Jeans for Short Men | The Best Tips for Pants for Short Guys

jeans for short men: folded jeans

Updated by Ben Chuang

Every guy needs a good pair of jeans in their wardrobe. Jeans are a great fashion addition because they are so tough and versatile. You can wear jeans for more casual outings or pair them with a blazer and button-up when you need to be more formal. 

If you are a shorter guy like me though, you know how tough it can be to find jeans for short men that fit well (it’s hard to find pants for short men in general to be honest).  Either the inseam length is too long, the jeans are too tight, or the pant leg just doen’t sit right.  

I also love these short guy shirts from Nimble Made if you're looking for a dress shirt that fits better.

man wearing jeans

So we put together this comprehensive guide on buying jeans for shorter guys. Remember, just because you might be vertically challenged doesn’t mean you can't dress with style. We also recommend a good slim fit casual dress shirt with your jeans. Here's a full guide on the best short men dress shirts, as well how to look taller. Now, let’s get into some shorter guy jeans.

How should jeans for short men fit?

So first, let’s answer the major question: how should jeans fit anyway? We are way past the days of the baggy jeans. We tried that stuff in the 90s and we all saw how companies like JNCO turned out (not well). 

baggy jeans example

In our opinion, most guys look good in slim fit or skinny jeans, regardless of weight or size. Slim fit and skinny jeans have a nice tapered fit that highlights the profile of the leg and sits right above the ankle. Finding the right length in short guy jeans is the key to a good fitting pant. The crotch seam should sit comfortably against the leg but not dig into your groin, and you should be able to sit and walk freely without restriction or discomfort. 

how pants should fit

Jeans for short men should fit your figure but not be too tight. They cannot be too loose around the waist either. If your jeans are too loose around the waist then you will have to tighten your belt, which causes a big bunch of excess fabric around your waist. Trust us when we say that it's not a good look. We'll go a little deeper in length and styles for pants for short men below.


Slim vs Straight Fit pants for short men

Let’s talk about the difference between straight leg and slim fit jeans. By all accounts, the two types of jeans are very similar. In a nutshell, the two names tell you how the pants are situated around the legs and how large the openings near the bottom are. The major difference between the two types is how large the leg opening is. Straight-fit jeans have about a 30% larger leg opening on average, which can make a significant difference when looking for the best jeans for short men.

straight fit jeans example

However, you need to keep in mind that these terms are relative and not used exactly the same by every clothing company. For example, some of the best clothing brands for short men combine aspects of both slim and straight-fit jeans. So no matter what the label says, you may have to resort to some personal experimentation to figure out what’s the best jeans for short guys.

jeans fit

The two main spots that affect the width of your pants are the seat, which is the part that goes over your butt and down your thighs, and the leg opening, which is self-explanatory. 

In general, slim fit and straight fit pants share roughly the same seat. With straight-leg jeans, the leg opening is about the same size as the opening at the knee while, with slim-fit jeans, the leg opening is much smaller and fits tighter around the ankle, making it a better option when it comes to jeans for short men. 

Here are some other denominations of jeans and their fits:

regular fit jeans
  • Regular fit: These are the "traditional" jean fit and leave about 2-3 inches between your waist and the band. They are not too tight but not too loose and have a good amount of room and comfort. This could be a good option for jeans for short guys depending on your personal preference.
    relaxed fit jeans
  • Relaxed Fit: Relaxed fit has a loose fit with a large waistband and large leg opening. These baggy jeans are often too loose-fitting to look good as pants for short men, and the excess fabric looks unflattering.  
    tapered fit jeans for men
  • Taper fit: These kinds of jeans get narrower as you go from the knee to the ankle. Most of the time, slim-fit jeans have a tapered fit on the leg opening. These are a good choice of pants if your personal preference aligns with something with a skinnier fit. 
    bootcut jeans for men
  • Bootcut fit: This classic style of jeans have a slightly flared leg opening that is wider than the knee opening. The larger leg opening makes them good to wear with boots and other shoes that make you look taller, hence the name. 


Important measurements to consider for pants for short men

When it comes to your jeans, the two major measurements you need to keep track of, especially when shopping for the best jeans for short men, are the waist size and the inseam length. These are the two numbers that you see when you look at the tag on a pair of jeans in the department store. It has the width and length measurements. 

jean length measurement

For guys looking for jeans for short men, the problem isn’t the width but the jean length. Most jeans brands rarely make jeans below a 30 in length, and even then they might be too small in other ways. Be honest, when was the last time you saw a big brand of jeans have a size with less than 28 inch jean length? Keep in mind that this jean length measurement does not measure the actual length of the entire pants. Instead, it measures the inseam length from the inside of your leg up to the inside of your thigh. So if you are trying to figure out what length pants you need when shopping for the best jeans for short men, make sure you are measuring the inseam and not the outside of your leg to your hips. Here is a guide on how to measure your hips.

hip measurement


Waist measurements for short guy jeans

The waist size is one of the more important parts of your jeans that will determine how comfortable they are to wear on a day to day basis. When choosing a pair of short guy jeans, you want to make sure that they can stay up without using a belt. Ideally, there should be no more than a quarter inch of give when you are sitting relaxed. Any more space in the waist and the fabric can start bunching around the middle. 

jean sit test

You can tell if your waist is the right size with the sit test. If you sit down with your jeans and they dig into your waist and stomach, then they are probably too tight. Also, when sizing new jeans, keep in mind that they tend to stretch slightly over time so a very snug fit might loosen and become more comfortable as you wear them in. 

While we are at it, we should talk about what your waist is. Despite what a lot of people think, your waist is not located right at your hip bones. Your natural waist is slightly above your hips, where the bones end and the flesh of your stomach begins. So when you are measuring your waist to figure out the right jeans size for short men, make sure that you are measuring right below the navel, where your pants should sit. This set of retractable measuring tape should help with the process.

 jeans and t shirt outfit examples

Hip measurements when shopping for jeans for short men

Your hips are another important part that you need to size correctly. Your jeans need to fit over the widest part of your lower body after all, The problem is that the hips and waist of jeans might differ in that the waist fits but the hips are too small. If the hips of your pants are too small, then you run the risk of actually ripping them every time you bend over. 

The problem is that most pairs of jeans do not give an explicit hips measurement on the tags or labels so all you have to go on is the waist measurement. So you will have to subject your pants to the sit test. You should be able to tell pretty quickly if the hips are too small if you are restricted from sitting down or bending over. You want your pants to sit fairly snug when standing up while not being absolutely skin tight around your hips. Keep all these tips in mind when looking for jeans for short men.

jeans when sitting down

Jeans also have the "rise" which is a measure of how high up your hips and waist that they sit. The rise is basically the measure between the crotch seam and the edge of the waistband when measured vertically. 

There are three different types of rise for jeans: low, mid, and high. Low rise jeans sit just above the hip bones and well below the navel. Low rise jeans were popular back in the 90s and early 2000s but has fallen out of pace. Mid-rise and high-rise jeans seem to be more popular nowadays with men. Higher rise jeans can also be useful because the pants sit higher on the waist and can flatten the stomach. All things to consider when looking for the perfect pants for short men.

high rise jeans example

When looking for the best jeans for short men, we recommend going with a mid rise. The added height will make you look taller and give your legs a more proportional look to your body. High rise pants might make your legs look too long in proportion to your body, and low rise pants will just make you look shorter. Ultimately, what you decide is purely up to you. 


Tips to make legs look longer when shopping for pants for short men

The key for short guys is to get pants with legs that are slim and make your legs look longer. That is why we highly recommend going with a straight or slim fit. These two types of jeans have leg openings that are the same size as the knee or smaller than the knee, which cuts down on bulky fabric and helps jeans for short men look like a good fit.

We will say that you should stay away from jeans that have a larger leg opening than the leg. This kind of bootcut leg will make you look shorter with all the extra fabric.  

skinny fit jeans taper

There is also the option of cuffing the end of your legs. This is a viable option especially when working with short guy jean length or jeans short guys have already purchased and want to work with. Just make sure that your cuffs are not too short and they are proportional to the length of your legs. 

 cuffed jeans

Real denim jeans: Worth it for short men?

denim material

Despite what many people think, not all jeans are made out of actual denim. There are a lot of brands that make their jeans out of cotton or other similar synthetic materials. 

So let’s talk about what exactly denim is. Denim is technically a cotton by-product and is defined by its specific weave and textural characteristics. Denim is made by interweaving threads in a distinct pattern that creates the characteristic criss-cross of denim textiles. Denim is then washed with a special sandblasting process to give it its distinctive soft feel and touch. This is also how jeans get their color ranging from light stonewash to very dark blues and navys.

In our opinion, denim is the superior material for jeans or cotton for two major reasons. First, denim is just much more durable. Denim jeans can last for years and will stand up to all kinds of wear and tear. Consider donating or repurposing real denim whenever possible. The sign of good quality denim is how well they can hold their shape when not wearing them. Second, denim gets better the more you wear it. As you wear denim, you break it in and it slightly changes to fit your body. Real denim will change shape over time. Cotton is comfortable and breathable, but it is not as durable or as insulated.

 denim jeans

Common mistakes when it comes to jeans for shorter men

1. Jeans Are Too Long 

Perhaps the single most common mistake when it comes to wearing jeans for shorter men is that they get them too long. 

If cuffing them isn’t working, then you can always go and get the jeans hemmed. Hemming removes the lower part of the leg so it is shorter and doesn’t do as much. This method can be difficult if you don’t have a tailor handy though. It also costs about $10-$20 to get a pair of jeans hemmed to the right length as well. 

2. The Rise Is Too Low

This is another common issue when shopping for pants for short men. When the pants are low rise, they can make you look shorter than you actually are. Getting pants that have a higher rise will straighten your leg and make you look taller. Mid-rise jeans are the go-to jeans for short guys as they hit that sweet spot. 

3. Other Details Are Off

Even if you do manage to find that pair of jeans with the magic 28-inch inseam length, everything else on them can be off. For example, the waist might be the right size but the pockets are too low on your butt. Or it could be that the seat of the pants is too low as they were scaled to someone that is larger than you. 

So one thing to keep in mind when you are buying jeans for short guys is to make sure that everything is placed correctly and fits well when you put them on.

4. Jeans are too Baggy

Another very common issue is that the jeans you buy are way too baggy. As you probably know, baggy jeans can make you look shorter than you are and can also make you look stockier. Short guys in baggy pants look kind of like kids playing dress up as there is just too much fabric. 


Best jeans for shorter men

We also put together this list of some of the best places to shop for jeans when you are vertically challenged. 

Under 510

Under 510 makes jeans for short guys and offers a huge range of styles and sizes for shorter guys. The shortest inseam pants they have are 25 inches and they boast relatively affordable prices at just around $60. They also have a bunch of different colors to choose from as well. 

Bantam Clothing

Bantam Clothing is another popular brand when looking for pants for short guys and offers jeans with inseam length as short as 26 inches. This Bantam Clothing is based out of the UK and Europe so we recommend them if you live across the pond and want to avoid any charges for buying from American brands. 

Ash & Erie

Ash & Erie is another popular brand focused on jeans for short guys. They offer jeans with inseams starting at 25 inches and make a wide range of styles. Ash & Erie also makes very high-quality clothing and is fairly expensive. The average pair of denim jeans costs about $158 at full price. 

Peter Manning NYC

Peter Manning makes clothing and short guys jeans and makes jeans as one of its flagship products. You can get a pair of jeans for shorter men with an inseam as low as 26 inches and offer skinny fit, slim fit, and classic fit jeans.  


Uniqlo is a bit different in that they do not offer jeans with inseams as low as 32 inches. However, they offer free on the spot tailoring at any of their local stores. So if you live near an Uniqlo store, we would highly recommend checking out their jeans for short guys.

    Finding a good pair of jeans for shorter men can be difficult. Thankfully it's not impossible though. As long as you know the lingo and how to examine jeans, you should be able to find a pair that fits your body. At the end of the day, what works for you is up to your personal preference. Don't forget to check out our article on shoes that make you taller for more outfit inspiration. 


    Frequently asked questions about jeans for shorter men 

    Which type of jeans is best for short height man?

    For short height men, opting for jeans with a tapered or slim fit can help create a sleeker silhouette, elongating the legs. Avoid excessively baggy or loose styles as they can overwhelm a shorter frame and make legs appear even shorter.

    Where to find jeans for short legs men?

    Jeans for men with shorter legs can often be found in specialty stores catering to petite or shorter men, online retailers offering custom or tailored options, or department stores with a variety of inseam lengths. Additionally, some brands specifically design jeans for shorter inseams, making them more accessible for men with shorter legs.

    What is the shortest length in men's jeans?

    The shortest length in men's jeans typically ranges from a 28-inch to a 30-inch inseam, although some brands may offer even shorter lengths, such as 26 inches or below. It's essential for shorter men to find the right inseam length to avoid excessive bunching or hemming.

    Which brands are best for short men?

    Several brands cater to the needs of shorter men, offering a range of inseam lengths and proportions designed to fit shorter frames more comfortably. Some popular brands known for their options for short men include Peter Manning NYC, Ash & Erie, and Under 5'10", among others. These brands understand the unique fitting challenges faced by shorter men and provide stylish and well-fitting options to suit their needs.

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