How to Wear the Anti-Skinny-Jean Trend When You're Short

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I was a bit intimidated by the whole baggy-jean trend when it first appeared. I'm not a person who only wears skinny jeans, but I just assumed that the only people who looked good in the looser style were at least 5'9" (which is five inches taller than me). But anti–skinny jeans have become such a thing so quickly that I decided I could no longer avoid them. So I took my 5'4" self and set out to figure out how to wear anti–skinny jeans as well as the models do. (Wish me luck.)

First things first, finding the right loose-fit jeans is key. I looked for a non-stretch pair with less than a 30-inch inseam, deciding on Reformation's Dawson jeans (which have a 29-inch inseam). The jeans also have an ultra-high 12-inch front rise, which I knew would be helpful in making my legs look longer. The next step was figuring out what to wear with them. Since proportions can be tricky with baggy jeans, I took to Instagram in search of inspiration. The most successful baggy-jean outfits I came across featured tops that were cropped enough to expose the waistband and shoes that added some height.

Keep scrolling to see how I fared and to check out some of the baggy-jean outfits that inspired me, and shop my favorite pairs on the market.


My First Attempt
(Image credit: @allypayer)

I found this to be the easiest way to wear loose jeans: with a cropped sweater and heeled ankle boots. Since I'm a newbie at the trend, the simplicity of this combination worked well for me.


My Second Attempt
(Image credit: @allypayer)

This time, I went with a little more layering, pairing the Reformation jeans with a cropped cardigan, patent-leather jacket, and square-toe mules. I'd definitely wear this look again.

Shop My Jeans

More Baggy-Jean Outfits


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

Style tip: If you don't want to wear heels, go for clunky sneakers that offer some height.


(Image credit: @danie.sierra)

Style tip: If your top isn't cropped, simply tuck it in so that the waistband is exposed (which is lengthening).


(Image credit: @double3xposure)

Style tip: Try monochromatic pieces for a sleek look.


(Image credit: @carodaur)

Style tip: A fitted top is always a good idea when wearing loose jeans.


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Style tip: Make them appropriate for a night out by wearing strappy heels.


(Image credit: @sophiaroe)

Style tip: Put on a blazer and sleek accessories to add instant polish.

Shop More Anti–Skinny Jeans

Next up, find out which denim trend baggy jeans replaced.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.