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What Is the Rise on Jeans? [Low, Mid, High]. How to Measure Rise

Understanding some key measurements will help you find the perfect pair of jeans without trying on every style in the store! If you have ever wavered between buying a low rise or high rise pair of jeans, you already know that one of these crucial measurements is something called the rise. So, what exactly is the rise on jeans?

The rise on jeans is the distance between the crotch seam and the top of the waistband at the front of the pants. Most brands offer jeans in a low, regular, or high rise style. Low-rise jeans often have a measurement of around 8”, medium-rise jeans have a measurement of 9-11”, and high-rise jeans have a measurement of more than 10”.

In this article, you will find out how to measure the rise on jeans. You will learn key differences between a low and high and a medium and high rise. Finally, you will find tips for matching the right style to your body type.

What Is the Rise on Jeans

What is the Rise on Jeans?

What is the Rise on Pants
The rise on jeans describes the distance from the top of the waistband to the seam where the crotch meets the legs of the pants. This important measurement determines where the waistband of your pants will rest on your body. For example, the top of the waistband could stretch low across your midsection, just above your hips, or it could wrap around your natural waist above your navel.Some pant styles, such as formal dress pants, traditionally come with just one kind of rise, usually a mid-rise. Other styles, like jeans, usually come in many different cuts and offer a variety of different rise measurements.When you consider what style you like for yourself, you will want to consider two major issues. First, you want to find a rise that accentuates your waistline in a positive manner. You can find more information on how to pick the right style for your body type later on in this article!

Second, you want to find a jeans rise that looks fashionable. Over time, pants styles for men and women have changed dramatically. Think about the kind of pants your grandpa wore (or still wears today!). The style from the 1940s and 1950s had pant waists practically up to the shoulder blades!

Then compare that style to the hippie low-slung waistlines in the 1960s and 70s. Of course, not everyone wore bootcut jeans with a low waist in the 1970s, just as not everyone wants to buy into every fashion craze in the modern world today. But you get the idea that what looks “in” can change a lot from one decade to another when it comes to the height of the waistband!

Today, most brands sell three basic rise options: low, medium (also known as mid, regular, or normal), and high.

Most brands offer low, mid, and high-rise jeans for men and women. However, women’s jeans sometimes have a lower cut all around, designed to fit a more curving body shape.

What Are Low-Rise Jeans?

What Are Low Rise JeansLow-rise jeans have a rise of about 7 to 8 inches and a waistband that rests pretty far below your waist or even just above your hip bones. This style became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s when bell-bottom jeans first became trendy. Today, many popular jeans brands offer low-rise as one of many options you can choose.

Some brands, such as Levis, may use slightly different terminology. For instance, Levis offers several different low-rise styles, calling this “modern rise.”

Low-rise jeans are the only style of jeans with a waistband that should not rest anywhere near your actual waist. If you have short legs and try on this kind of jeans, you may find that the waistband comes up closer to your waist. In this case, you should not buy the jeans–the cut will look awkward, as it is designed to rest near your hips instead!

What Are Mid Rise Jeans?

What Are Mid Rise Jeans
A mid-rise jeans measurement usually falls between 9 and 11 inches. You may also see this style called a regular or a normal rise, as it is one of the most popular waist styles for jeans.This style should fit more or less at your actual waistline and clearly define that point visually. You can also think of a mid-rise waist as resting at or just below your navel if that gives you a more concrete image.Many khakis and slacks only come in a mid-rise cut. The exact measurement may vary a little from brand to brand, but the at-the-waist style remains the norm for many types of pants today.Of course, jeans are the big exception to that rule! All the big-name brands like Levis and Lee offer mid-rise jeans, but you can also find other popular styles in their line-up.

What Are High-Rise Jeans?

What Are High Rise JeansHigh-rise jeans have a measurement of 10 or more inches, though it usually falls between 11 and 12 inches. This can vary quite a lot, especially with the current trend for high-waisted button jeans for women! It’s tricky to say exactly how many inches a high rise in jeans will measure exactly because this measurement does vary from brand to brand so much.

You can find high-rise waists as a stylish trend in women’s jeans. You also see this style in men’s big and tall pants and jeans. Popular brands like Levis also sell a selection of high-rise jeans for both men and women.

While the exact measurement of high-rise jeans varies, you can always expect this style to have a waistband that reaches above your navel. One of the big benefits of this kind of jeans is that they reach past your waist, drawing the eye away from any less-than-flat areas on your stomach!

Low Rise vs Mid Rise vs High Rise Jeans: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between low rise, mid-rise, and high rise jeans is how high the waistband reaches up your midsection.

Low-rise jeans have a low waistband that does not reach much higher than your hip bones. Mid-rise jeans have a waistband that rests right around your natural waist or just below your navel. High-rise jeans have a waistband that reaches higher on your midsection than your natural waist.

Each type of rise also has a distinct fashion vibe that goes with it, too. For instance, low-rise jeans look vintage and trendy today. Mid-rise jeans have every day, less exciting vibe, possibly because many khakis and dress pants use this more old-fashioned style.

Finally, high-rise jeans can look trendy, like the throwback high-waist jeans for women that have become popular again today. Or they can look frumpy and fall into the “mom jean” or “dad jean” category. When worn right, high-waisted jeans are a great tool for anyone dealing with a curving belly, though!

Low Rise vs Mid Rise

The obvious difference between low-rise and mid-rise jeans is that low-rise jeans have a lower waistband that sits at or even below your hip bones, while mid-rise jeans hug the shape of your natural waist.

In terms of who should wear which style, mid-rise jeans have remained the popular, “regular” style for so long for a good reason. This middle-of-the-road style suits many body types, especially anyone with a short, petite, or slender figure.

Low-rise jeans look cool and pair well with a summer t-shirt. Unfortunately, this style does leave your midsection on display, so anyone with a rounder figure may find this type of jeans less comfortable.

Low Rise vs High Rise

Low rise and high rise jeans have different style connotations and fit very different body types.

Low-rise jeans have a retro 1970s feeling, but they remain super popular today, especially during the summer months. Though this style does not belong exclusively to teenagers, it does tend to have more popularity with younger wearers. The challenge of this kind of jeans is that they fit best on people with straight, slender bodies, not people with curvy hips or midsections.

High-rise jeans, in contrast, fit very well on people with rounder bodies. They provide a defined waist and support across the midsection. Plus, they help out tall people, who may want to create the illusion of slightly shorter torsos. Because clothing rules often defy logic, high-waisted jeans also look good on really short people because this style makes your legs look longer!

Mid-Rise vs High-Rise

Mid-rise and high-rise jeans may have measurements that differ by as little as an inch or less. In general, high-rise jeans have a waistband that rests at or above the navel, while midrise jeans have a waistband that lies at or below the navel.

For this reason, a 10-inch rise could be considered high waisted or it could be termed a mid-rise waist. Anything above ten inches usually falls into the high-rise category, and anything from 9 to 10 inches is usually considered mid or normal rise.

How To Measure the Rise on Jeans and Pants

How To Measure the Rise on Jeans

To find the rise on jeans, place a measuring tape on the edge of the front waistband just above the button, and then measure the distance from that point to the center of the crotch. Many manufacturers will also include this measurement in the product description for jeans, though you may not find it listed on the label of pants in a store.

Most pants for both men and women have a rise that falls between 7 inches and 12 inches.

But what exactly does that measurement mean? For instance, if you find pair of jeans that has a 10” rise, is it a low or mid-rise pair of jeans? Understanding the three most common types of rise measurements on jeans will help you know which style you like best next time you go shopping.

Low Rise

Low or modern rise jeans usually have a measurement of 7 to 8 inches. This low cut means that the top of the waistband will rest somewhere near the top of your hip bones in most cases.

Remember that a 7-inch rise may look different from one person to another. If you have a short torso, the low waistband might make you look taller and slimmer. If you have short legs, though, the seven-inch measurement might rest at your natural waist and may not appear flattering.

Mid Rise

Mid-rise jeans usually have a measurement of 8 to 10 inches. On the average person, this type of waist will rest right around your navel.

Many people with average, stocky, tall, or thin bodies look good in mid-rise jeans. The only problem is that this “regular” style does not always look super exciting.

High Rise

How many inches is a high-rise jeans waist? High-rise jeans for both men and women often have extremely varied measurements. The one thing you can count on is that high-rise jeans will have a rise that measures at least 10”, and sometimes as much as 12”.

The waistband on these jeans will often reach above your navel, and the waist itself will curve in. This creates a fitted shape that people with curvier bodies will look great in!

Why Do High-Rise Jeans Make Me Look Fat?

High-waisted jeans usually look great on anyone with a rounder body type, but in some cases, the fit of the jeans may force your waist in too tightly, leading to some spillover at the top of the waistband.

This will feel unpleasant and you may not look your best in these circumstances, either! To avoid this, find high-waisted pants that can comfortably button and still allow you to slide two fingers inside the waist of the jeans.

You can also try tucking in your shirt but pulling it out slightly in a puffier style to disguise the shape of your body above the waistband of the jeans. For women, you can pair your high-waisted jeans with high heels to elongate your legs even more and draw attention away from your midsection.

What Rise is the Best for Jeans?

The best rise on jeans for you is the rise that does not make your torso look too long or too short. If you are very tall, a high rise might look best on you, as it will make your torso look a bit shorter. On the other hand, if you are on the shorter side, you may want low-rise jeans that make it seem like your waist is lower down than it actually is and lengthen your torso.

When you go shopping for jeans, you may try on several pairs and select the first pair that buttons comfortably sound your middle and has legs that break at your ankle. Though men’s and women’s jeans use very different sizing rules, both men and women still fall into the trap of settling for just these two measurements.

If you want jeans that look great on you, you need to find jeans that have the right waist measurement and leg length for you, but you also need to consider the rise and how it looks on your body type.

Check out these tips for matching your body type to just the right style:

  • If you’re on the shorter side, high-rise jeans will make your legs look longer and your torso look shorter.
  • No matter what height you are, wearing high-rise jeans will make your legs look longer. Very tall people may want to avoid this style. For women, pairing high-rise jeans with high heels makes a strong fashion statement because it adds so much height to your appearance.
  • High-rise jeans look great on anyone with a curvier body, as the top of the waistband will dip into your natural waist and smooth out any pooch in the stomach area.
  • Mid-rise jeans fit a lot of body types very comfortably. Like high-rise jeans, they can hide a bit of belly pooch because the waistband will button tightly at or below your navel.
  • Mid-rise jeans can also make your hips look slimmer if you find a pair that rests above the wide curve of your hip.
  • Low-rise jeans usually feel most comfortable for people with slender bodies, as the low waistband does not cover any belly pooch.
  • Low-rise jeans make your torso look longer and your legs look shorter. If you have very long legs, this may work to your advantage!


The rise on jeans is the distance from the middle of the crotch to the top of the waistband. For most jeans, this measurement will fall somewhere between 7 inches and 12 inches. Jeans typically come in three different kinds of rise: low, mid, or high.

Low-rise jeans have a measurement of 7 to 8 inches and a waistband that rests near the top of your hip bones, mid-rise jeans have a measurement of around 8 to 10 inches, with the top of the waistband usually resting at your natural waist, and high-rise jeans have a measurement of over ten inches. In general, low-rise jeans look best on people with tall, slender bodies. Mid-rise jeans look good on many body types, and high-rise jeans tend to look good on very tall or on short or curvy people.

What kind of rise on jeans do you like best? How does it fit your body?