Best high waisted jeans

It’s easy to match denim trends from different eras (see: 70s flare bottoms, 80s acid wash, early 2000s low rise). Right now we’re in the midst of a high-waisted craze, with styles that hit well above the hip and appeal to a large segment of the denim-wearing population. It’s not really a trend, however, since the look has been around for decades. Some of the first Levi’s designed for women in the 1940s had very high waists, which made the jeans practical and easy to slip into a shirt when working in a factory.

The style stuck for its flattering shape. “High-waisted jeans are actually a fashion gift because they’re usually fitted at the waist and hips, but have a slight flare, so they flatter all body types,” says Abby Arad, stylist and founder of Your stylist says. To find your perfect pair(s), we consulted Arad and researched the market thoroughly on the best high-waisted jeans to consider for your denim wardrobe.

Best high waisted jeans overall

Levi’s: A classic that sets the standard

It doesn’t get more classic than Levi’s. The heritage brand’s 501 jeans come in an 11-inch rise that’s tall but not too tall and comes in many washes. This straight-leg pair has a 30-inch inseam and is made from 100% non-stretch cotton so your jeans will hold their shape and conform to your body over time.

The best affordable high waisted jeans

Zara: chic, wide silhouette

These popular high waisted jeans are a mainstay of Zara’s basic women’s collection. “The extremely high waist is so flattering and pairs perfectly with crop tops, if you want to dive into this trend as well,” says Arad. “And at $49, these really are the best value high-rise jeans.”

Best high waisted jeans for tummy control

Good American: “Tummy tech” and a contoured waistband

Good American’s jeans are made with a streamlined, gap-proof waistband and a high waist with “tummy tech” reinforcement that helps flatten and support you while accentuating your curves. The denim is also eco-friendly, cut from extremely soft yet durable stretch hemp, and treated with washes that require less water.

Best high waisted jeans for curvy women

Universal standard: size included and excellent washes

Universal Standard makes shopping for denim infinitely easier: you can select multiple cuts, inseams and rinses, and sizes range from 00 to 40. The Seine High Rise is the number one bestseller from the New York-based brand, expertly constructed with a high waist and invisible built-in stretch. The style is available in regular and high lengths and four washes. Also cool: you can see each pair on models in different sizes.

Best high waisted jeans for petite women

Madewell: multiple inseams, so there’s no need for sewing.

Madewell’s high-waisted styles have been their bestsellers for five years, and the brand is constantly perfecting the fit. “There are literally hundreds of high-waisted offerings from Madewell that range from petite to plus-size, so no shape is left out,” says Arad. “Plus, their special blend of cotton and spandex makes them super comfortable.”

Best High Rise Skinny Jeans

DL1961: Sculpting and reshaping the body

This eco-friendly brand’s “Instasculpt” technology emphasizes a special high-retention spandex that helps smooth and sculpt for a super-flattering fit. The Farrow Skinny High Rise sits high on the hips for a versatile look and comes in a classic faded blue with wide whiskers, contrast thigh sanding stitching and a clean hemline.

Best High Rise Bootcut Jeans

7 For All Mankind: Flattering Flared Hem


If you want a flared hem that elongates your legs, opt for 7 For All Mankind jeans. The ever-popular brand combines stretch denim with contouring properties and an ultra-high waist for all-day comfort. The No Filter style shown here has a skinny leg, finished with a tapered hem that’s versatile to wear with flats or boots.

The best of the rest

Good American: designed for curves and large sizes

Good American insists that retailers carry their full range of sizes, which is almost unheard of in the retail world. “They never want their biggest customers to feel left out of trends, or that certain jeans ‘just aren’t for them,'” says Arad. Plus, many of their styles are featured on a range of body types, giving a realistic idea of ​​what they’ll look like on you.

Alice and Olivia: a flattering flared shape

Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet started her brand on a mission to create “the perfect pair of pants,” a goal that many loyal fans believe she accomplished. “The brand has always been known for its famous high-waisted wide-leg pants,” says Arad. “That silhouette translates perfectly into their high waisted denim now too.”

Mother: cropped for a chic look

Denim aficionados go straight to Mother when they want chic, cropped jeans that never look too short (like dated capris). Arad says their style is cut on a slight but imperceptible angle so it flatters the ankle and sits perfectly.

Agolde: well-made dark denim

When it comes to black denim, Arad finds no one nails the deep hue quite like AGolde. “They capture a perfectly faded hue that almost turns dark gray, so it’ll see you through fall and winter,” she says. Pair this style with a comfy sweater and chunky boot for an elevated daytime look.

Levi’s: comfortable skinny style

“Sometimes known by their cheeky name ‘The Wedgie,’ Levi’s high-rise skinny jeans have a cute rear seam that gives these pants their nickname,” says Arad. “They are classic and the price is right.” Fans of the fit will also love their Wedgie Straight and Wedgie Ankle.

Frame: relaxed boyfriend fit

Arad loves Frame for its popular slouchy shapes that make any outfit look a little cooler. “This pair has a bit of a baggy style and a slim built-in waistband, taking the typical baggy-boyfriend look for a sophisticated twist,” she says.

Agency: Denim Distressed It’s Super Soft

Today’s stretch jeans are a far cry from the skintight version of the 80s. term ‘jeggings,'” says Arad. This forgiving fabric blend also works wonders with a high-waisted fit, for an ultra-flattering silhouette.

What to look for with the best high waisted jeans:

  • Style: Not all high waisted jeans are created equal. In fact, if they’re cut too tight at the waist, they can be downright uncomfortable. When buying a pair, Arad has this advice: “Go for the highest size that is comfortable. For shorter frames, wearing a high waisted style with a heel and having the hem fall further than your natural ankle line will also help elongate your legs.
  • Tissue: While “stretch” jeans may seem a little dated, the truth is that you want a fabric that offers a bit of comfort. Arad says to look for at least one to two percent spandex in the fabric, especially if you sit at a desk all day or spend time driving, when your body is bent at the waist. “Also, high-end brands spend more time perfecting the ‘hand’ of their denim, i.e. the feel of the fabric, so more expensive jeans can be softer and more comfortable” , she says.
  • Sizes: High-waisted jeans call for getting the right size. “I tell my clients that it’s the role of the clothes to adapt to the person, and not the other way around”, explains Arad. “So don’t twist yourself around to fit into a size jean you think you should wear but don’t fit.”

Which style of high waisted jeans is the best?

If you shop online, buy a few different styles and brands to see what works on your body. Ask a friend’s opinion if you’re unsure how the jeans look from all angles, if you want an objective point of view. Ultimately, though, Arad says it’s up to you: if you like jeans and they feel good, this is the “right” pair.

How much should I spend on high waisted jeans?

“I really believe that people should wear the jeans that they find most comfortable and flattering for their body,” says Arad. A pair is worth your money if it fits you well, and you know you’ll wear it again and again. “That being said, I would cap this style at $300, with most high-end brands going for around $250,” says Arad.