Review – Gap Broken-In Skimmers

As mentioned in last week’s Petite Fashion Challenge post, my newest mission is to find non-jean casual pants. I live in denim, and even then, I only own about 3 different styles, with multiples of the styles I really like (like those darn bootcut Paige jeans you see me in almost every day in the Week in Outfits posts. I own more than one pair, I swear!). Even I’m getting bored with my lack of options, which means I’m sure you are too.

I believe my denim addiction grew for a few reasons:

1. I’m born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the denim capital of the world. With such a heavy film industry influence on fashion, designer denim is our uniform. The power suit comprises of a pair of Rock and Republic’s and a black blazer.

2. Up until recently, I worked in the research side of the biotech industry. When working with dangerous, corrosive, or acidic materials on a daily basis, the last thing you want to do is wear nice clothes.

3. Bottoms are really hard to find for my body type. Jeans, with their low-rise fits and stretchy fabric content, are the best fitting bottoms I can find without major and costly alterations, so I tend to stick to what’s easier and available to find. Some reasons bottoms are so hard to fit on me:

– Having a short torso means I need a shorter pant rise than the average woman. Also, being 4’11” means I need a shorter rise than more average sized women. Being short andhaving a short torso means I need a REALLY short rise compared to most women. Jeans come in really short rises, that on many women are indecently low-rise, but on me, pleasantly mid-rise. I love low-rise jeans!- I have thin thighs and legs, so finding a pair of pants that don’t swallow my limbs in a sea of fabric is quite hard to find. Most non-denim pants need a hefty amount of slimming in the leg, which can get costly.

Now, I know you must be thinking by now…”just wear skirts! Duh!“…being the tomboy that I am, skirts are something I get the occasional itch to wear, but are NOT my everyday staple. In skirts, I find myself fidgeting, pulling, adjusting, smoothing, and just overall being aware of the fact I’m wearing a skirt. Often, the most pleasant part of my day is slipping out of a skirt, and back into a pair of pants…ahhhhh….that’s better!

So here is my latest attempt at casual non-denim pants, which just so happens to be a marvelous example of the fit problems I usually find with bottoms. I chose to try this particular pair after seeing them look fabulous on another petite blogger.

On me: H&M t-shirt, size xs | GAP pants, size 00P | Cole Haan shoes, size 5

Take a look at how much extra fabric is folding and poofing at the crotch. I can literally grab a handful of extra fabric there. These pants are sitting on my high hip, which is where I like pants to hit, but are obviously supposed to sit much higher. The rise on these pants are too high for me, and without alterations, are giving me “man-crotch”.

Hiking the waist up to where the rise begins to flatten out results in “mom-pant” (no offense to all the stylish mom’s out there who do not wear mom-pants!):


The rise on these pants are far too high for me, swallowing up almost half of my torso. To sit at this height, the waist would need to be altered, and even after hiking the waist up, the crotch is still not very flattering.

Now let’s take a look at the rear:


Those are some sad looking legs! There is nothing good-looking about that rear view. If it weren’t for my ankles dangling out the bottom, you’d never guess there were any legs in there at all! These would need some major slimming if I were to alter.

To sum things up, I need:

– A much shorter rise.
– A much slimmer leg silhouette.
– or…a bazillion dollars for alteration costs.

The search continues!

Do any similarly sized ladies have casual-pant recommendations for me to try?

Disclosure – Clicking or purchasing through the links in this post may yield commissions for See the Alterations Needed Disclosure for more details.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Petite LG

    Finding a pair of pants that fit right is tough. I have yet
    to found anything that I am in love with except the LOFT wool trouser after
    seeing it on you. Those pants are certainly not for summer.  I gave up on pants since I have no problems
    wearing skirts to work every day. It’s nice to have variety though. **Sigh**


  2. says: Katherine

    I always have this problem, and therefore don’t wear anything but jeans (5 ft, sz 25).  

    While I’m not too sure if Paige has these, I know that Sevens  (their straight leg have worked great for me) have a number of styles not in denim (this, for example,  Perhaps, though the price is still high, sticking with brands you know consistently work, and trying their other styles.  

  3. says: Irene Wang

    When these come back in smaller sizes again, I recommend these boot cut cords by J. Crew!

    They’re really more of a straight cut and are lightweight enough to wear even in warmer weather and thick enough to wear in the fall/winter too. I have the same fit issues as you – petite with a short torso – and these hit just above my hip and don’t require me to wear a belt with them!

  4. says: Sachie_maile

    Good luck!  I have a similar problem… I’ll keep on reading to see what you come up with.
    On another not, thanks to your forum, I found a couple of denims from Delia’s that fit me pretty well.  

      1. says: Sachie_maile

        Hi Kelly, thanks!  BTW I love your outdoor photos (I mentioned this on FB). I know it   is hard but I appreciate all the work you do to get fantastic pictures.  Love my Delia jeans :O)

  5. says: fifi

    I am the same size as you and I have the same problem therefore have an extensive jean collection! and yes thank goodness I live in L.A. where it is the uniform but, I have had the best luck with pants at BEBE… the only problem is depending on the season sometimes their suiting collection is minimal.

  6. says: chemist

    Hi Kelly! I’ve been a long time reader but never commented… I really enjoy your blog! I love your style.. I too am working in the research side of a biotech and wanted to know what you wore in the lab and still look chic.. it’s something i really struggle with cause after ruining some clothes a few times you really don’t want to wear nice things to work! and what kind of shoes did you wear? I feel like the options are really limited because you have to stand all day and be safe (i.e. flats usually expose the tops of your feet). thanks so much!!

    1. Hi! Thanks for commenting!

      Working in a lab and dressing nice can be really tough! You want to look nice, but the thought of getting bleach spots or acid burns on nice clothes or shoes is terrifying! In the lab, I wore a lot of jeans, but usually my older styles and less expensive pairs. I rarely wore jackets, since it’s restricting to wear them under a lab coat. Where I tried to dress up a little was with my tops and cardigans. Since your tops are usually well covered by a lab coat, it’s safer to wear nicer blouses. As for shoes, if I was working with heavy duty stuff, I’d wear sneakers (love my classic suede Pumas!), otherwise I’d wear really short, loafer style kitten heels. I cheated a little with these, since they never covered the very top of my feet, but I felt much more professional in them than on the days when I wore sneakers. I’ve attached a little image of the exact same style I wore almost everyday.

  7. says: Laura Frost

    I am 4’10” and I just bought the Marisa Cropped Cargo Pant from Loft in 00P and love them! Maybe give them a try?

  8. says: natali

    Hi Kelly, i’ve also been following you for quite some time but have never comment til today. I have similar challenge in finding non denim pants that fits me. My recent purchase was a pair of Paige cropped trousers from Shopbop. One warning regarding Paige sizing; for pants other than jeans the sizing are much bigger! I’m typically a sz 25 in Paige, but Kenya cropped trousers fit like a 27.  Well thats been my experience anyway, i’m hoping to shrink mine in the wash.
    Wishing us both luck in our search for stylish trousers.

  9. says: Elle

    I don’t really have any helpful advice for finding pants that would flatter your body type but I do empathize with having a body type that is also not very pant-appropriate. I take the easy way out and just wear skirts/dresses.

    I do have to say you look incredible in dresses and skirts, I remember this EVER skirt that looks simply beautiful on you and fits wonderfully. I think you’ll get accustomed to skirt-wearing faster than you think (haha come over to the dark side).

  10. says: PF

    pants from j.crew might work. Pants run large in the hips and thighs at the Gap. My go-to pants for the weekend are j.crew everyday chinos.
    thank you for your review above. I have very large thighs for a petite and it explains why I can’t find a pair of jeans to save my life.

  11. says: petitesteph

    I would check out ASOS petite pants!  I just got their black “soft” skinny jeans, which feel more like twills than jeans.  The fit is perfect for me (I’ve got a short torso and am just an inch taller than you).  The exact ones I got might not be for you — they’re basically black jeggings — but they’ve got all kinds of styles.

  12. says: Amber

    i love your commentary, and words like “man-crotch”
    i’ve had no luck with these type of pants fitting correctly, and im bigger than you, so i have no advice. i’ll let you know if i find anything!

  13. says: AUBREY

    I do really like these type of pants, rolled up at the bottom, so I think we’re on the right track.  I think these pants would be great if they were 2 sizes smaller.  hahaha.

    I’m sure you’ll find ones small enough for your frame.  I look forward to your continued search.

  14. says: Amy

    Please don’t be offended by this suggestion – I am very much in the same boat as you both size-wise and being a jeansophile (actually, I am more of a sweatpantophile, but I don’t publicly admit this.)  I strongly endorse buying kid’s clothes, especially the more premium brands (Joe’s, J brand, juicy, crewcuts, etc.)  I love kids’ pants because they fit better (I wear a 14 slim usually) and are almost always a far better price.  For the majority of items out there, no one would ever know they didn’t come from the women’s (or petite!) department. 

    1. Hi Amy! No offense taken! :)

      I’ve tried kid’s bottoms before, but I’m a bit too curvy for them. They pull and bunch in the crotch, and just aren’t very attractive. I think it’s because I have a bit of an “ample” rear end that needs more curves in the hip than most kid’s pants can offer. But it’s amazing you can fit them! They’re much cheaper than similar styles in missy sizes.

  15. says: misskitty

    Hi Kelly, I love your blog, and since we are pretty much the same size, your reviews let me know what something would look like on me!  My advice is to try coloured denim for a different look if you are already comfortable with the fit.  I have the True Religion Lizzy Crop in white in size 24, and I swear the rise is like, 6.5 inches.  Plus being cropped, no hemming!  

    I also like the J Brand Houlihan skinny crop cargos.  The rise is a bit higher on these but they are very fitted through the hips and waist.  Not sure if it’s your style.  I’m 4’11, waist 23, hip 31.5, inseam 28″

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks misskitty! That’s looking more and more like a fabulous option. I might still be wearing jeans…but at least they’ll be a different color than this blue denim boringness I have going on. :)

  16. says: GRITS

    Kelly we are about the same size and I too have the short torso problem.  I recently found a great buy at Aeropostale of all places.  not really my kind of store but they were having a BOGO free sale at the time and my teenage sis dragged me in!  The pants have more of a cargo feel to them but are cropped and really cute with heels (sandals) and a tank.  They are officially my favorite pair of non-denim, non-work pants!  Wish I would have grabbed a few pair.  I will try to post a pic in the forum when I get a chance b/c i cant seem to find them online :-(  Good luck!

  17. says: Laura Stilwell

    I have these exact.same.problems. and it drives me nuts. The only success I have had was discovering Hudson cords (Hudson to me is what Paige is to you – love those jeans!). I’m hoping other ladies with similar problems can help us both out! Somehow it does help a little to see others with the same issues, even if we have no solutions, that’s why I love the petite community. We’re not alone! 

  18. says: Sea Cricket

    Great site–been visiting it for awhile and incorporating your ideas into my wardrobe buying adventures with great luck.  This jeans post literally captures my exact same issue–I live in jeans:  Lucky brand, Paige denim, Abercrombie, and Joe’s all work for me.  For casual pants, I have a couple of twill pants from Sanctuary.  I had to have them hemmed up (too long), and they have a tad of a gap in the back, but not much and easily handled with a belt w/o any bulky gathering around the waist.  I’m curious to try some of the other brands mentioned below and hear how you make out.  Gap and J.Crew pants have never worked for me.  For comparison purposes, I’m 5’4″, 115 pounds, a bit pear shaped, long in the torso, with a 29-30″ inseam.  Good luck and thanks for your work on this blog!

  19. says: Bonhomie

    J Brand low rise skinny corduroys. They have a 7 1/4 rise. Not sure if this really qualifies as low rise, but it’s a start. They have a nice selection of colors. I’m a big fan of this brand, as well as Paige.

  20. says: A

    Oh wow, you’re like my style twin! I’m 4’11” and short waisted too :( I love dresses and skirts but am shy about showing my legs, which is why I live in tights. But come summer I’m always at such a loss when it comes to getting dressed.
    Apart from being short waisted, most of my weight is concentrated in the top area :( tummy, arms and boobs. You have a beautifully flat tummy so I’d say you have more options. Any tips for me?

    1. Hi A! Honestly, it sounds like you’re already doing a great job! Short-waisted women have a tendency to hold more weight in their torso, but we do often have great legs. By wearing dresses and skirts, you’re already showing off one of your (many, I’m sure) best assets. ;)

      I’m also shy about showing my legs (hello, pants!), so I get what you’re saying. I also like flared or full skirts when wearing dresses/skirts because they give a great illusion of a smaller waist (which, us short-waisted girls have a hard time achieving). You may also want to try playing with what I’ve dubbed the “X-principle”. Wearing blouses or sweaters that create an “x” shape on your torso help to create the illusion of a more hourglass shape. You can see what I mean here:

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