Lovelyish reader KNEESOXROX writes:
The other day, I was horrified to discover a hole forming in the knee of my favorite pair of jeans. Within hours, the fabric had ripped in three different, uncomfortable places and I was in desperate need for a replacement pair. I was lucky enough to find these at an outlet mall a year ago in the perfect size for petite 4’11” me: short.
Today, I set off on a similar quest to find a replacement for my favorite pair of jeans at my local mall.
I started my journey at the store I bought the original jeans, thinking they would have an updated pair with the same fit. After a glance through the selection, I asked the cashier where all the short sizes were. He informed me that they had discontinued their special sizing, both short and long!
He went on to say that they’ve lost a lot of business because “girls come in all shapes and sizes.” He said I could always try the regular size and cuff them, but I’m not a fan of the “my pants don’t fit right but I bought them anyway” look.
I moved on to the other popular mall stores famous for selling preppy clothes covered in their names and logos. The first carried short sizes, which was very exciting. However, when I tried them on, they were still too long for my short legs! When I told the guy working in the store, he was surprised and suggested a smaller size. I told him I was lucky that pair closed on me and moved on to the next shop.
Whoever thought of “vanity sizing” clearly forgot to inform this store. I took a pair of my regular size to try (in “short”) but couldn’t even pull them up my legs. A size up was the same deal, nevermind attempting to close the jeans. I put the pairs back and moved on to the trendy juniors stores.
Within each store jeans come in different “fits” as well as styles. Depending on your body type, you might want to try a slim fit or curvy style jean. I opted to try both a boot cut and curvy pair to try. The curvy ones fit my waist and weren’t too bad on length, but the legs were far too baggy on me to ever be considered “skinny” jeans. The slim fit was a little too true to its name, as I was unable to pull the jeans up over my modest thighs. Who could possibly fit into those?!
For my last stop on the jeans shopping list, I looked into Target. With their promising six different types of fit and some length specific sizing, I thought I might get lucky. If one thing wasn’t right with the pants, it was something else. Finding the right size, length, fit, style and color was too demanding for Target’s stock, and I quickly exhausted all of my options yet again. Though they had some cute, different styles, even how jeans of the same “fit” fit didn’t stay consistent throughout. Once again I left empty handed.
Where can I go to find jeans short enough for my frame without breaking the bank?
Jeans for girls on the shorter side do exist. But you might want to consider shopping in the women’s department, rather than juniors. Here’s why: juniors clothes are designed with the idea that teenagers are still growing and therefore, the jeans are rarely fitted or measured properly (this leads to differences in sizes, which is aggravating). As well, the fabric is low quality and won’t last. This is why junior’s jeans often seem to be too small, too stretchy, or too thin.
Jeans from the women’s department will be a sturdier material and the sizing will be correct. Plus, they’ll be more likely to have a variety of inseams. When it comes to short length pants, the inseam is what matters and knowing yours is important.
First, take a part of jeans that fit (even the ones that have holes in them) and lay them flat on the floor. Use a tape measure to measure from the crotch of the jeans to the hem. This is your inseam. Standard short inseams are usually around 30 inches – which is still long for a lot of shorter ladies! The sad truth is manufacturers would go broke trying to make pants for every single possible inseam out there. However, once you know your specific inseam, you can easily order jeans online. All stores list the inseams of their pants lengths online, so you should be able to get a pretty good fit. With this newfound knowledge, you can shop sales in women’s departments.
The secret for being petite and having pants that fit is to have quick fixes. For most of my jeans, I roll them up to cigarette pants length. Sound crazy? It’s not! I primarily wear skinny jeans and even if I buy short, they are usually still a few inches long. Great for tucking into boots, not so great for any other type of shoe. I roll them with a one-inch cuff and no bigger — the larger the cuff, the less intentional it looks! I usually do three to four rolls, until my ankle shows. I also usually iron the cuff so it’s very straight and crisp looking — again, this is just so it looks intentional!
If you don’t wear skinny jeans, another classic fix is to fold the hem under the pants and duct tape. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous. Then just iron flat and, voila, quick-and-easy hemming. Then I usually beg my mom to hem them for me for real.
Lovelies, do you have any solutions for finding good jeans with short inseams?
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