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.