Pants Rise Explained (and Why Low Rise Isn’t Always Your Best Choice)

One of the most important dimensions for fitting pants isn't on the label.

When it comes to clothing, men have a fairly simple sizing system. Take pants, for example: We get to choose inseam length and waist size. Many women, whose logic-defying sizing system goes all the way down to size 0, would consider us lucky.

The problem is, like women, men’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and our trusty length/waist measurements aren’t always the best way to determine if something fits properly.

For pants, one of the most important aspects of fit is rise. This article explains what rise is, how it’s measured and why it shouldn’t be overlooked. I’ll also discuss why low rise pants, though popular, are often inappropriate.

What is rise?

Rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam (right between your legs) to the top of the waistband. It usually ranges from 7 inches to 12 inches.

blue jeans inseam pants rise

Pant rise is important because it determines where your pants sit on your body, which in turn creates your perceived waistline.

Rise can work for you or against you. On one hand, you can use rise to your advantage by changing your perceived dimensions. On the other hand, choosing the wrong type of rise will make you look disproportional.

For example, look at Michael Phelps. Built like a dolphin at 6’4”, he has a surprisingly short 30” inseam. Because of his peculiar torso-to-leg ratio, low rise pants (worn at the hips) make him look unnaturally top heavy:

michael phelps low rise jeans

On the other hand, he can wear normal rise pants higher up on his waist, near his navel, to visually lengthen his legs for a much more balanced look:

normal rise pants

Women use this little trick all the time, and it works like a charm. Look how Zooey Deschanel and Olivia Wilde – two women with very short legs – visually shorten their torso, creating the waist-to-hip ratio that we men have evolved to love:

olivia wilde high rise pants Zooey Deschanel high rise pants

(Olivia and Zooey: If you’re reading this, please know that I think you’re both beautiful just the way you are.)

Types of Rise

Regular Rise

Also called mid rise or normal rise, regular rise is anywhere from 9 to 11 inches and is meant to be worn at your natural waist. Most pants, especially khakis and trousers, have a regular rise.

Low Rise

Worn at your hips, low rise pants are meant to sit well below your natural waist. They became popular during the 60s and 70s (think bell bottoms) and have made a huge comeback over the past few years. Unlike short and mid rise pants, low rise pants are not meant to conform to your natural waist.

Short Rise

These range from 7 to 9 inches and are meant to be worn on your natural waist. Short rise pants are not easy to find, but they are a blessing for men with short legs (which happens to be most guys who are below average height).

Unlike low rise pants, which are meant to be worn at the hip, short rise pants are meant to be worn at the natural waist. They have a shorter rise, which means they won’t have a bunch of extra material in the crotch area, and they will be comfortable on shorter bodies.

Important: Low rise and short rise pants may have the same measurements (e.g., 8” rise) but they will fit differently.

men's pant rise explained

The best place to find short rise jeans and chinos is Peter Manning NYC. Many men under 5’9” have said that their favorite pair of jeans are from Peter Manning.

Other retailers who carry short rise pants include:

  • Jimmy Au (famous Hollywood suit maker for short men)
  • Jos a Bank (short rise available in select sizes)

High Rise

Typically defined as longer than 10 inches, high rise pants are a good option for men who stand over 6’ tall and who want to wear their pants at their waist, rather than at their hips (which is a good decision, especially for formal wear).

High rise pants can be found at any “big and tall” store or department. Be sure that you have enough rise for a comfortable fit because it’s impossible to lengthen.


1. Low rise isn’t always your best bet

If you are below average height, don’t buy low rise pants and wear them as short rise pants by pulling them up to your natural waist. The proportions will be off, and this won’t be comfortable (not to mention, bad for fertility, if you know what I mean). Instead, look for short rise pants, or buy regular rise and have them tailored.

In general, low rise pants are best for casual looks (think jeans), and they’re not for everyone. If you have short legs and a long torso, stay away from low rise pants. Unless your legs are much longer than your torso, you should stick with regular rise pants for business casual and formal wear.

Plus, compared to low rise pants, regular or even high rise pants contribute to a more sophisticated, mature look. In my opinion, us guys in our 20s and early 30s should be aiming to achieve this look. I don’t know about you, but I’m going for “Gatsby” not “Beiber”.

2. When shopping…

Often times men pay attention to the wrong things when trying on clothes. Truth is, the length of most pants can be altered by a novice tailor for $10-20, and the waist can usually be adjusted by 1-3 inches*. But rise can’t be increased, even by a master tailor, and shortening rise is a difficult and expensive alteration.

*Tip: To be sure the waist can be taken in, look for an extra strip of material at the seam of the seat and waist band. 

mens pant rise inseam

So, when you’re in the store trying on pants, try not to be blinded too much on the length and waist. Focus instead on how they feel in the crotch and thighs, which is largely determined by rise.

Our Shopping Picks

Start rocking the right rise for your body with a new pair of versatile jeans. Check out these affordable options in regular/mid-rise and low rise:

Regular Rise

Levi's 501 Shrink-To-Fit Selvedge

Levi's 501 Original Fit – Straight Leg

Levi's 505 Regular Fit – Straight Leg

Levi's 514 Regular Fit – Straight Leg

Levi's 510 Slim Fit – Skinny Leg

Levi's 513 Slim Fit – Straight Leg

Levi's  511 Slim Fit – Tapered Leg

Levi's 541 Athletic Fit – Straight Leg

Levi's 550 Relaxed Fit – Tapered Leg

Levi's 559 Relaxed fit – Straight Leg

Naked & Famous – Weird Guy Tapered

Naked & Famous – Slim Guy

Wrangler – Classic

Lucky Brand 121 – Slim Fit

Lucky Brand 221 – Straight Leg

Lucky Brand 361 – Straight Leg

Lucky Brand 410 – Athletic Fit

Low Rise

Calvin Klein – Straight Leg

Calvin Klein – Slim Straight

Lee – Modern Series Slim

Levi's 527 – Boot Cut 

Guess – Slim Tapered

Gap – Standard/Straight/Boot

Diesel Safado – Stretch

Diesel Tepphar – Skinny

Diesel – Stretch/Skinny/Straight/Boot

Brock runs The Modest Man, a blog for short men who want to dress better. Check out his free guide: How to Dress Taller: 11 Crucial Style Tips for Short Men.

  • Jack

    this post could not have come at a better time. I was having trouble explaining to one of my customers who was used to wearing his jeans and chinos in a low rise, that suits are generally meant to be worn higher on the body. He felt that the taper of the pants was off, and it didn’t ‘flow’, and after i showed him the proper placement of the pants, he was ecstatic with the fit.

    Takeaway ( ha) : even if you ARE a low-rise type, suit trousers are generally worn higher up for a proper drape.

    • themodestman

      Well said, sir.

    • Desmond

      Unless your legs are disproportionately longer than the torso. There is no convention that suits should be worn higher on the body. This should be determined by the body type and how well the body carries a fit.

      • mrdavidlopan

        Amen to that. I have a short torso and if I wear a tucked in shirt with pants at my natural waistline it looks absolutely ridiculous…

  • John

    I am 5’9″ have a 40.5″ chest, 35″ (actual measurement) waist, 42″ hip, 30.25″ inseam. So that’s 39″ of torso and head. With a fairly toned athletic build. I have a terrible time finding pants these days that fit and are inexpensive or don’t need additional tailoring, especially jeans. Regular rise is like low rise on more proportional guys. Lately, I’ve been buying Wranglers at Target for the low cost and high rise, in a dark finish and getting the legs slimmed down and hemmed. It brings the cost of a $20 pair of pants to $40, but then my pants fit me. The point of all this is to say that disproportionate bodies are more than just Tall, Short, Average, Fat, Skinny, Normal, Medium, Tall, Venti.

    • themodestman

      Agreed. And it sounds like you’ve figured out a way to get a pair of pants that fits for $40, which is great. Have you tried Bonobos? I only ask because they’re “slim” fit is baggy on me, but I have skinny legs. Maybe they would work for your build.

    • Christian S.

      Jesus. I thought I had a tough time finding OTR clothes that fit well. Those measurements are tough enough, then add an athletic physique on top of it and it sounds like quite the challenge you face. I feel for you and wish you the best of luck.

      PS. “Venti” gave me a good chuckle.

  • G. Maximus

    Higher rise pants will also help fit big butts.

    • Martine

      No. Thats one thing they do not do. If you are bigger, then lower rise may be best. Higher rise is great in a tighter first to show off a nice figure.

    • Mark Mays

      No, it won’t and that’s something missing from this piece. There’s a front rise and a rear rise. You can see it in the pants if you hold them flat facing you. Some jeans have a low rise in front and rise a little higher in the back. A good tailor should take this into account. I’m a tough fit, as are most guys like me, African American with an athletic build. Low rise works best, but low rise with a higher rise in the back is more comfortable.

      • Mediocre_Mac

        I realize I’m two years late, but yes, i have a bigger than average butt and I’m 5′ 6″. That gap between the bottom of my spine and the outer-most part of my butt doesn’t make it easy to size pants. I get that bunchy, for one. If i buy smaller waist, it’s tighter around my butt, which is uncomfortable to me.

        My point is, i find many AA men, of all heights, with this build, especially with the biker/moto inspired look everyone’s going for these days, experience this problem without fully realizing.

  • Chris Jones

    I have no choice but to wear low rise pants. With my belly, the pants have to sit down on the hips. If I wear anything but low rise pants, I end up with a crapton of extra fabric in the crotch and ass areas.

    • PhilipWest

      Make sure you get shirts long enough!

      • Cary Starke

        That is the best honest answer there is ! I also have FUPA , Fat Over Penis Area .

        • Bob

          Fupa is fat upper pussy area guess you could switch it up but why when it’s a female term

    • Martine


      • Chris Jones

        Well that’s mature.

  • Mike

    What do you recommend for guys with an athletic leg build (eg. larger butt). Will a higher rise fit better?

    • themodestman

      Hey Mike – If you’re legs aren’t super short, go for a regular/normal rise. Just try to find brands that have more room in the seat area (Bonobos, J. Crew) or buy pants from department stores that are cheaper, but baggier, and have them taken in by your tailor.

  • James

    Michael Phelps would look even better in that suit if it weren’t so tight.

    • Evan85

      The jacket looks okay, and the pants are tight because of his hand in the pocket (I think), but the vest is about to fire off a button and kill someone.

    • themodestman

      Yea, I didn’t choose Phelps for his style savvy… more to illustrate my point about proportion. But hey, at least he’s trying!


  • Josh

    Rise can’t be tailored? I’ve had pants where the crotch was too tight and my tailor loosened them up by an inch or so (I think by taking fabric from the legs). Is that not altering the rise?

    • themodestman

      Hey Josh,

      Good question. You can have the crotch/seat taken in or let out, which is different than altering rise. You can’t lengthen rise (in the same way that you can’t lengthen the inseam).


  • Gazman

    Hey Brock
    Great article! And thanks especially for clearing up the confusion I had regarding short rise pants. I always thought short rise and low rise were one and the same and as such never figured why the likes of Jimmy Au were advocating ‘low rise’ pants for short men. Now I realise he means short rise. It makes perfect sense because as you say you can wear short rise pants at your natural waist without the crotch hanging low and thereby making your legs look shorter.

  • David

    What is going on with pants these days? The pockets on pants are now so small. Why is this?

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  • Dan B

    What should I do if I am tall (6ft 4) with long legs, but want to look more mature? I am 26. Low rise or mid rise?

    • Brock

      Mid rise.

  • Janice

    My husband is 6 feet tall with no butt and and too much belly. His jeans are always falling down. Not a good thing in public! Any suggestions?

    • BarryK

      @Dan – I’d say go with mid-rise.

      @ Janice – In my experience long-rise or mid-rise look good on most men, esp. so if the guy is heavy around the middle. I have often seen that a lot of men with a large waist or beer belly wear their pants below the belly, with the belly protruding over the jeans or pant waist. I am not sure why some men do this but their pants are always dropping down and in fact it makes them look fatter even than they actually are.

      But what generally works for a lot of men who have “too much belly” is long rise FLAT FRONT pants (jeans are always flat front) worn MIDWAY on the belly with the use of a wide belt i.e. two inches wide belts work best but 1.5″ will do too, just not as well. This way the pant waist pulls the belly in esp. if the fabric is not too light. And the belt holds the pants there. Heavier pant fabrics work better. But nowadays a lot of flat front pants have a stretch waist band that works very well. They sell them at Macy’s, Sears and a lot of other stores. Docker’s pants are in my opinion the best, but you may not find long rise flat fronts too easily. A lot of pants, esp. chinos come with stretch waist bands. Some of the cheaper stretch waist banded pants have an invisible elastic on both sides, and if they are pulled too much there is a hole which makes shows the underwear. Do NOT go with these pants.

      The issue with “no butt” is a common problem with both men and women. If you Google it you will find suggestions on how to get such pants altered or even do it yourself if you are handy with a sewing machine. Usually long rise pants/jeans work very well for this kind of problem.

      Hope you find this helpful.

      • Coastalguy

        I am 74, with a belly and have the falling down pants problem also, especially with jeans. I try to wear them above the belly, however the rise is never enough to keep them there. The highest rise I could find was a 12″ front and 15″ back, which isn’t enough, as the waist band is still several inches below my belly button. Additionally, I have a 29″ inseam. I have returned so many pants, I have finally given up to first asking if they make a higher rise. So far, the big brands max out at 12″ and 15″. Only once, I found a Docker’s in a store with a 17″ back rise which fit much better. However, ordering the exact same pants from Amazon, came in with a 15″ back seam instead of the 17″ from the store. Very frustrating.

        • BarryK

          @Coastalguy I consider myself lucky if I can get a 12″ rise. But you are right there are some PLEATED Dockers which have a 15″ rise. If you are measuring the rise from where the stitching crosses over UNDER the crotch then my suggestion is you check out Wrangler’s Comfort Fit jeans. I got them at my local Walmart, and they have a stretch waistband which is stitched on the inside of the waist seam. From what I have seen they do not go above a waist 42. But the larger waist sizes go quickly. I have three pairs of these in black and back seam is 17″ (I just measured mine) but the front is 13″. For me these are most comfortable jeans. If you are looking for jeans in wide leg then these are not for you because the pant leg width at the bottom is 9″. Mine cost me $ 30 but you can get them discounted if you catch a sale.

          Another option is Levi’s 501 jeans. I have seen some nice long rises in 501s. But again they are not the loose type of jeans and they are expensive at about $ 70+ depending on the store.. If you shop at Sears you can ask for Arnold Palmer pants. Their entire line caters to seniors, as well as suited to playing golf. Sears often has them at upto 40% discounts.

          You can also try your local “Army & Navy Store” their lines of pants and jeans is old school last I checked.

          Perhaps the best place you are almost certain to find long rise jeans AND pants is used garment stores like Value Village, Salvation Army stores etc. I have picked up some excellent long rise pants and jeans at Value Village. Value Village has become real big-time and they are scattered all over north America and even Australia. (and no I don’t work for Value Village 🙂

          Yet another option is to check out workman pants at online retailers like Carhartt and Dakota. They also sell through stores and Amazon. About one year ago I wrote to Carhartt telling them I didn’t understand why they have started making their workpants in mid-rise to keep up with fashion. Workpants should be workpants.

          Uniform pants are also usually long rise. There are many small companies which make uniforms and their pants are almost always long-rise, at least the one’s I have seen. They almost always have overstocks so you can buy them at retail prices. One of the bigger online retailers for uniforms is Their prices are all over the map, and can be expensive. But if you check out their clearance section you can get some excellent deals if you are lucky. I am not sue if THIS website allows web addresses. If they don’t you can Google 511 Tactical. Otherwise their weblink is:

          Of course you always have the option of using suspenders even if the long rise is not as long as you would like it to be.

          I think the low rise is about the worst style statement for most people. One needs to be extremely slim to make low rise work. Ahh well.

          Good luck with your search for the ideal long-rise pants/jeans. Please let us know how you make out with your search.

          • Coastalguy

            Just emailed Wrangler to see what the front rise and leg widths would be for my size (42/29). Front rise ok at 13 1/2″, but the upper thigh width is 33 1/2″ or over 16″ wide. The pants I now wear is less than 12″ wide at the upper thigh, meaning that the legs have to be like parachutes. Plus their response was a “no-reply” email, so I couldn’t even respond to tell them that.

          • BarryK

            CoastalGuy – For what it is worth I just measured my Comfort Fit Wranglers at the thigh and they are 11″ (22″ around).

            They are available at Walmart for a very good price. Here is the link


            Good luck!!

          • Coastalguy

            Ok, off to Walmart, thanks again.

          • coastalguy

            BarryK, Went to Walmart and checked out the Wranglers. Found the Flex-Waist in my size had the 11″ legs and the rise I wanted. They fit great. Thanks for all of the great information and sending me to Walmart.

          • BarryK

            Great to know it worked out for you. Those Wranglers are great, strong fabric, flex-waist, comfortably narrow leg width. Thanks for letting me know.Enjoy the jeans CoastalGuy !!! 🙂

        • BarryK

          One more thing CoastalGuy – the Levi’s 501 come in two styles, one is called “shrink to fit” and they shrink quite a bit so be careful, the other one’s don’t shrink that much. Another issue (and a major one for me at least) is that the 501’s have a button fly. I have a couple of 501s which came with a button fly but I had the metal buttons taken out and got a zipper fly instead. They work just great.

          • Coastalguy

            BarryK, Thanks for all of the great information. In the meantime, I have been corresponding with Dickies jeans, who advises they have up to 14″ front rise on some of their jeans. I have ordered from them, but haven’t received the shipment yet to see if ok or not. If not, I will definitely check out your information.

          • BarryK

            Hi again CoastalGuy – Yes, Dickies are pretty good too. And in fact a tad less expensive than Carhartt or Dakota. I think you are onto something there. And if it’s not to your liking you now have some options to explore.

            If you ever decide to get them i.e. the Comfort Fit Wrangler’s please keep in mind they only come in blue and black. At least I haven’t ever seen any other color.

          • Coastalguy

            Blue and Black is fine. I will hit their site and check out the Wrangler Jeans you described, and probably email them to confirm front rise dimensions. Always good to have backup info, if ok, in case Dickies doesn’t work out. Thanks again for the info.

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  • tham

    Glad this page come up on my google search. You’ve cleared up all my questions and misunderstandings regarding rise. Nicely done and thanks.

  • knivesout00

    Good points by the author. It occurred to me recently that low-rise pants had been “in style” for such a long time now, that perhaps my next pair of jeans should be regular-rise. It seems Banana Republic was thinking the same, as they eliminated low-rise at their flagship store in my area (though still are sold at their outlet store).

    I certainly agree that khakis and all formal or semi-formal wear needs regular-cut. As for jeans, for some reason, at 6’1″ with a 32″ leg and regular-to-thin build, I agree that low-rise on jeans somehow generally looks best.

  • amy

    Would love some help with pants for my husband. His problem is that they are all too tight across the crotch. Any suggestions of a company that makes pants with a roomier crotch? PLEASE no crude replies, this is a very frustrating situation.

    • Ross Lungaro

      I have same problem, I have resorted to buying bigger sizes & having them tailored, or in the case of jeans, I have liked the Eddie Bauer long rise jeans, maybe have him try them.

    • Coastalguy

      Duluth Trading makes Ball Room Jeans with more room in the crotch. However, the width of the legs was 3″ wider than my regular straight leg jeans and felt like woman’s bloomers to me. If that isn’t a problem, Duluth might be the way to go.

  • Ross Lungaro

    I am 5’10” tall, but have a natural inseam of close to 30″and very thick muscular legs, thus leaving me with a longer torso. I am not having luck finding jeans to fit me well. Other than Eddie Bauer long rise jeans, I can’t find much. I prefer a carpenter style mainly because it gives you a place to store your cell phone when you are out without it being in your back or front pockets. Any ideas???

  • Mark

    Great discussion. I actually came across this post several months ago when I was searching for information on fit. I desperately need some advice.

    I’m 6′ 3 1/2″ tall with a skinny build. The problem (OK the biggest problem) I have is that I have very long arms and legs with a short waist. My sleeve length is approximately 39″ and my inseam is 36″ or so. I have to buy an extra long suit to get the needed sleeve length. The problem is that the jacket then looks like a mini skirt. It’s so long (due to my short waist) that it hits considerably below my crotch/butt. From what I’ve read, there’s no way to shorten a jacket as much as I would need to without throwing off the balance.

    So two questions: 1) Is my only option to turn to custom suits/jackets? And 2) With really long arms, is it appropriate for the body of a suit coat to hit at the crotch with the coat sleeves the appropriate length to fit? Or would that look “off?” I think the length of properly fitting sleeves for me would probably hit right around the bottom of a crotch-length jacket. Just curious what the best approach is for dealing with a very frustrating problem. Looking forward to any advice/guidance. Thanks!

    • Andrew

      Unfortunately it sounds like made to measure would be the way to go, but they don’t have to be expensive. There are several online made to measure suit options. I have 3 suits from Indochino and really like them, and they have a few budget options.

      • Mark

        Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate the information. I’ll check out Indochino. Any other MTM options you’ve had a positive experience with?

        • BarryK

          Hey Mark – if you go to a half-decent departmental store you can ask for what ever size jacket you wear but ask for it in “Long”. Jacket sizes (suits or otherwise) are fitted for e.g. as 44S (for Short), 44R (for regular) and 44L for long. Sure if you can afford it go with a bespoke suit. But you will find plenty of choice off-the-rack at almost any department store. There is always a good chance to get the arms taken in. I don’t think you will have that problem. If you really like a jacket but the arms are too short you can ask them to extend the arm length. Most mid-priced jackets arms can be lengthened at least 3/4″.

  • John

    Even 30″ inseams are too long on me (I’m 5’8″ and about 220 pounds). I’ve been buying both 38″ and 40″ waists, but both size tend to slip down. Would buying a short rise pants make a difference?

  • Vanessa

    Great tips. My boyfriend is 6’1..225lbs..broad shoulders, most of his “fat” is around the waist, love handles and has no butt :(! He’s in the process of working hard at loosing weight but I want to help him find great jeans in the meantime. Once that don’t sag as much in the back due to no butt and ones that don’t sit so low that bring more attention to his love handles. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks 🙂 I prefer the slim fit look but not sure if that would work on him? High rise? Low? Help!

  • Paula Harding

    OK…we all know the guy that bends over and POW right in your face is a man’s butt crack. Well, that’s my husband of 10 yrs. And there may not be 11. I can not stand when I see that. However, Mr. “nightmare on crack street” tells me, and anyone else that feels the same, if it’s so gross, don’t look. Finally though, he says he’s willing to try something, anything. He is most comfortable with his jeans sitting low on his hips, but he doesn’t wear low rise pants. So…there’s this gob of jeans hanging between his legs, and of course when he bends over there isn’t a t-shirt made that can keep his butt covered. Sometimes he pulls his jeans up where they look great from the backside, but with his substantial belly the jeans won’t stay up because they are instantly bagging . What if he bought jeans that actually fit at the low rise mark…no gob of material between his legs and two pouches under each butt cheek. I am really serious about this. It mortifies me to see him bend over with others around trying NOT to look at his a$$. HELP!!!

  • Poupic

    I arrived in the USA in 1967. The shock of not having the metric system! The second was pants were made to go closer to the shoulder. As a result the pants naturally slide down to their natural place, the hips to stop sliding down. As a result the crouches of pants in US men are close to the knees. It is bordering on the stupid. I still hate it.

  • Hans

    Thanks for this grt post ! – only problem, here in Denmark you simply can’t dig up a pair of high waisted pants, so lot of guys are running around in pants hanging down their hip, showing the crack when squatting, and so on…not looking or feeling too great. Guess that’s the downside of living in a small-market country…all low-waisted

  • Michki067

    Men look absolutely crappy in a suit with low-rise trousers. Jesus, would Cary Grant have worn a suit where you can see his zipper, belt, shirt, and the pointy-end of his tie at the bottom of his coat? Hell no!

  • Frank

    Ok, but someone please explain why I can’t find pants that fit at a store. I am 6’3″and wear size 50/32 pants but they never list the rise. Every time I go shopping the pants always have that bunched up crotch look. If I let them rode at my waist, then the bunching is fixed but the crotch hangs nearly to my knees, however if I pull them up to my natural waist then they are incredibly uncomfortable and I can’t bend over. I am a diesel mechanic so my job is very physically demanding. The uniform company at my employer provided me blue jeans and they fit excellent. The waist sits low but not at my hips and I can move good. They have discontinued this line of jeans and the new jeans have the bunched crotch too. I can’t find the pants and it’s impossible to search online since”rise” isn’t an advertised size.

    • pjd

      None of the posts mention another really important thing for us guys. Low rise pants have generally have short fly, which kind of negates the whole point of having a zipper for quick trips to the john. Another annoying thing is that many new styles of dress pants make the back pockets really deep so that the wallet rests down at the middle of the thigh. Maybe designers feel this looks better, but it feels really weird, and uncomfortable to sit down. Anyone else experience this?

      • Olga

        Maybe you can go inside the pants and draw a straight line and sew/baste by 1″ increments the bottom of pocket to where your wallet sits better on you. Then go back and sew bottom of pocket at this line mark.

  • HeftyJo

    I’m nearly Michael Phelps proportions: 6’4, 32 inseam. Good to know what to look for in a fit for my size.

  • sd


  • dpsttmpst

    Low-rise became a virus to all trousers of males, and clothing companies deliberately keep it as a fad. It is time to end the nonsense.

  • hans

    Now I know why the rear of all my pants hang down by my knees.

  • Fadil


  • Old Salt

    I can’t ever find anything that fits. I need a long rise but most places don’t sell them and those that do, do not offer my size. So I’ve kissed off Haggar, Dockers, Lee, St. John’s Bay, Savana and many more.

  • G B

    Bookmarked. Thanks!

  • Janic Kühner

    Isn”t the natural waist the slimmest part of your body, generally above the belly button? The picture shows it much lover, which is confusing.

  • Jacob Stearns

    good writing broham , a subject most men don’t discuss, but we ( the guys responding here) are more than likely “METRO” like myself ( I dont find this term degrading, but rather a compliment. As in “metro” he’s a dude that cares about his hygene and apprence ) . I’m 6 1/2 FT tall, I ‘ve got a belly, longer torso , and shorter legs ( 30.5’ inseam ) I figured out that Low rise is not only what is most comfortable, but fits me and looks the best….. as the past couple of days Ive been shopping for jeans I’ve noticed that low rise seems to be falling out of fad ( skinny is all the craze, and tend to be regular rise) as I’m having a hard time finding the low rise bootcut from the designers I’ll wear ( True religion , lucky, David Bixton , 7 for all mankind ext) especially a pair that is less than 200$

  • Danjimaru

    I love high rise pants but they are increasingly difficult to find, specially high rise jeans for men; you can still find them in thrift stores with 70s fashion or on ebay sometimes but they are really hard to track down. In Pumping Iron (1977) you see Lou Ferrigno get out of the car with high rise jeans that are a perfect fit for his athletic size and muscular legs. I once found a perfect pair of pants while I was on vacation in Brazil at the C&A store – they are jeans but also highly elastic like spandex (they stretch more than a palm) so they fit perfectly altough they are just regular rise. One thing is for sure: for athletic, muscular thighs and big glutes there is no option at all out there(…other than bodybuilding gym wear). Freerunning fashion with the knee-low baggy pants is a nightmare in my eyes (hail to Mc Hammer) and don’t even get me started on shorts – just impossible to find something that doesn’t wrinkle up in my size.

  • RWoody7289

    “Lord Vader!!”

    “Yes Master?”


  • Poupic

    This is the most stupid illogical explanation of a US error in making pants. Europeans pants have the waist where it should be lower and the fly opens lower than in American pants. Reason? In American pants one has to pull down the pants to urinate comfortably and the waist goes down. How idiotic is that? It is all for the same reason they invented tube socks. Less sizes to stock up benefitting the retailers and inconveniencing the customers.

  • iwod

    I have yet to find high rise jeans for men. With slim cut. ( Not regular or boot cut )

    I wanted high rise jeans for nearly over a decade. Before high rise even took off in mass woman fashion. I guess it is people like me and Michael Phelps are tiny % of the market no mass consumer fashion company wanted to do one.

    If anyone has any clue of high rise men’s slim jeans with Worldwide shipping please let me know.

    P.S I literally search for Men high rise jeans every year on Google and this is the first time this article came up.

  • Tim Jones-Yelvington

    I have noticed at places like Nordstrom Rack that a lot of designer pants (including jeans!) do not print any inseam on the label. How do you know how long they are, and how much they can be let out? Is there a standard? Is it 32? Can jeans ever be let out? My legs are long and I require a 34″ inseam, so this is always a little frustrating when I find something cool/interesting/unusual that I like.

    • Andrew

      This is common among more designer brands who only offer one inseam and require them to be tailored to fit. Some use 32, others 34 or 36.

  • RIch285

    I know I am 4 years late on this but which major chains carry mid-rise cargo pants? I have a long torso and short inseam. The style in mens pants with the low rise and tightness don’t suit me at all.

  • John Hetland

    If low rise pants for men are so popular, why can’t I find any? I think I’d like a 7- or 8-inch rise and I’d wear them on my hips, which is where my pants ALWAYS slide to. But I’ve googled and googled and all I can find is women’s pants.

  • Prospector

    The problem with high rise work and performance pants is that they will always become low riders, so that the crotch comes mid-way down the thigh. This makes it harder to take high or long steps. You wind up fighting with your pants. I usually have to roll high rise pants down a roll or two to get them to fit tight on my hips, but keep the crotch where it should be.

  • Gary Smith

    I have NO BUTT! I’m 6’3″240 pounds depending on the pants I wear between a 36×32 and 38×32 and I literally have to make my belt so tight it hurts to keep them up walking around the grocery store with my wallet in my pocket and the crotch is still hanging low because my torso being longer than my legs and no ass to hold them up it’s very uncomfortable! I don’t know what size to wear? HELP!

  • Dan Stone

    This article is great but it falls short by not providing a list of shopper picks for “high rise”. I realize I am quite late in requesting this list but if it is available please update the article accordingly. I would definitely help this 6’4″ man that needs a 13″ rise!

  • Joni Brown

    My husband wears a 32 x 30 jeans, has long torson and short legs. Wears Levis. He’s 5″7 and 165 lbs, all his jeans sit below his waist, causing them to look wierd, makes his legs look even shorter, his stomach protrudes just a little, not bad, and the thighs always look baggy, he has nice thighs, so He would like them to fit better….Suggestions?

  • Joni Brown

    Husband is 5″7, 165 lbs, nice thighs, short crotch, Small protruding stomach, long torso. His jeans emphasize the short crotch, n jeans look below stomach and baggy on thighs. Suggestions ?

  • Kim

    Pants used to fit and look right but now that the new “proportionate” look is in, people look strange and it’s impossible to keep every pair of pants up where they belong. Never have I seen so many fat rolls hanging over the top edge of pants and people having little choice but to deal with it. Whoever got rid of normal pants and decided to make the average consumer blaze their fat and stomachs needs to learn that skimping on material to make a buck is NOT the way to go. I invested in my own sewing machine so that I can design and make clothes like they used to be made. No more frustration with somebody else’s fashion MISTAKE. OMG, why didn’t somebody warn that the end of the world was going to happen by a worldwide “pantsocalyse”?

  • Ruth Haegele

    I am Trying to buy High rise pants for my husband he is 86 years old and wears 46 33 pants he need a regular leg pand because he wears a brace for a drop foot the pants he is wearing has 15′ RISE and I have been ever where and have had no luck I even tried Mens Wherehouse and was going to buy custom but they only have wool and needs to be cleaned can you help me

  • Carlyn Shear

    I realize this is an older article, however, I came across it while looking for advice for my husband. He is 6’5 with long legs and long torso and slightly overweight. I have a hard time finding him pants that fit well and don’t show any of his but when sitting down. My question is this, is the problem with the pants, shirt or an ill fitting belt that would cause this to happen with when he sits down? It happens even on jeans that he says feel comfortable.

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  • William McGrady

    Brock, thanks for the important information however, as an African American male, my biggest problem with purchasing pants off the rack is getting roomy pants at the hips and behind. That is because men clothes are designed by and for Europeans men. So how do I combat this?
    Thank You,

  • snikt2112

    i’m 5’6″ about 165. need 31 waist and 29 inseam. can’t ever find it. regular rise in jeans is terrible. always bunched up material in the crotch. any suggestions about what kind of pants i need? i have one pair of khakis that must be a low or short rise and i love them but can’t ever find anything like them. whenever i sit down wearing regular rise pants it looks like i’m very excited to be there…

  • Anand

    Thank god there are souls out there who share my problem. I normally have a hard time finding trousers/jeans that are comfortable in the crotch area. Except for a couple in my wardrobe, almost all the others arent very comfortable. Was trying to figure out what might be wrong and came across this article. Problem might be with the ‘rise’ i feel.

  • Truth4Sale

    Seriously, where can I go and have someone tell me what size and cut and fit will be comfortable and look good on me?