petite jeans
February 19, 2013 12:14 PM   Subscribe

My daughter spilled permanent glue all over my last pair of jeans that fit -- they were from Lands' End and have long since been discontinued. Please help me find new jeans that fit! Here's what I am looking for: (1) I wear a size 6 or 8. The jeans must come in petite or "short" length, as I have very short legs. I prefer straight leg to flare or boot-cut. (2) I don't want high-waisted mommy jeans, but I also don't want the really low-slung ones all the kids are wearing (I'm 50). I have some Old Navy "Diva" jeans that fit OK, but I really don't like the low rise -- even with a belt, I feel as though they'll fall down, and some of my tops aren't long enough to cover the gap. Is there such a thing as "regular" rise anymore? (3) I don't want ultra-skinny jeans, but I also don't want baggy. (4) I don't want to spend a fortune. I realize that I might need to be spend $75, but even that sounds outrageous to me for "just jeans." The closest I've come is a pair of J.Jill "authentic fit slim-leg" petite jeans, which are pretty good but have a bit more stretch in them than I'm used to. Any other ideas?
posted by wisekaren to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (41 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Try Express, they have petite sizes and their low rise aren't really all that low-rise. And they have different leg openings, not all skinny. Ralph Lauren is good, and you kind find a good price on them if you go to E-bay. My mom really liked them when I got her a pair.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 12:18 PM on February 19, 2013

The really low rise jeans have really faded in popularity the last few years, so you'll likely find that they arent' as limiting as you used to find.

Sounds like you'd do well at the Gap or Banana Republic, both of which have jeans in 'short' or 'petite', and have a variety of fits at a reasonable price point.

These are nice.
posted by Kololo at 12:20 PM on February 19, 2013

I really like the jeans at Ann Taylor Loft based on requirements similar to yours. Also, whatever shop you choose, sign up for their email list and your'e likely to get coupons or discount offers which will make the "$75 for just jeans" more palatable.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have had good luck at Macy's with their "Style & Co" jeans - petites, reasonable rise and often on sale for less than $35. They come in multiple leg styles as well ranging from skinny to wide leg and in between. Sizing can be goofy - have some 12s that are the same size as some 6-8's when I hold them up side by side - maybe that's why they were cheap!
posted by leslies at 12:41 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

The ankle length AG Stevie jeans which are sold through Anthropologie fit all of your requirements except for price. Believe me, these are magic jeans. They do go on sale pretty often, though, so if I were you I would keep an eye out and pounce. I recently snagged a pair for about $90.
posted by telegraph at 12:44 PM on February 19, 2013

I know nothing about female jeans... but, let me throw in that, if you can find a fit that is OK other than being too long in the leg, you can always get them shortened. I had a couple of pairs of jeans shortened by a couple of inches by my dry cleaner for about $5 per pair...
posted by HuronBob at 12:56 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wear almost the exact jeans you are describing, and they come from the Gap. These fit really well, come in petite lengths, strike a nice balance between "mom" and super low rise, and are really good quality for the price.

Note: Gap does not stock Petite lengths in-store. You can try on a regular length or see if they have the "Ankle" length, which has a similar inseam to the petite one.
posted by Red Desk at 12:58 PM on February 19, 2013

I've had good luck with Old Navy's Sweetheart jeans.
posted by neushoorn at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2013

Is there such a thing as "regular" rise anymore?

In Levi's, this is "mid-rise". I am taller than you, but the Levi's mid-rise hits me about a thumb's width below my belly button, which is perfect for me. I hate bending over and having my butt fall out, and I also hate when my love handles sit above my pants (muffin top). This rise takes care of both of those problems.

I don't know if you are at all curvy, but the Sweetheart cut at Old Navy has the same perfect rise. It is cut for more amply be-butted ladies, though--their cuts that fit straighter figures have different (lower) rises.
posted by phunniemee at 1:01 PM on February 19, 2013

Have them custom made, for $50.
posted by essexjan at 1:03 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Banana Republic or Eddie Bauer. Both carry petites and short and have comfortable rises that still look trendy/not mom jeans.

I have not worn Eddie Bauer's jeans besides trying them on in the fitting room, but I own several of Banana's jeans and I've noted that the seat stretches a bit if you wear them more than once or twice between washings. If you buy them, wash in cold and hang to dry to help them keep their shape and not stretch out so easily. Otherwise I'm happy with them.
posted by E3 at 1:04 PM on February 19, 2013

Oh, and I'd just like to add--don't be afraid to try on a pair of skinny jeans just because you're 50! By now it's an extremely common style, and there are plenty of jean options (as far as rise, wash, etc) that are skinny cut without looking terribly young or trendy. You may have more options for fit if you open yourself up to skinny jeans than with straight leg cuts alone.

And your desire to stay away from flare and boot cut is right on track. Boot cut is the new mom jean.
posted by phunniemee at 1:05 PM on February 19, 2013

Yeah, I was also coming in to recommend the Gap Real Straight jeans. I love them. If you want a slightly higher rise, go for the ankle length rather than the petite -- the inseam will be roughly the same, but the rise will be a little longer.
posted by devinemissk at 1:06 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I just came in to recommend you give Eddie Bauer a look! I haven't even glanced at their clothes in years, but have been really impressed with their current jeans, especially the "curvy" fit. All are offered in petite sizes.
posted by handful of rain at 1:06 PM on February 19, 2013

My mom, who is about your size (petite, size 6), recently bought a pair of Gap jeans. She has fallen completely in love with them, and they look absolutely fantastic on her. Gap sells jeans with varied inseams, so you should be able to find a pair with suitable length for you.
posted by krakus at 1:15 PM on February 19, 2013

I LOVE Ann Taylor LOFT and they are CHEAPER than AT, and you can get good deals on sales- they have petite. Old Navy is crap they wear out
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:29 PM on February 19, 2013

I like Levi's in Short length. I'm 5'2" and they're the perfect length. I'm younger than you but prefer non-low rise, non-mom jeans too! When I was a size 6-8 Levi's 512s and Levi's 515s were my favorite.
posted by apricot at 1:43 PM on February 19, 2013

I always find these when I'm looking for something else, but might Not Your Daughter's Jeans work? They are a little out of your price range, but there are several pairs on sale at Zappos. I linked to their petites, but if that doesn't work, it should be easy enough to find on Zappos.

Also, Levi's Curve ID has different inseams and rises, and might suit your needs.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]

NY & Co has a short length for all their pants, including jeans, and you can find that store in many malls. They are proportioned for adult women not juniors.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2013

Seconding Gap's Always Skinny jeans. I'm a lot younger than you, but my lower half mimics that of Kim Kardashian, so I've never been able to wear truly skinny or low-rise anything. Get the petite if you're actually petite - the fit is noticeably better and they're a billion times more comfortable.

They might have changed the fabric this season, based on the comments, but my old pair was my favorite pair of jeans (I'm saving up for a new pair). Get them when Gap has a 30% off coupon.
posted by topoisomerase at 1:48 PM on February 19, 2013

I suggest Not Your Daughterʻs Jeans. The are amazing and fit a grown up with out looking old-lady like.
posted by fifilaru at 1:50 PM on February 19, 2013

I always find these when I'm looking for something else, but might Not Your Daughter's Jeans work?

Oh dear god no what is this. Do you see how big that lady's rear end looks? That is a skinny, skinny model wearing those jeans and it looks like she's packing a mack truck in her backside. NYDJ should be a primer in the kind of jeans no one should wear.

All the people recommending Gap may be on the right track. I haven't worn any Gap clothing in years, but I know some petite people who have had great success with their Long and Lean cut (it's a style, not a descriptor of how you need to be shaped in order to wear them).
posted by phunniemee at 1:51 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'll second the Old Navy jeans in Sweetheart fit. Where the Diva fit is "low rise", the Sweetheart is described as "classic rise". The waist doesn't feel too low to me, but it also avoids making me feel like I'm wearing mom jeans. I'm petite as well and the length is good. I have bought a few pairs in the regular short length to accommodate boots with chunky heels.
posted by Miss Matheson at 1:52 PM on February 19, 2013

Best answer: Another vote for Style & Co! I love them, they fit great, and the price are awesome. Ann Taylor Loft is good too.
posted by lovableiago at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2013

On the proper fitting of jeans is a site I learned about via the blue or the green here. One of the favorite sites of Mrs. Ouke (who is about your age). She heavily recommends this site.
posted by ouke at 3:07 PM on February 19, 2013

I have short legs and hate low-rise jeans. Currently my favorite pair is Calvin Kline.

I usually just buy whatever fits me in the waist/hips and then get them hemmed.
posted by bunderful at 3:21 PM on February 19, 2013

When Lands End discontinued my jeans, I went over to L.L. Bean.
posted by rakaidan at 3:41 PM on February 19, 2013

Levi's regular straight leg cut. They come in "short" and there are three different rise/waist/hip fits - just go check it out in the store. $70-80 dollars but they will last 5-6 years of near-daily wear (washing roughly every two weeks).
posted by amaire at 4:20 PM on February 19, 2013

I had great luck with regular Levi's in short. The petite sizes just fit a bit too snugly for me. Was so impressed with all of the different styles and washes.
posted by rglass at 4:28 PM on February 19, 2013

And Zappos is a great site to order from--free shipping back and forth.
posted by rglass at 4:29 PM on February 19, 2013

I am only a little taller than you. I often buy "ankle" pants styles, which are supposed to be slightly cropped, like cigarette pants. They always fit *me* liked regular pants. Ankle pants are usually regular rise or even fashionably high waisted. Victoria's Secret, Land's End, and Nordstrom's have been a source for me. Nordstrom's is great for us shorties because they do free hemming.

Also, if you're anything like me, you may be petite in the legs but not petite in the rise. Petite sizing actually does change the fit of the rise (there's much less room, so you might be frustrated by that). I can't wear petite clothes, even though I'm very short.
posted by sweltering at 5:36 PM on February 19, 2013

carhartt stuff lasts forever & has inseams from 28" to 36", so you can order to precise length you need; the rise on these is how you've described - not mom jeans, but not sexy teenager low rise, either, just low enough to flatter. the waistband is also contoured so it doesn't gape open in the back (without a belt) when you bend down or squat.
posted by zdravo at 5:43 PM on February 19, 2013

Response by poster: Wow, thanks to all for the suggestions! I will have to hit the dreaded mall this weekend and check out some of these options. I will report back with my findings for anyone else in the same boat....
posted by wisekaren at 6:21 PM on February 19, 2013

Best answer: I came in to recommend Style & Co., so I'm nthing that.
posted by batmonkey at 6:26 PM on February 19, 2013

If Old Navy's Diva are almost right, try their Flirt. It has a slightly higher rise. The web site seems to only have boot cut or skinny, but the skinny isn't all that skinny. I'm 5" and not skinny at all, and they're my go-to jean.
posted by looli at 7:16 PM on February 19, 2013

Talbots petite jeans-I'm currently liking those a lot. Way overpriced but always can find a sale or coupon.
posted by purenitrous at 7:20 PM on February 19, 2013

While you're already committed to the shopping and trying-on, try nicer consignment stores and secondhand stores in your area first, which typically have a crapshoot of different styles from different eras. You might luck out and find either the type of fit from 10-15 or so years ago that you remember as "normal," or you might find gently-worn contemporary jeans from the Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Talbots, etc. for half or a third of the price of new.
posted by desuetude at 9:44 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, wanted to suggest Talbots Petites. I like the fit of their Plus Sized pants.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:06 AM on February 20, 2013

Oh my gosh I also love Levis: You can really buy them to fit your body type too with their Curve ID. I am never trying to squeeze into a low waisted skinny jean again (hello booty) but also I don't want to look frumpy, either. I think you can choose the length you want, as well. I can usually find them at TJ Maxx for like $20-$30.
posted by Rocket26 at 7:28 PM on February 20, 2013

Sofia straight-leg jeans from Lucky fit your description. I have a pair similar to these, and really love them as my weekendy, non-skinny jeans. They come in a petite length, are neither low-rise nor mom-rise, and have a truly straight leg.
posted by celilo at 11:17 AM on February 22, 2013

Response by poster: I braved the mall today and found 2 pairs of Style & Co. jeans (black and regular denim) at Macy's, and they were on sale for $15 each! I am a very happy camper. Thanks so much!
posted by wisekaren at 1:41 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

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