What to Wear with High Waisted Jeans

After years of trying to find a decent pair of low-rise jeans that don’t create too much of a muffin top, I’m happy to see fashion change direction. Waistlines are on the rise!

Midrise jeans that hit just below the belly button are the new normal, and high-waisted jeans are suddenly chic too.

high wasit skinny jeans

Do you remember wearing high-rise jeans in the ’70s? I do. They were so tight we had to lie on the bed to zip them up! Fast forward- many years later. How do we wear them now?

Get the Right Fit: High-waisted jeans can make your figure look fabulous or a total disaster. The fit is essential to making your legs look longer, and your bottom looks perky. This means no baggy fit – i.e., mom jeans look. Flat-front jeans are the most slimming. Avoid any pleated, high-waist jeans, which will add pounds instantly.

Leg Width is Important: High-rise pants with slim legs or boot cut or skinny leg jeans work best. Stay away from the wide-leg or boyfriend-style high-waisted jeans, which look boxy and frumpy.

Color Matters: A dark wash is always slimming and classy, while a light acid wash will make you think you are back in the ’80s.high waist flare jeans no logo

These Tops are What you Need: High waist pants are meant to show off the waist, which means tops should be tucked in or cropped. However, not everyone can pull off this look. If your tummy is fairly flat, then try wearing a neatly tucked-in shirt or tee or even a cute cropped sweater.  If that’s not working for you can try a half-tucked-in top, peasant blouse, or a high-low top that nips up at the front and exposes part of the waistband.

One other Possibility for Tops: Some women like high-waisted jeans simply for tummy control. If they have a bit of stretch in them, they’ll definitely keep any wiggle and jiggle from happening. In this case, find a longer top fitted through the shoulders and flows gently away from the body. – i.e., poncho top. This is a nice look, especially with slim jeans that have a flare leg.

A nice bonus with the flared leg helps balance things out and makes your waist and hips seem smaller.

Shoes to Wear with High waist jeans: Shoes are key to this look. Go for heels or wedges to add some height and elongate the pants. High-waisted pants don’t look great with flats.

More Tips for Wearing High-Waisted Pants

  • If you are very short-waisted, wear a good bra that will get the girls off your chest, or else the pants will come up right underneath them and make you look chunky.
  • If you are petite, they can swallow you up. Use your mirror.
  • If you have large hips, make sure there are no big pockets on the front of your high-waisted pants to draw attention to them.
  • If you are short and heavy ( and especially if you are pear-shaped), this trend is tough to wear, so beware.

Will you be wearing high-waist jeans?


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10 thoughts on “What to Wear with High Waisted Jeans

  1. NOPE – High-waisted pants are not for me! I can no stand to have anything around my waist because I am short-waisted with long legs… with less than 2 inches between my natural waist and where my rib cage starts, and I simply can not breathe in anything that binds me in. I don’t like it when my pants end up right underneath “the girls” It Doesn’t matter how high you try to raise them! – talk about tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum! I am a mid to low-rise girl with flared legs. Nothing gets tucked in. Plus, the central to low-rise approach helps me keep my figure in check, so there is no muffin top – it’s a win-win – low-mid rise allows me to breathe and keeps my figure in check!

  2. I am not excited by the high-waist jeans trend. Like many women over 50, my waist has thickened, and I think finding a good fit won’t be easy. I hope mid-waist jeans stick around for a long time!

    1. I’m 47 and column-shaped. No hourglass figure here. But I love these high-waisted jeans because they stay up! And there is no “bulge” hanging over the top. Give them a try!

  3. I have always worn pants, shorts, and trousers, that sit on my waist(not the Richard Lewis pants that are hiked up under my bustline with a belt, lol). Chubby or thin, I’ve been both. I can always wear them. No bulge or sliding down, and I can bend over without embarrassment. At the waist and higher waist, pants are still hard to find, but I’m currently in love with Lee Classic slim leg jeans, dark, dark blue, just a little stretch. They are very inexpensive($20-25 at VF Outlet), come in various lengths, and look great dressed up or down. If you feel comfortable, try men’s trousers. I have two dress pairs with slightly flared legs that look great with a shirt and a blazer. No one knows they are men.

    1. I have heard that men’s jeans are the trick to not yanking up that Lycra-filled denim they use in women’s jeans. Have you found that to be true?

  4. Yeah! Jeans that cover everything up are coming back – Huzzah! No – the seventies heels and flares look doesn’t work unless you’re tall and skinny. Eighties-style jeans – that’s what we want. Tailored around the dodge hip/tummy region and baggy in the leg. It flatters everyone and, better still, comfy – very comfy! For the last fifteen-twenty years, I’ve been doing my nut trying to find ‘proper’ jeans – to no avail! Please, please let them be coming back in!

  5. I have to disagree!! I love high-waisted pants. Women with short legs and long torsos have balanced proportions and a flat stomach. Very sexy. And, if they fit right, they can act as one big girdle!!

    We will see. Hey, they were hot on the girls in high school who lay on the bed with pliers to zip them up. BAM!

  6. I am not a fan of either a high waist ( unless one is tall and has a long torso, they can be unflattering) or a shallow rise (ugh!).

    I find the best fit with a moderate rise with a slight contour to the waistband, enabling me to sit without exposing myself and making my bum look a bit smaller. Unfortunately, this is very hard to find now.

  7. All hail the high(er)-waisted straight leg jeans. Finally, a style that I can wear that doesn’t leave a gap at my waist large enough to hold a small child, koala-bear kind :) I have hips – not gigantic, but I had a baby, so there are hips. And I have a long, relatively small waist and short legs. So, low-rise jeans made me look like a garden gnome. NOT attractive at all…

  8. I know that all trends in fashion come back around. Some we are happy to see again, and others are better left behind. I sometimes like wide-leg pants because they can be slimming and flattering, but I agree that the high waist looks like the poor old guy who wears his dark socks and shorts with the waistband up under his chin!

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