What Are High-Waisted Jeans?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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High-waisted jeans cover a significant amount of the wearer's abdomen and typically button at or above the wearer's navel. While there are many different styles of jeans, high-waisted jeans are often favored by individuals who are looking for a bit of additional body coverage and control. For many people who enjoy wearing jeans, the positioning of the waist is an important factor in purchasing decisions as well as deciding on which pair of jeans to include in an outfit.

As body shapes can be very different, there are numerous cuts and fits available for jeans wearers, and some people find that certain styles can be more flattering than others. Differences in styles of jeans include the rise of the waist, the shape and length of the leg, as well as the color of the fabric used in their manufacture. For example, many people find jeans made from dark fabric with a flared or straight leg to be more slimming and leg-lengthening than tapered jeans or those constructed from a light-colored denim. Similarly, the position of the waist on a pair of jeans can often dramatically alter the appearance of the wearer.


For some jeans wearers, high-waisted jeans offer significant advantages over low- or even medium-waisted jeans. With high-waisted jeans, the wearer does not have to be concerned about accidental exposure of her undergarments or buttocks if she bends over. In addition, those who carry their weight around their midsection may appreciate the control offered by high-waisted jeans, as the denim can constrain flabby areas, giving the wearer a smoother silhouette. On the other hand, advocates of medium-waisted or low-waisted jeans point out that these styles often look more modern and can in some cases reduce the appearance of wide hips or a large behind. This camouflage is due to the fact that the lower rise can bisect the wearer's hips and posterior, making them look smaller.

In some cases, high-waisted jeans have been associated with so-called mom jeans, a derogatory term used to describe particularly unflattering and out-of-fashion jeans. It should be noted, however, that a high waist can be found on many different types of jeans, including jeans that are both flattering to the body and contemporary in design. For many people, the choice of high-waisted jeans is largely due to the fact that jeans with a lower waistline create an unflattering muffin top, in which extra weight bulges over the top of a pair of jeans. As this can negate the effect of a smaller bottom caused by lower-waisted jeans, many jeans wearers opt for greater control in the area of their body with which they are most unhappy.


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