What is Petite Inseam: The Ultimate Guide

The inseam is one of the most important measurements when buying jeans, pants, leggings, tights, or capris online where you can't try on different sizes to find the perfect fit for your legs. Paying attention to the inseam size is a great way to ensure you don't end up with jeans or pants that are too long or too short.

So what does inseam mean? What about a petite inseam? How can you determine what your inseam measurement is? Is there a standard  inseam length for all petite women under 5’4” in height? Read on to find answers to all these questions.

What is Inseam?

Inseam refers to the inside leg measurement. It’s the measurement from the base of the crotch to the bottom hem. On the body, it’s the measurement from the top of the thigh to wherever you want your bottom to hit depending on whether it’s a boot cut or ankle length style. The distance from the leg bottom to the top of waistband on the outside is referred to as the outseam length.

What is the Inseam for Petite Pants, Jeans and Leggings?

25, 26, 27, 28, and 29 inch (63.5, 66, 68, 71, 73.5, 74 in cm) inside leg lengths are the typical lengths of a petite inseam. The exact length for you will come down to your height and horizontal body shape and what style of bottoms you're going for.

Discover a Range of Petite Inseam Jeans and Pants

Based on Height

Generally, the taller you're, the longer your inseam. The shorter you're, the shorter the length for example:

  • The average inseam for a 4’11” petite woman is 25 inch
  • While that of a 5’1” is 27.5 inch

Based on Horizontal body Shape

However, you can have a longer inseam for your height if your horizontal body shape is such that you have a short torso and long legs.

On the other hand, a woman of a regular height (5'6" for example) can have a petite inseam if she has a long torso and short legs.

Based on the Style of Pants/Jeans/Leggings

The average petite inseam lengths (in inches) for different types of bottoms is as follows:

  • Cropped: 21 to 23
  • Boyfriend: 23 to 26
  • Straight Leg: 26 to 27
  • Boot Cut: 28 to 31
  • Flare and Wide Leg: 28 to 31

What is the Difference Between Petite and Short Inseam Length?

With a petite inseam pants or jeans, even the other measurements such as the rise and cut are designed with petite proportions in mind. In addition to a short inside leg measurement, petite inseam also entails:

  • The knee break falls right at the knee, which is especially important for boot-cut denim.
  • The waistband is scaled down for a proper fit.
  • The waist rise is shorter for a smooth fit without creasing or sagging and to ensure the waist is where it should be.
  • The pockets are positioned proportionally and fall where they should.
  • Any embellishment and extra details are scaled down in size and placed proportionally for the perfect fit.
  • Jeans should fit snugly between the inseam and waist. Too loose or too tight looks messy.
  • A short inseam, on the other hand, has a regular cut and rise, only that the leg length is shorter.

How to Measure Inseam

There are two ways to determine your inseam:

  1. If your have a pair of perfect fitting jeans or pants, lay them flat on the floor ensuring they lie smooth and straight. Use a measuring tape to measure the distance along the inside seam from the crotch to the bottom of the leg hem.
  2. If you don't have a perfect length pair of trousers, you can measure the length of your legs starting form the crotch. Standing up straight with legs slightly apart, have someone use a measuring tape to measure from just below your crotch to the bottom of your ankle.

If you come in between inches, better to round up than down as it is better to have slightly long jeans than too short. Actually, it is advisable to buy denim pants that are about a half inch longer than your exact inseam just in case they shrink and also so the length is still okay with heels.






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