Jean shopping is never an easy experience, at least for me it has never been. First I'm short, meaning I either have to hem everything (and then the knee proportions are off) or track down jeans that have a 30" inseam. I feel like I have tried so many kinds at this point I just give up, as most of the ones I've bought over the years I ended up selling because I was never satisfied with the fit. I like the mid-rise of the Cheap Monday jeans, but the fabric isn't that great quality and rips easily. I like the fit of Madewell jeans but the fabric stretches like crazy after one wear. I had the perfect pair of Gap jeans for a few years but I wore them to shreds and I don't think they've made a similar style since then. Right now I really only have one pair of pants I wear - a pair of J Crew black matchsticks (the fabric isn't even denim so I don't know what to call it) but the fit is just right and they don't stretch after one wear. So maybe I'm all set then and don't need more pants - maybe one perfect pair is enough. (Except I should wash them, probably.) Still, I'd like to track down at least one or two more pairs of pants I can depend upon. I've never tried the Acne Hex but I was thinking about it - but then that brings in the hemming issue, which I can "solve" by tucking the extra 3" up and under - still for that much money I shouldn't have to do that. Luckily it seems that ankle length pants seem to be an in thing, so that means perfect length pants for us short people - so maybe I'll have some luck. I'm kind of thinking of these Current Elliot paprika pants - but I've heard their sizing runs large so I'd have no idea what size to order. I don't know what's up with my coral-red pants obsession right now.

In general I've tried to teach myself that pants shopping is just one of those things that must be done in person, but it's so tempting and easy to just do it all online. Have you guys found anything similar in fit to the J Crew matchstick that you like? The ideal pair, for me, would be : dark wash denim, slim but not super super skinny fit, ankle length, no distressing, sturdy fabric, not stretch after one wear, plain back pockets, and comfy. I'm kind of thinking they don't exist but I could be wrong.


Liz said...

ugh i feel your pain. im also short (5'3"-5'4"ish) and have the worst time finding pants that fit right, but i absolutely love my jbrand bardots and swear by them!

theyre skinny, but not crazy skinny - more like a straight leg or cigarette from the knee down. they have stretch, but dont stretch out like madewell jeans. the rise is perfect, just at my belly button.

the color wears really nicely too. they end up fading the way a selvedge pair of jeans would - custom to you and your body.

i got mine at beacons closet for $25 and ive seen pairs at buffalo exchange too. you could probably find a pair on ebay as well!

Hannah Elise said...

Ha, we have the same length legs (I take a 30in. inseam and I'm 5' 8")! I have a pair of j crew matchsticks, and love the denim but not the fit (love handles/muffin top = ew). I love Acne's jeans (especially the needle) and while they are pricey, the fit is killer and they come in a wide variety of inseams on their website:

They also have an outlet section:

for picking them up on the cheap but the inseam variety is usually not as good as the main site! Okay, good luck on the hunt!

Anonymous said...

have you ever tried wood wood? I have their DD33 style & really like it. Just what you described (dark wash, slim but not skinny etc) & have a high natural waist. REALLY fast international shipping, if you can take the risk- .. or they are around at some stores. Other idea: J Brand.. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

i am having the exact same crisis right now! except i'm really to tall for my size so i can't even wear the ankle length pants because they look like silly mom capris on me. i recently wore my trusty pair of jcrew toothpicks to shreds and they no longer make them in long lengths... agh!

anyway, i don't have the answer yet but i feel less crazy now. i am looking for the exact same things in a pair of jeans (except long).


Amanda said...

I know you don't want to get jeans hemmed but I think it's inevitable. My inseam is 28" and I've never found a single pair that fits well that didn't need hemming. I think J. Brand fits all your criteria well but even in petites, the length is 32".

Chelsea said...

I am so with you on this one. I'm 5'3 and it is so difficult for me to find jeans! I actually found a pair from Old Navy, called The Flirt, for 8 bucks on clearance. They are a dark wash & come in a short, which hits right at my ankles. I hate light wash anything, so I'm very picky, too. I settled for the Old Navy ones after searching forever, but then I also came across J Crew's Minnie jeans, with an ankle zipper that i got on sale for $19. I ended up buying two pairs! They hit at the ankle too, but have weird pockets that make my butt look saggy & did stretch out. Also, Forever21 had a cropped, dark wash jean (but made cheaply) that held me over, too. Lame. I feel that if I find a great pair, I'm willing to invest some $ in them, however, I've had to settle for cheaper versions that don't quite last! The search continues!!!!

julia / rennes said...

Thank you all so much for your suggestions!

It sounds like so many of us are in the same boat - I really can't think of another clothing item that is so challenging fit wise for everyone! I tried some different places today around the city but was really frustrated and didn't have any luck - and on top of that everything was so busy with the Marathon being on Monday and all - I hate crowds of people! Anyways. I tried the current elliot ones on in a different color and they were okay but the denim just felt so flimsy. I'm thinking that I must want raw or selvedge denim that's a bit sturdier. Ah well, the hunt continues, and I'm going to check out all your suggestions! Thank you thank you!

Atelier e-Couture said...

Hi, I have the exact same problem and was just thinking about tailoring my own jeans!!!

Sense & Sounds said...

I'm not sure these will be thick enough for you, but I have to second a pair of Old Navy jeans. The Rockstar Jegging holds it shape and color so well. The black is a no go (it has that smell), but the ruby color is so nice. Just a plain, dark, inexpensive, comfortable pair of jeans. The regular hits me right at the ankle and I'm 5'4 with a long torso and they offer these in petite.

Good Luck!

jennifer said...

I love the fit of Current/Elliot jeans, but you're right, they are SO flimsy (and expensive). I have a pair of CE crop skinnys that are the perfect ankle length & mid rise combo, but they totally ripped on me one day! It was really embarrassing.

My go-to jeans are J Brand 811s. They are mid-rise and ankle length (I also have a 30" inseam). Skinny, but not leggings skinny. And, they come in a dark denim wash. They're pretty incredible.

Liz said...

Hi! Love your blog.

I'm going to echo what others have said about J Brand - sturdy denim, doesn't stretch out easily, free of embellishment, many dark wash options, etc. I also notice they seem to go on sale a LOT at Anthropologie, you might be able to find something on their website or in a store.

Good luck!

simple things said...

Ok. I have to say up front that I have longer legs than you - I seek out a 34" leg.

I absolutely love my APC Petit Standard jeans (,85.html).

They are raw denim (a beautiful dark, indigo colour). No ageing at all - so no distressing/whiskering. They are between a straight ans skinny fit - they taper at the ankle (so not super skinny in the leg - maybe not skinny enough for you?). They have very plain details - no fancy business going on with the pockets. They have a mid rise (so no muffin top but no granny butt look that you can get with the super high waisted jeans!). They're a seriously classy jean. I have only had them for about 6 months but I can tell they they will last 10 years (if my butt doesn't increase too much for them!)

The sizing is pretty true as far as my experience tells me - I usually wear a 26 and I am 26 in this pair.

Downsides: very stiff when you first get them (as raw denim usually is) - like, they stand up by themselves! But if you wash them in cold water with no laundry detergent when you first get them and let them line dry out of the sun they come good. I haven't tried tumble drying them but I reckon if you do it on the cool setting it might work.

Also (a downside for you), they are REALLY long when you first get them. Much longer than you are looking for. I am not sure what this would mean when you take them up because I have just left them.

Final downside, they are not super cheap. I ended up paying around $200 including postage. But they are such great quality that it doesn't worry me at all. I definitely recommend these jeans.

simple things said...

Oh and missmagdamac - I feel your pain. Ankle length pants look so bad on me. I just get normal length pants and they end up being ankle length! You should try the APC jeans - they work well for us long-legged ladies.

Anonymous said...

simple things - thanks for sharing my pain :)

i actually own a pair of APC jeans (i think they might be the same fit as yours). i followed the sales girl's advice and squeeezed myself into a pair thinking they'd become wearable. 2 years later, i can get into them and walk, but sitting is SUCH a problem. i've tried washing them, abusing them, everything. i'm starting to suspect they're actually faulty. it is IMPOSSIBLE to squat in them... are yours anything like this? i love the way they look and wish to god they didn't fit so weird. thinking about selling them... let me know if you want a pair of 28s.

orinda7 said...

The Land's End Canvas jeans fit surprisingly well, the quality is excellent, and the price is easy on the wallet too!

simple things said... - oh no. You can't squeeze into the APC raw denim, can you? It needs a bit of give from the beginning. Otherwise there is no sitting down. But you look fabulous while you are standing up, that's for sure!

I'm a size 26 - so I imagine that the 28s would be very comfy on me! I reckon you just got them a bit too small. I am pretty sure they are 100% denim, so there is limited stretch in them.

Maybe I could take them off your hands - I do want a loungey pair. Hmmm.....depends on what style and price they are!

Love the name of your blog, by the way. I'm a big Tori Amos fan!

Sorry Julia - we are having a whole conversation here in your comments section. How is that jeans search going?

Beklina said...

I've had good luck at You can choose (a little bit) inseam, etc. and I only have to hem about 1/2 the times. They have a new fit guide, gentle curvy, supreme curvy, etc.

Danielle said...

I recently got a pair of dark wash jeans from a brand called Them Atelier that sound exactly like your ideal pair. I'm short (5'2) and they did need to be hemmed but the fit is still lovely. Hands down my fav jeans- great quality but not hideously expensive either :)

Lucy said...

I feel the same about Cheap Monday's, no matter how much I try to like them I think the fabric looks and feels cheap. I've always found Sass and Bide denim (with lycra) great. And also Workshop jeans, but they're a NZ brand so I doubt you'd find them in the US. That would be my top two. Hope you've had some luck since this post.

Shirley said...

if there's a store that sells the particular pairs of jeans you are lusting after or just considering purchasing online, why not try it in store? it'll save you the hassle of paying for shipping only to discover it doesn't fit. and yes, current/elliot jeans have weird sizing. i own one pair and i'm still not sure if it's the right size. the size below what i bought was too tiny to squeeze through and the size above wouldn't hold up yet the size i have isn't perfect either. hah!

Sarah-Anne Kennedy said...

Try Topshop jeans. My sis is short and swears by their Baxter jean....and no hemming!