High-waist vs. Low-rise Skirts

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High-waist vs. Low-rise Skirts

Both men and women have been wearing skirts for hundreds of years. However, skirts have shifted purposes over the years, and morphed into many distinguishing incarnations. Many people find that they feel more comfortable in certain skirts than others, or that some skirts are simply a better reflection of their personality. Both high-waist and low-rise skirts are popular trends today. They are each seen as fashionable in their own right.

However, there are certain benefits to wearing one over the other. Since high-waist and low-rise skirts are both popular trends, they can be found at many different brick and mortar stores, specialty stores, and online retailers, like eBay where there are always deals on fashion. By learning about skirts, including how they are defined and the types of skirts available, shoppers learn the differences between high-waist and low-rise skirts, and how, where, and when to wear each type of skirt.

What are Skirts?

Most skirts follow the same basic concept: a piece of fabric formed around the waist into either a tube or cone shape. Most often, skirts are considered women's wear. However, in certain cultures, men wear skirts as well. Scottish men sometimes wear a kilt to express national identity. Over time, skirts have evolved from metres of fabric to just enough fabric to cover one's bottom.

Types of Skirts

There are many types of skirts. The miniskirt is identifiable by its short length. When standing, it measures from waist to thigh. The micro mini is even shorter. These are products of the 1960s, when women started testing the boundaries of sexuality. The poodle skirt was quite popular in the 1950s. It is a long skirt, and is much more conservative than other skirts, as it usually falls to the floor or ankle. It fits loosely along the legs.

The maxi skirt has recently made a comeback from its first incarnation in the 1970s. It is a long, loosely-fitted skirt that reaches all the way to the floor. Equally popular today is the pencil skirt, which is a tight, high-waisted skirt that conforms to the shape of the wearer's body from waist to knee. It often has a seam up the back to allow the wearer to gain more of a gait while walking. Pencil skirts are appropriate for women's workwear.

Skirts can be categorised by their length, the amount of fabric used, the type of fabric used, as well as certain details, like appliances and pleating. For example, a kilt skirt must feature pleating. Likewise, a poodle skirt would not look authentic without an applique. Most types of skirts are either high-waist or low-rise. A smaller percentage fit in either category. The following lists several skirts and notes whether they are typically high-waist or low-rise.

Skirt Type






Maxi Skirt



Pencil Skirt



A-Line Skirt






Bubble Skirt



Poodle Skirt



What are High-Waist Skirts?

The natural waistline for a person, especially a woman, is above the hips and below the ribcage. Wearing a skirt at this position ensures that the lower stomach and hip area is not exposed. For this reason, high-waist skirts are viewed as more conservative. Many older styles of skirts, like the poodle skirt and the A-Line skirt, fall from the natural waist.

How Do Women Wear High-Waist Skirts?

In recent years, women and fashion designers have found ways to make high-waist skirts more risque. Some women pair a cropped shirt with a high-waist skirt to expose a small amount of skin just above the stomach and below the breasts. Other women wear high-waist skirts that are form fitting, and accentuate the curves of their stomach, buttocks, and legs. Many believe that pencil skirts, due to their fitted nature, are at a sexual juxtaposition. Though they clearly show a woman's shape, she is also completely covered, so many people consider pencil skirts acceptable for wear at work. Others feel that the pencil skirt sexualises women in the workforce.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of High-Waist Skirts

High-waist skirts are especially flattering on curvy women. They accentuate the waist, making the wearer appear smaller. They also hide the lower stomach region, an area where many women carry weight. These styles also tend to be more timeless and conservative. However, some women feel that high-waist skirts are dated or old fashioned. For this reason, some feel that high-waist skirts have a vintage look to them.

What are Low-rise Skirts?

Low-rise skirts typically sit around the person's hips, an inch or two below the belly button, depending on the length of the person's torso. They are not to be worn at the natural waist, or low enough to expose women's buttocks or crotch. They are less conservative, due to their lower position on the body. For some, wearing a skirt this low arouses more attention. Women's bodies, and in particularly their bellies, are on display.

How Do Women Wear Low-rise Skirts?

Many current styles capitalise on the laid-back and comfortable nature of a low-rise skirt. Boho style incorporates low-rise skirts as a part of seemingly effortless beauty. Maternity wear often follows a low-rise pattern; since a woman's stomach protrudes when she is pregnant, wearing a skirt below the belly emphasises the fact that the woman is pregnant, and has not simply gained weight. It is also much more comfortable for these women to have this less-restrictive style.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Low-rise skirts

It is common for women to find low-rise skirts more comfortable, as they are less restrictive on the abdominal region. They also appear more modern, since they are so frequently used in types of skirts today. For women who are in shape, it is also a great way to show off one's stomach. However, this can be a drawback for women with a higher percentage of belly fat. With just a top concealing a large part of the stomach, low-rise skirts can prove to be a little too revealing for some. Since many low-rise skirts are a more relaxed, less restrictive form, wearing a fitted top is the best option. There are also tighter, and shorter skirts that are low-rise, but those can easily be seen as too revealing and sexual.

How to Buy High-waist and Low-rise Skirts on eBay

Now that you have learned some of the differences and benefits of low-rise and high-waist skirts, it is time to find the best skirt for you on eBay. eBay is an especially good resource because of the format. It allows customers to sort items that they found using keywords or by browsing categories. They can easily compare prices and learn about them by provided seller information.

For example, if you were looking for a "low-rise black skirt" to match a frilly top, you would enter that information into the search bar. Browsing through categories is another great way to discover what you may be looking for. Remember to use synonyms to generate more, or different, results.

Seller feedback is important in determining if a seller is right for you. By viewing feedback, you are listening to the overall experiences of individuals who were in your shoes, shoppers like yourself. Take it with a grain of salt, however, as some buyers have different expectations than others. Never hesitate to ask a seller questions. Sellers know much more about their products than you do, and are often quite helpful.


Styles of skirts have changed over decades, and should continue to change over the coming years. It is safe to say that though high-waist or low-rise skirts may dip in and out of popularity, like all fashion, they eventually come back into favour. The type of skirt also affects the way it looks on women. Therefore, one high-waist skirt in one style may look better than another high-waist skirt in another style. There are benefits to either type, and much is a matter of preference.

Each can be revealing in their own right, so people should be careful to wear them so as not to exacerbate a negative perception of oneself. While some may favour a high-waist poodle skirt, others may enjoy a low-rise peasant skirt. This is not to say that people must choose one or the other. Many women have figures that look just as good in high-waist as low-rise skirts. Women should choose based on their environment, their body shape, and their own preferences.

high-waist skirt|low-waist skirt|mini skirt|maxi skirt|kilt skirt

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