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When it comes to denim trends, rises continue to get higher and higher. While lengths of nine inches and over (from inseam to waistline) are considered “high-waisted,” a crop of even higher waistlines (we’re talking 12.5 inches, here) has begun to pervade the zeitgeist. AGOLDE denim’s “pinch-waist jeans” are a particularly iconic (and perpetually sold-out) example of the trend, which you’re sure to see everywhere this summer—if you haven’t already spotted it cropping up, that is.
The ’90s-inspired pinch-waist style is comprised entirely of ultra-rigid cotton denim (read: zero stretch whatsoever), and is characterized by its strikingly rib-grazing rise (that has a slim fit and straight legs, to boot). This on-trend silhouette is basically the perfect fit for vintage fiends who’ve been hopelessly digging through thrift store bins to find something similar for years. What’s nice? The 2021 take on this very ’90s trend is figure-flattering—and much easier to come by. No more perusing the dusty shelves of your local thrift store week after week hoping to find “the one”—just head to your favorite e-tailer and hit “check out.”
Though Agolde is perhaps the most notable brand in the pinch-waist jeans space, they’re far from the only one. Levi’s most recent drop—the Ribcage Jean—has also been through the sold-out and restock cycle since it first launched earlier this year. The Ribcage features a 12 and 1/8 inch rise, with booty and hip-hugging fit that flows into a classic straight-leg cut. And for those of you worried that too-high-waisted jeans will swallow your frame, rest assured knowing the elevated rise has a lengthening effect, rather than a shrinking one.
Anyone who’s ever sported a pair of true vintage jeans to the office knows that while they photograph like a dream on Instagram, they’re not the most comfortable choice IRL. However, this contemporary take on the vintage-inspired style offer the best of both worlds; sleek structure with enough stretch to get you through the day? Yes, please.
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Agolde Pinch-Waist Jeans
The best alternative to true vintage denim you’ll find, TBH.
Levi’s Wedgie Icon Fit Jeans
This pair of Levi’s is one of Hailey Bieber’s favorite pairs.
Agolde Pinch-Waist Jeans
The ultimate pair of off-white jeans for spring and summer.
Re/Done ’90s Straight Jeans
This pair captures the ’90s appeal—but with a contemporary skinny fit.
5. The Ultra High-Rise Jean
Straight-leg meets an ever-so-subtle flare.
Reformation Liza High-Rise Jean
Vintage appeal with a curve-hugging fit.
Levi’s Ribcage Straight Leg
Because everyone needs a solid pair of washed black denim in their collection.
A version of this article was originally published in May 2019.