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Perfect Petites: 6 Pairs of Jeans for Ladies on the Shorter Side

Three women wearing ASOS and Lucky Brand cropped jeans.
ASOS/Lucky Brand

Shopping for the right pair of denim when your legs are shorter than average is a continuous struggle. Sometimes, it seems like jeans just weren’t made for us! Rather than continuing to cuff every pair you own, though, another solution has emerged: jeans designed especially for petites.

For the most part, petite jeans are similar to all the other sizes. They just have shorter inseams and a slightly altered rise to accommodate shorter legs and waists. And fortunately, less material doesn’t mean less style!

Below are six of my favorite brands and styles of jeans, all in petite lengths. They’re perfect if you want a flattering fit and stylish look that’s tailor-made to suit your height!

Best Skinny Jeans: Levi’s 311

One woman wearing dark Levi's 311 jeans, and another woman wearing a pair in lighter blue denim.

There’s a reason Levi’s has been one of the most trusted brands in denim for nearly 170 years. The company has a reputation for good quality and plenty of variety, and the 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans are no exception.

These jeans have all the features every petite woman wants when shopping for denim, including the option to choose an inseam length, a slim fit in the legs, and a classic mid-rise waist.

In addition to the inseam issue, another frequent conundrum petite women face when jeans shopping is simply the appearance of a shorter lower body. Jeans with hems that are too long or legs cut too wide can overwhelm a smaller frame and emphasize those proportions.

That’s why slimmer-cut legs, like those on the 311s, can help create a sleeker silhouette that elongates.

Best Relaxed Fit: Riders by Lee Indigo

A woman wearing a dark pair of the Fringe Cuff Boyfriend Jeans, and another woman wearing a pair in lighter blue.
Riders by Lee Indigo

Not every woman who wears petite jeans wants them slim-cut or skinny. For those who prefer their jeans a little more relaxed, these Riders by Lee Indigo Fringe Cuff Boyfriend Jeans have just the right mix of petite fit and slouchy style. The five-pocket design features a slightly higher mid-rise in the waist.

They also have a few cute touches that elevate them beyond “comfy” jeans. They’re deliberately designed to be worn with rolled cuffs, which many petites have to do on the regular anyway. The subtle fraying at the bottom adds a bit of extra flair.

Best Super Skinny: J.Crew Petite Toothpick Jeans

Front and side views of a woman wearing the Petite Toothpick jeans.

For petites who like their denim super skinny, look no further than the J.Crew Petite Toothpick Jeans. The short-women cred is right there in the title, emphasizing that these were designed with petites in mind. On most shorter ladies, these skinnies will skim and hug the top of the ankle, avoiding the dreaded hem puddle.

J.Crew jeans tend to be particularly polished, with a slim, shaping fit. They do their best to avoid sagging or extra material at any point. The legs are just a bit cropped and the inseam is tailor-made for petites.

The denim itself is also produced in accordance with the company’s commitment to sustainable, responsibly grown cotton. Who doesn’t love a little social responsibility with their cute jeans?

Best Cropped: LOFT High Rise Straight Jeans

Front and back view of a woman wearing the High-Rise Straight Crop Jeans.

Sometimes, cropped jeans are just what petites need to get the right length. That’s one of the best features of the LOFT High Rise Straight Crop Jeans. The shorter length means you can avoid having to cuff them, but they still won’t look like “high-water” jeans. Made from a sturdy, but forgiving, denim, these jeans fit easily and flatter almost everyone.

In terms of cut, they have a simple high rise, and a straight leg with a 26-inch inseam. The wash is a mid-indigo blue, with just enough distressing to provide some visual dimension. They look genuinely worn in all the right areas. These are a solid choice for anyone who prefers a middle-of-the-road cut over super skinny or slouchy.

Best Mom Jeans: ASOS New Look Petite

Back and front view of a woman wearing the Ripped Mom Jeans.

Comfort is queen when it comes to the ASOS New Look Petite Ripped Mom Jeans. With a light wash and artful distressing, these are designed to give you that comfy, washed-a-hundred-times look.

This effortlessly cool and laid-back jean also has a cropped hem petites will love. Deliberately raw to match the rips in the legs, it lands just a few inches above the ankle.

The fit emphasizes simplicity with just a hint of slouch. The waist sits at a natural mid-rise, with straight legs that hit that sweet spot between skinny and wide. That perfect middle ground, mixed with a casual-cool style makes these jeans a real winner.

Best Boyfriend Jeans: Lucky Brand Mid Rise Sienna Slim

Front and side views of a woman wearing the Mid Rise Sienna Slim Boyfriend Jeans.
Lucky Brand

One part relaxed boyfriend fit with one part floral detailing creates these Lucky Brand Mid Rise Sienna Slim Boyfriend Jeans. This perfect combination of casual, yet cute style is perfect for petites looking to make a subtle statement. The Sienna hits that sweet spot when it comes to fit. It’s relaxed, but still slim enough through the legs so petites won’t feel overwhelmed by denim.

They also taper toward the ankle which hits just a little higher than most jeans. This style manages to look casual, while the sleek lines help elongate the legs. The light wash and pretty, subtle floral design on one hip and leg give these a softer touch.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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