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Petite Fashion: Short Jeans on a Budget by Angela

As a petite woman attempting to be fabulous while watching the bottom line, I have a complaint, which, for the moment, I will direct at Target.
Target, I am a loyal customer. I purchase skirts, tops, sweaters, jackets, shoes, year in and year out. But where, oh where, are my jeans? Yes, I know you carry short sizes, at least online – but in stores (and I’ve been to lots of stores) I usually find denim cut with an Amazon in mind (like The Budget Fashionista herself, who is 5 ft 10 inches)- or, at least, a woman over 5’5”.
But Target’s not the only one – a good short jean (without a budget-breaking price tag) is hard to find. Petite departments are great for many things, but denim? Not so much. And some stores, like JC Penney, that do offer short sizes give us only three or four styles to choose from, while “average” height girls get a veritable smorgasbord.
Fortunately, while we’re waiting for some major retailers to get with the program, others have already figured out that the vertically-challenged have cash to spend, too. If you’re short (or taller than average, for that matter), these stores have some cute, quality denim made with you in mind:
Old Navy. With sizes ranging from 0-20, in short, average, and long, Old Navy has the budget jean for a wide range of body types all wrapped up. Love love love the Sweetheart jean. And with a top price of about $35, you can afford more than one pair.
New York and Company. While their denim selection isn’t vast, New York and Company offers perfectly acceptable basics, and sizes include 2-18, in petite, average and tall. This is also my go-to spot for work pants that look professional and fit great.
Lane Bryant. Let’s not forget that being short doesn’t necessarily mean being a size 2. Lot’s of curvier girls need shorter length, too, and Lane Bryant offers great looking denim in petite cuts, sizes 14-32.
Gap. I’m including the Gap because, let’s face it, they have great jeans, but the price isn’t always as budget-friendly as I’d like. However, their petite denim on a good sale day? Fantastic.
~ Angela

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Sunday 1st of August 2010

I'm 5'2" and in my 20's and it is hard to find decent inexpensive jeans that are stylish, can flatter a curvier figure, not super low rise, not dated and not tapered. Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic are owned by the same company and have petite clothing...out of the three, Banana Republic have more flattering slightly higher quality jeans for petites I think. BUT..I wouldn't call the jeans true petite since they are still too long on me. I would have to wear high heels or get them tailored. I only have one pair from there (you can get a good deal if you look at Sales rack or check out Sales on their Website. Overall, I mostly get Levi's (online) and Lee (JCPenny's)...which are alright for the time-being, but I haven't fell in love with any of their petite styles. You can check out places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross who have a surprisingly varied petite section. My twin bought jeans from Uniqlo and loves them. Uniqlo is Japanese chain retailer that so far opened only one American shop in NYC. My sis says it's much better than H&M. I'm guessing they carry jeans/pants with shorter inseams. Too bad they don't have an online shop.

susan acosta

Sunday 11th of April 2010

I'm 4'9" and weigh about 135. I wear a size 12 petite SHORT (insean is about 26-27"). About the only place I can find my size is Beall's Department Store. If I visit the store, they may not be available as they sell quickly. I order online and usually get what I need within a week of ordering. The disadvantage to the SHORT size is usually a limited variety of colors in certain items. I like that they have a nice selection to choose from.


Sunday 27th of December 2009

Check out Aeropostale. I'm 5' 1" and their short jeans are perfect on me. Price is great too, usually can find for $20 or less!


Monday 12th of November 2007

I have to disagree with Old Navy jeans. My inseam is 27” and Old Navy’s idea of petite is 30” same for Gap and Banana Republic. I usually end up buying Levi’s 29” jeans and wearing chunky heels, but I’d really love to find a jean I can wear with a ballet flat.


Sunday 21st of October 2007

I’m not sure what the price-cutoff is to be considered “budget-friendly”, but here are two more petitie jean alternatives: Banana Republic and INC (International Concepts, available at Macy’s).  I’m 5’ 3” (on a good day!) and I’ve worn both brands for years.  Banana Republic offers all their jeans in petite sizes, and if you catch them them on sale, you can get a pretty good deal.  BR’s jeans are also of better quality denim and a bit more stylish than the ones at Old Navy and Gap.  INC Petites also has great jeans, but with fewer style choices. In fact, it seems like they only have jeans in their collection certain times a year.  But again, if you time it right and get them on sale, they should only set you back about $40.

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