Jeans is a favorite wardrobe staple for many people, because it is so easy to style and they are so versatile. If you are under 5’4”, do you know the best petite jeans for your body type?
First of all, let us understand our petite body type (click on the link to take the quiz and find out your petite body type). Everyone is born with different shapes, and all sizes and shapes are beautiful in their own way. Understanding the common treats of our body type will help us know better about our assets, and how to style accordingly to create flattering outfit for our body features.
In terms of general body type theories (regardless of petite or not), you may have heard of different number of categories, and that is only because certain body shapes are lumped into one category or broken down into more categories. For instance, some body type theories use letter H to stand for all body shapes whose shoulders and hips are about the same width, which means apple, hourglass and rectangle are all categorized into H shape. On the other hand, some theories may divide each body type into 1-2 sub categories, so they may have come up with as much as 12 body types. By and large, all the body type theories are based on the contour of our torso, i.e. the shoulders, hips, waist and chest and how they are in relation to one another.
At Petite Dressing, we categorize petite women into 5 petite body types. That is petite apple, petite hourglass, petite rectangle, petite pear, petite inverted triangle. Petite women in general share some common features such as shorter torso, shorter arms and narrower shoulders. Therefore, we believe it is important for petite women to understand body types in particular for petite body frames.
Petite Apple Shape
If you are a petite apple shape, your shoulders are about as wide as your hips, and you do not have a defined waistline. You have a full bust, waist and upper back. You tend to have skinny arms and legs. Your hips are round shaped and you tend to gain weight around your waist area first. In one word, petite apple shaped women are top heavy and their assets are those arms and legs as well as curvy bust and round buttocks.
Many apple shaped petite women has their biggest concern about their midsection. If that is the case for you, the best petite jeans for your body type is high-rise, stretch denim or boot-cut style that covers and smooths at the same time. Since petite apple shaped woman has little or no waist definition, many stylists advise against tucking in as it might make it more obvious that you do not have a waist. However, every fashion rule can be broken, if you know how to work around it. If you are wearing dark wash high waisted flare jeans, which has a sliming effect around your waistline, it works just fine if you tuck your shirt in. If you happen to have muffin top, you should avoid low-rise jeans, as that will have you spilling all over the place. You may even find high-waisted jeans not able to hide the muffin top enough. In that case, the best style to hide that is mid-rise black jeans. They will suck it all in where you want it and look flattering on you.
Eva Longoria (5’2″) has apple body shape traits such as similar width of shoulders and hips, full upper body and slender legs. The mid rise black jeans and high rise strechy denim both look great on her.
Petite Pear Shape
If you are a petite pear shape, your hips are wider than your shoulders, making them the widest point of your body. You have round, sloping shoulders, and your buttocks and thighs are full and round. You gain weight on your thighs. You have a defined waistline and you may even have killer abs in some cases.
One of the best jeans for your body type is boot cut stretch jeans. If you find it challenging to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t gape in the waist, a high waist jeans can solve the problem because the fabric is designed to cover more than just your backside. Since pear shape women have prominent hips, you may want to avoid too much embellishments on the butt or pockets with flaps. Those details will only make your butt appear larger. On the other hand, smaller or angled pockets has the opposite effect of making your butt look smaller (of course only if you so prefer). Many pear shaped petite women are concerned about their full thighs. If that is your case, you should try flared and boot-cut jeans. Flared jeans creates extra volume below the knee, thus they will help balance you out.
If you want extra slimming effect, go for dark wash jegging. Kim Kardashian (5’3″, curvy pear shape with hourglass traits), Rachel Bilson (5’2″, skinny petite pear) and Megan Fox (5’3″, skinny petite pear) all set good examples of how flattering a pair of dark jegging could look, especially paired with boots of various heights.
Petite rectangle shape
If you are petite rectangle shape, you have a very athletic frame. Your hips, waistline and shoulders are pretty close in terms of width. You have little to no waist definition. You may feel like you look straight up and down. You gain weight evenly, but may gain more weight through the upper back or neck. On the other hand, you have small bust and your buttocks tend to be flat. Your athletic build allows you to wear boyish clothes as well as a wide range of feminine styles, so you have many choices when it comes to jeans. Boyfriend jeans might look good on you, given your athletic frame. However, for petite women, we generally do not recommend boyfriend jeans that is too loose or too big, as that will overwhelm your small body frame. On the other hand, if you prefer more feminine style, for instance, you want your buttocks to look less flat, then the best petite jeans for you are those with pocket details. Pockets with flaps will add extra volume and will make your butt look less flat. Slit pockets also help to give you more curves back.
Natalie Portman (5’3″) is petite rectangle body shape, and as you can see, both casual skinny and sexy high waisted jegging looks great on her.
Petite Inverted Triangle Shape
If you are a petite inverted triangle shape, you have prominent and broad straight shoulders, which are wider than your waistline or your hips. Like the rectangle shape, you are likely to have athletic build, and you tend to have rather flat buttocks. However, your chest may be larger and your back may be fuller than petite rectangles. Your back tend to gain weight first, when you gain weight. Best petite jeans for you is straight or skinny jeans in light or bright color, which will balance your broad shoulders and add some femininity to your athletic body frame. Olive color jeans has been the favorite choice of color for jeans by many Hollywood celebrities and models in recent years, because it is sexy, classic and chic. Similar to petite rectangle shape, if you want to create some curves back, then you should go for jeans with pocket details.
Victoria Beckham (5’4″) has prominent broad shoulders and muscular build, a typical petite inverted triangle body type. Sarah Jessica Parker (5’3″) has broad shoulders, slender waist and very athletic build. Because of her full chest and slender waist, Sarah Jessica Parker could be a combination of inverted triangle and petite hourglass (the skinny version). They both love olive jeans, a very flattering jeans color for petite women with inverted triangle traits.
Petite hourglass shape
If you are a petite hourglass shape, your hips and shoulders are about the same width, and you have well defined waistline that is significantly smaller. You have round and sloping shoulders. Your buttocks are rather round. You may have full thighs, but they are narrower than your high hips. You gain weight above hips and through waist. For petite hourglass women, the best petite jeans we recommend is high-waisted style with defined waistband, which will accentuate your slender waist and look ultra-feminine. Since you have rather curve back already, you may not want to go with too much pocket details or embellishments, which will buttocks look bigger. Scarlett Johansson (5’3″) is very typical petite hourglass body type, and look how flattering the high rise jeans on her is by emphasizing the slender waistline and the curve in the back.
Regardless of body type, most petite women would like their legs to appear longer. The classic style such as skinny jeans or straight leg denim creates the long and lean silhouette, and the slim fit will not overwhelm your petite figure. Ankle skimming jeans (not too short) works well to elongate your legs, especially if you pair them with stiletto or other slim heels. Meanwhile, high waisted style is petite women’s best friend in terms of creating the illusion of height, thus they are universally flattering. In contrast, we do not recommend low-rise jeans for petite girls, as they will make your natural waistline to appear longer and thus reduce the length of your legs (at least the appearance of it!).
Chi is 5’2″ founder of Petite Dressing, an online petite clothing store dedicated to women under 5’4″. Petite Dressing blog is here to help you understand yourself, such as your petite body type, and look your best ever. If you are new, start here. Comment below and share your thoughts about this post!