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Best Jeans Brands for Short Women

Updated on April 4, 2011

Finding Jeans Designed for Short Women Is Hard

Nobody likes shopping for jeans — it’s up there with bathing suit shopping as frustrating, discouraging shopping experiences go. Most women can relate to the pain of taking 20 different pairs of jeans into a dressing room and still not finding that perfect pair.

For short women, the process is more frustrating still. I am 5’2”, and I have tried on countless jeans that have a full foot of fabric hanging past my feet, and whose fancy washes and whiskering make it look like my knees are down where my shins belong. If you are looking to buy premium denim, the idea of adding a $20 tailoring fee onto the $200 price tag is just insult to injury.

Yet jeans are an essential staple of any contemporary wardrobe. Jeans are now acceptable in most offices, and jeans are appropriate for day or night. They can be dressed up or down, be very stylish or casual. They also can be incredibly form flattering, if you find the right pair, which is why women everywhere persist in the dreaded jeans shopping.

Good News for Short Women

Somehow, premium denim companies have heard the cry of short women everywhere offended by jeans that are 18 inches too long. Many of the most popular designer jeans out there now make at least one petite model. For years, petite women have been major fans of Joe’s Jeans, because their Provocateur was one of the few petite styles by a trendy jeans company.

Joe’s has now been joined by many of its competitors in making petite jeans. Nevertheless, it is impossible to find as wide a selection of styles and washes in petite sizes, and even some of the so-called petite lengths still require tailoring.

Stores like Bloomingdale's and Macy's are starting to carry more petite styles and denim specialty stores also might carry petite sizes, but in terms of selection of styles and washes, you may have most luck searching online. Many of these jeans companies now sell from their own e-commerce sites, and those will have the best selection.

Some Brands That Make Petite Jeans

For years I have exclusively worn Joe’s Jeans for my “good” jeans, and for a down-and-dirty casual jean I have turned to Gap’s 1969 premium denim line. Joe’s cost about $180 while Gap’s are a more approachable $60.

Now that other companies have entered the petite designer jean fray, I will be branching out.

Joe’s Jeans: I love their Provocateur jeans, though depending on the denim and how much it gives, I sometimes go a size down since they can stretch.

Paige Petites: This brand is a celebrity favorite. Their petite jeans run on the long side for someone who is 5’2”, but the knees hit close to where they are supposed to hit. These can be hard to find, and an Internet search may be your best bet.

Citizens of Humanity’s Dita jeans are perfect for a woman who is 5’4”, but can run long for those of us who are shorter. Some heels can fix this problem! These also can run big and stretch, so you may consider ordering down a size.

Seven for All Mankind has several petite styles. Dojo is a denim trouser cut and Lexie is a true low-rise style that can make your butt look very good indeed. They run true to size, though a 5’2” woman may need to shorten them or wear heels.

True Religion now makes several petite styles of jeans, including bootcut, skinny and straight.

J Brand.

More Moderate Brands That Make Petite Jeans

Not the sort to drop $200 on jeans? Here are some more affordable petite jeans from a variety of brands:

  • Lucky Brand Petite Denim
  • Gap 1969 Premium Denim
  • Old Navy
  • Levi’s 525, 512 and others
  • AG Adriano Goldschmeid’s Angelina jeans


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    • s.carver profile image

      s.carver 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I can relate! I like to order jeans online because there is such a wider selection. Then I try them on at home and invariably send back most. Amazon is good because they have free shipping on denim (and no sales tax!). I recently ordered jeans from Bloomies (True Religion Becky), where I paid tax and also have to get to a store to make returns -- too low rise for my taste, and a little long for my 5'2" frame, but very cute. Still, buying online is a great convenience!

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 6 years ago from California

      Great list and very useful! I'm a petite woman, so it can be difficult to find jeans.