Many of us women have trouble navigating our “off duty” look–that is to say, not when we’re working or otherwise gussied up for one reason or the other. Weekends. Casual dinners out. Brunch with friends. You get the idea.
We at Six to Sunday think it doesn’t always have to be blue jeans, and hallelujah for that.
With the help of a real woman test model–Cathy, who also happens to be petite–we tackled finding other options.
Cathy is a 5‘ 1” woman with an hourglass shape (smaller shoulders, fuller waist, and hips). She’s a 38D bust and typically wears a medium top and size 12 petite pants. We had her try eight options in the $50-$200 price range.
Nic + Zoe Seams All Day Denim Slim Pant
Best Wide Leg:
Spanx Stretch Twill Cropped Wide Leg Pant
Best Cropped Style:
NYJD Sheri Slim Ankle Jeans
Best Color Denim:
Madewell Petite Perfect Vintage Straight Jean
Style: Nic+Zoe Seams All Day Denim Slim Pant
Price: $82 (sale price)
Length: 26” inseam
Cathy’s take: “These easy-breezy pants are where style meets comfort. Made with a combination of cotton, Tencel, and spandex, these jeans feel buttery soft and offer a slimming fit that won’t lose its shape as I move throughout my day. The extra detailed stitching at the knee and slit at the ankle gets extra style points.”
Style: Spanx Stretch Twill Cropped Wide Leg Pant
Length: 24” inseam
Cathy’s take: “Pull-on pants with hidden tummy control made with a buttery-soft 4-way stretch material? Yes, please! These pants tick the boxes of everything I love: style, comfort, and control. Note of caution: Like most shapewear, they run small. Size up and thank me later.”
Style: NYJD Sheri Slim Ankle Jean in Crossroads
Length: 28” inseam
Cathy’s take: “While on the longer side, these jeans still hit the mark for pants to try for petite sizes. The straight leg is great for cuffing and wearing with a pair of loafers or an oxford. Plus the NYJD Lift Tuck® technology helps flatten the midline and lift in the back. The jeans stretch with wear, so I’d advise you size down for the best fit.”
Style: Madewell The Petite Perfect Vintage Straight Jean in Vintage Canvas Wash
Length: 26.5” inseam
Cathy’s take: “Made with Madewell’s voodoo hold-you-in “Magic pockets®” and a 90s inspired waist accentuating style, it’s no wonder these jeans are a best-seller. The fabric composition of 98% cotton and 2% elastane low-stretch Cone® denim provides just enough stretch to hug the body and move with you. These are a must-have.”
Wanting more? Our pro tip is look for pants in new fabrics - corduroy, coated, and velvet - in colors that will seamlessly integrate with your wardrobe to maximize versatility and cost per wear. Here are a few of our favorite seasonal petite options.
The classic chino - defined by a lightweight, twill weave, made traditionally with 100% cotton - was met with less favorable reviews. Overall, the fit, proportion, and fabric trended “old lady.” While perhaps less ideal for summer weather, we can’t help but prefer denim blends of cotton & elastane to provide shape and hold for women of a certain age. What does this mean to us at Six to Sunday? Bring on the challenge of finding the perfect lightweight summer pants. We’re on it… in a few months, of course!
All products featured on Six to Sunday are independently selected by our editors and contributors. We may get paid commissions on products purchased through our links to retailer sites. However, we recommend products based on our independent research and point of view, and the decisions we make regarding the products we feature on our site are always driven by what we believe our community will love, first and foremost.