We all know how important a great fitting pair of denim is, but for many of us, the struggle to find the “perfect” pair is real. With more relaxed styles now on trend, many of us BA50’s want a jean refresh, but aren’t sure where to start. And when you are 5’4″ or shorter like me, you may have even more difficulties finding denim that fits properly. If you are tired of buying denim online and having to return it since the style doesn’t look anything like it did on the fit model, I’m here to help.

Knowing your preferred rise and inseam is important when buying denim. Some retailers, like Madewell, GAP and Talbots, offer styles specifically for petites, but most premium denim companies do not. Every body shape is different, but many petites find that a rise between 9″ and 11″ and an inseam of 25″ to 27″ are the sweet spots. Styles described as cropped will often be ankle length on us, and those marked as ankle length will be full-length. If a denim style has a raw edge, all you need is a pair of scissors (and some patience) to easily shorten them yourself! Always be sure to check the fabric content as well. One or two percent spandex will provide a comfy amount of stretch, but more than that will often result in the dreaded saggy butt.

In terms of silhouettes, “slim straight” denim is a favorite with petites. Cut a bit wider than a skinny, but narrower than a full straight, it is flattering on almost everyone, easily styled, and provides a fresh, updated look without too much volume for our petite frames. More relaxed cuts look modern without overwhelming us as long as they end at the ankle and are paired with more cropped sweaters or tucked-in tops. Boot-cut denim or flares will look best worn with heels to elongate the leg. If you are looking for a jean refresh, continue reading below for my top pics in lots of great denim washes and silhouettes.

Slim Straight

PAIGE Cindy Slim Straight Leg Ankle Jeans $219

The PAIGE Cindy is on the “best premium denim” list of many stylists as their 10.5″ rise and slim straight fit is flattering on most body types. This new wash at Bloomingdales won’t last long, so grab your size while you can.

Citizens of Humanity Jolene High Rise Vintage Slim $228

A slim straight leg and flattering high rise define these vintage-inspired jeans by Citizens of Humanity. Cut from structured denim with a touch of stretch, the Jolene features a contoured fit through the hips and thighs, button fly closure, and distressed hems.

Edwin Bree Straight $148

With a 10″ rise and 27″ inseam, these jeans are ideal for petite BA50’s. The dark black wash can be dressed up or down and be worn almost anywhere.

GAP High Rise Vintage Slim Jeans $69.95

Sleek and slim but not as tight a a skinny fit. I own several of this cut and love them. Many washes available but this dark denim is slenderizing and oh-so versatile.

AGolde Nico High Rise Straight $168

This brand is on fire due to their great cuts, fabrications and washes. Faded grey will transition beautifully into spring.

Madewell Stovepipe Jean in Euclid Wash $138

I own several pairs of this cut and love them. Not too skinny, not too wide straight leg. 10″ high rise, 25″ inseam.

EVERLANE The Original Cheeky Jean $88

Available in 7 washes in both ankle and regular lengths, these popular jeans from EVERLANE are under $100 and high on style.

High Waisted Straight or Relaxed

GAP High Rise Cheeky Straight Jeans with Washwell $79.95

I just bought these and am obsessed. Love combining them with black lug sole boots. Order short if you want the same rise as the regular sizing, just shorter. Order petite for an all-around smaller fit. Lots of other washes available too.

AGolde Riley High Rise Straight $178

The Riley jean is the denim update your closet needs. Featuring a modern straight leg silhouette, with comfort-stretch denim, and a light blue wash with vintage appeal. Cut to ankle-baring length making it easy to show off your shoe game.

LEVIS Ribcage High Waist Ankle Straight Leg $98

If you like a really high rise jean, these LEVIS are for you. Take it up a notch with these sky-high (12.5″ rise) jeans that define your waist and relax into a cropped straight-leg profile.

Edwin Kali Straight Ankle $218

From Edwin, this mid-blue wash will look great now paired with black, and in the spring and summer with white. Organic cotton.

Kut From the Kloth High Rise Reese Ankle Straight $92

Raw hems and a faded black wash give a stylish edge to these Kut from the Kloth jeans. Cut from structured denim with a touch of stretch, these wear-everywhere jeans feature an ankle-length straight leg and flattering high rise.

Flare or Bootcut

Ann Taylor Petite Sculpting Pocket High Rise Boot Cut Jean in Ecru $98

The season’s hottest shade which is difficult to find. Ann Taylor’s boot cut jeans are designed with new pockets that smooth, flatter and hold your shape. Performance stretch denim sculpts, shapes and supports all day long.

Mother The Insider High Waist Crop Step Fray Hem $238

Ripped knees and step hems with frayed edges bring casual lived-in appeal to high-waist jeans in a perfectly cropped length. A favorite of influencers and stylists for good reason.

Talbots High Waist Barely Boot Jeans $74

From Talbots, this modern silhouette has a narrow knee and slightly wider hem. A subtle boot cut is effortlessly versatile. Size down for best fit. I own this jean in a couple of washes.

WIT & WISDOM Ab-Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeans $78

With over 200 positive reviews, these jeans hit lots of marks. If you aren’t sure you want to go for a wide flare leg, these will dip your toe in the trend. I own these and find them very flattering. Size down for best fit. Selling fast, other washes also available.


Mid Rise Vintage Slim Coated Jeans $79.95

I had been looking for a pair of black coated denim for quite a while and happily stumbled upon these. Very similar to much more expensive styles. Size up for best fit in coated denim.

Madewell the Petite Girljean in Kinzie Wash $92

Comfy and flattering, Madewell’s girljean has a 9 3/4″ rise and 25″ inseam, ideal for petites. Roll them up or down.

KUT FROM THE KLOTH Reese Raw Step Hem Ankle Straight Leg $89

Raw-edge stepped hems put a contemporary spin on these ripped jeans cut from faded and whiskered stretch denim with a straight-leg cut. 9.5″ rise.

Tips for Buying and Styling Denim for Petite BA50’s was last modified: by

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