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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 five foot three. 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!) to help us find the best jeans for short women.

Their advice? 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. This way, you'll be able to snag denim with the right proportions and scale for your body. Better yet, once you know what inseam works the best with your frame, you 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 hi-rises and relaxed mom jeans perfect for fall, here are 18 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 or 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.

The Best Jeans for Short Women At A Glance:

RELATED: We Found the Best Jeans for Big Butts That Eliminate the Dreaded Waist Gap


1. Madewell The Petite Perfect Vintage Jean in Enmore 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 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. And better yet they come in a slew of washes, from charcoal black to a distressed light blue.

Buy it ($128)

Available in sizes 23 to 33


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.

Buy It ($98; $68)

Available in sizes 23 to 35


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.

Buy it ($90; $75)

Available in sizes 23 to 32


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.

From $49 at Amazon

Available in sizes 23 to 34

Free People

5. 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.

Buy it ($78)

Available in sizes 24 to 35


6. 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. “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.

Buy it ($128; $75)

Available in sizes 23 to 32

Banana Republic

7. Banana Republic Petite Ultra High-Rise Slim 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 straight jeans from Banana Republic come in a petite cut and aren’t skin-tight, but have a 12-inch high-rise waist that will cling to your curves, so they’re a total win-win.

Buy it ($109)

Available in sizes 24 to 32

Abercrombie & Fitch

8. 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.

Buy it ($89)

Available in sizes 23 to 37


9. Pilcro The Heritage Boyfriend 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 or a slouched boyfriend fit? 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.

Buy it ($128)

Available in sizes 24 to 32

Warp + Weft

10. 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.

Buy it ($98; $59)

Available in sizes 24 to 32


11. Rachel Comey Legion Pant

Best Splurge-Worthy Option

This is one of those pairs of jeans that instantly makes you feel cooler. Featuring a high waist 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 these designer jeans have become a timeless staple—so you don't have to worry about them looking outdated in six month's time.

Buy it ($345)

Available in sizes 00 to 12


12. 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.

Buy it ($46; $30)

Available in sizes 23 to 28


13. 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.

Buy it ($89)

Available in sizes 24 to 34


14. 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?

Buy it ($58; $33)

Available in sizes 23 to 34

jeans for short women old navy4
Old Navy

15. 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.

Buy it ($40)

Available in sizes 0 to 20

Good American

16. 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.

Buy it ($149)

Available in sizes 0 to 24


17. 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.

Buy it ($228)

Available in sizes 23 to 34


18. 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.

Buy it ($78; From $40)

Available in sizes 24 to 32

RELATED: The Best Black Jeans for Every Budget, Body Type and Style

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