Pants Rise Explained: Low vs. Regular Rise Pants

When shopping for a new pair of pants, you can't just consider waist size or leg length. You'll also need to determine whether a given pair of pants' rise is good for your body shape. But what exactly is pants rise, and what’s the difference between low vs. regular rise pants? Let’s break down the answers to both questions, and more.

Pants Rise in a Nutshell

Put simply, the rise of a pair of pants is the distance from the top of the waistband to the middle of the crotch seam, which sits in between your legs.

Typically, the rise is between 7 inches and 12 inches long, though it can vary between different pairs of pants.

Why does it matter? Pants rise plays an important role in how your pants sit on your body. This impacts your waistline, the comfort of your pants, and how your pants may be modified by a skilled tailor. Be aware, the rise of a pair of pants can’t be altered by a tailor (at least very easily), whereas other things, like the waistband, can be.

Therefore, you should always aim to get the pants rise right when purchasing a new set of trousers. Depending on the rise style you choose, it could work for or against your look or intended aesthetic. When you choose the right rise for your body dimensions and your outfit, you’ll look tall, like your trousers are well fitted, and more.

But if you choose the wrong rise, your body could appear a little disproportionate. There are three types of rises you can find in pants:

  • Low rise pants, which sit low on your waist
  • Regular rise pants or regular rise pants, which sit in between low and high rise pants
  • High rise pants, which sit high on your waist

Understanding the differences between these rises is just as important as knowing how to measure the inseam of a pair of pants.

Let’s take a closer look at low rise, regular rise, and high rise pants so you can fully understand the differences between them.

Low Rise Pants

Low rise pants, also called short rise pants, are worn at your hips. However, the pants usually sit a little below your natural waistline. Low rise pants include the bellbottoms pants that were popular in the 60s and 70s. Because they sit below your natural waistline, low rise pants don’t conform as much to your waist shape.

Generally, low rise pants are great if your body is already well naturally proportioned (i.e. your legs are a little longer than your torso, but not excessively so). If you already have a long torso, however, low rise pants will exacerbate this effect and make it look like you have very short legs.

Berle offers a variety of low rise pants, including our Polyester Wool Tropical Pleated pants. And, if you want something more casual, we offer our Prime Poplin Self-Sizer pants in three different colors.

Regular Rise Pants

Also called mid-rise pants, regular rise pants have rise lengths between 9 inches and 11 inches. They’re worn right at your natural waistline. The vast majority of pants, including jeans, trousers, and khakis are regular rise by default.

These pants are great if you are a man of average height, usually anywhere between 5’9”.  However, they can also be good if you are taller or shorter than average and your proportions are a little off (i.e. you have longer legs or a longer torso than normal).

Popular selections of regular rise pants include Wool Tropical Plain Weave and 8 Wale Luxury Italian Corduroy.

High Rise Pants

High rise pants, also known as long rise pants, are the opposite of low rise pants. They include pairs of pants that have rises longer than 10 or 11 inches. These are excellent choices for many men who stand over 6 feet tall and who want to wear comfortable pants at their waistlines rather than their hips.

High rise pants are good for many tall men because they emphasize leg height. On top of that, many tall men get a lot of their extra inches from their torsos, not their legs. Therefore, high rise pants rebalance the look of the body and its proportions and feel comfortable for many tall guys.

Explore our long rise pants selection, such as our Charleston Dress Khakis and Black and White Plaid Tropical Weight Pleated pants.

How to Tell Which Rise Your Trousers Need

You can usually determine which rise is best for a new pair of trousers by considering your body shape, proportions, and your overall height. Generally:

  • Taller guys will benefit more from high rise pants, especially if most of their extra height comes from the torso and/or neck
  • Smaller guys will benefit from low rise or regular rise pants, which may help to emphasize leg shape or rebalance the body’s proportions

However, these are just generalizations. You may need to try on multiple pairs of pants with different rise sizes and lengths before you find the perfect rise for your unique needs.

Find the Perfect Pants at Berle

Fortunately, Berle has pants of many different styles for you to check out! Our tailored trousers come in low rise, mid rise, and high rise varieties. Whether you need pants for work, formal occasions, or casual engagements, we can help. Check out our selection of tailored trousers today!