Shopping for Jeans Sucks: Which Jeans to Buy If You’re Short and Round

Shopping for jeans sucks. I like to think it’s because I’m short and round and a terrible shopper with mediocre-to-bad fashion sense, but I keep hearing from my tall friends and my skinny friends and my friends who love to shop and my friends who look great all the time, and they all say the same thing. Shopping for jeans sucks. 

This news, like all of life, is both good and bad. Good because we jeans shoppers are not alone. NOT ALONE in the suckage! Hooray! But it’s also bad because shopping for jeans takes TIME and angst and ugghhh and pffttt and GAH!

I turned to you on Facebook the other night when my jeans meltdown reached critical mass, and I discovered, like usual, things are less bleak when we face them together. Even silly first world problems like jeans. OH MY GOSH, the JEANS. 

OK, I need help. For real. If you’re a shopper or a fashionista or a short girl with hips and a butt and a favorite brand/style of jeans, I NEED YOU. 

Here’s the sitch:

MyAssMy two favorite pairs of jeans are shot.

One went down to inner thigh holes and the other to the world’s biggest butt tear.

My 3rd string jeans are in the wash because I accidentally laughed at dinner the other night. Laughed HARD, man. And repeatedly. And – fine – I wet my pants, OK? (Promise you’ll still talk to me after this.)

So I’ve been wearing my 4th string jeans around town, which thrills them because they, like, never get any playing time and they’ve been begging the coach to put them in FOREVER, and I’ve tried to cheer them on and be a team player and believe in their ability to succeed, I swear I have, but they keep fumbling the plays. I’ve found my zipper down at least 7 times the past 2 days, and YES, I did consider it might be user error, considering the user, but 7 times is excessive, even for me.

I just think, I don’t know, my 4th string jeans need to find another passion besides being pants.

Maybe they could be potholders.

Or a really scratchy, nonabsorbent towel or something.

Which will leave me, once I do the laundry, with 1 pair of jeans.

And, well, I’m grateful for 1 pair — I am — but I’m an Oregonian and we’re headed into winter, and jeans are kind of the uniform around here, so I’d like another pair. My problems, though, are as follows: 

  1. I have no real fashion sense. 
  2. I hate to shop. 
  3. I have big hips and a big butt. 
  4. I have a comparatively small waist.
  5. I’m short. 5’2″. 

If you have any tips, friends, like links to places to buy the perfect jeans online, or a favorite go-to brand/style that always comes through for you, or suggestions that I abandon jeans forever and stay in pajamas and invite you over for guacamole night so we can talk about how much we HATE jeans shopping, I’m all ears. 

Help. You’re my only hope.

And then you helped! In my hour of jeans need, you were there for me.

Just in case there are other short, round women out there who need help like I needed help, I went through all 200+ comments and made a spreadsheet, counting all the comments and all the likes, so we know where to buy our stupid jeans.

Here are the results. I’m sharing every brand, store and recommendation that received more than 20 comments/likes, in order from most recommended to least.

Which Jeans to Buy If You’re Short and Round and Where to Get Them

  1. Thrift Stores. True story. The overwhelming majority of you get your jeans from places like Goodwill and Value Village. Bethany writes, There are lots of different options all in one place and, if you bribe a fitting room attendant to keep a room open for you, you can try on all the cute jeans in your size, marvel at the odd inconsistencies of U.S. women’s sizing, and come away with a pair or two in less than an hour for less than $20. Until then, yoga pants all the way, baby.” 
  2. Speaking of Yoga Pants, the next most popular answer to the jeans question was “SCREW JEANS. Wear yoga pants.” You know, in essence. You really are my people! And then we get into the specific recommendations, as follows:
  3. Demi Curve, Bold Curve or Supreme Curve from Levi’s
  4. Diva or Sweetheart from Old Navy
  5. Julie jeans from LOFT
  6. Long and Lean from the GAP
  7. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans from Nordstrom or NYDJ 
  8. Other popular places to shop for unspecified or various brands of jeans — places with lots of selections for multiple body types — are Maurice’s, Kohl’s, The Buckle, Torrid, and Lane Bryant.
But I gotta tell you… I just ordered a pair of jeans from a place recommended by only one of you. Jessika’s suggestion intrigued me so much, I had to try it. She wrote, “Beth, I’m not sure if anyone here has mentioned this yet, but I had good luck with They have lots of fabrics, finishes, and price levels, and you can either enter your measurements when you order or they also have a clone-your-jeans service where you can send a pair of jeans that fit well and they will use them as a pattern and return them with your new pair (I think they also store the pattern in case you want to order again, but not sure). I bought a custom made pair for $80 including international shipping. The ordering process is kind of irritating, but worth it for what I got.” 

Interesting, right?

So I went to yesterday, armed with a measuring tape and my credit card. I entered my body measurements, double checked my numbers against my former favorite pair of jeans, chose the fabric, wash, length, design, pocket embroidery, etc. They’ll be made to my measurements (and the heavens opened and the angels sang), as in already hemmed to length which is a MIRACLE to us short girls, and I should receive them in 3-4 weeks.

The total cost was $87 including shipping, but would’ve been $15 less if I hadn’t picked extra fancy back pocket embroidery. That’s expensive for my pocketbook, but comparable for nicer jeans, and, since my previous Goodwill finds have all gone down in flames, I thought I ought to try something different.

I’ll update you when they arrive to let you know how it works out. In the meantime, soldier on, friends. Soldier on. And DO let us know in the comments which brands work for you, which don’t, and what this post is missing. It take a Village, I tell you. A sometimes bare-assed, jeansless Village, but a Village nonetheless. 



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36 responses to “Shopping for Jeans Sucks: Which Jeans to Buy If You’re Short and Round”

  1. Laughing at how timely this jean covo is! I havent put on a pair of jeans since I got pregnant with my 8mo old! Since I’m still two sizes up from pre-pregnancy and tired of wearing maternity pants, I desperately needed to shop! Found two awesome pair at a thrift store the other day. Didnt really pay attention to the brand at the time. Since reading this, looked and one is Old Navy. Tag gone off the other. But they’re pretty great! Well, one is great, the other is greatish. But I laughed at the trying on experience. Totally took over the one large dressing room, with my baby in tow. Had to ignore the sign that says not to bring cart into room. HA! Was planning on acting like I didn’t see it 😉 But the actual process of shopping for jeans…..yuck, ick, pooy and gross!!!!! I’m pullin for ya on those specially made ones!

  2. So Excited to hear how they turn out!! I am a die hard Old Navy jeans wearer… they never fit exactly right, and I have to hitch them all the time because none of their styles quite match my shape, but for now it’s worth it because I Don’t Have To Try Them On. Nothing is a bigger buzzkill than actually having to try on jeans. YECH.

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