If you’re 5 feet 4 inches or shorter, you’re well aware that regular-size jeans can be too long — even if you plan to wear them with heels. Petite sizes and short lengths are two options when shopping for pants. They’re not the same and either may work for you, depending on your shape, the style of jeans and other factors. The best rule is to try before you buy.
Petite vs. Short
Petite jeans are made proportionately not just to be shorter in length, but to have a shorter rise and inseam. They also sometimes feature smaller details, such as pockets or trim, to flatter smaller frames. Petite jeans may come in sizes 0 to 16. Short sizes, on the other hand, have the same proportions as regular pants, but feature an abbreviated leg length. If you aren’t sure whether you are a petite size or if just require a shorter inseam, shop for pants in both departments to see what fit best suits your body.
References and ResourcesDiscovery News: Women's Clothing Sizes: Is a 4 Really a 4?
Search By Inseam: How to Measure Your Inseam
Apparel Insiders: If the Jeans Fit
Slate: Why Clothing Sizes Make No Sense
Sierra Trading Post: Pant Fit Guide
Refinery 29: Hey Shorty! Our Guide To Dressing For Petite Sizes