Rise: The distance between the crotch and the waistband in pants, shorts, or underwear (both front and back)

Stylists have been advocating lower rises for years because they make your bottom look smaller (in fact a lower rise can halve the side of your derrière instantly). Over the seasons, rises have become ultra low, making the appearance of “bottom cleavage” the next problem (solved with the emergence of longer length T’s this Spring/Summer).

However, if you are carrying a little extra weight around your midsection (especially after child birth), a higher rise is a good option. I have begun to dress women with post baby belly in jeans and slacks like these. The rise should be just below your navel (not above it), and the waistband curved flat onto your waist. If the waistband stands away at the back, have it altered for $20 instead of using a belt. Belts will add bulk to the area you are trying to flatten out.  Avoid any form of pleat and this type of waist construction will act like an effective girdle (and will be a lot easier to put on then Spanx).

The trick is to find styles with higher rises that are not tapered at the leg. I’ve had success popping ladies into the options below:  

  • Original boot cut jeans from Gap
  • “Laura” and “Ann” fits at Ann Taylor Loft
  • “Audrey” and “Margo” fits at Ann Taylor

Unfortunately your bottom will appear larger with higher rise pants, but if you keep your tops un-tucked and over your hip bone, you’ll be able to create the illusion of a smaller tighter tush!

Higher rise slacks from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft. Jeans from Gap.