Women with short legs have a lot to be happy about with their body shape, but picking clothes isn’t always easy. It can be heartbreaking to see that perfect pair of pants at the store or online, only to discover that they’re too long or don’t quite look right on shorter legs.
This simply means that if you’ve got short legs, you’ll need to take a more strategic approach to selecting pants, whether it’s slacks for work, jeans for a night out, or yoga pants for your next session at the gym.
Today, we’re going through the three main sections of your wardrobe and dishing out some tips on the best pants for short-legged women everywhere. You can finally be confident in your picks and know that you won’t have to deal with bunching material, dragging bell-bottoms, or off-balance outfits.
Let’s dive in.
Formal and Business Casual
The pants you wear to the office or the workplace are more important than you know. They are a part of your daily routine, whether you commute by car, public transportation, or just walking a few city blocks to your office.
However, dress pants and business casual pants are also some of the most difficult to find for shorter women, and you know how annoying it can be to endure a 40+ hour workweek in pants that just don’t fit right.
Here are a few tips for shorter women to follow as they search for dress pants that finally get the job done.
Focus on Fit First
Before you start categorizing dress pants and making a list of dos and don’ts, it’s key to recognize that everyone has a unique body type and dimensions that affect their experience with different styles.
Women with short legs might have an hourglass figure, a pear-shaped body, or more of a straight body shape without many curves and just a smaller overall stature.
That’s why you should always aim to dress for your body type before going for particular pants simply because they’re shorter in the leg.
Dress pants that might work for your other short friends may not be the best pick for you since you’ve got unique proportions and other factors that come into play.
With that said, comfort is so crucial when picking dress pants, so make that a top priority! You’ll be commuting, sitting, standing, and navigating your career in these clothes, and they better fit right without being agitating or annoying.
Dress Pants to Try
There is a surprising amount of variety in the women’s dress pants section, so let’s talk about a few of our favorites for women on the shorter side.
Topping our list is an old-school favorite, slim cigarette pants. Don’t let the outdated name hold you back from enjoying these straight-cut pants that fall at the ankle.
Find fabrics that stretch and fit snugly so that you can stay cool and comfy throughout the workday, no matter what’s on the agenda.
For an extra dash of style, try on a pair of flare pants that include some extra material around the bottom of the pants. As long as the flare isn’t too extreme or exaggerated, you can enjoy this funky style and still look professional.
Another favorite of ours is the nautical-inspired sailor pants which tend to have a higher waistband and a lengthening effect for the lower body. If you prefer to steer clear of high-waisted looks, stick with mid-rise dress pants with full-length legs.
Avoid These Mistakes
When it comes to dress pants, it’s all about finding the Goldilocks zone where your pants aren’t too long or too short. You’re probably familiar with the feeling of pants that bunch around the ankle or fold on top of your shoes – not a good look!
Alternatively, capri-length pants might draw too much attention to your less-than-long legs and throw your outfit out of balance.
We also suggest that shorter women avoid busy patterns and prints when selecting dress pants. Stick to neutral tones, blacks, and greys to keep the attention away from the legs. If you must, opt for some subtle vertical strips for an elongating look.
Jeans and Casual Pants
When Friday rolls around and you’re in dire need of a break, there’s nothing better than slipping into your favorite pair of jeans or casual slacks to chill out and enjoy some time to yourself.
Short ladies sometimes have trouble tracking down well-fitting and flattering jeans, but we’ve got some tips that will steer you in the right direction if you can relate.
Comfort is Everything
Once again, you’ve got to prioritize comfort and shop for your body shape when buying jeans or casual pants of any kind. Jeans that look great on the shelf or on social media might not be right for you, and the only way to confirm is to try them on for yourself.
With that in mind, let’s run down some dos and don’ts for petite-friendly jeans and pants that you can dress down and enjoy on your next day off.
There are a few pants commandments that we’ve already covered, and they apply to jeans as well. For starters, skinny and straight-leg jeans are your best friend if you’ve got short legs, no matter what your overall body type may be.
Straight cuts do an excellent job of creating that lengthened look, so wear your jeans snug and enjoy more form-fitting styles. Looser fits might be more in vogue right now, but we suggest sticking to the classics if your goal is to extend the silhouette.
Dark wash jeans are also an ally in your efforts to obtain a balanced look since these colors keep too much attention away from the legs in general.
You can still enjoy an old-school blue jean look, as long as you don’t go too blue or light. Jet-black jeans never go out of style, so why not stock up on a few pairs and keep them in your weekly rotation?
Finally, proceed with caution when rocking boot-cut jeans and other styles that flare around the ankle. Shorter-legged ladies can pull off these looks, but there should never be an inch of extra fabric that gets in your way or gives the impression of “swimming around” in your jeans!
Athleisure and Activewear
Maybe you’ve got your dress pants and casual jeans down to a science, with perfect hems, cuffs, and just the right amount of flare.
But when it comes to comfy athleisure clothing and performance wear for the gym, you’re entering a new dimension with its own challenges and frustrations.
What are shorter ladies supposed to do when shopping for yoga pants, sweats, joggers, and other bottoms meant for the gym and the studio? Check out the following tips to get on track.
Performance, Fabric, and Fit
Every piece of clothing in your wardrobe should be worn with a purpose, especially in the athletic wear department. It’s not just a matter of looking good, but the fits and fabrics you select will have a noticeable impact on your performance and the progress you make.
Keep in mind that there is a huge amount of variation between brands of yoga pants, and the differences go much further than just aesthetics.
Certain garments will have key features like moisture-wicking technology, 4-way stretch, and even compression technology that applies coordinated pressure on your legs to boost performance. Know your fabrics and accept nothing but the best for your gym wear rotation.
Flattering Sizes and Shapes
For women with shorter legs, we suggest you stick with full-length yoga pants, sweats, and joggers. Tighter fits, darker colors, and fewer busy patterns – these are the principles to follow if you want to elongate your look.
We know that biker shorts and capris are tempting, but these styles aren’t always flattering for women of short stature. If you do wear shorts, keep them high and tight to lengthen the leg.
Get Professional Input
Still puzzled about how to get quality performance pants that flatter your short physique while keeping you ahead of trends? A yoga subscription box service is by far the best way to stock up on clothes that truly match your body type and give you the edge in the gym.
No more guesswork, no more hours wasted in fitting rooms – just perfect, hand-picked outfits designed to make you look and feel great for every yoga class, spin bike session, or low-key jog in the park.
With a simple 5-minute quiz, you tell us everything we need to know about your style and body shape, and we send you a fabulous new outfit once a month. It’s that easy!
There are so many ways to dress well as a shorter woman, and pants are a major component. These tips and suggestions should help you make the best picks and enjoy your look from head to toe.