Wednesday 22nd March 2023
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Suddenly loving the notion of high-rise jeans

cher—high-rise jeans

Does Cher not look fabulous here? I remember being so struck by this image of her in the brilliant style guide Cheap Chic (which came out in 1975 and has since been reissued and which you should by all means snap up, as it’s a timeless classic). I’m very much feeling this look. It seems polished and sexy and new, even though it’s been around for a little while.

Frame Denim—high rise jeans

I like the solid dark wash on this pair from Frame denim, and it’s got a staggered hem, which is very of the moment.

Rag & Bone—High Rise Jeans

It’s tough to find a high-waisted pair in a boyfriend cut, but these—from Rag & Bone—are rather good.

Current Elliot—high-rise jeans

Here’s a slick black pair.

Citizens of Humanity—High rise jeans

I’m liking the grayish  wash on this Citizens of Humanity pair.

Citizens of Humanity jeans

These have a nicely beaten-up look.

Posted on January 19th, 2017 24 Comments

24 Responses

  1. ljchicago says:

    I also love the idea but how to avoid the dreaded “mom” jeans? I tried high-rise jeans a few years ago and they were terrible! My abs aren’t bad but after two kids and being “of a certain age” I couldn’t pull it off. Can those of us with hips wear these??

    • Beth C. says:

      You can! It takes some looking, but it’s easier than you think. The thing I found that helped was finding a pair that fit well in the waist and hips, which honestly meant taking mine to the tailor, but it was a cheap fix. Also, you don’t want a lot of stretch, that way they don’t all frumpy in the lower tummy area. I also find straight leg is a bit more forgiving than skinny- especially given that I’m getting less stretch.

  2. c.w. says:

    I have one pair of high-rise jeans. They’re J. Crew jeans. I had to try on about a million pair to find one that didn’t look like Mom Jeans. The “re-done Levis” were the most Mom Jean looking ones on me. Every body is different, of course, so I’m guessing to find the one perfect pair means a lot of trying on. I will say this: I love my high risers because I don’t have to worry about them falling down or a muffin top or my shirt being too short in the back.

  3. y.k. says:

    beautiful pic of Cher. sad that high waist jeans look awful on me.

  4. FYI, the links need to be fixed for the second and third pair of jeans.

    I really like Madewell’s high-rise jeans but only their 9″ rise. Anything longer than that doesn’t look good for my long torso & short legs/inseam body combo.

  5. Lesley says:

    My thoughts exactly—of course these all look super cool, but these jeans strike me as territory of the thin—and I say that with zero body-hating on my part, I promise. There was a reason some of us snapped up the lower rises with glee when they started making them in the late 90s. I think they are easier to wear. That said, I still don’t tuck anything in!

  6. Rachel says:

    Nearly 50, I find there is a peri-menopausal migration of many cells from my back-end to my front (i.e. “why is my ass flatter and my stomach rounder?”) and these high-rise jeans would only amplify this new reality.

    Can’t help wondering how old Cher is in that pic ….

  7. Rebecca says:

    As someone with a long torso, and short legs, I always found that high rise jeans just made my ass look even bigger. Ditto with cropped jeans: it just emphasises the stumpiness of my legs. I do admire them on the tall and willowy, but am dreading my next shopping trip for jeans….

  8. Debra says:

    CHER! She is SO fabulous. I have been awaiting the full-fledged return of the high-rise like a kid awaits Christmas morning. I *feel* all the comments above but. . . the next time you are out and about, slow down and take a long look at GOCA wearing the less-than-high rise jeans and ask yourself: are those jeans really flattering that lady? My office is casual so I do this quite a bit and the answer, 9 times of 10, is no. I’ve missed tucking without fear for the past years so I’m going to be cheerfully shopping for my new high-risers!

  9. C.S. says:

    I’m excited about the high rise. I’m not tall, and I’m short waisted. My body is pretty straight, but there is a little bit of a waist that never gets seen. The high rise allows me to wear shorter tops at my natural waist, and I feel more feminine showing the little bit of curve I have. I don’t have to be self conscious about exposing my tummy, which shorter rise jeans do not allow. I don’t have the flattest stomach, or juiciest rear by any means, but it works somehow. I’m really enjoying the Rachel Comey Legion and Slim Legion, they have the super rise that I need.

  10. DeDe says:

    Putting on my dissent collar here: I’m a shorty, and have a big butt (and I cannot lie). Higher-waisted jeans, as long as they have a slimmer leg and some stretch, are more wearable for me than low rises are – they’re comfortable, make my legs look longer, and keep it all under control in the back 40. If I’m having a GPD (Granny Panty Day), no one else is gonna know.

  11. MV says:

    Oh no, please… high waisted jeans. For most of us “of a certain age” lower rise jeans are so unflattering and just plain hard to wear. Can our favourite brands have a choice of rise so that we can get what we need/want? Mid rise please. Let’s hope this is a short lived phase.
    And while we are on the topic of jeans…..
    Kim, could you please give us a lesson on how to style boyfriend fit jeans during the winter season. They look great rolled up with short boots….but in Canada, having bare skin between where your boot ends and your jeans begins is just not on in the Winter. Your help would be much appreciated.

    • MV says:

      Whoops….should have proofread before submitting. High waisted jeans are unflattering and hard to wear. As are super low rise jeans. Mid rise is the way to go. Almost universally flattering IMO.

  12. emm says:

    I love the Madewell’s too! I think the leg cut is what divides the mom-jeans from the cool jeans. The high waist with a slim leg, like the jeans Cher has on, look cool.

    But I agree, it does take lots of experimenting if you want to try this style. Then again, it also took me a while to find skinny jeans that fit me right when they first came out.

  13. CJ says:

    I haven’t bought a pair of jeans or pants since high rise came back into style and I’m getting desperate. All I can find in the low-rise arena are jeggings and if I wanted to wear spandex I’d wear leggings and call it a day. If anyone can recommend a good low rise jean/pants that’s available (say a 7inch rise) I would greatly appreciate it.

  14. jhops says:

    Good god – even the brand I love, Citizens of Humanity, only has high & mid-rise styles now. Guess I’m off to the thrift store to find the “out of style” styles, for around $25!

  15. EW says:

    I *love* the FRAME high-risers…soooo comfy and let’s you get away with cropped-ish tops, sanely

  16. MR says:

    Kim, How old is too old for ripped jeans? Just wondering….

    • Viajera says:

      I find new jeans with rips to be highly illogical, as Spock might say, if he cared. I don’t see an age problem though. Fashion has gotten too crazy for that now. Follow your heart. I mean I know you asked Kim and not me… but the pre-ripped thing kinda gets my goat a little, though, really in the scheme of things…

  17. Nancy says:

    What about the staggered hem? I have mixed feelings about it.

  18. Hick from Styx says:

    I have always loved high-waisted jeans! Why? They’re much more feminine on me because they emphasize the waist. I have a pear shape, which comes with a high waist. My waist is small, in proportion, so why wouldn’t I want to show it off?

    The secret to not having mom jeans is in the legs and the material. Cleverly-cut jeans avoid the bulky material, have just the right amount of stretch, and slim your legs. Some high-rise jeans have a tummy control panel built in. So comfortable. Waists with gathering? Yuck. But well-made high waists with a bit of ease via concealed stretch in the waistband? Yes!

    Why I don’t like low-rise or even midrise jeans on me: they emphasize the widest part of my body, they create muffin top, they pull down when I sit (who needs to see that?), and the worst of them try to fall down even when I’m standing, so I’m always having to adjust them.

    We have all different body shapes, so high-waisted jeans should always be available. All silhouettes have different needs. One shape does not suit all.

    • Viajera says:

      I too think the Mom jean thing is mostly about the pleats… which should not exist. That, and the tapered leg. I see tapered leg jeans all the time at Costco and it has boggled my mind. From reading these comments though… maybe they look better on?

      I agree with you that a variety of rises is ideal. It makes no sense to try to force everyone into the same style. We must resist!! ; )

      • Viajera says:

        My most comfy pair of jeans is sooooo old that they are high rise. In fact, they are *too* high rise. (did I shrink? Don’t answer that!). So they would be perfect if I could just chop them down like an inch. Right now they hit me just above where I feel like I don’t want my jeans to be.

  19. Trish says:

    I recently bought a pair of high-waisted skinnies by AG, in a dark grey wash. They are hands down the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned – they’re ridiculously soft – and super flattering. Pricey, but I gotta say, worth it.