How To Choose Well-Fitting Jeans For Petite Women

The most difficult wardrobe selection is a pair of jeans. This article outlines the dos and don'ts to select great-fitting jeans for the petite woman.

Petite Jeans with the Perfect Fit

The most important casual wardrobe element for many women is a pair of jeans -- not just any pair, but jeans that fit well. Petite women have special considerations in selecting a well-fitting pair of jeans. Cut, fabric, sizing, and proportion are all important factors in picking out the right pair of jeans to fit the petite woman.

Cut

As with all jeans, cut is an important factor in selection of a well-fitting pair of petite jeans. Creating petite sizes is not something all manufacturers have mastered. Frequently, manufacturers who have full lines of petite dress and casual pants have a line of jeans that will also be cut to fit the body of the petite woman. Check for manufacturers who have produced petite lines for many years. If they have been in business for a number of years, they have mastered the petite cut.

The most important cuts for the petite jean design are the inseam, the length and the waist. Some companies assume that petite women must also be short. While it is always possible to shorten long petite jeans, it is impossible to lengthen jeans without enough fabric in the legs of the pants. The length should have a small hem, but not so large as to make the hem look too heavy. A bulky hem on the bottom of each leg emphasizes the contrast between the petite size of the jeans and the oversized hems.

It is critical to select petite jeans that fit well in the seat seam, rather than selecting the perfect length. The seat seam should fit with room for shrinkage. Even dry cleaning will shrink cotton fabric. Try on the petite jeans and sit down several times. All cotton jeans will stretch, but don't count on too much stretching. The seat seam should be cut shorter for the petite body. The seam size should also be narrower than regular sizes. If the fabric seam seems bulky or bunches in the seat seam, avoid this jean line.

The waist cut means the petite jean will fit perfectly or gap underneath shirts and tops. The waist should sit at the appropriate place on the hip or waist, depending on the jean design. First, position the jeans exactly where you usually wear your jeans at the waist and hips, if the seat seam fits, then these jeans will fit well. If the seat seam is in the correct position and the waist has small gaps, these can be altered by a tailor with little effort. If the jeans cannot be positioned so the seat seam and the waist and hip line up with comfort, avoid these jeans -- they are not designed for the petite woman. They are simply a petite version of the manufacturer's regular cut for this jean design.



Fabric

Depending on the nature of the jean, the fabric might be another important element in selecting the perfect fitting petite jean. If the denim has a pattern, such as a wash or distress marks, then it is also important that these are made to fit the petite jean pattern. Large washes may look great on regular-sized jeans, but petite jeans should use fabric with smaller fabric character marks. Usually companies who carry full lines of petite clothing or companies who produce only jeans, understand the importance of petite-sized fabric requirements. Companies who sell petites as an add-on will use the same fabric in all the jeans they produce -- a cost-saving device, but not one that makes their petite jeans a wise selection.

Sizing

The easiest way to find perfect fitting petite jeans is to have a selection to try on. Manufacturers who offer each petite size in various styles and lengths are the best place to find the perfect fit.

Shop petite departments in large chain stores or specialty petite stores for the widest possible selection. Larger department stores can frequently order petite sizes in additional lengths with a quick phone call to a warehouse or another store.

Proportion

Probably the most important consideration in picking petite jeans is proportion. Many manufacturers simply take the design for regular-sized jeans and cut down the basic size to fit the petite body. The size may fit, but the pockets and stitching look like Barbie doll clothes. Smaller-sized clothes with huge seams and oversized pockets are not the perfect fit for petite jeans.

Proportion makes a pair of petite jeans look like any other sized-jeans. The pockets on petite jeans should be sized to fit the rear proportions. The pockets should be spaced correctly and give the same margins between the side and center seams as regular or misses sizes.

Pay attention to the belt loops on your petite jeans. Loops should also be proportional. Rivets and buttons on petite jeans should be appropriate to the petite sizes. The smallest petite jeans should have smaller buttons and rivets.

Proportional stitching is also critical in making petite jeans look like they fit. Large stitches, especially on rear pockets, side seams and pant leg hems, can make or break jeans. Misses or regular jeans have an appropriate stitch pattern, so should petite jeans. Smaller stitches, with well-proportioned spacing between the seam and the decorative stitch, determine a quality petite design.

Time to Shop!

Fashion-sized doll clothes frequently have huge stitches that ruin the overall design of the clothing. It is important that your jeans don't look like doll clothes. Looking for appropriate proportional stitching, sizing, fabric and cut will make your petite-sized jeans look sensational!

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