Jeans for Your Shape: Low Rise or High Waist?

13 April 2011

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I will be the first to admit that I used to be utterly clueless about jeans.  I think this is one of the clothing items most women struggle with the most, because they are such a staple for your wardrobe and can make or break your look.  A great pair of jeans can make you look and feel like a million dollars, while an ill-fitting pair will most likely cause you to feel like poo.  So getting it right is absolutely crucial because your jeans are one of your most important items in your wardrobe!

Finding the perfect fit and "rise" depends on two things.  a) Your body shape and b) your proportions.  Here is a breakdown of the different body shapes and what style of jeans suit them best: 

 Because you have fuller hips, it's better to go for a mid-rise to high-waisted jean.  This will suck in your curves and flatter them a lot better, as well as ensuring that you don't have a "muffin-top" hanging out over your jeans...not a good look!

Your hips will generally be a lot smaller, slighter or almost non-existent.  You can wear whatever style you want, but a low-rise jeans will suit you down to the ground and show off your slim hips.  

Now, here are the proportions: 

Short Waist
If you have a shorter waist and longer legs, you should stay away from high-waisted jeans and instead go for a low-rise or mid-rise jean.  This will create the illusion of a longer waist and make you look more proportionate.

Long Waist
If you have shorter legs and a longer waist, you should definitely stay away from the low-rise jeans and opt for a high-waisted style instead.  This will make your legs look much longer and your body look more in proportion.

Here's where it gets conflicting.  Your proportions and body shapes can clash with each other, which may cause jean shopping to get even more confusing.  For example, I have a very conflicting body type in that I am an hourglass shape, but I have a short waist.  Therefore, low-rise jeans look awful on me and give me a "spare tire" roll of flab where my hips are when I wear them.  (Ew).  But high-waisted jeans only make my waist look shorter, which in turn makes me look very oddly proportioned.  To counteract these problems I almost always go for a mid-rise jean.

This is an example of what a mid-rise jean looks like.  The waist should start about an inch or so below to just below your navel.  Anything that hits right at your bellybutton or above it is high-waisted.  You can see from this picture that the mid-rise jeans hold in my hips which gives them that contoured and more flattering look.  However they don't come up too high that they make my waist look super short.

Here is a picture of the same jeans, moved down to where a low-rise jean would typically hit.  You can see the huge difference that it makes to my body.  Although my waist looks longer, it's not very flattering as it just looks like there's too much "hip" going on!  However this look would suit anyone with very slim hips because it would highlight them and show them off.  On anyone with curves it just ends up looking like a big roll of flab, hahaha!

I wish I had known these things when I was a teenager.  It would have saved me so much grief!  When I was about 13/14 hipster jeans were really in and I just could not understand why they made me look so horrible :(  Now I know why!  But with the right pair of jeans you will feel so much better about yourself and hopefully it will all begin to make sense for you too :)  I really hope this post helps some of you. 

Stay Stylish!

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