For those of us under 5′4″, finding clothing that properly fits our proportions can be a headache, to say the least. At 5′1″, it ruffles my feathers that nothing ever seems to fit quite right and that petite options are so limited, even though many brands purport to have extended sizing options. Finding everything from blouses to dresses (and don’t get me started on jumpsuits) can be a trial when you’re short-statured, but few clothing items are as vexing, and necessary, as a good pair of pants.
I don’t know what I’d do without my trusty tailor, but I have to admit that I resent the fact that I am forced to spend extra money to make my clothes flattering. As a result, I tend to opt for cropped-style pants, since they generally end up looking full-length on my frame.
Spring is here and there’s no better time for a wardrobe refresh. So I checked in with two devastatingly chic petite women who gave me the scoop not only on what they consider to be their favorite spring pants but also their favorite petite styling tricks and tips.
Petite style influencer Alisha Donnell emphasized the importance of knowing your measurements since it allows you to figure out if pants will fit — crucial when online shopping. She also recommends taking the time to read any available reviews before making purchases. Some of her favorite brands to shop for petite pants include Madewell, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Athleta and Aritzia.
Donnell also noted that high-waisted pants can create the illusion of a longer leg, regardless of whether you go with cropped or full-length pants.
Actor Kate Easton is all about leaning into a raw hem. “If I order jeans and am either too lazy to return them or desperate to wear a new jean immediately, I’ll just cut the hem where it suits me (usually just above the ankle). I then rough up the hem a little by hitting the pant leg on a hard floor to loosen up the threads. It sounds aggressive, but it works!”
She’s particularly fond of the petite lines at Club Monaco, Madewell and Reformation, and agrees with Donnell that you can’t go wrong with a high-waisted silhouette. For this spring, she recommends a wide leg pant that hits at the ankle.
Keep reading to take a peek at Easton’s, Donnell’s and my favorite picks for spring pants for petite women. There’s something for every style and each pair is as cute and flattering as the one before.
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A pair of relaxed wide leg pants
These Stradivarius pants from ASOS boast all the necessary details for a drop-dead gorgeous look. They have a high rise and pleat details that are juxtaposed nicely with the relaxed fit, so you look cool and put together all at once. They’re selling out fast, so get over there and pick up a pair while you can!
A pair of classic chinos
I have a pair of these chinos and plan on living in them all spring and summer. They are full-length on me, and I usually roll them up once or twice depending on what style I want and what shoes I am wearing. They’re comfy, look cool and always garner compliments. I’d recommend sizing down for a higher waist look, and keeping your regular size if you prefer a low-slung vibe. I have them in navy, but they come in three other colors as well.
A pair of lightweight wide-leg pants
For soft pants that look and feel like work pants, try Athleta’s beautiful Nolita pants. They’re available in three colors, petite sizing and made of silky sleek recycled polyester with a comfy and flattering waistband. These versatile pants are just as good for a day at the office as they are for a loungey, lazy afternoon at home.
A pair of split hem pants
The split hem look remains solidly in style as we charge into spring, and these petite-sized beauties from Reformation make it possible for the petite among us to partake in this chic look. They have a slim fit, straight cut and high rise waist that looks good on every soul on Earth.