Pants Rise and Why It’s So Critical To Fit

Pants Rise and Why It’s So Critical To Fit

John NguyenJan 16, '17

The length and waist of your pants aren’t everything. You’re forgetting about one of the most important dimensions for a perfect fit. Its pants rise.

When men go shopping, the two things that men mostly look for are the waist size and the length of the pants. There is one other thing that is continuously overlooked by countless men. What is it? Pants rise.

To start off, what is rise? It is the distance from the top of your waistline to the bottom of your crotch seam (where the legs of your pants begin to split). Pants rise can change how long your torso looks in comparison to your legs. It does this by changing where your perceived waistline is.

4 Types of Rise

Now that you see how rise can work for or against you, here are 4 types of rise that you need to look out for.

High Rise (10+ inches)

Men who are tall (over 6 ft) and want to wear their pants at their waistline and not at their hips should wear high rise pants. This makes their torsos shorter compared to their legs. High rise is also associated with a more sophisticated and mature look. More formal pants such as chinos and dress pants usually have a high rise. When you’re trying on high rise pants, make sure the crotch has a good fit because it’s impossible to lengthen.

Regular (9-11 inches)

Some people call it mid-rise and others may also call it normal rise. Pants with regular rise are meant to be worn at your natural waistline. Pants such as khakis, and trousers have a regular or high rise.

Low (8 inches)

Low rise pants are worn much lower than at the waist. This can help men elongate how their torsos look. Men who are below average height often buy low rise pants but wear them as short rise pants by pulling them up to their natural waistline. Don’t do this! The proportions will be off and it won’t be comfortable. These pants should mainly be worn for men who have legs that are significantly longer than their torsos. Generally, they are meant for a more casual look.


Short (7-9 inches)

Short rise pants are often more difficult to find but they are amazing for men with short legs. These are for men who are below the average height. They have a shorter rise and unlike low rise pants, they are meant to be worn at the waist. The shorter rise means there is less material in the crotch area. This will result in a more comfortable fit for shorter men.

Final Takeaways

The importance of pants rise and how it affects the fit of the pants is one of the most overlooked dimensions that men overlook. The lengths of your pants can easily be altered by a novice tailor and the waist can usually be adjusted by 1-3 inches. However, adjusting pants rise is a different matter. Even expert tailors can’t increase pants rise and shortening it is an extensive and difficult process to do.

To find out whether or not the waist can be taken in, look at the seam of the seat and waistband. If there is an extra strip there, it can be taken in.


Remember, that while the length and waist size of your pants are important, they can easily be adjusted. The next time you are trying on pants in the store, focus more on the pants rise and how they feel on your crotch and thighs.



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