Moving On Up

May 27, 2007 • Magazine

Moving On Up

Moving On Up

Sat, 2007-05-26 10:00

Jaqueline Zenn

After many, many seasons of low rise jeans, pants, and skirts, waists are moving up in the world. Designers and the fashion media have been championing higher rises for the past several seasons, but the look is just now really taking hold. Despite the fact that this look may evoke painful memories of the seventies and eighties, there are quite a few points in its favor — a higher waist can lengthen your legs and you don’t have to worry about giving the world a peek at your underwear.

Pants: Think traditional menswear-styled trousers in the manner of Katharine Hepburn, and pair them with a tucked in button down for old school elegance. These basic black pants by Alice and Olivia are a perfect example. Also, don’t rule out the paper-bag waist, either. These white pants by Adam + Eve are a refreshing and a chic summer option (they also come in black if you just refuse to do white on the bottom). Needless to say, that silhouette requires a slim, fitted piece on top. Narrower styles can also work with a higher waist, but consider yourself warned: skinny pants with this kind of rise can be very unforgiving. Proceed with caution and be sure to check out the fit in a three-way mirror.

Skirts: High-waisted pencil skirts, like this one by Robert Rodriguez, are an eternal classic, but fuller shapes can work with a higher waist too. A-line and bubble skirts can be particularly flattering, provided they’re not too short, because they’ll skim over virtually all problem areas from the hips to the knees. Check out this white Peter Som skirt — it’s perfect for summer and it’s on sale.

Denim: Higher waists look especially good with wide leg or trouser style jeans. They help define your middle, a must when doing volume on the bottom. The rules that apply to pants also apply to jeans, so remember that skinny jeans with a high rise can be difficult to wear. However, go wild with the high waisted trouser style and boot cut denim, like the “Georgia Pek� jean by 7 For All Mankind.

Shorts: Provide balance to ultra-short shorts with a little more coverage in the middle — and the higher waistline will make your legs look even longer (wear with platform wedges for the maximum “legs up to there� effect). The Grey Ant “Carpenter Short� is a great casual pick if you dare wear short shorts this summer. Longer lengths also work with high rises, especially for a more tailored look — try a casual suit with Bermudas instead of a skirt.

Although high waists may evoke frightening images of “mom jeans�, they can be very chic if you pick the right piece. The proper proportions are essential — pay attention to that and soon your waistline will be moving on up in the most fashionable way possible.

Alice and Olivia Black Pants

Adam + Eve White Pants

Robert Rodriguez Pencil Skirt

Peter Som White Skirt

7 For All Mankind Jeans

Grey Ant Shorts

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