I’m 5’1” and Here Are 3 Pairs of Pants I Always Get Compliments On

No hemming required

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Jillian Quint

I’ve always smarted when women who are 5’3” call themselves short. 5’3”?! I would kill for that kind of leg length. Because the fact is, when you’re 5’1” (Ok...5 feet and one-half-inch if we’re being honest), it’s really hard to find pants that fit, even if you’re shopping in the petites department. Indeed, I require a maximum of a 26” inseam in order for things not to be pooling on the floor, and it’s not as simple as calling in a tailor; the length may be right, but the knee is still in entirely the wrong place.

That’s why I’m thrilled whenever I find a pair of pants that, off the rack, fit me like a glove. For full context (and because we’re friends), I’ll share that I typically wear between a size 0 and size 4, depending on the brand, and that I have muscular thighs and narrow hips, meaning I need something with a little bit of give. Here are three pairs of pants I always get compliments on…and I’m betting you will too.

1. Anthropologie Collette Crop Wide Leg (Petite)

What I Like

  • 24-inch inseam
  • dark color, stretchy material and front pockets give the illusion of curves
  • looks great with heels or sneakers

What I Don't Like

  • the elastic-cotton blend can get a little stretched out (if you’re choosing between two sizes, go with the smaller one)


Oh the anguish of wanting to pull off a high-waisted wide leg, but looking like a circus clown every time you try one on! The Collettes are my secret weapon, because they appear high-waisted (but actually come up to just below my belly button) and, thanks to a 24” inseam in the petite sizing, hit right above my ankle. I also love the slightly stretchy material and '70s-esque front pockets, both of which help me achieve the allusion of more curves. Oh, and did I mention how comfortable they are? These are sitting-on-a-couch pants, people.

2. Eileen Fisher Lantern Pant (Petite)

What I Like

  • 26-inch inseam
  • comfortable and light
  • slightly tapered ankle adds sophistication

What I Don't Like

  • linen wrinkles easily
  • dry-clean only

Eileen Fisher

I basically treated turning 40 as my excuse to start shopping at Eileen Fisher. And I haven’t looked back! Still, it’s not lost on me that many of their offerings are on the drapier side, which easily look sloppy on somebody of my stature. So imagine my delight when I came upon the Lantern which is pajama-esque, but available in petite sizing so it doesn’t actually look like something I should go to sleep in. I’ve dressed these puppies up with heels and a blazer, but my go-to is a more casual look with clogs and a sweater or tank. I love how comfortable they are and how light they feel in summer months, but I am aware of how easily they wrinkle (a fact you can see in the above picture, because I didn’t feel like ironing them).

3. Chico’s Bridget Ankle Pants (Petite)

What I Like

  • 25-inch inseam
  • slimming
  • machine-washable

What I Don't Like

  • not very breathable


Listen, I was as surprised as you are to have this offering from Chico’s on the list. But they really are the total package: comfortable, slimming and appropriate to wear to just about anything. Made from a sturdy yet slightly stretchy fabric (that holds up in the wash), the Bridgets hide imperfections and fit snugly in all the right places. And perhaps most importantly, they come in a 25” inseam. 

jillian quint

Editor-in-Chief, Avid Reader, Wallpaper Enthusiast

Jillian Quint is the Editor-in-Chief of PureWow, where she oversees the editorial staff and all the fabulous content you read every day. Jillian began her career as a book editor...