High-rise denim is back.
After witnessing runways filled with bell bottoms and longer hemlines, we know by now that the Seventies' influence has taken over for Spring 2011, and the trends in denim are no different. This season, some of the best denim makers out there are introducing a higher rise, a cut that addresses both fashion and function.
"A high or mid-rise style elongates the leg - especially when it's a flare or trouser style - and creates a long, lean line," Mille Monferin, 7 For All Mankind's denim design director, told StyleList. "A great way to offset the volume of a wide leg style is with a higher rise." Comfort, he said, is definitely a big part of it too. "Higher rises offer more control and help avoid the dreaded muffin top," Monferin said. "There's nothing chic about constantly having to yank up your jeans."
J Brand's founder and chief executive officer, Jeff Rudes, told StyleList that while they have offered some high-rises in past seasons, their popularity for spring has grown in a big way. This has led them to increase their offering of the style - there's a wide-leg, flare and even a skinny jean all with higher rises. But, he said, this doesn't mean his jeans at J Brand are exactly like they were in the Seventies. "With modern technology, denim fabric is lighter weight, softer and with stretch so it is much more comfortable than the high-rise styles that were worn in the Seventies," he stressed.
James Jeans is also offering an array of newer high-rise styles for spring. According to Seun Lim, creative director at James, the new "High Class" series of jeans will include some of the brand's top bodies in rises ranging 9 ½ inches to 9 ¾ inches. There's also a new mid-rise option that features an 8 ¼ inch rise in a straight leg or a flare. "The biggest benefit of our mid to high rise styles is the way the waist bands are uniquely contoured from front to back," Lim said. "The front is perfectly leveled for a sexy look and feel, and the back is higher and therefore provides added comfort and assurance that your undergarments won't be peeking out."
Chip Foster, who founded the Chip & Pepper denim brand with his twin brother, is off on a new venture. He just launched a denim line he calls Pray For Mother Nature. For spring, Foster said he has taken six of their original low-rise styles and made them higher. "Higher rises tend to be universally flattering and no matter what, almost everyone loves a little more support," Foster explained. "No matter the body type, you can rock a mid-rise jean."
Jill Shehebar, marketing director at Blank NYC, agrees with Foster. That's why they've been offering higher rises since they opened for business. For spring and summer, the company has taken the trend a step further by offering high-rise cut-off denim shorts and self-belted aviator shorts along with their already popular high-waisted skinnies. "The high rise skinny we have this season has really cool color block front detail and back stitch," Shehebar said. "For late spring and fall, we have more high rise flares and belles. High rise is universally flattering if styled the right way." And, if styled correctly, you don't have to be worried about looking like you are wearing "mom jeans."
How to avoid the matronly look? "Pair them with a romantic blousy top, or a tailored shirt tucked in," suggested Francis Pierrel, senior vice president of retail and wholesale for Diesel, which is also introducing two new high-rise styles for spring - the Hi-vy, a high-waisted skinny, and the Ronhoir, a high-waisted bootcut. "For younger girls, the crop top is making a come-back. Accessories also help spruce up the look, pairing a sexy wedge or heel and a chic handbag."