A Guide to Finding Pants That Fit

Pants Fit: Rise Matters!

We've all had our run-ins with pants with the wrong rise, even if we don't exactly know what that means. As we mentioned on the first page, the rise is the area between the crotch and the top of the waistband that probably didn't get nearly as much notice before the advent of low-rise jeans and the exposed thong. So how does the rise affect how it looks on your body shape? The best example is probably, again, the low-rise. The waistband on a pair of pants with a low rise typically sits about three inches below your belly button on the flesh around your hips, which is where many women naturally store extra pounds. So unless you have a particularly skinny middle, a low rise that fits properly is going to push any extra flesh up and out, creating a "muffin top" effect. If you go up a size to prevent the muffin top, when you bend over, you're likely to have a huge gap that exposes your undies. What we can extrapolate from this is that the low rise isn't for most bodies.

Mid-rise pants are a classic fit that aren't usually specified as a particular rise in their description. They sit above your hips and a few inches below your natural waist and offer better coverage in the back than low rise pants without awkwardly cinching your actual waist, which can happen with higher rise pants. For this reason, the mid-rise flatters most body types the best. High rises have gotten a bad rap as "Mom jeans," because they are typically worn above your belly button, often creating a frumpy look, especially from the back. But well-tailored high rises worn with a belt actually work well on boy-shaped frames that tend to be straight through the middle, to create the illusion of more of a waist. And don't confuse high-rise pants with high-waisted pants that have a rise that hits around your rib cage, not too far below the bust line. This trendy style is best worn by ladies with a flat belly, a long torso and a little junk in the trunk.

If you still need some help finding that perfect pair of pants, see the links below.

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  • Barrett, Ranya. "The Best New Jeans For Your Body Shape." Glamour.com. September 15, 2012. http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2012/07/the-best-new-jeans-for-your-body-shape#slide=1
  • The Daily Mail (U.K.) "Trinny and Susannah reveal 12 women's body types - which are you?" dailymail.co.uk. September 15, 2012. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-488236/Trinny-Susannah-reveal-12-womens-body-types--you.html
  • Goodhousekeeping.com. "How Women Can Find Pants That Really Fit." September 15, 2012. http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/fashion/women-pants-0204
  • Oprah.com. "Find Perfect-Fitting Pants." September 15, 2012. http://www.oprah.com/style/Bradley-Bayous-Pant-Guide
  • Oprah.com. "The Pants Wardrobe." September 15, 2012. http://www.oprah.com/style/The-Pants-Wardrobe/1
  • Oprah.com. "The Sisterhood of the Well-Fitting Pants." September 15, 2012.http://www.oprah.com/style/Find-the-Best-Pants-and-Trousers-to-Fit-Your-Body-Type
  • Schwartz, Suze Yalof. "How to Find the Best Pants for Your Body Shape." Glamour.com. September 15, 2012. http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2010/09/how-to-find-the-best-pants-for-your-body-shape#slide=1
  • Smartjeansreviews.com. "Are High Waisted Jeans for You?" September 15, 2012. http://smartjeansreviews.com/are-high-waisted-jeans-for-you
  • Womansday.com. "The Best Black Pants for Your Body." September 15, 2012. http://www.womansday.com/style-beauty/fashion-style/the-best-black-pants-for-your-body-113889#slide-1