From Hipster to High Waist: A Guide to Panty Rise

Image: © Mariia Boiko

When shopping online for panties, you might have come across the term ‘rise’ and wondered what exactly it means, beyond the fact that low rise = low-waisted and high rise = high-waisted. How low is low rise, for example? Or what counts as a ‘regular’ rise?

What is panty rise?

First things first, the rise is the distance from the center of the crotch to the waistband. The larger the rise the taller the panty, and hence the higher the waistband will sit on your body.

While you can usually get a good idea of how a panty will fit from the product photo (assuming it’s pictured on a model), everyone’s body is slightly different. If you’ve got a curvier tummy for example, or a particularly voluptuous derrière, that can make the waistline sit lower down.

Note: rise has nothing to do with the distance from the waistband to the leg opening. A pair of panties with a high rise (i.e. high-waisted panties) can have a high cut leg or a lower cut one.

Image: © Gstockstudio1

How low is a low-rise panty?

In general, terms such as ‘low rise’ and ‘high rise’ are fairly self-explanatory. Low rise panties will sit low on the abdomen (think upper hip level), high rise panties will sit somewhere near the natural waist, and moderate or regular rise panties fall in between.

However, there’s no universal definition for what counts as each type of rise. So a lingerie brand with a sexier look might cut their low rise panties a little lower, while a vintage-inspired lingerie brand will often make their high rise panties extra tall, as per mid-century fashions.

At Shadowline Lingerie®, we’ve found that our customers prefer a fuller-coverage brief. We still offer a range of panty rise options, including hipster, but we always err on the side of offering a generous fit over a skimpy one.

Hipster to high waist: comparing the Shadowline Lingerie® panties

Trying to gauge how our panties will fit you? In this article, we’re going to share some of our exact panty rise measurements with you to help you choose the style with the rise you’re hoping for. All you’ll need is a flexible tape measure, to check these measurements against your body or compare them with a panty you already own.

Some brands measure the rise as the distance from the crotch to the waistband on the front of the panty only. We prefer to measure it all the way around: the distance, going between your legs, from the center of the waistband at the front to the center of the waistband at the back.

Left: Shadowline® Lace Trim Hipster Panty

Right: Shadowline® Nylon Hipster Panty

Our hipster panties sit more or less level with your hip bones, well below the navel. In the examples above, the top 2.5” of the left panty is made from semi-sheer lace, however both panties have a total rise of 23”.

Left: Shadowline® Nylon Modern Brief Panty

Right: Shadowline® Lace Modern Brief Panty

Looking for a panty that is neither especially low-waisted nor especially high-waisted? Our modern briefs have what we’d call a moderately-high rise, covering a lot of your tummy but still sitting below the navel on most people. The exact rise on these panties varies from style to style, but will be below 30”.

Left: Dixie Belle® Scallop Trim Full Panty

Right: Shadowline® Nylon Full Brief Panty

Our full brief panties are our highest-waisted styles of all, with a rise measurement of 30” or above. The majority of these panties will, on most people, cover the navel.

Again, there are a variety of cuts available, from the Dixie Belle® panty which is just a tad taller than our lace-trimmed modern brief panty in the previous image (so a great ‘in between’ option if you’ve tried our modern briefs and feel like you want something that sits a tiny bit higher) through to truly full-coverage panties that go up to the top of the natural waistline.

As a side note, our Dixie Belle® panty has a much wider than standard crotch width. That’s a measurement you’ll rarely find out from a size chart, but it can make all the difference when it comes to comfort! All Shadowline® briefs have wider than typical crotches, and our Dixie Belle® panty has one that’s extra wide.

When to wear low-rise vs. high-rise panties

If you like to wear either hipster or regular-rise pants, shorts or skirts, then pairing them with low rise underwear will help to avoid your panties peeking out over the top of the waistband – especially when sitting down or bending over.

On the other hand, panties that sit at the natural waistline can help to create a streamlined look under fitted dresses – they’ll smooth over your tummy, even if they don’t offer shapewear-level compression.

The weather might also influence your underwear choice, with hipsters offering less coverage for those sweltering summer days and fuller-coverage styles providing a little added warmth for your lower torso when it’s cold out.

However, there’s nothing wrong with wearing your preferred panty style year round – these are just tips and suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules!