The Best Jeans for Your Body Shape

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Should You Wear a Low, Medium or High Rise Jean?

Street style in jeans and a sweater
Learn what rise of jeans will flatter your body best. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

You may know your jeans size, but do you know your jeans rise? When shopping for the perfect pair of jeans, it's important to understand whether your body shape will look its best in a low-rise, medium-rise or high-rise cut. When brands or designers describe the "rise" of jeans, they're referring simply to the distance from the crotch to the top of the waistband. And just as the wrong rise can create unwanted problems, such as a muffin top or gapping at the back, choosing the correct rise can instantly make you look slimmer. We've put together this handy guide to help you learn which jeans rises are most flattering for different body types, so you can figure out your best denim rise.

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Petite Body Type

NYDJ Tanya Petite Boyfriend Jean
NYDJ Tanya Petite Boyfriend Jean. NYDJ

Are you on the shorter side? Going to extremes with your jeans rise (either wearing a jean that's cut too high or too low) can throw a petite body out of balance. For instance, while a slender woman of average or taller height can generally pull off a lower rise jean, even the slimmest petites are challenged to look their best in low-rise jeans as this denim style can visually shorten your legs, as well as making hips look wider.

Shorter women of all shapes can get a flattering effect by choosing jeans with a medium or slightly higher waistband. If you're a curvy petite, you'll look best in the higher mid-rise jeans (look for a waistband that covers and sits slightly above your belly button). These fits will help to contain a tummy and provide coverage at the hips, which helps to prevent muffin top issues. Slender petites can wear a more standard medium-rise jean for figure flattery.

Jeans to Try:

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Pear Shape Body Type

Levi's 529 Curvy Skinny Jean
Levi's 529 Curvy Skinny Jean. Levi Strauss & Co

Are you a juicy pear? Pear-shaped bodies have ample hips and thighs, typically with a smaller bust line and waist. Some pear shapes also have shorter legs, though this isn't always the case. You may also boast a bootylicious behind if you're a pear. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, a higher-rise jean can do wonders for a pear figure. This is because a higher rise will provide coverage for your rear end while lengthening legs and balancing out the hip area. The bigger your backside, in fact, the higher you can go in the rise to look good in jeans.

However, if you're a pear with a flat butt (or if you just find high-waist jeans to be uncomfortable, or not your style), you can still achieve figure flattery in a jean with a contoured waistband that rises higher in the back. This is a great solution for pears who want to prevent gapping at the back when sitting down in jeans, a common issue for this body shape.

Jeans to Try:

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Apple Body Type

Big Star Alex Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans
Big Star Alex Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans. Big Star

Apple shaped women tend to carry extra weight around the middle. If you're an apple, you probably have wide shoulders, thinner arms and legs, and a belly. You may struggle with finding jeans that fit you well through the hips without squeezing your middle and creating a muffin top.

For apple shapes, your best rise of jeans is a higher waisted denim style that sits just at your natural waist. This style of jean will help to visually elongate your legs and highlight their slimness, while helping to cinch in a tummy pooch.

Jeans to Try:

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Hourglass Body Type

James Jeans High Class Skinny Jeans
James Jeans High Class Skinny Jeans. James Jeans

If you're curvy all over with a smaller waist, you can choose a high rise jean to showcase your enviable hourglass shape. Look for a rise from 10" to 13" (check the garment label) that hits above your natural waist. This will flatter your womanly curves and nip you in at the waist to highlight the slimmest point of your figure. A high waist jean is also great for containing a tummy bulge, if you have one.

Looking to play down your curves? You can choose a contoured waistband jean that sits lower in the front and rises high in the back. This will lengthen your torso for a leaner look while eliminating any issues with gapping at the back when you are sitting down.

Jeans to Try:

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Boyish Body Type

True Religion Stella Low Rise Skinny
True Religion Stella Low Rise Skinny. True Religion

Do you have slim hips and a straight up-and-down figure? This body type can play around with many jean rises and will look good in most. If you're a tall, slender women looking to add feminine curves, a low rise jean can make your hips and butt look curvier, while lengthening your torso to balance out long legs. Your best low rise jeans for casual wear could be a distressed pair, while you'll want to choose a cleaner finish for work, so shop around to fill out your denim wardrobe and you'll be prepared for all occasions.

Jeans to Try: