17 Pairs of Petite Pants Every Woman 5’ 4” and Under Needs

Plus, stylist tips on finding the best fit

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best-petite-pants: four pairs of petite trousers

Every petite woman knows that finding a pair of pants that is correctly tailored to our bums, curves and leg length is a challenge. “Like jeans, pants are also a pain point for most petite women,” according to Chi Li, fashion designer and author of The Petite Style Bible. The 5’2” Li goes on to say, “The majority of us find pants hard to shop for, even in the petite department.” Why? For one thing, there’s a range within petite sizing. The name generally refers to women 5’4” and under, but also includes what 4’ 9” designer Fae Brennan of brand Fable Petite calls “extra petite,” or under five feet tall. And as Li points out, there's also a range of body shapes to consider: long or short torsos, leg proportions and even the width of your shoulders can impact how a pair of pants looks on you. Here's our selection of the best pants for petites—as well as great pairs of jeans for short women—available now.

The Best Petite Pants at a Glance


Best Tapered Style

Everlane Way-High® Taper Pant

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Best White Colorway

AYR The Beat Drop

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Trending Jeans Shape

Plnotme Barrel Leg Denim Pants

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Top Tailored Option

Reformation Mason Pant

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Top Drapey Fabric

Madewell Harlow Wide-Leg Pant

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Meet the Experts

How We Chose the Best Petite Pants

We polled editors, browsed reviews and looked for pants using elements of inseam length, size range, material and style. Many on our list are from brands’ petite collections, however some are not. In cases where we selected items not labeled “petite,” we were careful to select examples that had a shorter inseam, roll-up potential or crop styling. Long story short—we’re aiming to keep readers from having to visit the tailor.

20 Pairs of Pants That Feel Like Leggings (but Look Way More Polished)

Best Tapered Style

1. Everlane Way-High® Taper Pant


  • What We Like: lightweight, roomy
  • What We Don't Like: pant only hits above ankle for taller petites, limited colorways
  • Inseam Length: 27 inches
  • Size Range: 00 to 16
  • Material: 60 percent Tencel Lyocell, 40 percent Cotton

"Love these for their super-high waist, which is 13.38 inches," says PureWow Senior Editor Dana Dickey. "And the front pleats are so cute, because the lightweight fabric doesn't bunch up too much and just make my petite figure look bloated, the way some pleated pants do." The versatility of these pants is off the charts, since they look good with heels or sneakers, a silk top or a striped T-shirt.

Best White Colorway

2.   AYR The Beat Drop


  • What We Like: supersoft fabric, flattering shape
  • What We Don't Like: soft fabric can show panty lines
  • Inseam Length: 26.5 inches
  • Size Range: 23 to 34
  • Material: 98 percent organic cotton, 2 percent elastane

Senior editor Dana Dickey raves, “These modified barrel-shape pants are the first pair I reach for when I want a comfy 'fit in warm weather. Not only are they super-soft, but they are so lightweight and stretchy that they're the next best thing to shorts. And I appreciate the 11-inch rise, so I never have to worry about muffin top.”

Trending Jeans Shape

3. Plnotme Barrel Leg Denim Pants


  • What We Like: affordable intro to barrel shape pants, comfortable
  • What We Don't Like: limited sizes
  • Inseam Length: averages 26.8 inches
  • Size Range: 4 to 14
  • Material: 73 percent cotton, 27 percent polyester

"I bought these after seeing them on Pinterest, and I'm so glad I did," says PureWow Senior Editor Dana Dickey. "At 5'3", I would have never believed that these wide-leg jeans could be so flattering—but the parentheses curve of the leg, as well as the medium rise of the waist and the soft, mostly cotton fabric actually makes me look chic, and updates every top I wear them with." The secret is the pintuck tailoring on the inner knees that make the bagginess of the leg look intentional, not ill-fitting. We love these with flats, loafers and cute sneakers.

Top Tailored Option

4. Reformation Mason Pant


  • What We Like: lightweight fabric, hemming is free at Reformation
  • What We Don't Like: requires hemming to wear without heels
  • Inseam Length: 29.75 inches
  • Size Range: 0P to 12P
  • Material: 69 percent polyester, 23 polyester rayon, and 8 percent wool deadstock

These petite trousers won us over for their long line of elegantly draping fabric and straight trouser silhouette. Sustainably made from deadstock fabric in Los Angeles, these pants also have eco bona fides. While we're appreciative that they come in longer lengths, so you can hem them at exactly at the perfect length to wear with your favorite wedges, these require a bit of extra effort post-purchase to get them just right.

Top Drapey Fabric

5. Madewell Harlow Wide-Leg Pant


  • What We Like: machine wash, sustainably derived fibers
  • What We Don't Like: button tabs at the waist
  • Inseam Length: 27.5 inches
  • Size Range: 00 to 16, including a new curvy shape
  • Material: 48 percent Tencel/lyocell 33 percent cotton, 9 percent linen

“These pants are so cute and yet so comfy and flowy,” says PureWow Senior Editor Dana Dickey. For reference, she's 5’3” and 125 pounds and found that a size 6 petite fit perfectly. “They do wrinkle somewhat easily, but when I hang them up to dry in the steamy bathroom while I shower, the creases fall out." The best-selling original silhouette comes in nine natural hues including acorn, smoky grape and seed khaki. And the newly introduced curvy iteration gets our love for the way it's tailored to flatter an hourglass shape, with a narrower high waist, a longer rise and a bit more room in the hips and thighs. Since the Tencel blend fabric drapes nicely, these pleated-front pants don’t swallow a wearer with shorter legs.

Most Versatile

6. J.Crew Petite Sydney Pant

J. Crew

  • What We Like: four-way stretch
  • What We Don't Like: dry clean only
  • Inseam Length: 24.5
  • Size Range: 00 to 12
  • Material: 64 percent polyester 31 percent viscose, 5 percent elastane

We’re thrilled this simple, relaxed-leg style comes in lengths that allow us to wear them with flats, without a trip to the tailor. In black, navy and heather graphite, these pants are potentially going to shave ten minutes off your morning, since you can match them to anything else in your closet and be out the door just like that. “Bought this for work and it is so great,” writes one reviewer who is 158 pounds and 5’1. “Looks flattering even when I’m curvy at the bottom.”

Preferred Work Pants

7. Zara High Waist Pants


  • What We Like: machine washable, side pockets
  • What We Don't Like: no belt loops
  • Inseam Length: 26.2 inches
  • Size Range: XS to XXL
  • Material: recycled polyester, viscose, elastane

The tapered leg of these pants comes to a stop just atop the ankle for petites, and for very petite women, it will hit the top of their shoe. That’s a win, as is the refined design that’s got a pronounced front hem sewn into it. Bonus: The front welt packets don't create any additional bulk, important in such a slender trouser. This one has multiple darts extending down from the front and rear waistband.

Flattering Bootcut Style

8. Nic + Zoe Plaza Demi Bootcut Ankle Pants

Nic + Zoe

  • What We Like: machine washable, zip fly
  • What We Don't Like: back patch pockets
  • Inseam Length: 26 inches
  • Size Range: OP to 16P
  • Material: 56 percent cotton, 37 percent rayon, 7 percent spandex

These kicky little stretch trousers are a great way to enjoy the look of a trim trouser that is a bit dressier than a pair of elastic-waist pants. The slightly flared ankle is flattering on petite figures and the line of the pant is not too tight, but still follows the line of the body. Also, the medium rise doesn't constrict your waist area the ways some high-rise numbers do, and belt loops let you accessorize or draw attention to your waist.

Fab Jeans Alternative

9. Quince Ponte Wide Leg Pant


  • What We Like: lightweight, four-way stretch
  • What We Don't Like: fit can run large
  • Inseam Length: 26 inches
  • Size Range: 0 to 16
  • Material: 60 percent rayon, 35 percent nylon, 5 percent spandex

While these are not sized as petites, the length (only a 26-inch inseam) and the medium-wide leg make these cropped pants wearable as full-length pants for petites. “As far as length goes, I’m a 5’3 gal so it fits right above the ankle for me,” says one reviewer. “It’s still a cute look and you can’t beat the price.”

Flattering Vegan Leather

10. Abercrombie Curve Love 90s Straight Pant

Abercrombie & Fitch

  • What We Like: curvy design, ultra-high waistband
  • What We Don't Like: not fitted for straight figures
  • Inseam Length: comes in extra short (26.5) and short (28.5) lengths
  • Size Range: 23 to 37
  • Material: polyurethane, polyester, elastane

Abercrombie is the petite woman’s go-to because it makes pants in short and extra short sizing. This curvy style has two more inches in the hips and thigh more than the brand’s standard straight pant, so wearing it ensures not only that you won’t have a waistband gap, but also a more comfortable sitting experience. “Favorite pants ever!” says one New York City-based reviewer. “They are comfortable, stylish and warm. I am 4’11” with an athletic build, thick thighs and butt. Originally got a 27S, but ultimately wound up with a 28S. Just wanted some extra room for comfort. Always get compliments when I wear these, I have them in three colors now!”

Most Slimming

11. Chico's Brigitte Slim Pants


  • What We Like: machine washable, slight stretch
  • What We Don't Like: limited colorways
  • Inseam Length: 27.5 inches
  • Size Range: 2P to 16/18P
  • Material: 76 percent rayon, 21 percent nylon, 3 percent spandex

A longer version of the brand’s bestselling So Slimming® Brigitte style released for year-round wear, these pants draw raves for both their soft fabric and flattering hidden fit technology that smooths the stomach area. "They are so versatile," writes one petite wearer. "I can dress them up or down and they launder beautifully. Since they are pull-ups, they are easy to put on and take off."

Excellent Figure Shaping

17.  Spanx The Perfect Pant, Button Wide Leg


  • What We Like: core-shaping technology, four-way stretch
  • What We Don't Like: requires wearing with heels
  • Inseam Length: 30 inches
  • Size Range: XS to 3X
  • Material: 68 percent rayon, 28 percent nylon, 4 percent elastane; lining is 80 percent polyester, 20 percent elastane

Want to look sleek and sexy for an evening out, but not have to give up the comfort and coverage of a pair of trousers? These are your pants. First off, Spanx's hidden core-shaping tech keeps your tummy close to flat, while the super-stretchy fabric that never confines you. And the shiny gold buttons on each hip whittle your waist while telegraphing "fancy."Add to all that, you can turn these inside out and machine wash these or dry clean—win-win.

Best Skinny Style

13.  Banana Republic Skinny Sloan Pant

Banana Repubic

  • What We Like: machine washable, flattering narrow silhouette
  • What We Don't Like: limited colorways in petite
  • Inseam Length: 25.5 inches
  • Size Range: 00 to 14, petite, regular and tall
  • Material: 58 percent cotton, 37 percent rayon, 5 percent elastane

The 9.25-inch mid-rise on these trousers makes these pants a good selection if you have an ample bosom, since as one petite staffer told us “a high-waist pair of pants on me hits right underneath my chest, making me look like two boobs on sticks.” Likewise the fine-milled imported fabric has a generous stretch, so it will smooth right over your bum. And for three-season wear, you’ll appreciate that there’s no lining.

Easy Linen Choice

14. Quince European Linen Pants


  • What We Like: heat-regulating, three pockets
  • What We Don't Like: lighter hues can be a bit see-through
  • Inseam Length: 25 inches
  • Size Range: XS to XL
  • Material: European flax linen

“I'm 5'2'' and have my eye on these European Linen pants from Quince,” says assistant commerce editor Natalie LaBarbera. “I have a pair of shorts by the brand in the same fabric that I love, and I know the 25-inch inseam will hit at a perfect ankle length." With an elastic waist and made from natural hypoallergenic flax, these pants can double as jammies in a pinch.

  • What We Like: machine washable, slim fit
  • What We Don't Like: limited colorways
  • Inseam Length: 26.5 inches
  • Size Range: 0 Petite to 16 Petite
  • Material: 74 percent Lenzing™Ecovero™ viscose, 22 percent nylon, 4 percent spandex

If you crossed a pair of substantial leggings with a pair of chinos, you’d get this kind of a neutral, wear-with-everything casual pair of pants. What’s nice is that even though these pants have a good amount of stretch, they don’t vise your rear or cut into your abdomen where the 9.5 inches sits. This is the sort of classic trouser that when a petite finds in in her size, she’s smart to snap up.

Best Fancy Leggings

16. Commando Petite Faux Leather Leggings


  • What We Like: machine wash, easy and edgy look
  • What We Don't Like: only comes in black
  • Inseam Length: 23 inches
  • Size Range: XS to XL
  • Material: 5 percent polyurethane, 44 percent viscose, 1 percent elastane

Creative dressers will appreciate how these faux-leather leggings really elevate any event where you’d typically just wear your usual leggings. The 10.5-inch rise makes your legs look longer and the 23-inch inseam, which fits normie figures like a capri legging, will stretch all the way to the ankle on petites. We love these with a heel, a white silk blouse and a blazer for a drinks date.

Top Cropped Style

17.   Everlane Utility Barrel Pants


  • What We Like: multiple colors, comfortable
  • What We Don't Like: extra petites may need to roll up
  • Inseam Length: 26.5 inches
  • Size Range: 000 to 16, regular and tall
  • Material: 98 percent organic cotton, 2 percent elastane

Royally Obsessed podcast co-host and Gallery Media Group Director of Branded Content Roberta Fiorito has found her perfect trousers: “I’m 5'4", and these cropped pants hit at just the right spot above the ankle. They barrel silhouette is equal parts flattering (so over skinny styles) and comfortable (let those thighs BREATHE!), and high-waist enough to elongate my legs while hitting at the narrowest part of my middle. I have them in three colors, travel in them, dress them up with heels and, the true testament in 2024, WFH in them.”

What Does Petite Mean in Pants?

"Petite" varies from label to label, but in general it refers to height (under 5’5”) and leg length (i.e. inseam). Designer Li recommends knowing your own inseam measurements (the distance from the crotch seam of your pants to the hems). “Petite size pants are made according to measurements of petite models, most of whom are 5’4” or 5’3” and typically with long legs,” she tells us, explaining that since she has a 25-inch inseam and most petite pants have a 27-inch inseam, she often has to get her pants hemmed. As Petite Ave. subscription box founder Vanessa Youshaei told Forbes magazine, “To most people, ‘petite’ means ‘small and skinny,’ but petite has to do with proportions, not size. Essentially anybody size 00 to 18-plus can shop in the petite department as long they’re under 5’5’’.”

What to Consider When Shopping for Petite Pants

Remember these tips from The Petite Style Bible:

  • Choose high-waist pants: The long, vertical line they create is leg-lengthening.
  • Opt for medium-wide flares: By contrast, exaggerated flares have too much fabric for your small frame and narrow flares may appear out of proportion to your hips.
  • Wear flowing fabric: If you’re choosing wide-leg pants, soft fabrics will show your shape when you move, and won’t appear too bulky.
  • Avoid cropped lengths: A pair of pants that stops mid-calf is going to break up the span of your legs, making them look shorter.

The 7 Rules of Wearing Pants When You’re 5’4’’ and Under

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...

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