High-Rise vs. Low-Rise Jeans

There’s nothing like finding the perfect pair of jeans. Regardless of how you style them, they’ll forever remain a classic closet staple. Yet finding the perfect pair comes at a cost: long hours in dressing rooms have us contemplating between vintage and new, distressed or acid wash, and, the biggest question of all: low-rise or high-rise?

The great jean debate seemingly started last year when millennials and Gen Z; collided over which silhouette was superior: skinny or wide-leg. While millennials clung to the nostalgic tight fit, Gen Z saw comfort in relaxed denim. A year later, the discourse continues, with both generations questioning the resurgence of low-rise jeans compared to the previous decade’s preference for high-rise jeans. We say an argument can be made for both – as long as you feel comfortable. Let’s discuss!

Low-Rise Jeans

For jeans, rise describes the point from the top of the waistband to the seam of the crotch. When searching for low-rise jeans, remember they have the smallest rise and are designed to sit below the natural waistline, underneath the navel. Some of us remember the widespread popularity of low-rise jeans during their early aughts. The style has been criticized for promoting a negative body image; however, today, the market for low-rise jeans has again expanded, as they are favored for elongating the torso.

Our Picks:

H&M+ Flare Low Jeans ($29.99, shop here)

AE Stretch Low-Rise ’90s Skinny Kick Jean ($59.95, shop here)

ASOS Design Curve Organic Cotton Low-Rise Jeans ($58, shop here)

High-Rise Jeans

In contrast, high-rise jeans reach above your natural waistline and hit around the midsection. Some options, named “super-high-rise” or “ultra-high-waisted,” will extend above the navel. Whichever style you choose, high-waisted jeans should extend the legs, cinch in the waist, and accentuate the chest. In the 2000s, they were dubbed “mom” jeans, but we now know how cool a good pair can be.


Our Picks:

Ava & Viv High-Rise Ankle Straight Jeans ($35, shop here)

Pilcro The Supermodel High-Rise Flare Jeans ($148, shop here)

Levi’s Premium ’70s High-Rise Slim Straight Jeans ($108, shop here)

Which do you prefer? High-rise or low-rise jeans? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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