Where to buy jeans when you’re short and plus size?

Fashion Advice Plus Size Fashion

I hope you can take a few minutes to answer a question about jeans. I used to wear NYDJ in an 18WP (women's petite). NYDJ has stopped making WP-size denim. I've tried other brands and haven't found any that fit well. I'm 5'4 1/2″ and weigh about 200 pounds. 

I have a short rise, so plus size in a short length droop horribly in the crotch, even with a belt. I don't really have a defined waist. Petite jeans are cut too small. I work with kids all day, so I prefer a higher waistline. I never wear tucked-in shirts. For jeans that fit well, I'm not limited by a budget.

Where to buy jeans when you're short and plus size?

As someone who is 5'3″ and not that much different in weight from you, I feel you. Petite jeans aren't usually made to accommodate curves like a woman's petite will, they often are too short, and a lot of non-petite jeans are just too long in the rise. Also why do so many brands stop their petite offerings at a size 10 or 12? Why is it so hard to find well-fitting jeans when we're the average size of an American woman? Good thing there are some brands that do fit our shape, the brands I have had the most success with:

DL1961

I had no idea this brand sold anything larger than a size 12 until I received a pair in my Stitch Fix box. Come to find out DL1961 carries up to a size 34 (which is around a size 18) in regular and petite lengths. While department stores don't carry their full size range, you can order directly from their website. These are not cheap jeans, but the quality and fit are so phenomenal the pricepoint is justified.

Shop DL1961 Jeans:

Warp + Weft

This brand is pretty phenomenal. They are all about inclusivity and go up to a size 24. They make their own denim, and they don't carry a single pair that is over $100. I received a pair in one of my Dia & Co boxes and it is some of the best fitting denim I have ever worn (as an FYI I have them in a 16). They keep their shape, they've kept their color with multiple washes and tumbles in the dryer, and they're a nice high rise without hitting my ribcage. The specific style I have doesn't look to be on their website, but it's a skinny jean with a raw hem in a dark grey color (I wore them in this blog post). But I like them so much I plan to buy more in the future. Warp & Weft is also available at Bloomingdale's.

Talbots

Talbots carries women's petite and their denim is quite nice in regard to quality and fit. However, it takes some time to find the right cut and size for your frame but it's worth your while.  I have Talbots jeans that are years old and look newer than designer brands I bought just a few months ago.  If you have a Talbots near you consider visiting so you can have a try-on session with a variety of sizes, especially if you are between straight and plus sizing. From there, you can shop in-store or online (Talbots does a pretty good job of keeping consistent sizing).  Note that Talbots carries their denim straight line to 20P and their women petite to 22WP.

Shop Talbots Jeans:

NYDJ

I am not recommending this brand for you specifically since you know NYDJ so well, but for others, this denim brand does carry petites up to size 18, they just discontinued their petite plus offerings. The quality is great, the fit is great, and I have NYDJ jeans that are five years old and still look like new. NYDJ can be found at most popular department stores like Nordstrom and Dillards, plus Zappos and other online retailers and the NYDJ website. I've found some steals on NYDJ on 6pm.

Shop NYDJ Jeans:

Levi's

While Levi's doesn't carry petites in their plus size range, they do always offer inseam length and I find their rise is never too high for my short torso. You will find the best selection of Levi's on their website and Amazon; I prefer to shop the brand on Amazon because there are so many customer reviews to help decide on style.

Shop Levi's Jeans:

And now I'd love to hear from you, readers! Where do you shop for petite plus sized jeans?

Shop the Post:

18 Comments

18 Comments

  • Michelle December 12, 2018

    I carry my weight through the middle and can’t seem to find any that will stay up without a belt. They all roll up and fall down. Melissa McCarthy had some with 7 jeans but they discontinued them. Skinny jeans are always too snug on my calves. NYDJ look nice but slide right off after a couple of hours. Im not sure how much $$$ I would pay for a good fitting pair!

  • Alison March 22, 2018

    Great topic and comments! I am long-waisted despite being 5’2″ so petite pants/jeans don’t fit except one pair of NYDJ that I think were on clearance at Nordstrom Rack precisely because they were long-waisted for a 14 petite. I like JAG jeans in short length, I find their pull-on style keeps my lumps and bumps from turning into muffin top.

  • Alison March 2, 2018

    I really like Democracy jeans! THey have a stretchy waist like the Jag jeans, but fit me better, and reduce muffin top a lot). While they don’t come in petite, they do come in plus, and I find the “ankle” style is just right for me (5’1, size 16). Nordstrom Rack even carries them sometimes!

  • Kathy March 1, 2018

    The new Universal Thread line at Target has some great jeans! I noticed they carry plus sizes in store and all the styles I saw were offered in “short” length, too. The high waisted skinny jeans from this line are the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned and they were only $25!

  • Wendy K March 1, 2018

    Thank you so much for addressing this! I am similar in size (but even shorter!) and jeans have been a pain point of mine for years. I used to fit size 16P in various brands, but lately, not at all. 16 regular and 16W are too big, 16P is too tight. 14 regular is too tight and I can occasionally fit into a 14W. Sometimes they are too big and sometimes too small. Always too long. I am guessing I would be a size 14WP, although I can never seem to find that size. I am going to check out the suggestions mentioned in the post and the comments. Thanks!

    The last two pair of jeans I bought were from Stitch Fix – Liverpool and 41 Hawthorn (both 14W). I love them both, but had to hem them. I also got a pair of Kut from the Kloth (14W) from Dia & Co but I had to hem about 5 inches off. And then after wearing them for a few hours, they really stretched and were sagging in the crotch.

    Can someone explain what curvy fit is? I have seen this and tried some on, but it’s been hit or miss whether they fit or not.

    • Liz Y March 2, 2018

      Wendy, my experience with the curvy fit style is that if you try on the same pant – one regular and one curvy fit – the regular style will fit a (comparatively) flatter butt and straighter hip, and the curvy style will fit a (comparatively) rounder butt and a smaller waist. What this means for me is that I have a tad more room in the rise of the pants (to fit around my butt) and the waistband fits instead of gapping in the back. Hip hip hooray! No trip to the tailor required! Of course, your mileage may vary.

      • Wendy K March 2, 2018

        Thanks, Liz! I may have to give more curvy style jeans a try.

  • Chris March 1, 2018

    I hope you will also do a Plus/Tall review also. For some reason, many many manufacturers offer longer inseams (jeans and other pants) in smaller than plus sizes only. Don’t they realize that women can be plus and tall?

    It’s a little better than it used to be but not great. For many years I only bought men’s jeans because that’s the only way I could get the inseams I wanted.

  • Kim Phillips March 1, 2018

    I ❤ this post! Thank you, thank you! Cabi is my friend for jeans. Their curvy option and spandex material makes it easy to cuff the jeans at the appropriate length depending on my shoe choice. Thanks again!!!

  • Mary Ellen Caplan March 1, 2018

    I really like the NYDJ line, except for the fact that the jeans stretch so much in the waistline. After a couple of hours of wearing them, I can pull them off without unzipping. I have to wear a belt to keep them from slipping off!

  • Nebraskim March 1, 2018

    I am not a petite so I am only reporting what I notice in stores, but not from personal fit experience. Both JCPenney and Kohl’s carry Lee denim and Gloria Vanderbilt denim in petites. (At least the stores do in Nebraska.). They are not designer, nor upscale, but they seem to come in a range of sizes. Loft recently launched plus sizes but I am not sure whether they offer petites. My issue with denim is that I hate ankle/crops. So I haven’t bought much denim for several years as I do not like this length, which seems to be ubiquitous. I can vouch that Talbot’s denim is of good quality.

    • Mrs.M in MI March 2, 2018

      Amen, sister. I actually do not own any jeans right now and have been making do all winter with leggings because the knees wore through and I cannot find any jeans that cover my ankles!

  • Sara March 1, 2018

    I am a similar shape and size and SIlver jeans have been great for me. They don’t make all their jeans in a short length, but the ones they do are perfect. Also, their capri jeans can usually be rolled down to ankle jeans for me!

  • Julie March 1, 2018

    I have been wanting to try out Universal Standard jeans – they have 2 inseam lengths and have sizes 10-28. I have really short legs and a big booty and a tummy so low waisted don’t fit at all. I have bought a pair at Dish &Duer that I love and pretty well the only pair I wear anymore.

  • Nicole March 1, 2018

    I like Old Navy curvy jeans. They do stretch out with wear but can’t beat the price. Great finishes and hold up great.

  • Liz Y March 1, 2018

    *Some* of the styles at Talbots also come in a ‘curvy’ variation. For example, you can get a size 16, a size 16 curvy, as size 16 petite, a sized 16 petite curvy. (I don’t know if this is true of the plus sizes.) I have found that this gives me just enough room in the seat to make certain pairs of pants comfortable and make the fit so much better. You may have to order online to get these variations.

  • Krista Alexander March 1, 2018

    I’m so happy for this post. I’m in the midst of a body dilemma. I’m not a size anymore apparently. 12 are too tight, 14 are too big. I can’t fond a 12W to save my life (I think that would fix my issue). And at 5’4.5”, often a petite will fit and mean no alterations. I’m more than willing to shell out good money for amazing jeans.

  • Carrie March 1, 2018

    I have some great jeans from Torrid. I lean heavily towards their jeggings in the winter b/c they’re great with my tall boots, but I recently got their premium denim in jeggings or super skinny and LOVE them. I also do great with their distressed girlfriend capris; I wear them all spring/summer. I’m a little less than 5’5.

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