High-Waisted vs Low-Rise Pants ~ What Should You Choose?

High-Waisted vs Low-Rise Pants ~ What Should You Choose?

Can’t seem to choose between high-waisted or low-rise pants? Both styles can provide a stylish and elegant look that compliments your body, however there are some major differences that shouldn’t be overlooked based on your body type. So before you make a decision, check out the differences listed below.
  • High-rise pants tend to visually lengthen your legs and shorten your torso, which can provide a natural balance for someone with shorter legs. For people with long torsos, this may be the best option, as a shirt tucked into a pair of low-rise pants can slide out giving you a sloppy, unbalanced look.
  • Mid-rise pants are great for people with a good height balance between torso and legs. However, keep in mind that your rise size might be different than someone else’s of a similar height. That’s why it’s so important to have your trousers tailored to your specifications. What looks like low-rise pants on someone else might be considered mid-rise on you, and vice versa.
  • Low-rise pants can be thought of as the opposite of high-rise pants. If you have a short torso and long legs, a lower rise will help restore the natural balance between the two.

High versus Low Rise pants


Rise: Defined

When talking about clothes: high and low waisted refer to where the garment's waistline is meant to sit relative to your torso. For example, low waisted pants are also called low rise pants and are designed to sit on your hips; high waisted pants are designed to sit higher than your belly button.

The “rise” is the length from the top of the pants to the bottom of the crotch. High-waisted, also known as a high-rise, pants sit higher on the midsection than its low-rise counterpart. Some women prefer the look of high-waisted pants, as it helps to define their midsection with the desired waist-to-hip ratio.

High-waisted pants were once the “go-to” choice among women during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and they gradually fell out of style — up until now. It’s safe to say that high-waisted trousers are now making a big comeback, with celebrities and working women alike wearing them.

Slimming Effect of Low-Rise Pants

Of course, low-rise pants have also become popular due to their slimming effect on certain body types. Granted, wearing a pair of low-rise jeans isn’t going to shed those unwanted pounds from your mid section, but it can create the perception that you are taller and slimmer. This is particularly beneficial for shorter women, as wearing lower-waisted pants can balance their appearance by making them look taller.  Pair lower waisted pants with a bodysuit or an untucked longer shirt to prevent any chances of bending down and showing more than you would like - especially when playing sports or being more active.

Low Waisted Pants


Lengthening Effect of High-Rise Pants

It’s important to keep the rise of your pants in mind when putting together the rest of an outfit. For example, adding an accessory like a belt can help “shorten” the length of a high-rise by taking up an inch or two of that vertical space (Like you can see in the second picture below). On the other end of the spectrum, a belt-less look will do just the opposite, which can be great for women with shorter legs.

Women use this little trick all the time, and it works like a charm.  Look how Zooey Deschanel and Olivia Wilde – two women with shorter legs – visually shorten their torso, creating a desired waist-to-hip ratio with higher waisted pants or skirts.

high waisted pants small fittedhigh waisted pants


Now for the most important question: which style of pants is more comfortable to wear? High-waisted or low-rise? Some people assume that low-rise bottoms are the most comfortable to wear, simply because they don’t constrict around your midsection. This is true in some cases, but as long as you choose premium, high-quality pants made with soft fabrics, you’ll find that both high-waisted and low-rise pants can be equally as comfortable to wear.

The bottom line is that you really can’t go wrong with either high-waisted or low-rise pants. High-waisted pants are making a comeback in the world of fashion, but low-rise pants remain just as popular depending on your preference and body type. Consider the occasion for which you’ll be wearing the pants as well and choose a rise that’s most appropriate based on your body type. If you have the body type where you can pull off both looks, we recommend owning both styles of pants so you can alternate them depending on the style and look you are going for.

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