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

Plus stylist tips on finding the best fit

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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 of petite sizes. The name generally refers to women 5’4” and under, but also includes what 4’ 9” designer Fae Brennan of upcoming brand Fable Petite calls “extra petite,” or under five feet tall. And as Li points out, on top of the range of heights, there’s also a range of body shapes: long or short torsos, leg proportions—even the width of one’s shoulders can impact how a pair of pants looks on you.

The Best Petite Pants at a Glance


Top Trending Style

Everlane Utlity Barrel Pants

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Easy Linen Choice

Quince European Linen Pants

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Top Drapey Fabric

Madewell Harlow Wide-Leg Pant

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Preferred Work Pants

Zara High-Waisted Slim Pants

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Fun Sailor Style

Loft Petite Mariner Pants

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Excellent Figure Shaping

Spanx On-the-Go Wide Leg

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Best for Curves Up Top

Banana Republic Skinny Sloan 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 many 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)

Top Trending Style

1. Everlane Utlity 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 PureWow editor 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 2023, WFH in them.”

Best White Colorway

2. Citizens of Humanity Rocket Petite Jeans

  • What We Like: frayed hem, high rise
  • What We Don't Like: soft fabric can show panty lines
  • Inseam Length: 27.5 inches
  • Size Range: 24 to 32
  • Material: cotton, polyester, elastane

Senior editor Dana Dickey raves, “I have this pair of jeans in white and they’re my summer go-to. Not only are they super-soft, but they have such a generous percentage of elastane that they hug me perfectly without pinching. And not least, I’m grateful for the 9.5-inch rise, since I don’t have to worry about muffin top.”

Easy Linen Choice

3. 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.

Wide-Leg Winner

4. Wit & Wisdom Wide Leg Pants

  • What We Like: lightweight, stretchy
  • What We Don't Like: pant only hits above ankle for taller petites
  • Inseam Length: 27.5 inches, estimated
  • Size Range: XS P to XL P
  • Material: polyester, rayon, spandex

“Great wide leg pant. Washed well with no wrinkles afterwards,” says one reviewer who is 5’4” and 130 pounds. The flowing fabric and not-too-voluminous wide leg are flattering, while the elastic high waist is comfy—even after a big lunch.

Flattering Vegan Leather

5. Abercrombie Curve Love 90s Straight Pant

  • 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 Versatile

6. J.Crew Petite Sydney Pant

  • 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.”

Top Drapey Fabric

7. 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
  • Material: 48 percent Tencel/lyocell 33 percent cotton, 9 percent linen

“They fit my waist very well and then are flowy everywhere else,” writes one reviewer who is 5’2” and 135 pounds. (She bought a size 4 petite.) “They do wrinkle somewhat easily, but I can get away with not steaming them if I wash on a delicate cycle and hang to dry. I would buy more if there were more colors.” In natural hues including acorn, forest and seed khaki, these are a solid petite purchase. Since the Tencel blend fabric drapes nicely, these pleated-front pants don’t swallow a wearer with shorter legs.

Preferred Work Pants

8. Zara High-Waisted Slim Pants

  • What We Like: machine washable, side pockets
  • What We Don't Like: only available in two colors, black and white
  • 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 unobtrusive belt loops mean you can accent this with your favorite belt or just leave the waistband bare and your top untucked for a more casual look.


Flattering Bootcut Style

9. Isaac Mizrahi Live! Baby Bootcut Ankle Pant

  • What We Like: machine washable, elastic waist
  • What We Don't Like: back patch pocket
  • Inseam Length: 25 inches
  • Size Range: P XXS to Petite 5X
  • Material: 59 percent rayon, 2 percent nylon, 4 percent spandex

These kicky little pull-on trousers are a great way to enjoy the look of a proper work pant without fussing with a zipper. The slightly flared ankle is flattering on petite figures and the line of the trousers is not too tight but follows the line of the body. Also, the high waist really lengthens the leg as well as keeps wearers covered, even when pairing these pants with a crop top.

Fab Jeans Alternative

10. Quince Organic Stretch Wide-Leg Crop Pant

  • What We Like: super-soft cotton twill, back pockets only
  • What We Don't Like: fit can run large
  • Inseam Length: 25 inches
  • Size Range: 24 to 32
  • Material: 97 percent organic cotton, 3 percent spandex

While these are not sized as petites, the length (only a 25-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.”

Best Fancy Leggings

11. 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 Tailored Option

12. Reformation Petites Freddie Linen Pant

  • What We Like: lightweight fabric, flat front
  • What We Don't Like: limited sizing
  • Inseam Length: 27 inches
  • Size Range: 0P to 12P
  • Material: 100 percent linen

This pert pair of petite trousers won us over for its long line of oatmeal linen fabric and flattering straight trouser silhouette. Sustainably made from flax in Los Angeles, these pants also have eco bona fides.

Fun Sailor Style

13. Loft Petite Mariner Pants

  • What We Like: sailor-style double row of buttons, 11.5-inch rise
  • What We Don't Like: extra petite may need to wear with heels
  • Inseam Length: 28 inches
  • Size Range: XX to XXL
  • Material: polyester-spandex crepe

“I was super impressed with this fabric. It will be great for travel as it won't wrinkle when packed,” writes one reviewer. “I can dress these up or down. Regular was a bit long and would’ve needed to be hemmed, but the petite was 28 inches long, just the length I needed as I am 5'4".” A comfy wide elastic waistband and a faux sailor-style bib with buttons are the style selling points here, in your choice of black, grey, deep blue and plum.

Excellent Figure Shaping

14. Spanx On-the-Go Wide Leg

  • What We Like: core-shaping technology, four-way stretch
  • What We Don't Like: color may transfer onto other surfaces
  • Inseam Length: 23.5 inches
  • Size Range: XS to 3X
  • Material: 53 percent cotton, 41 percent rayon, 6 percent elastane

While cropped pants are often a no-no for petites looking to keep a long, unbroken line running up and down their outfit, we are sold on these crops because they are so highly engineered to be flattering. First off, there’s the hidden core-shaping tech that keep your tummy close to flat, and also super-stretchy fabric that never confines you. Add to all that, you can machine wash these or dry clean—win-win.

Best for Curves Up Top

15. Banana Republic Skinny Sloan Pant

  • 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.

Best Ankle Pants

16. Nic + Zoe Petites Wonderstretch Straight-Leg Pants

  • 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.

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 measurement (the distance from the top inside of your thigh to the floor). “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.
  • Wear flowing fabric: If you’re chosing 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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