Attention petite ladies, your denim time has come! With ankle-baring cuts taking over the category, it’s easier than ever slip into a pair of jeans without visiting a tailor.
“Petite women look amazing in mid-rise or high-rise crop jeans. They usually graze the ankles and work as an ankle or a full-length jean on a petite frame,” says Paige Adams-Geller, Co-Founder and Creative Director of PAIGE. Her go-to reco is the Jacqueline Straight. “The leg silhouette is elongating and super flattering for any body type,” she says. You can also insta-crop a pair. “Don’t be afraid to roll up or down your cuff to get your best cropped length,” says Alex Gray, Gap VP, Denim Design.
Beyond the plethora of cropped styles, there’s a healthy list of retailers and labels that currently cater to petites. Anthropologie, Gap, Asos, J.Crew, Citizen of Humanity and TOPSHOP, all sell scaled down versions of jeans designed not to overwhelm a diminutive figure.
Style-wise, nothing is really off limits but the E-word is key. That’s elongation, y’all! And while a killer pair of jeans will pull the eye down, the action actually starts at the waistline. “The most flattering rise on a body depends on your shape,” says Adams-Geller, “If you have a long torso, a higher rise tends to look best. If you have a shorter torso, a mid-rise is most flattering. It’s all about proportion.”
For proof, look to denim-lover Emma Roberts. The 5’2” star has been snapped in everything from flares to ultra-skinnies, the common thread being every pair tricking the eye to maximize the appearance of her compact frame. “If you are petite, it’s best to look for styles that elongate your legs,” says Ruth Basloe, Styling Director at Nordstrom, “When buying skinny or cropped jeans, look for a cut with a higher waist, which gives the illusion of longer legs by adding length in the opposite direction. For a relaxed or boyfriend jean, avoid anything too baggy,or that has a low waist or wide cuff.” Basloe signs off on wide leg or flare styles, too, but recommends pairing them with heels for lift.