Bootcut or Skinny jeans for petite or smaller women? This is a subject which crops up quite often and it’s one that I find myself repeating quite a lot, so I thought to myself, why not put it into a blog post here on The Jeans Blog? I’ve weighed out the pros and cons of both styles and given my history with them too!
I’m going to start with a little back story about my love for bootcut denim when I was first getting into premium jeans back in 2004 as it’s relevant to this question. So, when I first developed my crush on designer jeans over a decade ago, I was instantly drawn to Rock & Republic as a brand, opting for bootcuts as a first choice. Skinny jeans hadn’t really gotten popular at all and most brands were always releasing bootcut or flared jeans in their lines, so given the fact that I didn’t have many options, bootcut jeans were my go to for premium denim by default.
I always had issues though when buying new bootcut premium denim as my legs are on the shorter side. My inseam with a flat foot is about 29-30 inches, so my legs are not long at all, and given the fact that premium denim always used to come with model length inseams at around 35-36 inches, it required a lot of hemming! I always found myself hemming off about 6 inches of my jeans, sometimes 4 if I decided that particular pair was for heels, but with this annoyance of not being able to wear the jeans straight away also came the appearance issue too. I don’t know if you have noticed, but when you hem that much length off bootcut or flared jeans, they tend to lose a lot of the flare and can almost become similar to a straight leg jean. These were two issues that always used to irritate me with bootcut jeans and it wasn’t until I actually tried on a pair of skinny jeans, years later, that I realised bootcut jeans had also been swamping my frame and making me look bigger and shorter than I actually am.
Being that I am on the smaller side (despite being 5ft 4″ tall, I have a long torso and short legs), I don’t have much hip width and the fact that there was so much fabric around my calves really made me look bulky and overwhelmed. I didn’t know this at the time as I didn’t know any different given the fact bootcut jeans were all I knew, but the moment I tried a skinny jean, my life was enlightened!
Now I’m not saying that I hate bootcut jeans or they are awful, they definitely aren’t and they definitely have their place in the denim world and quite rightly so, but skinny jeans for someone like me were a blessing. I could actually buy them and not have to worry about hemming them! Even if they were too long, a little bit of stacking at the ankle was ok and you could always tuck excess fabric under too, so I could wear them straight out of the mail! I also noticed that it was easier to move in them, I was able to wear them with all of my shoes and boots, so I no longer had pairs hemmed to certain lengths for specific shoes, and they never, ever got wet when it rained! I hated the fact that bootcut jeans always soaked up water to beyond your ankles when it was wet outside, and living in England, that was often!
Ever since I tried my first pair of skinny jeans, I have been hooked on them and they are all that I wear. I love them as skinny as possible now as I find the tighter they are on your legs, the slimmer you will look as it shows off your body shape rather than hide it. Luckily skinny jeans have literally taken over the denim world and they exist as a staple, more so than a bootcut jean now, and I love that they come in varying lengths. My go to choice now is ankle skinny jeans. These are supposed to be cropped and worn shorter, but on someone like me, they are actually full length! I will go into more detail for you about this in another post, but I definitely recommend the cropped versions!
Conclusion: Both bootcut and skinny styles are great, and it does generally come down to personal preference, however my answer to the question is always go for skinny jeans if you are petite or smaller. They are easier to wear and come with way less hassle than a bootcut does, plus they wont hide your body and they will be flattering. Bootcut jeans have their limits and skinny jeans don’t, so you can wear them all year round, with any footwear and literally with anything. I find them the most flattering on smaller women, nobody likes too much excess fabric flapping around! If you do want to go for a wider leg look, my recommendation is a skinny flare, that way you still show off your legs down to your knees, and you can put on some really high heels and hide them under the flare, giving your legs the appearance of about 4-5 inches more length! Ladies, which do you prefer? It would be great to share your opinions and thoughts too!