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measuring the rise

I recently had one of those light bulb moments, one I want to share with you as it’s a simple easy way that will revolutionize the way we buy jeans.

Both men and women have a “unique rise measurement“. The reason it’s unique is that it’s personal to our body shape and size. This is why finding the perfect pair of jeans tends to be tricky, trying to find a unique pair of jeans to fit our unique body seems like a one in a million shot.  You wouldn’t go hiking without a map would you, with this in mind your “unique rise measurement” is your map or key to finding great fitting jeans.




Before shopping for jeans either online or instore you need to do a bit of homework.

We all have a unique rise measurement and the key to successful shopping for jeans is knowing this magic number. (You will need to be wearing jeans for this bit.)

a: Take a tape measure and measure the distance from the crotch seam of your jeans upwards to your belly button. Write down this number as this is the highest rise you can wear comfortably for your unique body shape.

b: Then measure from the crotch seam up to two fingers below your belly button. This will give you the measurement of your most comfortable rise you should wear for your body shape.

c: The last measurement is for the lowest rise you can wear, so measure from the crotch seam up to three fingers below your belly button.

By doing this you will have a clear idea of how high and low the rise of a jean needs to be for you to wear comfortably.


For example, my highest rise measurement is 9 inches and my lowest is 7.5 inches,  I’m short waisted and I know that an 8-inch rise is the most comfortable for my unique body shape but I can go up to a 9-inch rise if I wish.


If you’re  shopping online for jeans, most good denim websites will offer the rise measurement of the style you are viewing ( if they don’t drop the customer services an email or call asking for this information) or categorize the jean into the following:

  • Low rise = under 7.5 inches
  • Mid rise = 8 inches plus
  • High rise = 9.5 inches and above

*approximate measurements as all brands work to a different sizing ratio, however, your unique rise will stay the same.


Before you set off on your denim expedition, be sure to have your unique rise measurement with you at all times. Arm yourself with a tape measure and the knowledge of the rise measurement you are seeking, anything lower than your comfortable rise or lowest rise walk away from. You are making your unique selection by knowing exactly what rise your body shape needs.

Or if you prefer to use a ribbon with your measurements marked out so you can easily whip it out when you see a pair of jeans you may want to check the rise or use it as a ready- reckoner when you’re trying on jeans.

Knowing your unique rise measurement will give you confidence and a clearer idea of the jean that will work with your body shape, eliminating very quickly the wrong styles.

We would love to hear how you got on when you use the unique rise measurement when buying your next pair of jeans.


  1. High rise jeans sit at or above the belly button. The waist is usually about 2 fingers above. A rise that sits at my true waist is most comfortable to me because it’s where I naturally bend (no digging in). I have a truly high waisted pair of jeans that sit at my true waist and they have a 13” rise!!!

    To me, mid rise is 10-11”, high rise is 11-13” and anything under 10” is low rise.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! That just proves my point that we all have a different front rise measurement so it’s important to know what yours is when buying jeans. It’s like buying shoes without knowing your size! Please tell me which brand/ style of jean you wear that has a 13 inch rise? Would you like to review your jeans & earn $20 voucher?

  2. Hi Michelle,
    The measurements 7,8, or 9.5 inches are the height of the front rise of the jean and where they sit on your tummy. Everyone has a unique rise whatever your size or shape. So when you have your jeans on measure from the crotch seam of your jeans up to your belly button. This is your unique rise measurement. Now if your’e not comfortable wearing your jeans sitting on your bellybutton then ( not many people are) then put 2 fingers under your bb and measure from there down to your crotch seam. This will give you a comfortable measurement for where your jeans should sit on your waist. Use this measurement when your shopping for jeans as a ready reckoner so you don’t have to try piles of jeans on.
    Hope this helps!
    Need more advice then please email me. x

  3. Hello, I’d love to try this out as I’m currently looking for a good pair of jeans 🙂
    But what are you referencing when you mention the measurements of 7, 8 or 9.5 inches and above?

  4. GREAT ADVICE! Thank you again for your expertise. Wish I had known these things years ago, but luckily I came across your site.

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