The 18 Best High-Waisted Jeans of 2023

All our favorite high-waisted jeans that we’ve tried in one place.

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Best High Waisted Jeans

InStyle / Kristin Kempa

Denim is an integral part of most people's wardrobes, and one style everyone seems to come back to regardless of trends is high-waisted jeans. The timeless style uniquely looks both vintage and modern — it just depends on how you style them. Plus, these jeans can easily be dressed up or down, transitioning from weekend brunch to date night. But because finding the right pair can be a feat, we spoke with celebrity stylists and searched for high-waisted jeans that offer quality materials, inclusive sizes, and a wide range of fits and washes to help you shop. From skinny to flare and everything in between, we found the best high-waisted jeans you'll want to wear all the time. And don't blame us if you want more than one — they're all that good.

Best Overall

Madewell The Curvy Perfect Vintage Straight Jean

The Curvy Perfect Vintage Straight Jean


What We Love
  • It comes in petite, tall, standard, and plus sizes, on top of various colors and non-curvy options.

What We Don’t Love
  • It’s a bit of a hassle to find all the different colors on their website.

The InStyle team can’t get enough of these magical Madewell jeans. Fashion editor Lindy Segal claims she needs to force herself to take them off at night. Others gravitate towards their effortless silhouette and all-day comfort. There was no debate, therefore, that these iconic jeans would be crowned our “best overall” piece. They’re the closest thing to the sisterhood of the traveling pants, as they can be tailored to fit petite, plus, standard, and tall bodies, on top of coming in a wide range of sizes. For everyone who doesn’t need as much room around the hips, they’re offered in non-curvy styles as well. They come in various colors, but you have to tediously surf through their web to find them. To make things a little easy, here they are in white, light wash, fitzgerald wash, and ferman wash

Style-wise, we love how they have the perfect laid-back fit without looking too baggy. The rough-cut hem also made it easy to pair with just about any shoe. We didn’t find that they squeezed or pinched anywhere at any time of the day. And thanks to their incredible stretch, it was easy to run or lounge around all the same, while feeling perfectly comfortable. This only leads us to one con: it only comes in one color. 

Price at time of publish: $128

Size Range: 23-33 | Rise: 11.25 inches | Material: Cotton, spandex | Washes: 1

Best Budget

Zara TRF High Rise Wide Leg Jeans

Zara TRF High Rise Wide Leg Jeans


What We Love
  • Despite the lower price point, these jeans feel high-quality. 

What We Don’t Love
  • They’re so long that you might find yourself stepping on the hem a lot.

Despite being fashion editors with ample amounts of jeans at our disposal, we still find ourselves sauntering into Zara to pick up some affordable jeans. There’s no denying that the popular retailer offers a wide range of trendy styles with ample amounts of comfort and stretch. And to not have to spend over $50 for them? A win. We’ve owned a fair amount of Zara jeans in the past, and we have to say, we’ve never seen them deteriorate any faster than those with a higher price point. Perhaps they’re not as sturdy or as thick, but they definitely hold up nicely considering their price. These baggy options make for great comfort jeans — the type you don’t mind lounging around the house in. Just be careful as they are very long, and you’ll most likely step on the hem a few times, which can get annoying and dirty very fast. If you’re on the petite side, perhaps getting them tailored would suit you better. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Size range: 25-32 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Cotton, lyocell | Washes: 3

Best Splurge

RE/DONE High Rise Loose Jeans

RE/DONE High Rise Loose Jeans


What We Love
  • They fit women with long legs and wide hips perfectly.

What We Don’t Love
  • They’re not stretchy.

Ask any editor here, and they’ll tell you that the Re/Done jeans are one of the best investment pieces they’ve made where jeans are concerned. Senior commerce editor Chloe Anello finds these to fit her wider-hip-long-leg combo unlike any other brand. And while they do come at a higher price point, they somehow cracked the code to make flattering pieces that suit a wide range of body types in quality materials. You won’t find any stretch with this pair as they are made from 100 percent cotton and no elastane. But the loose cut however makes up for it, and like most rigid denim jeans, they mold to your body with time. Plus, we find the fabric still feels very soft on our skin. If you frequently find yourself complaining that jeans simply don’t fit you right, then it’s time to try the ones from Re/Done. 

Price at time of publish: $275

Size Range: 23-32 | Rise: 11.25 inches | Material: Cotton | Washes: 4

Best Sustainable

Reformation Liza Ultra High Rise Jeans

Liza Ultra High Rise Jeans


What We Love
  • The material feels substantial.

What We Don’t Love
  • They’re a little short on women five-foot-eight and taller.

Those of you familiar with Reformation are no strangers to their extensive commitment to sustainability. Not only are their jeans made of quality materials, like organic cotton, tencel, and eco-lycra, but they’re 100 percent recyclable through Reformation’s RefRecycling program. You can purchase, return, and repurchase, giving more life to the jeans you love. We tested this pair and adored the fit and quality of the denim. The material feels substantial — thick and quality without being too rigid. They do however run a bit small, so we recommend sizing one size up. We also noticed that the 30-inch inseam was a bit short for women five-foot-eight and taller and wished they had a tall version to accommodate this body type. Otherwise, we think these will last for years to come, and if we ever do return them to their recycling program, it will be because we wanted to change up our style, not because they deteriorated. 

Price at time of publish: $148

Size Range: 23-31 | Rise: 12 inches | Material: Organic cotton, tencel, eco-lycra | Washes: 4

Best Curvy

Everlane The Curvy ’90s Cheeky Jean

Everlane The Curvy ’90s Cheeky Jean


What We Love
  • With an adjusted hip-to-waist ratio, these jeans hug all your curves.

What We Don’t Love
  • They run small, so size up if you are between sizes.

High-waisted jeans flatter hourglass figures unlike any other style because they hit at the smallest part of the waist, hugging all of your curves properly. These jeans from Everlane further enhance the effect with an adjusted hip-to-waist ratio to create a form-hugging fit through the hip and thigh. Sustainably made from Japanese cotton, this pair gives you that retro rigid feel. The ankle length fits shorter folks who constantly have to hem their pants well, but you can also shop the straight leg in a regular inseam (two inches longer than the petite). They do run a little small, however, so take that into account as you shop.

Price at time of publish: $108

Size range: 23-33 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Organic cotton | Washes: 4

Most Comfortable

Joe’s Jeans The Raine

Joe's Jeans The Raine

Joe’s Jeans

What We Love
  • The “cigarette fit” looks smart without feeling uncomfortable.

What We Don’t Love
  • The color is slightly lighter in real life than pictured.

Jeans you want to wear all day (over your favorite leggings) are hard to come by, but not impossible. Meet the Raine jeans from Joe’s Jeans, which, by the way, also happens to be one of Jennifer Garner’s favorite places to shop for denim, on top of countless of InStyle editors including Eva Thomas and Bianca Kratky, who find their jeans extremely comfortable. They’re not quite skinny jeans or exactly mom jeans — they’re what Joe’s calls a “cigarette fit”, and they gave us the appeal of smart-looking pants without the discomfort of one. It fell straight down to our ankles using a comfortable stretch denim that moved with each step we took. We did notice, however, that the color in real life was slightly different than what’s pictured on their website. The version that we got our hands on was slightly more gray, while the pictured image looks to be a very dark gray.

Price at time of publish: $139

Size Range: 23-34 | Rise: 11.5 | Material: Cotton, spandex | Washes: 1

Best Tall

Closed A Better Blue Lizzy

A Better Blue Lizzy


What We Love
  • They accentuate long legs.

What We Don’t Love
  • The material isn’t buttery soft, but structured instead.

On any given day at the office, it’s not uncommon to find our editorial team dressed in jeans from Closed. Editors and writers alike adore them for their quality materials and comfortable fit, but we found this specific pair exceptionally great on our five-foot-eight and taller bodies. These didn’t cut off awkwardly at our ankles, but bunched up ever so slightly instead, accentuating our legs and embracing their lengths. We particularly love that they’re not completely skin-tight, too. Even though we classify them as skinny jeans, there’s some wiggle room, which adds to their comfort and relaxed appeal. On top of that, you can shop consciously as these are part of their sustainable denim line. We didn’t necessarily find them to be buttery soft, however, and after a long day’s wear, we were happy to swap them for our sweatpants. For anyone seeking to be a little more conservative and not show off their full figure, these jeans are fantastic. 

Price at time of publish: $210

Size Range: 23-34 | Rise: 9.8 inches | Material: Cotton, elastane | Washes: 8

Best Plus-Size

Warp and Weft NCE Wide Leg

Warp and Weft NCE Wide Leg

Warp and Weft 

What We Love
  • They had the ability to make us look taller than we actually are.

What We Don’t Love
  • We recommend laying them flat to dry; otherwise, they lose a bit of their original structure.

You could say that we’re a bit obsessed with Warp and Weft’s jeans. Not only can you shop from a size category between 00-14 and 14-24, but the brand doesn’t skimp out on style and comfort across the board. We personally love these wide-leg options, as we found them to have the magical ability to make our five-foot-three selves feel six-foot-two — and mighty powerful. It’s evident that there was a lot of thought put into how these are engineered, as they feel stretchy and supportive with a quality stitch. When it comes to washing them, we found it to be best to lay flat to dry. We tossed them in the dryer once and it altered their structure ever so slightly.

Price at time of publish: $98

Size Range: 00-24 | Rise: 12.75 inches | Material: Cotton, elastane | Washes: 7

Best Skinny

Good American Good Legs Cropped Jeans

Good Legs Cropped Jeans

Good American

What We Love
  • Despite being skin-tight, the stretchiness makes them feel ridiculously comfortable.

What We Don’t Love
  • The raw hem may come undone after some time. 

If you’ve been curious how the Good American jeans perform but have been hesitating to commit, consider this our formal invitation to hit add to cart, now. We could tell from the second we pulled these jeans out of their packaging that they were made with substantial materials. Even before putting them on, they felt soft and stretchy in the hand, with just the right thickness to avoid looking like jeggings. When we pulled them over the legs, the elasticity in the pants made them glide over so easily that we never had to do the wiggle and jump dance. Finally, once on, we gasped at how flattering these looked — they hugged our curves appreciatively but blurred out any bumps along the way. And despite being skin-tight, they were surprisingly comfortable, and a quick squat test proved how easy it is to walk and bend around without fearing for the seams in the pants. 

It does come with a bit of a raw distressed hem, however, and while we haven’t owned them long enough to see how they perform with time, we could imagine that they might come undone after a while. 

Price at time of publish: $99

Size Range: 00-30 plus | Rise: 10 inches | Material: Organic cotton | Washes: 1

Best Straight Ankle

Lee Misses Relaxed Straight Leg Jeans

Lee Misses Relaxed Straight Leg Jeans


What We Love
  • You get a timeless high rise jean for a great price.

What We Don’t Love
  • The design only comes in two washes that look similar to each other.

90s kids probably owned plenty of Lee denim — without needing to discover it on TikTok during the brands resurgence. Even though they’re a super affordable pair of high-waisted jeans, these Lee Riders feel comfortable, wear well, and have been around since the '80s. The straight-leg style is also a timeless look that goes with everything. While there aren’t many colors to choose from — and they all kind of look the same — the three blue washes should suit the majority of people looking for a standard pair of jeans. 

Price at time of publish: $42

Size Range: 0-14 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Washes: 3

Best Ankle Jeans

TOPSHOP Jamie Jeans

TOPSHOP Jamie Jeans


What We Love
  • Despite the affordable price, these last for many years without fading.

What We Don’t Love
  • They feel like jeggings.

Writer Bianca Kratky bought, owned, and wore these Topshop jeans for over half a decade, — only tossing them aside when she outgrew the size. The color, stretch, and quality remained unchanged through those years, however, which for the price was a pleasant surprise. They were great standard black jeans to own, as they could be worn with just about everything. The ankle jeans are offered in regular, petite, tall, and long, so that the inseam may never be too short or too long for any person. There’s no flare at the ankle either, which made them seamlessly fit under boots. As a matter of fact, the entire pants are very skin-tight, not unlike sturdy thick leggings, and might feel a little too much like jeggings, which not everyone likes. 

Price at time of publish: $74

Size Range: 25-30 | Rise: Not listed | Material: Cotton, elastomultiester, elastane | Washes: 1

Best Mom Jeans

Mother High Waisted Rider Skimp

Mother High Waisted Rider Skimp


What We Love
  • These jeans have just the right amount of rips and fading.

What We Don’t Love
  • The styling options are limited, due to the rips.

Meghan Markle and Jennifer Lopez have likely caused thousands of pairs of Mother jeans to fly off shelves — and for good reason. Mother's popular high-waist Rider jeans are comfortable with their little bit of stretch, so they're not as stiff as other pairs, and look perfectly worn. With natural-looking rips and a pleasant faded color, they’re less appropriate for certain occasions, like the office or a nice dinner, but as a casual everyday jean they have the perfect amount of laid-back appeal.

Price at time of publish: $268

Size Range: 23-31 | Rise: 11.75 inches | Material: Cotton, elastane | Washes:

Best Flare

Rag & Bone Casey High Rise Flare

Casey High Rise Flare

Rag & Bone

What We Love
  • The flare is mild enough to still wear to more formal events.

What We Don’t Love
  • They’re quite long, so a pair of heels might be in order.

Everyone from Jennifer Garner to Katie Holmes has been spotted in Rag & Bone jeans, which is quite understandable considering how well-constructed they are. This flared pair comes with a sleek silhouette (AKA no rips or distressed details) and a flare that isn’t too dramatic, so you can easily wear them to a plethora of events. The mature look definitely works to elongate the legs. The inseam is about 34 inches, depending on the size, and could be a little too long on some people — unless you plan to wear them with heels, which we definitely recommend for a sexy, retro look. 

Price at time of publish: $255

Size Range: 23-32 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Cotton, lycra | Washes: 1

Best Light Wash

Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean

Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean

Abercrombie & Fitch 

What We Love
  • It’s offered in five different length options.

What We Don’t Love
  • Not all of the colors it’s offered in have the same exact cut and style.

This universal style is offered in 21 different colors, and at least eleven of them are a light wash shade. While they’re not all the same exact style (some come with rips and others with slits), they all have the same straight cut. We raved about these in our best jeans for tall women story, as Abercrombie offers five different length options ranging from extra short to extra long. But even on our five-foot-eleven body, we found the regular cut to be a perfect fit, cutting off right under the ankle. For a more slouchy look, however, the long version gives off a relaxed, laid back appeal. 

Price at time of publish: $89

Size Range: 23-37 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Cotton, elastane | Washes: 21

Best Baggy

Ksubi Playback Onyx

Playback Onyx


What We Love
  • They’re decently long, making them ideal for taller people.

What We Don’t Love
  • The color fades after a wash.

If you’re in the market for oversized jeans, then look no further than Ksubi. The Australian street style label, which has dressed everyone from A$AP Rocky, Kylie Jenner, and The Internet, has perfected the relaxed denim style. We’ve tried some of their jeans, ranging from baggy to form-fitting, and we all agree that their cut, weight, and fabric are all substantial. Despite being made of 100 percent cotton, we still find it to be decently stretchy. The fabric on these pants are also quite thick, and therefore warm during the winter. They also suit taller people very well, which makes wearing heels with them look very elegant. We recommend washing sparingly, however, as the color does fade ever so slightly with each wash.

Price at time of publish: $220

Size Range: 23-34 | Rise: 11.5 inches | Material: Cotton | Washes: 1

Best Wide Leg

J.Crew Denim Trouser

Denim Trouser


What We Love
  • It’s made of a soft Tencel lyocell material that’s kind on sensitive skin.

What We Don’t Love
  • We wish it came in more colors.

Despite there being less structure and tailoring, the wide leg denims from J.Crew look dashingly sophisticated. Perhaps it's the dark wash or the high-quality material, but these pants could easily be dressed up for a night out. If you’d rather spend the day indoors, however, the comfort stretch and soft fabric make it inviting to do so. While most denim pieces are dominantly constructed with cotton, these ones have 69 percent Tencel lyocell in them, which is an eco-friendly fiber produced from wood that’s smooth, soft, and kind to sensitive skin. You can look polished and feel relaxed while wearing these, which is a true win in our books. And if you’re worried they might be too long on you, don’t be, as it’s offered in a standard, petite, and tall length. We only wish it came with more color options to choose from as well.

Price at time of publish: $158

Size Range: 23-37 | Rise: 11.87 inches | Material: Tencel lyocell, recycled cotton, elastane | Washes: 1

Best Petite

Wit & Wisdom High Waist Skinny Jeans

Wit & Wisdom High Waist Skinny Jeans


What We Love
  • They’re wonderfully stretchy and comfortable.

What We Don’t Love
  • The form-hugging pants might feel too tight.

Many brands nowadays offer their jeans in various lengths to accommodate petite and tall folks. And while you’ll find plenty of petite options scattered throughout this story, we found these classic skinny jeans to be the best everyday option, inclusive of a wide size range. The petite pants come with an inseam of 26 inches and a 10.25 inch high waist. Five-foot-three women and under should fit these pants like a dream. With a mix of cotton, polyester, and elastane, these jeans are wonderfully stretchy and comfortable — a required trait considering how form-fitting they are. The legging-esque nature of these pants might feel almost too tight on some, which is something worth noting if you are looking for something with a looser cut.

Price at time of publish: $74

Size Range: 00-16 | Rise: 10.25 inches | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Washes: 1

Best Tummy Control

Spanx Ankle Straight Leg Jeans

Spanx Ankle Straight Leg Jeans in Vintage Indigo


What We Love
  • There’s hidden core-shaping technology in the waistband.

What We Don’t Love
  • There are no functioning front pockets, only back pockets.

Did you know the brand famous for shapewear and body-solution clothing makes flattering, tummy-control jeans as well? These slip on like leggings, with no button or zipper closure. Instead, there’s a thicker band around the waist that firmly grips your tummy. Spanx discreetly wove in core shaping technology in the waistband as well, for added waist-cinching benefits. Other than that, the jeans function like any other denim, with back pockets, stretchy cotton, and indigo finish. The front pockets, however, are just for show and do not actually open.

Price at time of publish: $128

Size Range: XS-3XL | Rise: 8.34 inches | Material: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Washes: 1

Our Testing Process

In order to write this article, the editorial team at InStyle individually tested over two-thirds of the recommended high-waisted jeans. They also offered insights on their everyday favorite jeans, and writers Bianca Kratky, Tara Gonzalez, and Emily Cieslak included them in this article. We judged each pair based on their comfort, fit, wash, and stretch. Together, they were able to recommend a list of 18 best high-waisted jeans, based on first-person experience. 

What to Keep in Mind


The rise of your jeans is the distance from the waist band to the crotch seam. High-waisted jeans start at a 10 inch rise but can go up to 12 inches. Karla Welch, celebrity stylist and co-founder of the styling app Wishi, says 10.5 inches is the sweet spot, while some may prefer a higher rise, especially if you are tall or have a long torso.


The inseam is the measurement of the base of the zipper to the bottom of the leg opening. If you struggle with jeans either being too long or short, start paying attention to the inseam and seek out styles that come in tall or petite sizing as these have longer and shorter inseams, respectively.

"For petite women, inseams will range between 21 inches and 30 inches depending on the style of jeans. For example, when wearing skinny jeans look for an inseam between 25 inches and 27 inches," says Jessica Smith, Stitch Fix Stylist. "If you're bringing back a bootcut style with a stacked heel you will want to look for jeans with a 28 inch to 30 inch inseam. If you're ready to rock a cropped straight-leg jean, pair them with studded mules, and seek denim that is 23 inches to 25 inches long."

Fabric Content

As you will see from this list, some jeans are made from 100 percent cotton, while others have a little elastane or spandex mixed in. While pure cotton blends don't have "built in" stretch, they will stretch out with time, molding to your body. If you prefer the vintage feel and look of rigid denim, go for 100 percent cotton.

If you prefer a little bit of stretch in your jeans, especially in form fitting styles like skinny jeans, consider a blend of materials. The touch of synthetic materials also helps the jean recover to its original shape.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the pros and cons of high-waisted jeans?

Choosing between rises is mainly about comfort and aesthetic, but the high rise has some advantages. They let you wear more revealing tops without showing too much skin, making a crop top or even a bralette more elegant. The high rise also highlights the smallest part of your waist and creates the illusion of long legs, which makes them a great option for those with a long torso.

On the other hand, longer tops and bulky sweaters may look awkward with a high rise, especially if there is too much fabric to tuck into the pants seamlessly. For those that are used to wearing mid and/or low-rise jeans, the higher rise may feel uncomfortable and restrictive with the extra fabric. Ideally, you will own a few jeans in different rises, so you can find the best fit for your outfit and mood for any given day.

How do I style high-waisted jeans?

High-rise are so popular because they are universally flattering and can be dressed up or down. During the day, you can pair them with just about anything, whether that's a crop top or a tucked in tee or sweater.

For an evening look, Welch recommends pairing a bodysuit or corset with high-waisted jeans. Throw in some heels and a blazer, and you're ready to hit the town.

Can I wear high-waisted jeans if I'm petite?

The answer is yes! Don't let the extra fabric intimidate you — high-waisted jeans do a great job of elongating your legs and adding definition and balance to your outfit, says Smith.

Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer at InStyle, with over two years of experience covering fashion and beauty. Emily Cieslak is InStyle’s assistant commerce editor, who’s background in fashion (including as a stylist) has sharpened her eye in the best trends and styles. Tara Gonzales’ focus on fashion trends and celebrity style has led her to create countless shopping guides based on what’s in style in Hollywood and beyond. Together, they’ve created an extensive, well researched guide on all the best high-waisted jeans currently on the market.

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