What are Short Rise Trousers?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Short rise trousers are trousers that are cut to fit comfortably on people with shorter legs. Considered different from low rise pants that tend to hug the hips rather than the waist area, short rise pants provide a finished look that allows the trousers to fit properly around the waist while eliminating the potential for a baggy seat or crotch in the construction of the garment. Determining the proper rise is a necessary task when purchasing any type of pants, from jeans to chinos to dress slacks.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

The rise is defined as the vertical measurement from the crotch to the waistband of a pair of pants. Ideally, the pants measurement will conform to the corresponding section of the body on the individual who will wear the garment. Since the rise will vary somewhat based on the height and build of the individual, there are three different types of rise that are commonly employed.

A regular rise is usually a good fit for people considered to be of average height and build. For people who are taller, a long rise is usually recommended. Short rise trousers and slacks are a better fit for men and women who are considered below average height.

It is important to note that short rise trousers are not the same as low rise pants, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Short rise garments still seek to have the waist of the garment correspond with the natural waist of the individual who will wear the pants. By contrast, low risers will often have the waist of the garment rise no further than the hip region. The hip hugger bell bottom jeans of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s are an excellent example of what is meant by low risers.

When cut properly, short rise trousers minimize or eliminate the presence of bunching or bagging around the crotch and buttock areas. The end result is a more sleek and professional look that is appropriate for wear around the office as well as with casual wear such as jeans. Essentially, choosing short rise trousers allows shorter men and women to have the same well tailored look that is available to people who are of average height.

Since short rise trousers may be difficult to purchase, many people choose to purchase slacks, jeans, or trousers that are considered to be regular rise in their cut. A professional tailor can often alter the rise of these garments, making them fit properly for people who have a natural short rise.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@ladyjane - Can that adjustment be done to blue jeans too? My problem with jeans is that I have to buy the low rise in order to get a comfortable short rise to fit at my waist.

The only thing is that the low rise are extremely wide around my waist because they're actually designed to fit at the hips on most women. And of course when I belt them, they buckle up with pleats in the rear. It's very unattractive.

Doesn't anyone understand the anatomy of us little women? Very few of us are built like a runway model and even their clothes are probably pinned and tucked and altered before the big show.


@MsClean - I have the same problem as you. Even when I shop in the petite section it still seems like the rise is too much.

At my office the women are required to wear rather dressy attire and it just feels so dumpy when the crotch of your pants is bagging down to your knees. I used to camouflage it with long double-breasted jackets or knit tops worn on the outside of the waistband.

But now I have my very own tailor, my sister! She just takes off the waistband, makes the necessary adjustments and then sews the waistband back in place at a comfortable fit for me. I'll never have to wear baggy pants or long jackets again.


I really had no idea there was a difference between a short rise and a low rise cut in trousers. Thank you for explaining that to us.

I'm a female who is well under the average height and find it next to impossible to find a good fitting pair of jeans.

I always have that problem with a baggy crotch as mentioned in the article. And when I try to belt them, they scrunch up and look ridiculous, like Japanese fishing pants.

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