Wearing Jeans As a Shorter Man (the Finer Points)

Jeans for short men

Jeans are an American staple and can now be worn in just about any situation. With our new jeans arriving over the coming weeks, we thought we would discuss the finer points of wearing jeans today.

The fact that jeans can be worn almost anywhere means we have to be a little more thoughtful about how to wear them, and with what!

Fit is of utmost importance.

A jean with the proper rise, appropriately slim leg, correct leg opening and the right inseam length is crucial.

Pants Rise

For the shorter man a rise that is not too long (which can make your crotch hang low between your legs) and not too short (which can make you look like you are wearing kids' pants) is a good place to start.

Note: If you're confused about pants rise, read this guide.

We have fussed over and worked a lot on our rise, and think it is perfect for our guy.

Leg Opening

Far too often, when I am traveling around the city and around the country, I see shorter men with pant legs and leg openings that are just too wide. We don't recommend super skinny jeans, but a leg that is appropriately slim is correct.

The proper width of the thigh, calf and leg opening will make your leg look longer and leaner, and you’ll look neater and more pulled together.

The right jean may even feel too snug when you first put it on. But the best part about jeans is that they start to mold to your body after a few wearings. With washing, they will get even more comfortable.

Denim always stretches when you wear it and tightens when you wash it. A good jean is yours to make your own. A jean with the right fit will always feel the most comfortable and look the best.

Jeans Length

The right inseam is important and often impossible to find for not-so-tall guys (well, not at Peter Manning). Shortening a jean almost never works for two reasons:

  1. First, if you have to shorten a jean, it is hard to recreate the original finish and hem. With the correct inseam you can maintain the original hem, which actually helps to keep your jeans hanging correctly.
  2. Second, shortening a jean results in a wider leg opening. This can totally change the fit of your jean.

Jeans with the proper inseam should break just over your shoe, and should never ever touch the ground below your heel. That worn away hem at the back of your pants is a sure sign you are wearing pants that are too long.

Inseams below 30” are often hard to come buy. Ours go to 26”. Many shorter men are surprised at what their real inseam is. Check yours before you purchase your next pair!

Style Notes

Great jeans (especially your PM jeans) can now serve as the foundation for the modern man’s wardrobe. 

Add a navy Essex jacket and an Everyday Shirt to our PMNYC Jean and you'll be ready for a meeting or dinner with friends. Adding a detail like a pocket square with dash of color like this red selvage pocket square from Hillside will kick your outfit up a notch.

An excellent oxford or slip on loafer will complete your look and take you almost anywhere. Throw on a shorter length necktie and you’ll be able to take your jeans into many of the finest restaurants.

For casual days or weekends chasing after the kids, pair your jeans with our Weekend Shirt and a great sneaker like a Jack Purcell, Adidas Campus or Vans slip on. You’ll be as comfortable and stylish as you can be while you do your errands or hang with friends.

A stainless steel watch is a great way to anchor this look. A refined piece such as a classic Datejust at 36mm is just right. Not too big like so many watches these days.

If you need to dress things back up a bit, add a classic loafer like this Bass penny. Tuck our white Everyday Shirt into your jeans and add a classic web belt in a navy or darker color (you don’t want to divide your torso with a contrasting belt), and you’ll have a classic look that will never go out of style.

Perfect for casual Fridays, at work or for Sunday brunch!