Style Me – High Waisted Pants


I love the wide leg trousers that are everywhere this spring and summer, but so many of them are high-waisted. I’m only 5’4’’, and have NO torso, so I’m concerned that I can’t wear the high-waist without looking like this:

Any suggestions?



Well, Ann, you might! The high-waisted-full-legged look that keeps coming in and out of vogue is not for everyone. But like every other trend, you can tailor the look so that is works for you. Katharine Hepburn was the first celebrity to lead with the style in the 1940’s as women of America went to work in the factories wearing the pants of their husbands who were at war. When those pants wore out, replacements were needed and the feminine high-waisted trouser was created.

The first famous woman to start the style trend: Katharine Hepburn.

We’ve watched other women behind the camera and on the street embrace the look in the last sixty years, from Diane Keaton in Annie Hall to Princess Letizia of Spain last year walking the streets of Madrid.

Diane Keaton breathing new life into the look

A chic turn on high-waisted pants. Princess Letizia of Spain.

It is a look you can put your own twist on to suit your body type.

So who does it really work for? Taller, proportional, balanced bodies and the hour-glass figure. Short waisted women and those with the pear-shaped frame should most probably not run out the door to buy the sailor pant from ADAM.

Available at Julia Farr

But if a petite woman who is short-waisted, ahem, say, like you, wants to try the high waist, I would suggest a column of color keeping the lower part straight, and adding a higher heel of the same color just like Princess Letizia did.

For the hour-glass body type, try high-waisted pants with fewer pleats, for a slimmer look in the mid-section and a flatter stomach while still maintaining the curvy hips. The best-selling pant from Lafayette 148 is perfect for this figure:

The hour-glass can also try high-waisted pants with a flared bottom, which will create body balance. And a fitted top will balance out a small waist.

Lafayette 148 Available at Julia Farr

I’d also recommend a great little book I found — The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr (no relation!) — that does a super job in distilling into a few pages what is right for each body type. When well-executed for a woman’s specific body-type, high-waisted pants are both flattering and elongating. Of course, I’d also leave the plaid shirt and suspenders interpretation of the look to Urkel (see above).

And here’s what designers have envisioned for 2011:

Design by Adam Lippes, Spring 2011 Runway



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2 responses to “Style Me – High Waisted Pants

  1. Ann

    Thanks Julie! My favorite is the white pair from Lafayette 148. I think they’d make me feel TALL.

  2. Mary Beth

    If I wear pants like the Princess of Spain…will I look like her? WIsh I could! Ann, I am with you on stature but a bit more meat. I cannot wear the highwaisted and flare. MBC

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