High-Waisted Pants: A Love Story

I’ll never forget taking a dance class in 2013 in which the instructor asked all the leaders in the room to place their hand on their follower’s back, at the waist. A large majority of the leaders checked where their follower’s waistband was and promptly moved their hand to their follower’s lower back. The instructor then said, “Follows, please point to your waist.” As followers pointed at their true waist, right around their belly button region, the looks on leaders’ faces – and some of the followers’ – were priceless. And this got me thinking seriously about the clothes in my wardrobe.

“If my waist is actually here, then why are all my waistbands HERE?”

That moment unlocked my understanding of so much dressing-room angst that I had experienced in the past. As a pear-shaped person, I had a constant battle with the low-rise jean fashions of my teen years in the 2000s, and “gapping” continues to be the pant struggle of my life.




While I love many varieties of high-waisted pants (you’ll definitely hear more about them in the future), recently I’ve pretty much been living in these Levi’s 721 jeans. Prior to discovering these jeans, I had tried a pair of NYDJ jeans and then picked up a pair of high-waisted jeans at a thrift store. The NYDJ jeans were a nice blue jean trouser but had a bit more stretch in them than what I expect in a true blue jean. I loved the thrift store pair, right up until the metal button broke (trust me, I tried repairing it…sigh). On a whim I poked my head into a Levi’s outlet on my way home from vacation about a year and half a go, tried on the 721s, and walked out with two pairs (bought on sale, naturally).




I honestly can’t say enough how much I love these jeans. The biggest benefit for me is the fit. I’m 5’5″ and have a 27 in waist and 41 in hip, so finding a skinny jean to fit my measurements is no small feat! I sized up to a size 30, and they’re perfect. I also like the material. There is some stretch, so they’re comfy enough to lounge in or wear on an airplane, but they also have that rough and tumble durability that you expect in good denim.

Style-wise, I generally prefer to wear my tops and sweaters untucked, even with the high-waisted pants, but I love that the higher waistline means I never have to worry about whether bending or raising my arms will reveal more than I intended or cause a pesky draft. Seriously…great fit and great feel…so much love.

Initially just worn on weekends and more recently worn 2-3 times per week, after one and a half years I’m just now starting to see signs of wear. I’m planning a blue jean reconnaissance mission for the beginning of summer to see if I can find a better, possibly more responsibly made brand that will get me through the next 2-3 years, but it’s honestly going to be hard to leave these favorites behind. At less than $100, they are an excellent, affordable, and curve-friendly wardrobe staple!

What have some of your wardrobe revelations been? What silhouettes and styles of pant are you drawn to?

Anna Signature

10 thoughts on “High-Waisted Pants: A Love Story

  1. Yes! I love higher cuts! Especially in pants with some stretch. It’s very flattering to the figure and feels like a hug. I appreciate the waist accentuation instead of muffin top accentuation that some low rises provide. 😉


    1. YES! Exactly! I have some high waisted trousers I’ll post about eventually that are probably the most figure-flattering pant I’ve ever owned.


  2. I only own one pair of jeans that isn’t high waisted, and they’re high-mid rise! A pant or skirt at the natural waistline is just so much more flattering and elongating for me. Pear shaped girls unite!


    1. Yes! All of this, especially that bit about elongating the body! Basically my rule of thumb is the waistband should be at or above my hip bones, or it doesn’t come home with me.


  3. I have to say I love mid-to-high waist jeans, but the last time I went into Levi’s I couldn’t find a pair made in a country with decent labour laws. Can’t wait to see if you have other brand recommendations. Also, it drives me wonky that modern high waist is never the same in any two stores! So many brands think a mid waist is a high waist. Haha


  4. Ughghhg I remember the early 2000s!!! Muffin top was such a sin yet it was unavoidable even to models with low waisted jeans! There is just fat at that point on a woman’s body! Horrible. So many cracks. I like high waisted pants but I stick with riding pants. I hate jeans!!! I constantly feel poked by the stiff fabric and they always wear out in certain areas from riding bikes. They are supposed to be durable but I have not found that to be the case because they create so much friction. Am I the only one with this problem???


  5. I am in love with high-rise. I only recently discovered them, and I’m totally a convert. As a person with a long torso, it’s great to know my midriff is always covered. And as far as high-rise and ethically made go, hands down Grana is my favourite. Their quality just can’t be beat.


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