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Rise and Shine: The Art of Jean Cuts by Annette Anderson

Too tight

By Annette Anderson

As a seamstress and alterations specialist, I work with women (and men) of all different ages, body types and fashion aesthetics. Yet, everyone has something in common. We all want to rock the perfect pair of jeans.

We all want to rock the perfect pair of jeans.

From bell bottoms, boot cut, skinny jeans, boyfriend/girlfriend, cropped and straight legs, to high waisted, mid-rise, low-rise, dark wash, distressed, light wash…How’s a girl (or guy) supposed to know which are the most flattering?

Knowing your rise measurement is the most important place to start. This number alone can save you time, money and trips to the post office for returns, as well as a means of creating balance in any figure.

What is a Rise Measurement?

Rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam (right between your legs) to the top of the waistband. This measurement determines where your pants sit on your body, which in turn creates your perceived waistline.

Rise measurements range from 5 to 12 inches.  5-8″ rise are low rise , 9-11″  are mid rise while 12″ and higher are considered high rise. The lower the rise , the longer your torso will appear. Conversely, the higher the rise, the shorter your torso will appear.

Long Waisted

High-rise or medium-rise jeans make your natural waist appear higher. They even out the proportions of a long torso and shorter legs (long waisted).

Ideal jean cuts range from skinny to flared to boot cut. A straight or slim-fit flared bottom lengthens the leg creating a flattering silhouette. No matter what the style, the jean should have a tight fit from the waist to the knees. Avoid baggy or wide-leg pants as such cuts shorten the legs.

A flattering fit
Just right

Short Waisted

Less fabric on low-rise styles, creates the illusion of a longer torso for women who are short waisted. Wear your favorite heels for an extra lift. A higher rise and a wider leg can highlight your waist and give you an elongated silhouette. However, slim-fit lower-rise styles should be your ultimate go to..

The Balanced Body

I also work with women who have perfectly balanced figures. You girls can rock just about every style of denim on the planet! Lucky you!


About the author: Annette Anderson is a seamstress and alterations specialist based out of Jacksonville Beach. Check out her Facebook page. She is also a master at closet organization and closet pair downs.

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