The best high-waisted jeans are those you feel most confident in—every woman knows a less-than-comfortable pair comes with debilitating effects. Pinches and gaps—no, thank you. When a high-rise hits just right, the rest of your outfit sings, whether you’re styling in a waist-skimming crop, French-tucking a crisp button-up, or opting for a fitted bodysuit or tee.
Of course, the best high-waisted jeans will vary in wash, fabrication, and silhouette—it’s about personal preference and the look you aim to embody when a denim mood strikes. Timeless styles like straight-legs and skinnies sans distressing are the most versatile in medium-blue tones and well-suited to dressed-down days and elevated moments alike. Flares and crops are popular classics, too—the former looks great in deeper washes and the latter helps to spotlight your footwear. Laidback ease is the overarching tone guiding trendier high-rise jeans this season, with baggy legs as the silhouette du jour.
When it comes to fit and fabric, a hint of stretch adds comfort. On the other hand, rigid cotton is beloved for its structure, becoming perfectly lived-in, wear after wear—this rings especially true in vintage-inspired cuts and roomier straight-legs. There’s also a tremendous shift toward more sustainable production among many denim brands. Recycled fibers, eco-friendly wash, and dying techniques, and ethical working conditions are just a few ways denim makers continue to improve their products and standards. Without further ado, Vogue’s edit of the best high-waisted jeans currently on the market.
High-waisted straight-leg jeans are the epitome of classic denim. Lighter hues and slightly roomier legs exude vintage-inspired style, while inkier tones and slimmer fits look polished with the potential to skew dressy.
A.P.C. Spring high-rise straight-leg jeans
Brock Collection Wright high-rise straight-leg jeans
Eve Denim Silverlake Juliette jean
Good American Good Curve straight with frayed hem
Off-White two-tone straight-leg jeans
Slvrlake Beatnik rigid high-rise slim-leg jeans
Whether you’re petite or want all eyes on your shoes, cropped high-waisted jeans are a casual staple. Pair yours with flats or slides on your most leisurely days and heeled boots or stilettos when dialing things up.
AG Renn high-waist crop straight-leg jeans
Everlane the Way High jean
Hudson Remi high-rise straight cropped jeans
Isabel Marant Etoile Laliskasr jeans
Rag & Bone Maya high-rise crop flare
The Row Christie cropped straight-leg jeans
Do skinny jeans ever really go out of style? Quick answer: No. For maximum freshness, look to ultra-clean lines, rigid fabrics, or throwback features like pale and acid washes.
Helmut Lang high-rise skinny jeans
L’Agence Marguerite cropped high-rise skinny jeans
Balmain acid-wash skinny jeans
Goldsign Farrel high-waisted jeans
Re/Done 90s comfort stretch high-rise ankle crop skinny jeans
The Attico high-waist slim-fit jeans
Perhaps it’s a response to comfort fashion ruling the past year, but baggy jeans are the It silhouette of 2021. Whether you go the ultra-relaxed route with a wide leg that pools around your ankles or take a sleeker approach via a billowing trouser or slouchy straight-leg, the key is offsetting the volume with a fitted or polished piece on top.
& Other Stories Dear Cut jeans
Frame Le Baggy wide-leg jeans
Magda Butrym pleated rigid high-rise tapered-leg jeans
Samaria Leah Virgo vintage Levi’s with zodiac print
With a decidedly ’70s feel, high-waisted flare jeans can go one of two ways: Tailored and sophisticated or chilled-out and casual. When aiming for the former, seek out a dark or medium-blue wash without distressing. To lean into the season’s current surfer vibe, sun-soaked washes, gentle distressing, or a two-tone design will hit the nail on the head.
Chloé printed high-rise flared jeans
G-Star RAW deck ultra-high-waist wide-leg jeans
Nili Lotan Celia flared-leg jeans
Paco Rabanne rigid high-rise bootcut jeans
Veronica Beard Florence high-rise skinny flare jeans
Victoria Beckham patchwork high-rise flared wide-leg jeans
Synonymous with warm-weather locales and easy summer living, high-waisted white jeans look best with nautical knits, breezy tops, and simple tanks. For a 2021 take on white or creamier shades of denim, try a roomy barrel or slouchy straight leg. In favor of timelessness? You can’t fail in a clean wide-leg or slim pleated style.
Alexander Wang distressed high-rise straight-leg jeans
Bottega Veneta high-rise straight jeans
Citizens of Humanity Calista high-rise tapered jeans
Erdem x Universal Standard Hana patchwork jeans
Tory Burch high-rise slim jeans
Warp + Weft NCE Plus wide-leg
The ultimate evening jean is unquestionably black, whether you prefer a slim-straight, cropped, or boyfriend silhouette. Washes range from the blackest black to faded hues that border on charcoal—we’re partial to small details like top-stitching or brushed hardware for extra style points.
Madewell Perfect vintage high-rise ankle length slim jeans
MM6 Maison Margiela high-rise cropped boyfriend jeans
Mother the Rider Skimp jeans
Still Here poppy stitch Tate cropped straight-leg jeans
Totême original high-rise straight-leg jeans
Distressing can easily skew sloppy, but if you’re discerning, the result reads anything but. Like baggy jeans, high-waisted distressed jeans appear infinitely more polished with the right pieces as part of the equation. Think trim blazers, body-skimming knits, and crisp shirting for a stylish offset.
Acne Studios high-rise bootcut jeans
Favorite Daughter the Jordie super high-rise straight
Gucci ripped eco-washed organic denim pant
Jonathan Simkhai Standard Eliot high-rise boyfriend jeans
Khaite Danielle distressed high-rise straight-leg jeans
R13 distressed boyfriend jeans
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