Y2K fashion and low-rise jeans might be coming back thanks to Gen Z, making millennials feel very uneasy and disconcerted, especially when you think about the millennials’ love for high-waist and skinny jeans.
But even with this very real and looming fashion reality seeing the fast return of wide-legged jeans, there is an undeniable truth that high-waisted skinny jeans are here to stay.
The younger generations may be determined to bring back the older fashion styles, citing comfort. Still, many others, millennials and even Gen Z’s alike, all appreciate the high-waisted jeans’ beauty, elegance, and body-cinching effects.
If you are not convinced, we’ll look at the other top reasons for the popularity of high-waist jeans. But we’ll take a look at the history of these pants first. So, let’s get right into it!
History of the high-waist pants
The high-waisted jeans first came into the fashion scene in the 1940s. Levi, the world-renowned denim manufacturer, introduced it. At the time, the high-waist pants were explicitly designed for the women who worked on land and in factories during the war efforts of the 1940s.
And so, the style was quite popular then as it allowed the working women to maintain their modesty, even as they needed to bend to be able to work. Then in the 1950s, these pants made their debut and were popularized in Hollywood because they fit women in all the right places and accentuated their shapes.
And so, when Marilyn Monroe wore these pants in 1961’s The Misfits, she paired the pants with a nice belt and a nice, tucked-in shirt, the look became the most popular one, and it’s remained so to date. And though the style faded away in the 60s as it made way for more high-fashion garments, the style came back to life in the 1970s.
So, even though the bell-bottom jeans were quite popular in the 70s, the high-waisted jeans also made their debut at the same time – they were primarily flared from below the knees, and some people added extra fabric panels to make the pants even wider.
It wasn’t in the 1980s that the high-waisted and skinnier pants came back to the fashion scene thanks to brands like Guess, and they have been fashionable to date.
Why are high-waisted jeans so popular?
Before we take a look at the reasons for the popularity of high-waist jeans, let’s first look at the differences between high-rise and high-waist jeans.
High-rise or High-Waist?
Well, in the context of pants and jeans, the rise of pants refers to the length measured from the top of your jeans to the bottom of your crotch.
And the high-waisted pants, which are also called high-rise pants, represent the jeans styles that have been designed to sit much higher on your midsection when compared with the low-rise pants. So, the high-waist pants help cinch the waist and hide the extra curves and the muffin top.
1. High Waist Pants are an impressive fashion statement.
For the longest time, low-waist pants were the perfect fashion symbol, and it felt like really the coolest thing ever to wear very low-waisted pants.
And though they were regarded as matronly and even outdated after some time, they were an essential fashion statement for the longest time. But then entered the high-rise jeans, which featured their girdle and came in the form of thick and very stretchy denim (also known as pressed denim) designed to press against the tummy, landing above or at the wearer’s natural waistline.
And so, 2010 has remained a very magical time for all who relish in that feeling of being sucked in and squeezed into clothing. While this is not objectively comfortable, it offers comfort specifically for individuals who want to hide parts of their bodies. The high-waist pants are ideally perfect for hiding the muffin top.
2. More body-positive approach to fashion
While some people preferred the low-rise pants, they have, for the longest time, been considered loud billboards for the androgynous frames and also for thinness.
On the other hand, high-waist pants are more versatile because they easily conform to different body sizes and shapes. And for the women who need extra support or accentuation of their main features, these pants not only highlight the butts and hips, they do a remarkable job of demanding these features to be seen.
And so, high-waist jeans quickly became the mainstream fashion outfit that had turned into a balm for pretty much all women, especially all women who no longer wish to go back to a time when they constantly ran the risk of exposing their butt cracks.
And so, for many years, the high-waisted bottoms have remained the best fashion item that accentuates a woman’s smallest parts while easily showcasing that hour-glass figure that looks amazing inside the high-rise jeans, leggings, and jeggings. They also do an incredible job of hiding or tucking away the muffin top.
With social media awash with sentiments about why the pants are here to stay, the relative democratization of the cultural influences thanks to the spread of the notion that certain body types are better and more beautiful than others, the idea of high-waist pants have allowed more than 99% of women to love their bodies even more aggressively.
3. Best pants for curvier women
For most, if not all, curvy women, high-waist pants are undoubtedly the best fashion piece ever created.
And even as creators share ideas on how to style different outfits, mainly in a bid to encourage body positivity, there is no doubt that high-waisted pants are the best creation allowing women of all sizes and shapes to look great and feel amazing in their skin, regardless of what anyone else may say to think.
And thanks to social media and the internet as a whole, high-waist pants are the best thing, anyone, curvier or not, can wear.
4. Easy styling
In addition to hiding the muffin top and cinching your waist even further, the high-waist pants are a fashion statement here to stay because of how easy it can be for you to style the pants. There are numerous styling options that you get to choose from, and whatever style you choose, you will enjoy a balanced silhouette.
As a result, these pants are very appealing to just about anybody’s size or shape, whether your body is shaped as an apple, curvy, tall, athletic, hourglass, etc.
For instance, if you have a pear-shaped body, you will enjoy wearing the high-waist pants because this pants style offers excellent coverage for the rear, even as it lengthens the legs, while easily balancing out your hip area.
And so, the bigger the wearer’s backside, the higher the degree of lift on the rise, and so, you’d look so much better in the high-waist pants. You can wear these pants with a crop top, blouse, sleeveless tops, a thin-strap top, and even lingerie or a waist trainer.
5. The pants create an illusion of a thinner body.
If you are looking for pants with a thinning effect, then the high-waist pants are exactly what you need; you only need to make sure that you wear the pants correctly.
Generally, the high-waist pants do great wonders and would make you look thinner, rather instantly.
And the reason for this is that the well-fitting, high-waist or high-rise pants tend to create an elongating effect on your lower body, and so this results in a tricked effect that makes you look much leaner than you are.
6. They hide the muffin top perfectly.
Whether you need to hide the love handles, the front flap, or the belly bulges, the high-waist pants would be the perfect outfit for you.
And they do much more than that by allowing you to quickly and properly keep your shirts well tucked in.
And to reiterate, they will not show or create a muffin-top effect or even the plumber’s crack. And so, these pants remain very popular and stylish.
7. Variety of styles
The other reason for the popularity of the high-waist pants is that these pants come in different styles, and there is essentially something for everything.
Even the mom jeans that are very stylish and trendy today come in high-waisted varieties.
This is also the case with the tapered straight-legged jeans, the super high-waisted jeans, jeggings, high-waist bootcut jeans, and super-skinny high-waist pants.
You may also want to try out the super high-waist high pants that are deliriously high and easily reach the clearing of the belly button. So, whatever your preferred style, there is a high-waisted pair of jeans for everyone.
If you are wondering if the high-waisted pants are trendy or ideal for you, the answer is yes.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.