What is Pants Rise? (And How to Choose the Right One for You)

It's the key to a good fit.

Have you ever had a pair of pants that—despite being the right length and waist size—just didn’t seem to fit correctly? Maybe they would constantly ride up, or maybe they wouldn’t sit on your waist properly.

If you have, the rise of your pants may have been unsuited to your body type.

In fact, the rise of your pants is one of the most important factors in choosing a pair that fit right. Whether you choose low rise, regular rise, or high rise can also change the way your outfit looks, even if the overall design of your pants is otherwise the same.

To choose the right type of jeans or pants, you need to know what each of these rises is. This article will tell you what pants rise is and show you how to choose the one that best fits your needs.

What is Pants Rise?

What is Pants Rise
The Brdwlk

Pants rise is the distance between the crotch and the waistband in a pair of pants, jeans, or shorts. Differences in rise can have a huge impact on how your jeans fit. For example, pants with a shorter rise will naturally land near your hips. While those that are longer can end up near your naval.

The rise of your pants can also impact how proportional your body looks. Think about it: a pair of pants with a shorter rise will naturally make your waist seem lower and, therefore, your legs shorter and your body longer. Likewise, a pair of high rise pants will have the oppostive effect.

Knowing this information and then using it the next time you buy a pair of pants can help you choose a pair that will complement your body shape.

See, I told you that pants rise was more important than you thought.

How to Measure Pants Rise?

To measure pants rise, you can measure the distance from the crotch to the waistline. Under 8 inches is generally considered low-rise, over 11 inches is high rise, and anything in the middle in medium rise.

But, before you take your tape measure with you the next time you go shopping, be aware the majority of retailers include the rise of the pants on the label. There’s usually no need to measure it yourself.

And if they don’t mention pants a certain type of rise, there’s a pretty good chance they will be regular rise.

What are Low Rise Pants?

Low rise pants shirt t-shirt

Low rise pants are those with the shortest length between the crotch and the waistband. The length will typically be around 8 inches or lower. This will see the jeans rest on your hips. Wearing this type of pants will make your legs appear shorter and your torso longer.

Low rise pants are typically more casual than regular or high-rise pants. One of the simple reasons why this is the case is that it is much harder to tuck a shirt into a pair of low-rise pants. Skinny jeans, for example, are often low rise.

You’ll also find that many jeans and pants use a mix of low and medium rise. The front is low rise, while the back is medium rise. This gives a low rise look, while stopping the pants from riding too low when you bend over, something that I’m sure you’ll agree is in the best interests of everyone.

If you really want to create the mid-noughties low-rise pants look, then consider wearing them with a skinny-fit t-shirt that shows off a statement belt. It’s a classy look.

What are Medium Rise Pants?

Medium rise pants blazer

Medium rise pants are those that sit on your natural waist. Typically this means they have a rise of between 9 and 11 inches. These are the most common style of pants and you can find them in jeans, chinos, slacks, and more.

We probably all have plenty of pairs of these pants in our wardrobes. They’re easy to find, look great, and they have plenty of space to tuck in your shirt if that’s something you’re after.

What are High Rise Pants?

High rise pants are those that sit above the waist. They typically have a rise of 11 inches and over.

This type of rise may be essential if you are tall and therefore have a naturally long length between your crotch and waist. But they can also be worn by people with shorter legs in order to give the appearance of having longer legs.

High Rise vs. High Waist Pants

High rise and high waist are terms that I believe have slightly different uses, although may also be used interchangeably.

The biggest difference is that high waist pants are an extreme version of high rise pants. These are pants designed to sit above the hips around the waist. High rise pants may do this too, but they may also not be quite as extreme.

High waist pants tend to either be extremely formal, or extremely fashion-forward. The benefit of these pants is that they tend to pinch in around your waist. This can give a slimming effect as it will make your waist appear slimmer than the rest of your torso.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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