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, but they're not the same thing and it's important to understand the differences. Either may work for you, depending on your shape, but you should consider the style of jeans and other factors. The best rule is to always try on 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.
Bonny Brown Jones has been a writer, columnist, copy editor and senior copy editor for newspapers that have included the "Orlando Sentinel," "Miami Herald" and "Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch." Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State University.