How to Wear It : High Waisted

This look was big in the ’60s, and now T. Swift is rocking it: high-waisted everything. From shorts and skirts to pants and swimsuits, this high-rising fashion has landed at boutiques across southwest Missouri. For the skinny on how to pull off this slimm

By Ettie Berneking | Photo by Kevin O'Riley

Aug 2015


Do: Embrace the high waist. 
“I’m a big believer in the high waist. It makes you look taller, which is great since I’m so short.”—Ashley Wakefield, owner of Sophie 

Don’t: Get a size too small. 
“If your high-waisted swimsuit or pants are too small they will work against you. This look is great at hiding imperfections, but if it’s too small it can suddenly highlight what you’re trying to cover up.”—Tara Hamilton, creative director and buyer at STAXX 

 Do: Class-up this style. 
“For a chic, polished look, pair it with a basic blouse.”— Wakefield 

Do: Keep it slick. 
“There are so many tunic-length blouses out right now, but you don’t want to get too bulky. It’s about creating angles and putting the correct pieces together.”—Hamilton

Don’t: Wear flats. 
“This look is all about height!”—Hamilton

Don’t: Be ageist! 
“Lots of ladies, especially our older clientele, like the higher-waisted items. They’re over the low style. They don’t want to pull up their pants or worry about bending over, so the mid-rise and high-rise are much more comfortable.”—Wakefield

Do: Strut your stuff at work. 
“High-waisted trouser pants make a great professional look while the high-waisted cigarette pant is more classic. Pair them with a crop top for an edgier look.”—Wakefield

Don’t: Show too much skin. 
“A little bit of sliver at the narrowest part of your waist is okay, but I like a little more overlap. This is more flattering for most people.”—Wakefield

Do: Pair matching prints. 
“We’re seeing sets where the skirt and top match. They almost look like one piece, but they’re not. This allows you to mix and match.”—Hamilton

Do: Embrace the curves. 
“If you have more of a midsection, high-waisted is actually flattering, but keep the top a little loose.”—Wakefield

Don’t: Fear! 
“People think they can’t pull this style off, but it really elongates the leg, hides muffin tops and is very flattering.”—Hamilton

Do: Remember proportions. 
“Loose on top and tight on bottom. This really applies to everything but especially the high-waisted look.”—Wakefield 

Don’t: Go too short. 
“It drives me crazy to see the high-waisted shorts that are really short. That looks great if you’re supermodel thin, but it’s not really flattering on most people.”— Wakefield 

Do: Have fun! 
“There’s a big play on intimates this season. Think sheer tops and plunging necklines paired with a blazer and high-waisted skinnies. This is a great look that can transition from work to a night out.”—Hamilton

Don’t: Go high-waisted if you’re busty. 
“If you’re really busty, a mid-rise works better than the high waist. It gives you more distance between your top and bottom, so you don’t totally cut off your torso.”—Wakefield

Don’t: Pack up after summer. 
“The good thing about this trend is that it works in all seasons, so if you have that high-waisted denim with a crop top, you can do it with a chunky cardigan and shorts for fall.”—Hamilton 

Do: Experiment with styles. 
“This look is gaining momentum. We even see high-waisted skinny jeans.”—Wakefield