The rise for jeans is determined by the length between the crotch seam and the waistband. For the best fit, there are two rise measurements taken: one in the front or the front rise, and one in the back or the back rise. Knowing your rise measurement can insure a comfortable fit when shopping for jeans.
What to Measure
To properly measure your front rise, you should search your closet for your favorite pair of jeans. According to All American Clothing Company sizing charts, it is best to take this rise measurement after you have worn your jeans so that they are adequately stretched. The measurements you get from a pair of jeans that is just washed will differ from the number you will get when measuring jeans you have worn. Worn jeans will reflect your "wearing size", and will tend to be more accurate.
Spread out your worn jeans on a flat surface, being sure to button and zip them completely. Using a soft tape measure, measure both the back and the front rises by recording the number of inches between the crotch seam and the top of the back and the front of the waistband, respectively, in two separate measurements. The numbers will be your front and back rises.
Types of Jean Rises
Rises are named based on where they fall on your body and their measurement. Different companies name their rises differently so it is best to try on a few pairs before buying. The three basic rises for both men and women are: low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise jeans. Always choose a rise that flatters your body.
Features of Low-Rise Jeans
Low-rise jeans typically measure between five and eight inches. However, it is not uncommon to see "ultra-low" rises, with rise measurements of less than five inches.
Low-rise jeans fall below your belly button and sit well below the hips. This rise is flattering on a small percentage of women because it tends to cause a bulge in the midsection when the waistband is too tight. This unsightly bulge is commonly referred to as "muffin top" because of its resemblance to the way a muffin bulges out of a muffin pan when baked.
Features of Mid-Rise Jeans
Mid-rise jeans are the most common rise worn by men and women. Mid-rise jeans usually measure between eight and 12 inches and fall right around the belly button. This rise is the most flattering and looks good on most people. Choose the waist size that is most comfortable for the best fit.
Features of High-Rise Jeans
Jeans with a rise of more than 12 inches are called high-rise jeans, falling a few inches above the belly button. High-rise jeans are the least worn and are flattering to almost no one. The high-rise jean typically has a rise above 12 inches and creates a boxy shape on the wearer, flattening the rear and cutting the waistline in half.
According to fashion expert and creator of Focusonstyle.com, Sharon Haver, jeans with a high rise are referred to as "mom jeans" because they are not considered fashionable and would only be worn by those who don't want to look too young.
Lisa Penn has been writing since 2001 and her primary experience is in research. Penn has written for various small business newsletters and publications such as the "Collegian." A journalism major at Los Angeles City College, Penn is focusing her writing on fashion, business, writing, marketing and various topics for eHow and Answerbag.