Not Martha

thing I like: the jeans edition

two pairs of dark wash jeans

I’m petite and struggle to find jeans I like. It seemed like I had a stretch of (long) years there where I just couldn’t find any that fit correctly. (Does everybody in the world have skinny thighs except for me?) But! I’ve recently found two kinds that make me very happy, it’s a high/low situation here:

The first are Joe’s Provocateur in a bootcut fit, I believe the pair I bought were petite. (Updated to add: I’ve just learned Provocateur are always petite. Thanks SR!) I found them at Nordstrom, $172. Now, I don’t normally spend that much on a single piece of clothing but these have been so very perfect to dress up or down that I find it was very worth it. These are bootcut with a high enough rise to eliminate the worst of the muffin top effect without making them feel like Mom Jeans. They are a nice dark blue without any fading or whiskering and a tidy fold ironed into the center front and back of the leg (which will fall out after a few washes if you’d rather not have it).

The second are Old Navy jeans in Sweetheart petite fit, again bootleg. I bought these on sale ($17.50!) but it looks like they are regularly closer to $30. The rise is similarly high but-not-too-high and the darkest wash isn’t too faded or treated looking. I think I might need backup pairs of both styles.

· comments [35] · 10-21-2011 · categories:shopping ·

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lara // Oct 21, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Ah! I have athletic thighs, too and recently found Levi’s demi curve in slim for a slim, but not skinny (aka thigh hugging) fit. I got mine at an outlet for $30 or so. I have an older pair of the Joe’s petite provacateur that are good. Although I’m not into the bootcut these days, they are my camping jeans, since the bootcut looks good with and accommodates hiking boots or trainers.

  • 2 s.r. // Oct 21, 2011 at 2:55 am

    I’ve been wearing Provocateur for years. They’re amazing for my short legs, lean body, yet curvy ass. It took me a few years to understand just how the style works though. Provocateur is the fit, but they make tons of styles to go with this fit (I have skinny, flare, and boot in dark, light, etc).

    I have a tip for you: ebay. Find the size you want then set up an email alert. I regularly find what I like for around $40 to $60.

  • 3 s.r. // Oct 21, 2011 at 4:47 am

    p.s. Provocateur is only a petite fit.

  • 4 julie.k. // Oct 21, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Oh boy a jeans post! I can’t wait to read all the comments, there are sure to be good tips! One of my biggest problem with jeans is how hard it is to find 100% COTTON jeans these days. Not 99%! I love how cotton jeans wear over time. Also I used to love J Crew jeans until a couple years ago they stopped selling their (100% cotton) boy cut jean and they also changed their inseam lengths, etc. Jeans are hard!

  • 5 Ms. Amy // Oct 21, 2011 at 5:07 am

    When I am in the mood for skinny jeans, I wear The Diva Skinny by Old Navy. They are skinny without being skin-tight, and have a low rise that actually sits perfectly on my short waist. Highly recommend.

  • 6 Melissa // Oct 21, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Jean shopping is one of my least favorite activities since I have large thighs and a small waist (yay apple shapped!). I love Express’s “Eva” jeans, they are roomy enough in the thighs but don’t gap in the back. I have had hit and miss luck with Old Navy and their jeans tend to wear out much faster than Express’s

  • 7 Laura // Oct 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

    I’m petite too. I finally splurged on a pair of Citizens at a sample sale in LA. They are the best pair of jeans I’ve ever owned. Now that they’re slowly wearing down (after 3 years!), I think I’m going to have to suck it up and go to Nordstroms for my next pair. Not looking forward to spending $150+ on jeans, but with how much wear I’ve gotten out of this pair, I know its worth the investment.

  • 8 Lauren // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Yes! Old Navy Sweetheart jeans are the love of my life. I am similarly petite, so I can’t ever find a length that fits me right off the bat, but the Sweetheart style at least has an inseam that is longer than, you know, like an inch, which is awesome, because low rise jeans muffin-top me like nobody’s business.

    And they come in skinny now too! Best jeans ever.

  • 9 tami // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:03 am

    i have the exact same problem megan. i am tiny, and not only are my thighs skinny, but i have no ass, so yeah – jeans shopping is tough. i have also found joe’s that fit, but i got them cheap at loehmanns. also, at nordstrom i found the IT! brand fits great, and is much cheaper than joes :) of course, right now im pregnant, so all i am wearing are leggings (which, normally i would never wear because im too old for that, but it just makes me look “cute” while pregnant :)

  • 10 Beth @ Remarkably Domestic // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:07 am

    I am *not* petite, as much as I’ve wished to be cute and small most of my life. I’m pretty tall, but I also have the “athletic” thighs (ooooh, I love that term!) and usually the problem I have with jeans is that they gap in the back of the waist. I’m definitely going to check out the Joe’s, because I’ve found some in that brand that have fit relatively well before. I just hope that style works in “tall” versions! Thanks for doing the heavy lifting (read: trying on a bazillion pairs!) on this one!

  • 11 kat // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I’m tall 5’9 with a super long inseam, but have very girlie curves so buying jeans has been awful. Eddie Bauers Curvy jeans are great for not getting that gap at the back of the waist. But the biggest score has been the new Denizen jeans Levi’s is doing for Target. Lots of cuts. For me the best has been the mid-rise boot cut, they have stretch and a little tummy tamer. The Straight legs fit amazingly well too. At a Target price I bought 3 pair.

  • 12 Casey // Oct 21, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I’m with you on the Old Navy Sweetheart! I found some in my size on the clearance rack the other day for $6.50, with an extra 30% off! I snatched every pair they had!

  • 13 Kourtney L. // Oct 21, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I rarely go jean shopping, nothing fits me at all. I have bigger hips and a smaller thighs and I am short and petite. The only jeans I have right now are from American Eagle in the stretch. They stretch out in the hips and fit well in the thighs, they also have short so I am not drowning in pants ( I am about 5’2).

    My mom found them for me on sale for $20 and thought I might want to try them out. Now, I have two pairs and they are my go to jeans.

  • 14 megan // Oct 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Thanks so much for all the additional jeans tip. I feel like there is hope!

  • 15 ND // Oct 21, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I love Old Navy’s Sweetheart so much that, about once a year, I ask a family member who lives in the States to mail me a pair (I live in Europe). They’re the first jeans I’ve found that don’t give me the dreaded butt-gap!

  • 16 Laura // Oct 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I love Paige Petite Laurel Canyon! Lucky Brand is another favorite (julie.k. – they have a few 100% cotton styles)

  • 17 Betsy // Oct 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Another amen to the ON Sweethearts. I’m short, and they actually carry a petite length that fits me! Since I’m not going anywhere near $150 for a pair of jeans, the $30 and often on sale for less ON jeans suit me fine.

  • 18 danielle // Oct 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    old navy jeans are great – i’m wearing a pair of their jeggings right now – but they wear out so fast, especially if you have not-skinny thighs. i’ve found that american eagle jeans are just a smidge more expensive but tend to last longer in the thigh area, and also come in shorter lengths. i’ve also had decent luck with jeans from delia*s – i know they’re really a juniors’ store but their jeans come in inseams as short as 26″ and are almost always buy one get one 50% off. their jeans also come in multiple rises, depending on personal preference.

  • 19 Jennifer O. // Oct 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I like the Old Navy sweetheart as well – I have jeans and cords in that cut. I also have a pair of the skinny cut diva, but those tend to gape more at the back waist. I really like Ann Taylor Loft’s curvy fit petites – those fit me really well.

  • 20 syd // Oct 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I had good luck recently with petite “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans.” I found them at Macy’s. My thighs aren’t athletic, they’re just proportionally large for my size. These jeans have a good slimming effect, good stretch, and look like grownup clothes.

    Can’t wait to try the Provocateurs!

  • 21 Jen // Oct 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I also had some wilderness years where I just didn’t wear jeans because they were all too skinny on my athletic thighs (bicycling!) and then suddenly this year I bought two pairs, both from Esprit, around $100 regular price, but on sale, both times. I don’t know that they necessarily keep the same cuts season in, season out, but they always have a few basic cuts that are available in multiple washes and lengths. I am so over buying pants to that aren’t the right length off the rack (I’m about your height, I think.)

    Anyway, I got one skinnyish (I think it was called “Tube Slim,”) and one straightish (“Smart Straight,” I think.) The skinny ones, despite being a size smaller than the straights, have relaxed just a little too big with wearing, which is a kind of annoying, but the straight ones fit very nicely.

  • 22 Anotheryarn // Oct 21, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I’m short short (I either need to wear a shoe that raises my heel at least 1″ off the ground or hem petite/short pants) with formerly athletic thighs, hips, a bit of a booty and smallish waist, because apparently 10″ smaller is now a big deal, when I thought it was standard woman shape. My most recent good luck was with Levi’s 512 in the short length. Boring but acceptable and affordable. Now to find a straight or skinny pair that does not give me sausage thighs and gap at the back…

    My former staple was the Loft curvy line, but I wasn’t happy with how the denim felt the last time I was in the store (August).

    I literally grabbed one of every single style at ON and none of them fit decently enough (all gapped to some degree) and while the new Levi’s bold curve had promise I have to hunt down the short version. Another Levi jean labeled as “curvy boot” (or something similar) had a belly button high waistline so that was a no-go.

  • 23 Rebekah Wolf // Oct 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Bah! Good jeans are hard to find. But I too have healthy thighs and recently discovered Gap 1969 Curvy Jeans are perfect for petite people:
    Side note: The skinny model doesn’t do these jeans justice.

  • 24 Maria // Oct 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I’m short (5’2″) and have pretty hefty thighs myself, and I recently discovered the Gap’s Always Skinny jeans. Their ankle length fit me perfectly, and they aren’t too snug around my legs. I do have a pretty small waist compared to my hips, so I have to wear a belt to snug them up a tiny bit, but it’s pretty minor.

  • 25 Beth // Oct 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Don’t jeans always bring out the comments?? I am short but have long legs ( my saving grace). But I have skinny thighs, too! Glad to hear about these. I don’t have a skinny middle so jean shopping has always been a challenge and I don’t like pant that look like there should be a rounded thigh that I don’t have :) Ive never looked at Old Navy, but I will now!

  • 26 Vicki // Oct 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    In high school I didn’t wear jeans at all – my generous thighs (as my yoga teacher says…love it) and narrow waist made it too difficult, so I just wore my mom’s old slacks and called it “vintage.”

    I pretty much live in jeans as mom to a wee babe, but I also exclusively shop at thrift stores…it is an exciting challenge to find something that fits – Loft Petites usually work and are a little classier than the ripped up Lee jeans that are also in my drawer.

    After this post, I may have to sneak into Old Navy…

  • 27 Amanda // Oct 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    So funny, I’m short and “athletic” and have one pair of joes provocateur and 3 pairs of old navy sweetheart jeans. Sometimes you can find Joes at the outlet stores too.

  • 28 Christina Marie // Oct 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    The TJ Maxx by me always has the Joes Provocateur jeans for around $80 – fyi.

  • 29 Jessica // Oct 24, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I really like Ann Taylor Loft Curvy Bootcut. They are the only jeans I’ve found that fit in the thigh and butt and don’t gape at the waist. And they’re really inexpensive.

  • 30 Jessica // Oct 24, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I meant to add they come in Petite sizing too.

  • 31 sarah lynne // Oct 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    i just discovered the old navy sweetheart jeans too! i also love eddie bauer’s classic fit bootcut. I need to move around for work, so i need jeans that aren’t low rise, and fit my pear shape. i’ve also been in a drought for jeans for a couple of years.

  • 32 KK // Oct 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I also suffer from this affliction. I highly, highly recommend Lucky’s Easy Rider, size short. Perfect for 5’5 or less ladies with thighs – and they are waaay less tight on me in the thigh area vs. Old Navy Sweethearts.

  • 33 AM // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t bring myself to buy $100+ jeans, but I found that the Sweetheart (one size smaller than usual size) and Dreamer (true to size) from Old Navy are the best low-end jeans for my thick thighs and short inseam. The other jeans that work well for me are Lucky Easy Riders, Gap Long and Lean (in Ankle length, ironic) and Levi’s Bold Curve. I tried Ann Taylor Loft’s Julie jeans recently and found that the fabric was too thin and weirdly stretchy.

  • 34 Lisa // Oct 28, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Thanks for your post – I went to Old Navy and ended up loving the fit of the Sweetheart jeans. Thanks for the tip!!

  • 35 julia @ Simpletruths // Oct 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Old Navy sweetheart jeans are great (assuming I can find them in ‘short’). But when I’m feeling fancy I get the Banana Republic Petite Jeans. LOVE. no alterations of any kind, are needed. *sigh*

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