Jeans for Short Dudes

Over the past few years I have had a lot of opportunities to talk to shorter guys about the fits of their jeans. By shorter guys I mean guys in a regular 5’6″ to 5’8″ height, which is pretty average. Unfortunately, most denim brands, with only a few exceptions, only offer men’s jeans in at least 34″, which is way too long for the average sized dude.

I decided to search for some answers and solutions and really hope that this helps to make you guys feel more secure about how to wear your jeans self-assured and cool as if you were a 6’2″ basketball player! 🙂

“Let’s face it, most men aren’t the 6 foot plus angular male models gracing catwalks – a lot of us are only reaching the not-so-dizzying heights of in and around 5’7”. This is considered short but really it’s more average.

One of the hardest pieces of apparel to get right are jeans. With shorter guys you find it can be notoriously difficult to track down a pair where the leg length correctly matches the waist size. It seems you can’t win.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping for a new pair of jeans:

Rise and Length:

Pay more attention to the rise, not so much the length, as this can be fixed by hemming the bottom. But if the seat/thigh area is off, then you’re up the creek – no one wants a baggy butt to make it appear as though they’ve soiled themselves or have their own jeans threaten to castrate them. Make the fit count.


Jeans for Short Dudes Some men opt for “stacking” their jeans, this is perfect for jeans that fit on the waist but are a little longer than your natural inseam.

While wearing them, push the leg of the jeans up and let them slide naturally back into place as you walk around, this will create a nice stacked (or folded) effect at the bottom where the denim meets your shoes and at the back of the knee.

This works particularly well when worn with high tops, skate shoes, boots and any high or chunky footwear as it helps hold the bottom of the jeans in place.


Hemming Jeans, if stacking isn’t your thing, then we recommend opting for getting your jeans hemmed. This means they’ll now fit on both your waist and in length. Thankfully this is an easy and cheap option, (even cheaper if you know how to do it yourself) most tailors or dry cleaners will do it for you.
Make sure to ask them to keep the original hem, especially on jeans. This is the choice to go for if you want the leg of your jeans to be sleek and straight with minimal creases or folds.

Below you can see both ways how to achieve the original hem look.

Jeans for Short Dudes original hem

original hem 2

Fits & Styles:

Some people recommend a boot cut being good for shorter men but this is a trend that died for a reason – it’s awful. Whatever you do, please don’t opt for the dreaded boot cut, or even worse the flare.

The only time a boot cut is mildly acceptable is when you’re wearing, surprise surprise, boots! Even then it’s not entirely necessary as you can turn your jeans up, stack them or have them hemmed to the correct length.

The way to go is the straight or slim fit because they match virtually anything you team it up with, they appear to elongate the leg and baggy jeans can make you look younger and edgier.

Check out the following images for inspiration!

short men straight

Straight Style

short m  slim

Slim Style

short men slim straight

Slim Straight

short men relaxed

Relaxed Style


Here are a few tips for you:

  • Turn-ups look great on jeans and mean you don’t have to go through the lengthy hemming process.
  • Get jeans to fit your form – baggy is generally bad and skin-tight is too tight.
  • Go for a dark wash, light washes are cool too but a darker wash will generally work in more situations.

So. let us know if you found this helpful and add your own comments at the end of this post. Denimology is striving to solve any “denim problem” and if you issue is not mentioned here, shoot us an e-mail so we can find an answer to all your “dilemmas”!


  1. Menswear can’t be too tight for males but for cross-dressing females, it is A-O.K. & encouraged ! What a double standard and anti-male sexism; males should have the complete freedom spectrum within menswear ,i.e. pants , jeans, cowboy boots & tall riding boots not female transvestites !

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