High Time for High-Rise

When it comes to jeans, where do you start? There are so many styles available now- many more than when I was a kid. Once I was past the Land’s End Kids snap-closure variety, I was only really aware of “boot-cut” jeans. I was never a huge fan of boot-cut. They just didn’t seem to work on me. They made me feel short and squat. Straight-legged started coming out once people got over their fear of the dreaded “tapered” leg, and these were better. Then, skinny jeans took over. These were the best yet, although it wasn’t until a few weeks towards the end of my senior year that I finally found a pair that wasn’t too thin and stretchy, or too tight around the waist.

At first I thought my Gap legging jeans were perfection- they didn’t make me feel short or add too much fabric to my smaller frame like I felt the boot-cut variety did, nor were they thin and more like leggings than actual jeans, nor were they low-rise. On my rounder hips, low rise did not stay up and had a high risk of producing a “muffin top”. But over time I had to acknowedge that they still had one annoying problem- they tended to slip down my hips slowly, becoming more and more low-rise. When I first pulled them on and pulled them way up, they seemed perfect. But they were made to sit lower, and started scooching their way downwards every time. Was it just a product of the fall that jeans could never fit me just right? Or was there a better style?

You’d think I would have thought of trying “high- rise” (or “high-waisted”) jeans sooner. But fear of looking like an 80’s revivalist and fear that my hips would be emphasized in a not very flattering way kept me away from them. Until recently. Gap stopped making “legging” jeans, and their other varieties just didn’t quite cut it for me, so I had to look elsewhere. I took myself to a Madewell and tried on a pair of their High Riser. They rise 9″, approximately an inch above normal mid-rise pants. I will admit that I was surprised by two things the moment I put them on- how incredibly comfortable they felt, and how…different…my hips looked in the mirror. Were they really that wide?! Hmm. I could’t decide if I liked them or not, but, over the next week and a half, I could’t get them out of my mind, so I dragged my husband to Madewell to get a second opinion. Both he and the eager store associate agreed that it was a good style for me. So, naturally, I went home and bought a pair on Ebay (ain’t got $128 for a pair of jeans these days, sadly, althought the quality of these jeans is excellent).

The more I saw myself in these jeans, the more I got used to looking a little different, and now, well, I love them! They are so comfy, they stay in place so much better, and they are so easy to tuck shirts into. They may emphasize your hips, but they also extend your legs. They are a slightly retro, ultra feminine, flattering style. They look good on curvy women, but also on vey straight women. I like them so much I almost don’t want to wear other styles of jeans! That’s why it’s so good to try different styles- even if you think they may not work for your body type. For this outfit I cuffed them, tucked in a loose-fitting button-down, and threw on some oxford flats.


Just chillin’ in Ohio…

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Shop the Look

Jeans, purchased used from ebay, available new in many washes here.

Shoes, old, similar available here.

Shirt, old from Gap, similar available here.

Gold Chair tassel necklace, old, simlar available here.

Do you have a long “jean history”, or do most styles seem to work on you? Have you tried high-rise? What do you think of them?


4 thoughts on “High Time for High-Rise

  1. hi Margaret! I wondered if you could give me some info about Madewell’s sizing. I don’t have a local store but I’m interested in buying a pair of their jeans online. However, I have no idea how their sizes run! Do you find that the measurements correspond to the size? i e. if it’s a size 28, does the waistband actually MEASURE 28? (PS what wash is this? perfect indigo!)


    1. Hey Gillian! As far as the 9 in.High Riser goes, the size does not match the measurement. I have two pairs of 25, and they actually measure 27 in. across. I’m not sure about their regular rise, though. And as for wash, sadly, I have no idea. I got them off eBay and it wasn’t specified (and they looked totally different in the pictures, lol, but it worked out ;).


  2. Thanks so much! the 9″ risers were indeed the one I was looking at, so what you say is really helpful. Glad to know about the difference – 2″ is substantial in a waistband! PS. Loved your Haute Couture posts from Sept. I just watched The First Monday in May (VERY worth a watch) and have been thinking similar thoughts these days! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good, I’m glad it was helpful! I’m not sure if any of my pants actually have their purported measurement… I’m so glad you liked the haute couture stuff- I’ve been getting more and more into it lately. I’ll definitely have to check out The First Monday!


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