Fact Checked

What are Short Rise Pants?

Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter

Short rise pants are pants that are made with a short length from the waist to where the leg begins. The zipper, if it uses one, may only be a few inches (centimeters) long. Many people find that these pants create a flattering fit, while others find them uncomfortable.

One mistake that people often make when purchasing short rise pants is buying pants that are too small. The lower rise means that people that carry extra weight in their abdomen can often fit into a smaller size, but just because they can fit into that size does not mean that they should. When buttoned, the low rise pants can push the person's excess abdominal fat above the waistband of the pants, creating the dreaded “muffin top” effect.

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The muffin top could be avoided entirely if the wearer simply purchased their pants in the next larger size, which allows everything to stay where it belongs. While many people like to fit into the smallest size pants that they can, purchasing the larger size actually makes the wearer appear slimmer, because it creates a sleeker silhouette.

Some people don’t care for low rise pants because they feel like every time they bend over, they are in danger of showing too much. This problem can be alleviated by wearing a well-fitting belt, which will prevent the pants from sliding down when the wearer bend over.

People who have long torsos and short legs often don’t care for how they look in short rise pants. The low rise can make the torso appear longer, because the pants start so low on the body. This can be reduced somewhat by wearing the pants with a loose top rather than a tailored shirt that is tucked in.

Short rise pants, particularly ones that have a straight or moderately flared leg, can give the wearer a long and lean look. If a person really wants to maximize this look, she should choose a pair in a dark wash. When worn with a pair of heels, the wearer may be amazed at how different she looks.  

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Discussion Comments


I concur with the poster who states that the author used "short rise" when she meant "low rise." The waist on short-rise pants should sit and fit like the waist of regular-rise pants. The waist of low-rise pants sits lower and fits differently, often looser on me.


The writer is confusing two terms: "short-rise" and "low-rise." I am looking for pants & shorts with "short rise" meaning the distance between the waist and where the leg begins (crotch). I wear a size 8 and don't really want the "low rise" clothing, but have trouble finding pants with the "short rise" measurement. Help!

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