, as they come in every wash and color under the sun and are cut with a 26.5-inch inseam. Reviewers note that on shorter frames, these fit just like a full-length jean and are well-proportioned through the waistband and leg. Featuring booty-flattering construction, once you put these on, you won’t want to take them off. Plus, the raw-edge hem will look equally cool with white leather sneakers or smart pointy leather pumps.
6. Rachel Comey Legion Pant
“Everyone who tries them on feels instantly cooler,” says Camille Moroz, who stands just five feet tall, about this pair of Rachel Comey blues. She (along with co-founder Avani Agarwal) created Stature, a boutique that works with already-established designers on resizing their creations for short gals. That’s what Stature did with this cult-fave jean that features a high waist and wide leg cut (they also come in a cool khaki color, too). “It's the pair I take with me on every trip, the pair that transitions effortlessly from day to night, and the pair that will last a lifetime,” Moroz notes. BTW, we know they come with a hefty price tag, but these designer jeans have become a timeless staple—so you don't have to worry about them looking uncool in six month's time.
7. Agolde Riley High Rise Straight Crop
Sometimes you just know when you find the one. That’s how you’ll feel when you try on these blue jeans from Agolde. In fact, I'm wearing these as I type this...and it's the second time I've worn them this week. (FYI, I'm five foot two and these hit me right above my ankle.) Technically a cropped style, these non-stretch skinnies have a rather precise inseam of 26". So, slip on your favorite pair of mules from this season—either loafers or heels—and show off that flawless length.
8. DL1961 Hepburn Ultra High-Rise Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans
There are a few high-rise wide-leg crop styles on this list and that’s because this style should not intimidate you. They’re actually a great way to elongate a shorter stature and are much easier to wear than they appear. Throw on a sweater for cooler days or pair them with a silky one-sleeve blouse for a night out. Whatever you do, make sure your waistline is visible and defined—that’s the key to making these jeans really work for you.
9. J.Crew Petite 8" Toothpick Jean
One petite PureWow editor has committed to buying and re-buying these J.Crew toothpick jeans...for five years and counting. “I just feel like they have just the right amount of stretch, but also come in a wash that's super slimming,” she explained. Offered in sizes 23 to 32 and with a 25” inseam in petites, these toothpick jeans will work their magic for almost all body types.
10. Eileen Fisher Organic Cotton Slim Cropped Jean
In 2021 you can have it all—which means there are short jeans that also happen to be eco-friendly. Eileen Fisher is the go-to for this, as its styles are specifically proportioned to comfortably fit petite bodies...and they're entirely produced using sustainable practices. This slim cut features a slight flare and is crafted from organic cotton that was grown without synthetic herbicides and pesticides.
11. Loft Petite Curvy High Waist Skinny Jean In Pure Dark Indigo Wash
As one PureWow editor puts it, Loft’s petite section isn’t going to win any awards for edginess, but hot damn is it good for basics. And obviously, we consider stretchy straight-leg jeans to be a gotta-have-it wardrobe staple. This dark wash is definitely versatile, meaning you can wear them to the farmer’s market with your favorite band T-shirt or to work, paired with your trusty black blazer. It’s worth noting that the super-stretchy fabrication of this denim will feel comfy while also hugging the curves of your hips and butt.
12. ASOS DESIGN Petite Ridley High Waisted Skinny Jeans
The petite section from ASOS is legendary. It offers practically every style of trendy jean with shorter inseams—and most of them cost less than $50. This pair of mom jeans is particularly worth the praise, because they're just so damn flattering. Wear this now with your favorite sandals and when the temps cool down, pair it with your go-to booties.