Which high-waisted jeans are best?

High-waisted jeans made their debut in the 1960s and rose to popularity in the 1970s. They have reappeared as a trend every 10 years or so. There’s a good reason for this. High-rise jeans are flattering because they conceal and cinch in your stomach. They’re also very stylish, especially when paired with a bodysuit, crop top or even a crisp T-shirt.

The Style & Co Tummy-Control Slim-Leg Jeans are a bestseller that feature a figure-flattering tummy control panel. They smooth out imperfections and define your waist. The slim-leg fit allows you to dress them up or down according to the occasion. These jeans look great with every type of shoe, from flats to high heels.

What to know before you buy high-waisted jeans

Tops you’ll wear with the jeans

One benefit of jeans is their versatility. They’re relatively easy to dress up or dress down, depending on the top and shoes you wear with them. A T-shirt and jeans is a classic look that feels fresh and youthful. These T-shirts for women are all stylish options to complement your high-waisted jeans.  

Get your measurements

You may have noticed many designers size jeans differently from other types of clothing. They use the waistband as the point of reference. This is the reason why it’s important to measure your waist before you begin shopping for high-waisted jeans. Wrap a flexible measuring tape around the smallest part of your waist. Take the number you get and round down to the nearest whole number. This is your accurate jeans size.


While experimenting with new styles and colors is fun, playing it safe with jeans is recommended. It’s notoriously difficult to find the right fit in jeans. So if you’ve been lucky enough to find a cut and style that’s flattering on you, try to stick with it. In addition, keep in mind that dark colors slenderize your legs and light colors draw attention to them.

What to look for in quality high-waisted jeans


Much like other jean styles, high-waisted jeans are available in a large variety of fits, ranging from relaxed to skintight. Fits include the following:

  • Skinny/slim cut
  • Bootcut
  • Wide leg
  • Ankle
  • Straight leg
  • Curvy
  • Tapered
  • Regular

Denim wash

You can find high-waisted jeans in several different types of washes including dark wash, medium wash, stone wash and acid wash. You’re no longer limited to blue, white or black.

Zipper vs. button closure

The great zipper versus button closure debate has carried on for decades. People tend to favor one over the other. There’s no right or wrong answer. Basically, a button closure creates a look that’s a bit bulkier. It also takes a little longer to open and close the pants. That said, buttons have a classic style that many diehard jeans fans prefer. A zipper closure gives jeans a sleeker look in the front and tends to be faster to operate.

How much you can expect to spend on high-waisted jeans

You could find yourself paying upward of $100 for a pair you find at a department store. That said, well-made high-waisted jeans are available for less. They usually start around $60 and go up in price from there. The good news is, a high-quality pair of jeans that fits well can last for years.

High-waisted jeans FAQ

What are high-waisted jeans?

A. Also referred to as high-rise, high-waisted jeans are designed to hit at or above the navel. Typically, they sit 3 inches or higher above the belly button. High-waisted jeans first rose to prominence in the 1970s and have cycled in and out of popularity since that period of time. They’re usually viewed as the polar opposite of low-rise jeans, which sit low on the waist and expose the navel.

How do you wear high-waisted jeans?

A. Jeans with a high-rise waist look best with tops that are tucked in, but this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. You certainly can wear them with an untucked top, with the caveat that the high waist is concealed. They also look great worn with a crop top or bodysuit. When it comes to shoes, high heels complement high-rise jeans. However, they pair well with flats, too.

What are the best high-waisted jeans to buy?

Top high-waisted jeans

Style & Co Tummy-Control Slim-Leg Jeans

Style & Co Tummy-Control Slim-Leg Jeans

What you need to know: A tummy control panel slims your midsection in front and the skinny leg cut creates a streamlined profile.

What you’ll love: You won’t have to worry about these jeans creating a muffin top. These jeans make your waistline look trim. You can dress the slim-leg cut up or down by wearing it with everything from a T-shirt to a nice blouse. The zipper closure helps preserve the sleek aesthetic. Choose from three different washes: one in black and two in blue.

What you should consider: A too-tight fit was the issue most frequently cited by the small number of unhappy buyers.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top high-waisted jeans for the money

Gloria Vanderbilt Women's Amanda Jean Pant

Gloria Vanderbilt Women’s Amanda Jean Pant

What you need to know: Available in 14 colors, regular and petite sizes, these high-quality jeans might become one of your wardrobe staples.

What you’ll love: Constructed of a cotton and elastane blend fabric, these jeans have the perfect amount of stretch to let you move and keep you comfortable. The slightly tapered silhouette has a bit of shape without feeling restrictive. It strikes a nice balance of fitted and forgiving. While the high-rise waist is on-trend, the style of the jeans is classic enough to look good years from now. Since these jeans are sold in petite sizes as well as regular sizes, you won’t have to get them hemmed if you’re on the shorter side.

What you should consider: A smattering of buyers reported the sizing was inaccurate on some colors and true to size on others.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Worth checking out

Calvin Klein Jeans Skinny High-Rise Jeans

Calvin Klein Jeans Skinny High-Rise Jeans

What you need to know: Featuring a skinny fit throughout and a hemline that hits just above the ankles, these designer jeans have a retro feel updated with modern style.

What you’ll love: You’ll feel chic in these sleek pants thanks to the slim fit in the hips, thighs and legs. The high-waisted cut will conceal imperfections. It looks great worn with a tucked-in flowy top, bodysuit or crop top. The dark-blue wash, dubbed Late Night, is a versatile shade that complements nearly any color. Spandex provides stretch to make these jeans comfortable for all-day wear.

What you should consider: At least a couple of buyers said they had to go up one size because their regular size was too small.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

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Megan Oster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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