The 20 Best Jeans for Short Women, According to the Petite People Who Wear Them

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Whether you prefer being called vertically challenged, petite or short, it’s not easy finding a pair of jeans when you’re under 5'3". Whether it's skinny jeans that leave you with a pool of fabric at the ankle or distressed details that hit at the totally wrong spot, there are plenty of woes that arise when slipping on denim that wasn’t designed for your frame. That’s why we’ve used the expertise of PureWow's fashion editors (and short ones, at that!), as well as a top denim designer, to help us find the best jeans for short women.

Their advice? First focus on the inseam, which is the length of the actual jean's leg itself. For those of us that can be categorized on the shorter side of things, an inseam of 26 inches or less is the most ideal. Second, opt for a size denoted "P" or "Petite" whenever possible, since then you'll be able to snag denim with the right proportions and scale for your body. According to Mary Pierson, Madewell’s SVP of Denim Design, shorter inseams are just the beginning. "We analyze the sizing of a petite frame and adjust points of measurement and proportion to ensure the fit intent is specific," she says. "This includes everythinfrom knee placement to length. Whether that's taking in the leg opening or adjusting the rises, our end goal is to always make the fit proportional while also nailing that leg shape our customer is seeking." Thanks to increased body inclusivity at companies including Madewell, now petites can wear just about any (yes, any) style of jeans.

From a flared leg that will bring out your inner flower child to funky printed high-rises and relaxed mom jeans perfect for fall, here are 20 pairs of jeans crafted to fit your body that you'll want to get your butt into ASAP.

What to Look For In Petite Jeans

  • An inseam of 26 inches or less
  • A mid- or high-rise waist that helps to create the illusion of more height
  • Shop for brands that carry "short" or "petite" sizes
  • Avoid any styles with a wider cuff, which can make your legs appear shorter

What's the Difference Between "Short" and "Petite" sizes?

Typically, "petite" sizes don't just apply to the length of the jean, but to the rest of denim's features as well. (Think: the cut, pocket sizes, cuff lengths and trim styles.) Normally, you'll see these labeled with a "P" and, in short (pun intended), they're made to be proportional to your smaller frame, in the same way that standard denim is crafted with average to taller heights in mind. This means that the leg length will be the right fit, in addition to where the waistband hits on your torso, and the size and placement of the pant's pockets. On the other hand, "short" sizes will have an abbreviated leg length, but the rest of the denim will be the same as the brand's standard sizes.

best jeans for short women madewell

1. Madewell The Petite Perfect Vintage Jean In Haight Wash

Best Overall

A sales associate at a PureWow editor's go-to Madewell told her that the Perfect Vintage Jean somehow flatters every body type. And that applies to those of us on the shorter side, too. This mid-rise style is infused with just the right amount of stretch (one percent elastane, bless) and comes in washes from inky dark to gently distressed (so these can look vintage without your having to dig around a thrift store). Plus, with a 25.5-inch inseam, these are will actually do what they’re supposed to and let you show a little ankle.

Size range: 23 to 29

best jeans for short women everlane

2. Everlane The Way-high Jean

Best Color Jeans

We may have said this once, but we'll say it again—when it comes to your jeans, the fit matters, and this Everlane straight leg style fits like a dream. They're super high rise yet incredibly comfy, so you'll look effortlessly stylish. More importantly, they have a 27.5" inseam, so they won't give you that annoying bunching at the bottom (aka shortie problem solved). But best of all, this style comes in ten different shades and washes—we're talking everything from your classic denim hues to a dusty lilac and sage green—so you can add a fun pop of color to your collection.

Available in sizes 23 to 35

best jeans for short women levis

3. Levi’s Wedgie Straight Ankle Jeans

Best Straight-Leg Jeans

Does your favorite T-shirt need a new partner? These Levi’s are up for the job, as they come in classic lightwash denim and are cut with a 26-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 distressed detailing features on a few of the washes will look equally cool with white leather sneakers or smart pointy leather pumps.

Size range: 23 to 32

jeans for short women dl1961

4. Dl1961 Hepburn Ultra High-rise Cropped Wide-leg Jeans

Best Distressed Wide-Leg

There are a few high-rise wide-leg crop styles on this list and that’s because this style should not intimidate you. It's actually a great way to elongate a shorter stature and is much easier to wear than you might think. Snag the baby blue ones above or opt for these in a pitch black wash for an edgier vibe. 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.

Sire range: 23 to 34

best jeans for short women agolde

5. Agolde 90's Crop Mid Rise Jeans

Best Rigid Denim

The heavyweight non-stretch denim that these babies are constructed out of are a welcome relief from too-thin jeans that show every line of whatever is up under there. There 25.25 inseam is going to fall as a perfect hem on shorties, who will appreciate that the artfully torn hem won't get erased by a hem job. Faded and with whiskering, these jeans look like you've loved them for years.

Size range: 23 to 34

free people flare jeans
Free People

6. Free People Just Float On Flare Jeans

Best Flared Leg

There's a reason these bad boys are one of Free People's best-selling jeans. Playful yet timeless, they have that Woodstock-era hippie vibe that instantly adds a fun touch to any outfit you have planned. And if you're on the extra petite side and are worried that the mega-flare bootcut will overpower your legs, these have a raw hem so you can cut them down to a length that works best for you without ruining their look.

Size range: 24 to 35

jcrew jeans

7. J.Crew Petite 8" Toothpick Jean

Best Skinny Jeans

One petite PureWow editor has committed to buying and re-buying these J.Crew toothpick jeans...for five years and counting. One magical property of this pair is the fabrication, which has four percent polyester and 1.5 percent elastane along with its cotton (which by the way is sustainably sourced to support both workers' community and the environment). “I just feel like they have just the right amount of stretch, but also come in a wash that's super slimming,” she explains. 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.

Size range: 23 to 32

best jeans for short women banana republic
Banana Republic

8. Banana Republic Petite High Skinny Super-Stretch Jean

Best High-Rise Jeans

Looser styles can totally dominate your small frame, but petite girls still deserve jeans that have a little breathing room. These super stretchy jeans from Banana Republic come in a petite cut and aren’t skin-tight, but have an ultra high-rise waist that will cling to your curves, so they’re a total win-win. The fabric includes recycled and organic cotton as well as touches of poly and lycra to make movement as easy as the fit.

Size range: 23-25, 26-28, 29-31 and 32-35

best jeans for short women abercrombie
Abercrombie and Fitch

9. Abercrombie & Fitch Vintage High Rise Dad Jeans

Best Dad Jeans

Personally, we'd pair these with some heeled black booties and a turtleneck collared tank, but they go perfectly with a lacy camisole and some mules, too. Plus, they're made with rigid, non-stretch fabric so you won't have to worry about the dad-style silhouette becoming so loose it actually looks like you're wearing your dad's jeans. This design comes in four inseams, extra-short to long lengths; our 5'3" height fit perfectly in the short inseam.

Size range: 23 to 37

best jeans for short women pilcro

10. Pilcro The Skipper Jeans

Best Wide-Leg 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 pair that won't drag on the floor? Here they are. What about a crisp white wash? 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 and a pair of woven slides and suddenly you’ve constructed an easy summer uniform without having to think too hard.

Size range: 24 to 32

jeans for short women warp and weft
Warp + Weft

11. Warp + Weft Ace Utility Jeans

Best Black Denim

These utility jeans are a great way to tap into this year's obsession with the 90s. The ultra high rise waist elongates your torso and the hem hits right at the ankles, making it seem like you've got legs for days. (No matter how short you are.) Thanks to this pair's built-in stretch feature, you won't feel like you're you're trapped in a corset and the relaxed leg fit is loose enough to give you some wiggle room without drowning your frame. And besides, no wardrobe is complete without a killer pair of black jeans.

Size range: 24 to 32

best jeans for short women r13
Saks Fifth Avenue

12. R13 Crossover Jeans

Best Splurge-Worthy Option

This is one of those pairs of jeans that instantly makes you feel cooler. Featuring a 13-inch rise and wide-leg cut, these can seamlessly transition from day to night, and the design and fabric's quality make them a pair that will last for many seasons to come. BTW, we know they come with a hefty price tag, but the crossover waist on these Italian designer jeans is making waves across the fashion world—so you don't have to worry about them looking outdated in six month's time.

Size range: 24 to 31

asos farleigh mom jeans

13. Asos Design Petite Ridley High Waisted Skinny Jeans

Best Budget-Friendly Option

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 these now with your favorite sandals and when the temps cool down, pair them with your go-to booties.

Size range: 23 to 28

jeans for short women revtown

14. Revtown The Athletic Skinny Jean

Best Stretch Denim

Stretchy yet supportive, we've deemed these the ideal everyday jean. They have a high-rise waist and a classic skinny fit that is comfy enough to run errands in, yet stylish enough to wear at the office. And, Revtown's jeans have specially crafted waistbands that hug your curves and sculpt your booty for a lifted appearance.

Size range: 24 to 34

asos daisy print jeans

15. Asos Design '90s' Daisy Print Jeans

Most Vibrant

First off, can we just saying how freaking adorable this print is? Not only do these babies look like they walked right out of our Pinterest board and into our closet, they also fit like a dream. The cropped leg is great for shorties and the tighter fit hugs you in all the right places. What's not to love?

Size range: 23 to 34

jeans for short women old navy4
Old Navy

16. Old Navy Maternity Full Panel Pop Icon Skinny Jeans

Best Maternity Jeans

Ideal for those days when you want to slip into something other than sweats, these maternity jeans are totally baby bump friendly. They're equipped with a full panel comfort waistband (that is easily concealed underneath flowy blouses and tunics, FYI) and are made with stretchy denim that won't leave you feeling squished.

Size range: 0 to 20

jeans for short women good american
Good American

17. Good American Good Legs Crop Jean

Best Curvy Jean

These are the kind of jeans that hug you in all the right places and, dare we say, are some of the coziest skinnies out there. The denim has extra stretch in it, so these take on more of a jeggings feel, and the waist is built with a gap-proof band so they'll stay in place all day long.

Size range: 0 to 24

best jeans for short women mother frayed

18. Mother The Private Frayed Ankle Jeans

Best White Jeans

We don't buy into the whole not-wearing-white-after-Labor-Day thing. (Who came up with that anyway?) Instead, we keep a crisp, white pair of denim on hand for all the winter white, monochromatic looks we come up with—and these totally fit the bill. We love the raw hem and the 25-inch inseam on these puppies, which makes them the ideal length for hitting right at our ankles.

Size range: 23 to 34

best jeans for short women distressed
Free People

19. We The Free By Free People Maggie Ripped Jeans

Best Distressed Jeans

Despite what your grandparents may think, there's no denying the power a distressed pair of jeans has to up the grunge factor on any fit. Just imagine these with some combat boots and an oversized leather jacket. And the best part? These will only look better after each wear giving them that effortlessly cool, lived-in look.

Size range: 24 to 32

best jeans for short women rolled
J. Jill

20. J. Jill The Boyfriend Jeans

Best Rolled Jeans

Usually cuffed pants are a no-no for short women, since rolled hems tend to make legs look shorter. That's not the case with these super-soft pants that have a 24.5-inch inseam with a small turned up hem; best of all, you can turn them up a roll or two to make the style cropped. In taupe, pine green, navy and black, these are your new wardrobe workhorses.

Size range: 00P to 18P

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