While most of us at Search By Inseam have the opposite problem, we all have petite friends who’ve resorted to buying capris and wearing them as full-length pants at one time or another. Some petite women need a 26-inch inseam, while others need a 30-inch inseam. So, how does one find jeans that are short enough?
First, you need to measure your inseam to know exactly how short of a pant to buy. You can find your inseam by having your tailor measure it for you, or you can do it yourself. Here's how to find the length of pants you really need:
Begin with a pair of jeans you already have that fit you well (please tell us you have at least ONE pair!).
Lay the pants flat on the floor, back pockets down.
Get out your measuring tape, and carefully measure from the crotch seam to the very bottom of one leg.
This number is your inseam and, for shorter gals, will likely be something between 26 inches and 31 inches. Click here for more tips on inseam measurement, including how to account for shrinkage, high-heeled shoes, and different types of pants.
Now, you are ready to shop! Here are our top ten resources for buying petite jeans:
Search By Inseam does all the inseam finding for you, saving you time by organizing pants from multiple sellers by inseam length. The site usually carries jeans and pants with inseams from about 20 to 38 inches. You can narrow your shopping criteria by brand name, price range, and rise. You'll find designer brands with short inseams from 7 For All Mankind, Serfontaine, Joe's Jeans, Rich & Skinny, Hudson, Citizens of Humanity, Siwy, Paige Denim, Made in Heaven, Anlo, GoldSign, J Brand, and more. There's also a good selection of less expensive petite jeans from Gap, Old Navy, Paris Blues, Calvin Klein, Truck, Levi's, Lee, Wrangler, Mossimo, dELiA*s, Piper, Revolt, and more, that start at prices under $25. You can also sign up for notifications when a new pair of pants is added to the site that fits your inseam.
shopbop.com is the best place we've found for designer jeans. Many petites are finding that the new ankle skinny jeans are fitting them well as full-length pants, and you can find a lot of those on this site. Shopbop also carries petite maternity designer jeans from makers like Citizen's and J Brand. Shipping is free on every order.
dELiA*s short jeans are typically under $40, and come in 26, 28, and 30-inch inseams. It's tough to find cute, "normal" jeans in a 26-inch inseam, so if that's what you need, check out this site. Petite plus jeans are the same price, and it's easy to search by the inseams they sell. Rises are low, as these are made with the teenage shopper in mind.
Alloy.com carries inseams of 30 and 32 inches. They do a good job of organizing the site by inseam length, and jeans are under $50. Alloy also stocks a large selection of petite plus sizes, though they do charge more for them than regular sizes. As with dELiA*s, rises are low, since the site targets teen buyers.
Gap.com offers inseams of 26, 27, 28, 29, 29.5, 30, 30.5, and 31 inches in some of their jeans. Each pair is different, so be sure to check out the fit and sizing details. (You can also shop via Search By Inseam and for your inseam and enter Gap as the brand.) Shipping is free on orders over $50 and on all returns.
Old Navy has petite jeans that start around a 28" inseam. Some of the jeans have inseams listed in the product details, while others do not. You can check out the "size chart" or "Petite Fit Guide," but they tend to be hit or miss. Old Navy carries short inseam maternity jeans, but the inseam isn't usually defined, which is frustrating. Shipping is free on orders over $50 and on all returns.
Banana Republic does a good job of listing inseam lengths in the product details. Petite inseams start at 26 inches, and the styles are classic and contemporary. Shipping is free on orders over $50 and on all returns.
Lands' End has a small selection of petite jeans, but great ratings from their customers. Jeans are well made and come in inseam lengths of 26-30 inches.
Free People carries several styles of jeans with petite inseams that start at 29". Shipping is free on orders over $100.
Nordstrom.com has a petite shop that carries top denim brands and short inseams from about 27 to 32 inches. Shipping is now free on every order.
Petite pants from all of these sellers and more are available at Search By Inseam, making it a great site to easily find your inseam and quickly shop multiple sites.