The rise of the rise: High waist jeans make their comeback

The first time I tried on a pair of high rise jeans I was skeptical. In the sea of low rise denim that we’d been floating through since the early 2000’s, any fly that zipped up past 8 inches seemed so unreasonable, so impossibly counter-trend that only fashion girls could pull it off.

In my mind, high rise jeans couldn’t possibly be comfortable. How was I supposed to sit? How would my butt look? Would they exaggerate my already short torso making me look like I was willingly subjecting myself to an all-day wedgie?

High rise jeans have front rises between 9 and 11 inches… 11+ being super high. With more and more of these styles making an appearance, I knew I had to at least give them a try.

Skepticism hung in the air around me right up until the moment I pulled a pair of DL1961 Margaux skinnies up over my booty and zipped them to completion just under my belly button. At 9.5 inches, they were the highest rise I’d ever dared to try.

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Why I’ll Never Shop Designer Jeans The Same Way Again: The Founder’s Story…

…And the $200 pair of jeans that inspired her to change denim shopping forever.


Kelly Ernst is the founder and CEO of Redenim, the easiest way for you to find your new favorite pair of jeans delivered right to your door.

I decided to try my jeans on one final time. And just like the last few times I’d attempted, I could barely get them up over my knees. I’m not entirely sure what I thought would happen. Maybe they would magically fit like a glove again, the way they had when I first tried them on in a SoHo boutique six months earlier. Maybe things would have gone back to the way they were.

Defeated, I squeezed back out of them — an equally difficult feat, surprisingly — and gently folded my jeans. They looked as if they were destined to go back on the shelf, but with a long sigh, I placed them at the top of a pile of “donate-ables” in a brown paper shopping bag at the foot of my bed. 

Slowly, deliberately, I meandered the six odd blocks from my New York City apartment to the nearest Goodwill where I dropped the bag. I tried to maintain an air of cool indifference, but the truth was, I felt so profoundly sad. 

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