There is probably no garment more versatile, fashionable, and yet confounding than a pair of women’s jeans. We have all had that experience of pulling on the perfect pair of women’s jeans that feel great next to your skin and make you look fabulous at the same time—but figuring out jean’s labels and fashion magazines? That is another matter entirely. Jeans manufacturers give us lots of options. For instance, are high rise and high waist jeans the same thing? What are the differences in the silhouette of the jeans? The key is figuring out what will work best with your body type and your lifestyle. Let’s talk jeans.
High rise jeans are defined as having a fit at or above the belly button, and generally, the jeans rise measures 9–10 inches. Thus, high rise jeans are often called high waist jeans. But then there are super high rise jeans that measure 11.5 inches or higher to give you even more options (and complicate the terminology). For women with a long torso and shorter legs, high-rise jeans will elongate your legs.
Like every other kind of jeans, high rise jeans go in and out of fashion. If you prefer a fashion-forward look for your jeans, check the latest fashion magazines for ideas of what length or rise is on-trend. If you like a classic look, high rise jeans will always have a place in your wardrobe. They are perfect with a blouse tucked in (or left out) and a women’s cardigan.
Also called mid waist and medium rise, mid rise jeans sit between the hip and the belly button. The rise on these jeans is usually eight to nine inches. When a mid rise jean falls just above the widest part of your hips, this can emphasize your curves in a way that makes you appear slimmer. Mid rise jeans are a great wardrobe staple. But, of course, you can always wear them with a women’s white blouse. Both high rise and mid rise jeans can be worn with blouses or tees tucked in — either all the way around or just in front for a graceful flow — as well as with tunic tops.
Low rise jeans sit at the hip. The rise on these jeans typically measures 7–8 inches. A longer tank top with low-rise jeans can be a great look. If you like showing off that great middle, a cropped t-shirt or sweater can do the trick. If you prefer a little more coverage, try on different brands of both low rise and mid rise jeans. What is low rise in one brand might be super low, where what is mid rise in another brand is almost low rise. When in doubt, see where the waistband lands on your body in a full-length mirror and try it with a few different styles of tops to see what might work.
When shopping for jeans, it helps to know your waist and hip measurements and what inseam length you prefer in jeans, which may differ depending upon what shoes or boots you wear with them. Jot down those numbers or plug them into your smartphone and have them handy while you browse online or shop in stores. Better yet, keep a measuring tape with you if you shop in-store so you can measure inseams and rises before trying on various pairs of jeans.
Finding the best jeans for you depends upon several factors, but it is easier than it seems at first glance. High rise and mid rise jeans are both easy to wear with various styles of women’s t-shirts. You can bend over easily without wondering if you are showing your midriff. Low rise jeans can be flattering and stylish but are a bit like wearing a shorter skirt — you will want to know how you will be bending and moving in them in advance to make sure you will be comfortable.
Silhouette is another category where it’s worth your time to experiment. Skinny jeans conform to the shape of your leg, while straight-leg jeans provide a more classic look. Bootcut jeans can add style and visual balance to your silhouette. Flair jeans are wider at mid calf and the bottom of the leg than bootcut jeans.
When you have some time, try out some different options so you can see what looks and feels best on your figure. Soon, you’ll find that perfect pair of jeans!