Flattering petite jeans + tips for finding the right pair

express petite denim best jeans

First things first ~ if you had been eying this flattering belted dress from my blog post earlier this year, awesome news: it’s now available in petites! When I bought this dress a while back, it was only available in regular sizing but I liked it enough to get it hemmed. I recently tried on the xxs petite which fits like a glove and hits right at my knees. For a professional office setting, if I were buying petites I might even do 1 size up so that it’s less curve hugging (for sizing reference I’m currently about 5′ tall, 96 lb).

For today’s post I’m partnering with Express to share about their denim, which regular readers know are a staple in my wardrobe. They’re one of my top recommendations for good jeans that are size inclusive (00 to 18, with some inseams as short as 22″ for extra petite ladies) and don’t break the bank. They have so many style choices, I wanted to share a few tips below for navigating the options! They are also having a denim sale on select styles.

  • Denim fabrication 
    My favorite are their legging jeans which tend to have more stretch and are comfortable enough for long travel days! They are usually medium to thicker weight, not at all thin like legging jeans from some other brands.
  • Rise
    I usually stick with their medium or high rises which are both flattering and not so high that they swallow up a petite torso. Their high rise styles taper in more at the top, and leave less of a waist gap on my body type compared to mid rise.
  • Sizing Type (Regular, Tall, Petite, or Short)
    In my experience, the same waist size under each of these options fits similarly throughout, with the main difference being length. Their Petite runs a tad longer than Short. I own Express jeans in both Short and Regular sizing depending on the style.
  • Length Type (Cropped, Ankle or Full Length)
    This is where it can get confusing, but length is different from sizing. Look for either Cropped or Ankle specified in the item listing title. Full length styles are usually a little too long on me, even in Short or Petite sizing. Cropped styles run shorter than Ankle. So for Cropped styles I will usually order size 00 Regular (Cropped styles in Short tend to be too short on me!), whereas for Ankle styles I will usually order a 00 short. If you are extra petite (~ under 5 feet tall) and jeans are always too long on you, I would recommend trying their Cropped length jeans in Short sizing

Whew! If I haven’t confused you further, I wanted to share two suggestions from their new arrivals:


High Waist Ripped Stretch Ankle Leggings
The jeans I’m wearing in this post! I like the casual ripped knee, and size 00 Short hits above my ankles to show off chic ankle booties and heels. I’m carrying a little more of my weight at my waist these days and need comfort in that area, so note this style runs a touch bigger at the waist than some of my other jeans but is still slim and fitted through the legs. Measurements of sz 00 Short: 13″ across the waist, 9.5″ rise, 24.5″ inseam.

High Waist Denim Perfect Cropped Leggings
These are part of Express’ Denim Perfect line and are truly flattering. In comparison to the above pair, these have minimal distressing, a thicker stretch denim fabric, and run a little smaller at the waist. Since they are a Cropped style, if you are my size you could do either Regular or Short depending on the look you want – Regular fits like a full length pair of skinny jeans on me, while Short is a true cropped look that hits over an inch above my ankles. Measurements of sz 00 Regular: 12.5″ across the waist, 10″ rise, 25.5″ inseam. Measurements of sz 00 Short: the same except the inseam is much shorter at 22.5″ long.

express jeans best petite denimbest petite jeans from expressbest petite denim from expressThank you to Express for partnering on this post. You can use code 7416 for $25 off $100 either in-store or online (see coupon terms and conditions).

 

23 thoughts on “Flattering petite jeans + tips for finding the right pair

  • Reply Tennile July 31, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Looking beautiful as always Jean. And I just love Express.

  • Reply Janine August 1, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Those jeans really are super flattering on you, they make your legs look so long!
    Thanks for sharing!
    xx Janine

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog August 1, 2019 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for all the advice! I can NEVER find jeans that fit me properly – even Topshop’s petite sizes are too big, usually loose at the thighs! It’s frustrating! 🙁

  • Reply Gayle E Brown August 1, 2019 at 4:53 am

    Jean – Do you ever compare different jeans all in one post? For example, the fit of Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap, Ann Taylor, Loft, other brands carried at Nordstrom, and other stores? It would be interesting to see how you think the different jeans compare to each other (this brand runs big in waist, this brand runs small, etc.) but in one post. Thank you! Love your blog! I am 5’1″ and 105 lbs., and it is very hard to find the right pair of jeans.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite August 1, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Hi Gayle, I haven’t done an extensive comparison but in general, Topshop runs the smallest at the waist (runs 1 full size small usually) and their Jamie jeans are the tightest fitting throughout. Banana Republic jeans tend to fit TTS and some of their petite styles are good but on the pricier side compared to the brands you listed. LOFT is a good affordable option but I find their jeans don’t have as much stretch or fit as flattering and high rise as Express. And Old Navy to be honest I didn’t love the fit (too loose) and rear view of their jeans on me so haven’t tried them in a few years. Maybe they’ve changed since? And for extra petite ladies under 5 feet, I think Topshop and Express have the best options in terms of extra short lengths that will fit without alterations (Express jeans are a little more stretchy and not as tight as Topshop around the waist). Hope this helps!

      • Reply Anonymous August 2, 2019 at 5:56 am

        Thanks! Actually have been wearing Paige jeans for 7 years. They come in “short” and have good fit. Was looking for some lower-priced options.

      • Reply Carla August 2, 2019 at 9:13 pm

        Old Navy revamped pants within recent couple years. Multiple fit types as well as lengths. Black jeans that are supposed to stay black and white jeans that stay white. Gap is also having a jean sale right now, I think.

      • Reply Zi August 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm

        Thank you so much, Jean–the comparative fit information is incredibly helpful! Topshop wasn’t on my radar before, but thanks your blog, I’ve been LIVING in my Jamie jeans this summer. The higher waist is so flattering with flowy tops partially tucked in.

        I think I recall you mentioning that Topshop Jamie sizing may vary slightly from one color to the next. I feel like I’ve experienced that firsthand; my distressed mid-blue petite jeans are significantly tighter than the regular-sized indigo and “dirty” ankle-zip jeans in the same waist size. The petite sizing does seem to be a bit smaller all around, but the material is also clearly much less stretchy.

        Have you noticed that any of the Topshop Jamie colors seem to consistently run a bit looser or tighter? I’m specifically interested in the washed black. Do you feel like it’s more restrictive than the other colors you’ve tried?

        Also, have you happened to try on any of the Abercrombie skinnies? They’re another brand I would never consider until you pointed out their lace-trimmed camisoles. Every time I go to their site for more camisoles, I wonder about the jeans.

        • Reply G August 13, 2019 at 9:42 pm

          Hi there! I have the Jamie jeans in both black and white. The black is a perfect fit on me whereas the white (in the same size) is extremely snug in the waist— I can only wear it for a few hours at the most.

  • Reply Roses for Fridays | by mia August 1, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Always with great tips. Have a beautiful day Gorgeous one!

  • Reply April August 1, 2019 at 9:37 am

    the wash and color looks so much better in your pics, is it the exact same jeans theyre offering currently?

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite August 1, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Hi April, yes it’s the same pair that is linked under the photo! The wash is a medium blue with some fading at the thighs.

      • Reply Margaret and forster August 13, 2019 at 7:54 am

        Where do you buy xs jeggins

  • Reply Elizabeth T. August 1, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    These jeans are sooo chic <3 🙂 I love how the fit so much!

  • Reply Linda Krat August 1, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to Madewell and Paige jeans. They fit me perfectly First jeans I’ve ever bought that don’t need to be hemmed. 🧡

    • Reply Nicole Gallo August 2, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      I came here to say the same thing. I know this is a sponsored post by Express but petite ladies with hips, you neeeeeed to try Paige Denim cropped/ankle cuts.

  • Reply Kaelen Van Cura August 1, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    My dream is more jean styles for petites. Basically, there’s one choice and it’s basic skinny jeans. I want all the options that straight sizes get. I never wear jeans because I already own a pair of skinny jeans and they bore me.

    • Reply Carla August 2, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Bootcut have been my go-to for years. I left skinny jeans in high scool.

  • Reply Maria August 1, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Those jeans look so good (love the headband, too)!

  • Reply Diana August 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    These jeans look so flattering on you, and love how they proportionately fit shorter women!

  • Reply Yarimey August 7, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    And your bag?

  • Reply AJ August 14, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Another helpful article- per usual!
    I am a pretty petite lady as well (2” taller than Jean and same sizes) curious if anyone else has this issue with jeans- when I sit down, the calves ride up a few inches. For skinny jeans, they stay up and I have to pull the legs down. I can’t size down since it’s already the smallest size they make (00/00P) so I usually end up buying a cut that’s looser around the calf. Any other tips or brands that could help?

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