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Jeans - A FIT GUIDE

JEANS FOR SHORT MEN

This is the official Ash & Erie guide on how jeans should fit a shorter man. We’ve thoughtfully curated advice from style experts to provide you an in-depth guide that will help you feel confident in your next jeans purchase.

Table of Contents:

For us shorter men, buying a new pair of jeans is always a challenge. Let’s face it — modern-day jeans weren’t made with our stature in mind. For that reason, we decided to completely redesign the jean from scratch. We tested over 100 different measurements and combinations to come up with the perfect size and fit for the shorter man.

But enough about us. Let’s talk about jeans.

how jeans should fit

A picture of a short man wearing a pair of jeans.

For us shorter men, buying a new pair of jeans is always a challenge. Let’s face it — modern-day jeans weren’t made with our stature in mind. For that reason, we decided to completely redesign the jean from scratch. We tested over 100 different measurements and combinations to come up with the perfect size and fit for the shorter man.

But enough about us. Let’s talk about jeans. As a general rule, jeans should fit two main measurements: your waist size and leg length/inseam.

That’s why, when you look at any brand, they offer selection by waist and length — W and L. But for us short men, waist isn’t typically the problem — length is.

Length

Our legs are proportionately different than our taller friends. While our waist might be the same as someone who’s over 6 feet tall, our legs are almost always shorter. For instance, when’s the last time you saw a big denim brand like Levi’s offer length sizes shorter than 28L? Or even 30L? It just doesn’t happen.

An easy way to think about jean length is where the bottom of your jeans lands on your leg and how much of a “break” there is.

What is a break?

A break is essentially how much bunching there is in your jeans. You can have lots of bunching, in which there are multiple breaks, or you can have no bunching at all, in which there is no break. The number of breaks comes down to personal preference, but we suggest somewhere between no break and one full break, with a half break being the best choice for most men.

You also have the option to cuff your jeans. While most men prefer a clean, straight hem, some enjoy a cuff. Depending on your overall style and outfit, cuffing is a great option, but it should be an intentional choice and not something done just because your pants are too long.

Waist

Waist is pretty easy. The waist should be snug, but not too tight. The perfectly fitting waist would hug close to your body, which would allow you to wear them without needing a belt to hold them up. 

Rise

Rise isn’t typically something a lot of us think about, but it’s important to consider for our own style preferences. The rise of a pair of jeans determines where the waistband sits on your body. If it’s a low-rise pair of jeans, it will sit farther down and end up closer to your hip bones. High-rise jeans sit higher up and will land closer to your navel.

Generally speaking, a standard or normal rise looks best on most men, and we recommend a rise that isn’t too low or high.

Cut

This is something you’re likely more familiar with, as the cut of a pair of jeans is a more common selection. The most common cuts are Skinny, Slim, Straight, Regular, and Relaxed. Choosing a cut depends on your personal preference, but we recommend using a cut that lays closer to your legs, but not isn’t skin tight. For most men, this will be the Slim cut.

Generally speaking, the baggier the jean, the sloppier it looks. The slimmer the cut, the more it will compliment your frame and legs.

Fabric

One last factor to take into consideration is the fabric of the jeans itself. Fabric is important because the material will affect how jeans crease, move, and feel. The best denim fabric has a combination of durable cotton and elastane or other material that provides some stretch. With the right fabric, your jeans will provide a slim look, a soft feel that moves with you, and a durability that will last.

COMMON FIT MISTAKES

Common Fit Mistake #1: Your jeans are too long!

The biggest mistake most men make is not realizing their jeans are too long! Typically, the shortest inseam a brand sells is 30L, so most men resort to buying from those brands without realizing there are better options.

Tailoring your jeans (getting them hemmed) is certainly an option, but for most short men, it doesn’t work. While hemming jeans can provide the right length, it increases the leg opening and changes proportions in a way that typically doesn’t look good. You also lose the natural hem and can see when a cuff has been tailored.

Common Fit Mistake #2: Your jeans are too baggy!

Most short men wear a cut that’s too baggy for their own good. When you wear baggy jeans, it makes you look shorter. You probably don’t want that. 

Common Fit Mistake #3: Wrong Proportions

Most brands design their proportions around the average height of 5’10” or above. So, even though your jeans might fit in the waist, the proportions are off and you find issues like the knee on the jeans is where your shins are, the pockets sit too low on your legs, and the rise is too long for a shorter frame.

Common Fit Mistake #4: Quality of Material

Choosing the best quality of denim often means double checking what the material is made of and making sure it’s up to par with your standards. The fabric that a pair of jeans is made of will influence its longevity, which, in turn, will influence how much usage you get out of them. In other words, the higher quality material your jeans are made of, the longer they’ll last you.

THE ASH & ERIE ESSENTIAL JEAN

Building from scratch

When we set out to make a better jean for short men, we had to start completely from scratch. We worked with an expert designer, fit our samples on hundreds of shorter men, and worked with dozens of contacted dozens of mills and manufacturers to redesign the perfect pair of jeans for men of a shorter height. Our goal is to put your tailor out of business (just kidding).

Indigo Wash
Indigo Wash
Indigo Wash
Indigo Wash
Indigo Wash

The Essential Jean - Indigo Wash

These dark slim-fit jeans have a slight stretch that makes them comfortable to wear all day, every day.
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Midnight Black
Midnight Black
Midnight Black
Midnight Black
Midnight Black

The Essential Jean - Midnight Black

Rocking out on stage or walking around town, these black slim-fit jeans have a moderate stretch that fits whatever you're up to.
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Midtown Wash
Midtown Wash
Midtown Wash
Midtown Wash
Midtown Wash

The Essential Jean - Midtown Wash

At the office or out on a hike, these slim-fit medium wash jeans have subtle whiskers and a knee fade that is adjusted per inseam.
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