Reader Advice Wanted: Great Jeans

A request from my friend Karin, who is petite, slim but with some lovely feminine curves. I haven't had any luck with jeans lately, and was wondering if you fabulous women may have some suggestions:
If anyone has recommendations for (not skinny!) jeans that aren't reminiscent of a plumber but at the same time are not mom jeans, let me know. Bonus points if such jeans (i) come in short or petite, and (ii) are less than $75.

I figured answers would be useful to other readers too, so why not post it on here? I thank you all in advance. 🙂

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34 Comments

  1. Claire
    June 11, 2009 / 3:00 pm

    Oh, I love all the suggestions here! Let me contribute too!
    I’m 5’2 and have large thighs (I like to think that it’s because I’m a runner..:)).
    I’m another Gap Long and Lean fan, and the most recent pair I bought was GAP Essential.

  2. Anonymous
    May 21, 2009 / 9:06 pm

    I have just discovered French Dressing jeans. I am 5’10 – and I have a smaller waist and heavy legs. They are amazing and run around $70.

  3. May 19, 2009 / 8:59 pm

    I am loving my Levi 515 I am a little on the thick side and 5’3 so I fit into both regular and petite.

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  5. May 13, 2009 / 5:14 am

    I’m 5’0 with a very short rise and short inseam (28″) and I swear by DKNY Petites which can be found at most Macy’s for around $50 if you don’t encounter a sale. I prefer the Ludlow fit, which comes just under my belly button though it is advertised as low rise. It is slim in the leg and has a very slight boot cut. The Soho fit is mid-rise, natural fit bootcut. (There are some other fits as well, but those two are my favorite.) They also come in two petite lengths — petite regular (which is about 28″) and petite long, which I think is around 29.5″ and perfect for me if I wear heels. All of the jeans also come in a variety of finishes, including a dark wash that is free of any unflattering whiskering, etc.

    I have tried premium denim, including the Joe Jeans Provocateur, and nothing fits my body as well as the DKNY petites AND I don’t need to hem them.

  6. May 13, 2009 / 2:32 am

    Love all the Gap and Old Navy recommendations….I work for them so I thought I’d mention that we are launching our denim around July or August so you’ll see some new fits, and some old ones. Low rise and mid rise boot cut are super popular right now, in stores they do not come in lengths but you can order them in longer or shorter lengths. Just keep in mind that if you order a petite it is cut petite all around, ie., the rise.

    Hope this doesn’t sound like a commercial, I am pretty passionate around woman finding denim that they love and make us feel amazing.

    P.S, Also Vogue was invited to preview our new denim and they loved it!

  7. Anonymous
    May 12, 2009 / 9:05 pm

    I agree with the LONG and LEAN contingent. Perfect rise, great length and flattering colours. I go through at least 1 pair a year.

  8. May 11, 2009 / 1:44 am

    I LOVE Aeropostale’s Hailey jeans! I am size 16 and 5’3″ and the petite ones fit me awesome. And they are only like $15 a pair!! Trust me, these are well worth more!

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  10. May 9, 2009 / 1:47 pm

    I am 5’2 and I love my 7’s, Joes honey boot cut, rock n republic (my favs) and hudsons too
    I am a size 2

  11. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 / 4:51 pm

    I’m a 5 foot 2er and like Victoria’s Secret online Hipster Bootcut Jeans that come in short. Also Kohl’s online has Levi’s 515 in Petite. I buy Petite Medium length because the regular petite length is pretty short. Good luck!

  12. Ashlee
    May 8, 2009 / 2:22 pm

    My favorite jeans are Eddie Bauer Curvy Fit Boot Cut Stretch. They are $60 and absolutely the best jeans I’ve ever owned.

  13. a brown-eyed grrl
    May 8, 2009 / 1:33 pm

    Old Navy and Gap are okay, but I find that Old Navy jeans are stiff and I don’t care for the fabric. But I have owned them and worn them and was fairly happy with them, until I discovered David Kahn jeans (you can get them at Nordstrom). They are one of my favorite brands, but over your price point, unless you can find them at a resale shop (I have, but they weren’t my size–boo). Sometimes they go on sale for $90-$100, though.

    They do come in petite, and I particularly like the bootcut stretch. I’m eternally grateful to the Nordstrom sales lady for throwing a pair in my dressing room for me. Like you, I am petite and slim (size 4), but by no means skinny. I have a round butt, and I can’t wear jeans that are too low rise because they don’t flatter my curves and they show crack when I bend over, and forget about skinny jeans.

    I really recommend at least trying on a pair to see if they are your holy grail, too.

    I only own four pairs of jeans, and only wear a two pairs often, so I’m cool with paying extra for the perfect fit. I used to have 15 pairs of jeans that I only sort of liked, and I find the way I go about it now to be much better.

  14. Madeleine
    May 8, 2009 / 12:23 pm

    OOh, I like the suggestion about Lee jeans- I haven’t tried them since I was about 12… Personally I like Gap bootcuts and also rate long and lean. However, my absolute favourites are citizens of humanity- the style that has a slightly washed finish with a flare, when worn with a heel, makes my arse look amazing and my legs look long. They are expensive, but they are also awesome, and if you spend much of your time in them, I would recommend buying the best you can(n’t?) afford.

  15. Anonymous
    May 8, 2009 / 11:43 am

    I’m 5’4″ and a curvy size 8. I have a pair of Lee Riders bootcut jeans with some lycra in them. I saw them on TV a while back – Their add campaign “Lee, the brand that fits” and just had to try them. I nearly keeled over in the dressing room they fit so well! I wear them to work in a flower shop nearly every day, wash them over and over (air dry)and they still have their give and their uniform dark wash. I got them at Wallmart for $12 (maybe$16) but deffinitely less than $20! My next favorite off the rack fit are Lucky brand Lil’ Maggie,and J.Crew Favorite fit, but they both cost more than $75. Everything else (including my Joe’s) I take to my tailor to have taken in at the waist.

  16. M.P.
    May 8, 2009 / 2:34 am

    I am not at all petite, but I am slim-and-curvy and I love Gap’s new low rise boot cut, and I like their mid-rise boot cut. These jeans fit me better than many designer jeans. The former has a bit of a plumber danger if I’m moving around a lot, but fits me very well. While the latter isn’t quite as wonderful a fit, it’s still pretty good, and it runs absolutely no risk of anything unexpected peeking out. They run about $60 when not on sale.

  17. May 8, 2009 / 1:47 am

    GAP CURVY!!! LOOOOVE THEM! sorry, my love the Gap Curvy style warrants capital letters.

  18. Trupti
    May 8, 2009 / 1:26 am

    I am 5’2″ and I love Levis 512 Perfectly slimming bootcut jeans. 🙂 they come with a tummy control panel and are really ‘ perfectly slimming’ !

  19. May 8, 2009 / 12:47 am

    Banana Republic has both petite and pretty good prices if you go to an outlet [but make sure they carry petites first before heading over there.] Used to work there and their styles don’t look like the dreaded “mom” jeans.

    Good luck!

  20. May 8, 2009 / 12:24 am

    My favorite are the Hudson Jeans – I get them at Nordstrom (which is having it’s half yearly sale on May 20th) – they will be long, but have Nordies tailor them for you. On sale you might be able to find them at $75 – for some reason, the pocket flaps on the back make your tush look FAB!

  21. May 8, 2009 / 12:21 am

    Another fan of the Gap Long and Lean here. The rise is perfect and the rinses are fab. I think the last pair I bought were $60.

  22. May 7, 2009 / 10:51 pm

    Many of my friends who are smaller in the waist, yet have hips and butts have had great success with House of Dereon jeans. Cost wise, I don’t know what they run…

  23. Southern jezeBelle
    May 7, 2009 / 8:32 pm

    I like gap long and lean in petite. i also LOVE lucky brand denim but they are pricy. i find mine at consignment sales for a good deal but you could try ebay too.

  24. May 7, 2009 / 8:18 pm

    Sheryl Crow’s Bootheel line – not mom jeans, no plumber’s butt. Frequently on sale at dillards.com and under $75 regularly. And once you know your size/style, look on ebay.

  25. Anonymous
    May 7, 2009 / 6:56 pm

    I’m 5’2″, and curvy and LOVE Big Star jeans. They are usually boot cut, available in a short inseam, and great for curvy hips. Try the Maddie style for a little more stretch and a mid-rise. Buckle.com (or the Buckle store) carries them and you can get online sales once in a while – they are a bit pricey though(~$75 on sale to $109 off sale).

  26. Anonymous
    May 7, 2009 / 5:42 pm

    Ann taylor loft makes “Curvy” jeans in petite- that are cut smaller in the waist to accomodate a “woman’s” shape. Generally they run around $54. Not super low rise, not mom jeans.

  27. May 7, 2009 / 4:55 pm

    I’m a fan of Gap’s Long and Lean. You don’t have to BE long and lean to wear them, that’s how they make you appear!

  28. May 7, 2009 / 4:42 pm

    You could try Gap’s new Mid-Rise Bootcut. I’ve had good luck with their original bootcut, but can’t find it on the website anymore. I’m 5’4″ and a size 6 with curves and the regular 6 fits great, if a little long with flats (but they will shrink eventually). So perhaps a short would work for someone less than my height. And they’re under $70.

  29. May 7, 2009 / 4:40 pm

    Banana Republic Petite jeans fit very well.

  30. May 7, 2009 / 4:38 pm

    My favorite jeans are from Lerner -I can’t remember their new name right now.

    They come in different lengths (I require tall), fit well, and are cheap – I think I paid 19 or 20 dollars for mine. I have two pairs of the Westside Flare style (I think that’s the name…)

  31. Anonymous
    May 7, 2009 / 4:37 pm

    I adore Joe’s Jeans, but even on sale they are usually over $75.

  32. May 7, 2009 / 4:27 pm

    I have had good luck with Chico’s Platinum Denim jeans. The Modern Fit is the lowest rise (1 or 2 finger widths below belly button). Original Fit hits at the waist. Try on your usual size and a size smaller, as they do stretch (but not so much that they hang off the rear end). They come in Short, Regular, and Tall They regular price is right around $70, but they have frequent sales.

    http://www.chicos.com

  33. May 7, 2009 / 3:18 pm

    Well I love the jeans from Old Navy that are the lowest rise, but I have found that they aren’t as low as they used to be. My size 14 regulars hit me at the bottom of my belly button, and the talls seem to hit me there even when they are not pulled up as high as they go. Oh, and the dark wash seems to be a thicker more structured jean material. So far, so good. Even with the stretch they don’t get too big.

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