5 Tips for Finding the Best Jeans for Short Men

The Style Blogger in Denim

The Style Blogger in Denim

Alright, gentlemen, let's tackle jeans. This is probably the one question I see the most: “What are best brand/type of jeans for short men?” It's an important question because jeans are so versatile.

They are such a crucial piece of our wardrobe. You can wear them in so many ways, with so many outfits and for so many different occasions, which is why it's essential to have at least a couple of pairs that fit you perfectly and that you feel great in.

There are already a handful of helpful guides out there about buying jeans for different body types, like this one. And this one. Oh, and definitely check out this one.

So rather than reinventing the wheel, I'm going to dumb it down into five simple rules for buying jeans for short guys. Consider this the essential jean-buying guide for men of modest height:

  1. Stay away from baggy jeans. They won't make you look bigger. In fact, they'll make you look like a teenager who is trying to look bigger. If the word “relaxed” appears anywhere on the tags, walk away.
  2. Flare is your friend. A slight flare or boot cut can fill out your silhouette by adding width in the right places without looking baggy.
  3. Try straight leg. Many short men, especially those with average builds, look great in straight leg jeans. They're not too tight, not too baggy. Just right.
  4. It's all about the rise. While low rise jeans are trendy due to their modern, stylish look, they're not for everyone. Rise is as important as length, but unlike length it's not easily altered. Find a brand whose “low rise” works for you (my personal favorite is Lucky Brand).
  5. You can't go wrong with dark wash. Light jeans are great for the casual affairs, but dark jeans can be worn anywhere. On casual Fridays, first dates, to the game, etc. Also, dark pants with a lighter shirt can have a heightening affect.

There you have it. Follow these five simple rules next time you are shopping for that perfect pair of jeans, and I guarantee you will be happy with your purchase. Make sure to buy a couple of pairs so you don't have to hunt them down again next year.

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  1. DON’T EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER BUY “flared” or boot cut jeans!!! EVER! You MUST STOP telling men to buy these. They do not look good on or flatter ANY man! EVER. Why would anyone need to “add width” to their ankles? FLARE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

    • Kevin,

      A lot of people would agree with you, and I think it’s popular right now to say that boot cut jeans are not in style and should be avoided at all costs. While the boot cut trend went a little too far, they can be good in certain circumstances. Two example – someone who actually needs them (i.e., a man who wears boots to work, like a construction worker). Second, a short but muscular guy with skinny legs. A slight (emphasis on “slight”) flare can help add weight and shape to the leg, offsetting the top-heavy look that some guys have. Of course, the best way to fix this is to do some squats!


      • Ray terranella says:

        One of the most classic photographs of a man with style is Terry Oneil’s portrait of Robert Redford in boot cut jeans and sunglasses. I am 5’7 and have a few pair of selvedge jeans that are bootcut and I do appreciate the fact that they add some weight to my slim slightly athletic body type. Granted not everybody looks like Robert Redford but if you know how to wear them they look fantastic.

        • Ray,

          Really appreciate this comment. Here’s a link to that photo – Robert Redford in boot cut jeans.

          There are some absolute rules in style, but most are meant to be bent and broken according to personality and taste.


        • Robert Redford looks great in everything – if he hadn’t been a great actor, he could have even been a great model…now if you said, ‘here’s a picture of Michael J. Fox wearing boot cut flare jeans, and he looks great’, then whoever is making that jean would be rich.

          • What about guys like me that have tree trunks for legs and a moderately big ass and a not so average package…? I cant wear “straight leg low rise” jeans because it shows off my junk too much and or my legs wont fit in them. I have a 30″ inseam but a 36 waist. I am 5’7″ and weight over 200 lbs. I cannot wear jeans made for the “average guy” I have to wear boot cut just to fit over my calves.. where are the jeans I can buy? all of the modern stores offer nothing but jeans I cant even fit my legs into…. my calves are literally like 15″ in circumference.. yea I just measured. Where can I buy jeans for guys that are short and muscular that wont squeeze my junk to death…

  2. I recently purchased a pair of Levi’s 527 in boys’ sizing (I’m 5’5″ 130lbs). Looks exactly the same, supposedly the same great quality, easy to find a good fit, and probably 30% less than the men’s.

    • Mountain,

      We’re almost the same size. I might have to try those out. Also, I’ve heard multiple people say that the new Peter Manning jeans are the best off-the-rack fit they’ve ever bought.


  3. Hi,

    Would anyone happen to know where the entire look in the picture above can be purchased?- More importantly, the shirt and jeans.

    Thanks a bunch in advance!

    • Hi Aaron,

      This photo is Dan from TSBMen.com. I can’t remember what post it was from, but if you really want to find it, go browse the archives (might take a while)!


      • Thanks Brock!

        I’m fairly new to this site and so I’ve found a couple pics of different looks, but have yet to find this one! I suppose I’ll keep searching. I believe the jeans are Ralph Lauren, but could be wrong on that.

  4. im about 5’7” and at 130 LBS i usually go for slim fit ones……… my favorite brand is express…….they really look good on me and give me great casual look i could combine them with lace ups or sneakers i prefer wearing them with lace ups becuz they come up with heels and make me look alil bit taller !

  5. I’m 5’6″ and 160lbs, waist 34-36. Suggestions? I’m not athletic (used to be 🙁 ) so would I be considered ‘stocky’ as indicated in the links? I’ve worn Levi’s straight and slim fit, and numerous other brands with no luck. Thanks!

  6. 5′-5″, 160 lbs, 31″ waist, asian guy so no butt, muscular athletic build … need help finding jeans that will flatter my body.

  7. randika says:

    I’m 5’6 wich denim style suitable for me..now im using straight cut..I need to show good height from denim my choice is correct oh wrong ?reply me as soon thanx.

  8. AG matchbox are great fitting jeans

  9. How about a budget priced jean for work? I can’t afford to drop 80 dollars on a pair of jeans that I’m going to destroy working in retail home improvement.

    I’m 5’7″, 175 lbs. I’m an avid squatter, so I’m rather “thick” though the hips, butt, and thighs.

    Picked up some Arizona original fit straight in 33×30, but they are still too long. I’ll have to wash and hem them tonight.

    Ideally something roomier from waist to knee, then more slim from knee to ankle.

  10. The links on this page all appear to lead nowhere. Just getting a Modest Man page that says, “Not found, error 404”

  11. Adrian Chan says:

    Interesting. The whole discussion started with Robert Redford. However, most of the requests and comments ended up about followers who definitely do not qualify as slim. Maybe something to think about future posts. I am 5’5 and 150lbs myself. Will try the Lucky 361 series myself.

  12. I’m 5’4″ 138-140 lbs. The three jeans that look best on me are Levi’s 508 Regular Taper, Color: Big Sur (unfortunately different colors fit significantly different for many of this style), Size: 28-30; American Eagle Outfitters Skinny, Size: 28-30; and Levis 520 Extreme Taper, Size: 28-28 – unfortunately these are discontinued, but there are tons of new and used available on ebay for great prices. So much so that after taking advantage of many of the great deals I found, I realized that I bought way more pairs than I need. One significant drawback is that there seems to be significant variation in fit for many of them. For example, I have one pair that fit like true snug “Skinny” jeans and another that fit very loose. But for the price I paid for them, I’m not too upset about that.

  13. I have the same issue. Jeans or khakis tend to be tight above the knee and loose below it. Abercrombie’s slim straight is the best fit I’ve found so far. But still looking!

  14. Hey Brock. This is a great write up. But I’m confused about rises in general. Always have been.

    Had a quick question, though. You say short men should stay away from low-rise Jeans, yet under your recommended “jeans”, you’ve mentioned Levi’s 513s and 514s that tend to “sit below waist”.

    How come?

    Thank you.


  15. David Poindexter says:

    I’m 5’3″…can’t find jeans to fit. Does anyone make jeans for short men?

  16. I’m 5 ft 7 275lbs. I have a 19 inch neck. I’m very thick (muscular and over weight with big stomach. I have big thighs and shorts arms. I need help finding a pair of jeans that fit me properly. Currently I wear 44×30 relaxed fit. They’re all to baggy and to long. They do provide the room I need around my waist. It’s funny but a waste of my time when a tailor wraps the measuring tape around my stomach as if I wear my pants on my fat stomach around my naval. I wear all my pants below the fat on my natural waste line. I don’t like nor would I even own a pair of tight fitting jeans. I have big muscular calves that frustrate the hell out of me when I find a pair of jeans that fit and feel right around my waste, crouch and thighs. Can anyone that actually knows what style and cut of jeans I need help me. I will put your advice to the test first thing in the morning.

  17. Hi, Brock just wanted to ask you if a short dude like me whose standing 5’4 and a half can rock with bootcut jeans?

    • Probably not the best choice unless you need them because you’re wearing thick boots a lot. I’d go with slim straight or tapered instead.

  18. Hi Brock, I didn’t see any size 32 x 28 jeans available on the Lucky Brands page. Like every other &$#! site…the 28 inseam is grayed out. Sorry….frustrated with the 28 being grayed out on every single jeans site I’ve visited the past 3 days. Thanks in advance…


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