With the introduction of women’s pants as a staple in the 1960s, we have been experimenting with different cuts and styles ever since. Women’s jeans also became popular around this time, so it makes sense that many of the designs applied to jeans then have provided the many jean options we have today. While jeans began as primarily functional, fashion has reached a point where there is some consensus that certain pants look better than others on certain people. As a petite woman, you are no exception. Petite women are shorter, which can give them a little trouble with their proportions. Luckily, there are certain jeans which will not only fit you but also make you look great!
High-rise jeans are jeans that come up high on the waist—usually around nine or 10 inches. An easy way to know if your jeans are high-rise or not is to try them on and see if the top reaches your belly button. If so, they are high rise!
High-rise jeans are great for petite women because the top starts so high, it makes it look like your legs start higher than they really do. This gives the impression of longer legs and shortens what may be a longer torso, a typical petite body feature. If you have different proportions, you may choose to use your jeans to lengthen your torso instead. It all depends on what you decide you want to visually emphasize. As far as high-rise jeans, make sure to look for petite high-rise jeans in particular. Petite high-rise jeans should give you the style you want and be cut for your height, allowing you to find a pair that really works for you—no more folding up your jeans into cuffs or tripping over your pant legs while walking.
Straight-leg jeans are made to give you a straight line from your waist to your feet. This works by visually creating a long, unbroken column of a single color. This straight-line draws the eye up and down, creating the optical illusion of length. Combine it with a high-rise waist, and you get an even longer line. This line will make a petite woman look great, but it won’t work as well if the fit isn’t right. Too little material and you lose your line. Too much material and you get a widening effect that is going against the lengthening look you want. Plus, baggy jeans do few closets proud. That’s why shopping for petite straight-leg jeans is important.
Flared-leg jeans are fitted until they reach the knee, then they flare out on the bottom. The slimmer fit on the upper part means you aren’t adding to your width visually. Then the flare draws the eye down your (slim) legs to your feet, creating a nice vertical path for the eye to follow and giving the impression of height. For the petite woman, you will want to make sure that flare is more subtle rather than dramatic since too much on the bottom will pull the eye out and emphasize your width instead of your length. This will, of course, ruin the effect you are trying to achieve.
Boot-cut jeans were made so that you could wear a pair of boots under your jeans without fighting with your pant cuffs. They are looser from the knee to the ankle to allow taller boots to fit inside, which is perfect for the fall and winter weather. What makes them especially great for petite women is that they are a happy medium between straight-leg jeans and flared-leg jeans. The boot cut fits like straight-leg jeans on the top part of your legs while ending in a slight flare at the bottom to make space for your boots. This space created around your feet gives you a bit of the look of flared-leg jeans without completely breaking the vertical line of the straight-leg jeans style.
Pairing the boot-cut and the flared-leg jeans with heels can double the effect. Adding heels plus a high-rise waist can do even more for you, visually speaking. On another note, if you are into wearing heels, choosing full-length jeans, or petite pants in general, lets you conceal the fact that your shoes are responsible for your added height and make it seem like you are just naturally taller than you really are.
Jeans are casual, and different types of jeans are fun to play around with and mix and match so you find the outfits that work for you. Relax and have fun exploring the petite jean world!