Petites come in all shapes and sizes. Tall women haven't cornered the market on fashion flaws either, especially where jeans are concerned. If you have a flat butt, saddle bags, a thick waist or a tummy bulge, you could be putting your worst features out on display when you choose the wrong pair of jeans. If you've sworn off denim until you lose 20 pounds or until knee length ponchos come back in style, we have some tips that will help you buy jeans that actually make you look good -- maybe even great:
- To elongate a short inseam (hmm, short legs), make sure the hem of your jeans break just at your instep. That means no puddled denim around your ankles -- and no waders, please.
- If you have ample hips and a tiny waist, select mid-rise jeans for a better fit that won't gap at the belt line.
- If you have ample hips, choose flared or boot cut jeans. They'll balance and elongate your shape. Sure, skinny jeans are in style right now, but if you don't look very good in them, what's the point? Wear what suits you and you'll look good no matter what's in style.
- When you're petite, an uncluttered, straight silhouette usually works best. That means you can dispense with rolled jeans, cropped legs, pleats, flowery motifs down the seams, cuffs and whatever else creative clothing designers come up with in the future. Think classic and you'll have the right idea.
- If you have to lose a few pounds, be suspicious of spandex. Stretchy denim hugs your curves but doesn't do much to hold then in check. If you're a little overweight or out of shape, stick with cotton twill denim for structure and stability.
- Avoid mommy jeans. It's easy for petite women to look short in the waist when wearing pants with thick waistbands or lots of frou-frou embellishments at the waistline. For a clean, streamlined look, keep the waist area plain and simple with mid-rise jeans. Keeping the waistline simple can also help control problems with the dreaded muffin top (that slight bulge where your skin and the tops of your jeans meet).
- If you have a flat backside, looking great in jeans can be a challenge. You can always cover up the problem with a shirt or tee, but where's the fun in that? Instead, choose jeans with large back pockets. They'll create the illusion of a rounded bottom without all the exercise.
- Go for a tailored, form-fitting look. You may love comfy jeans that are a size too large, but the extra bulk won't do you any favors. On a taller woman, extra fabric can be risky, but on a petite woman, it looks sloppy.
- Find a brand and stick with it. Some fashion brands cater specifically to petite women and really know their business. When you find a pair of jeans you love, make a note of the manufacturer for next time. You may not be able to find the exact jeans, but those relative proportions will still work in a slightly different and often updated style.