Styling - waistband, rise and yoke

Bums, bums and more bums.  We've all got one, they're very useful for sitting on (although I probably do too much of that) and one of our biggest sources of paranoia.  Whether you're happy with yours or you've come to an agreement just to get on together after all these years, you still want to make sure that if you're going to the effort of making your own jeans, they will be of a style and have details that make the most of your bootylicious assets, be they big or small.  After all, the whole point of making our own is that we can choose exactly the details that will make us look our perky, shapeliest best.
So what shape is yours?  Here are a few clues:

Now, as we know all too well, the tyranny of RTW forces us to accept certain styles that are currently a la mode and trying to get any reasonable alternatives takes many frustrating hours in shop fitting rooms with no guaranteed success.  So let's turn this on its head.  Assuming you have a reasonable idea of your rear end proportions, what style of jeans should you head for?  Here are some more handy hints.


 Waistband and Rise

 The rise on jeans is the distance from the crotch to the waistband.

The choice of rise is best made according to what complements your body proportions rather than personal preference or the current fashion.


Medium Rise tends to be the most flattering for the majority of women.  The waist band sits 5cm to 10cm below the navel and on or just below the high hip but above the full hip line.  The waist band should be a snug fit but not tight.

A curved (contoured) waistband is a must for -

·         women with a significant difference between waist and hip measurements benefit from a curved (contoured) waistband.

·         Women who have a tummy

·         Women who are carrying excess weight on the hips

A deeper contour waistband is a great choice for A frames and women who have a small waist..  The waist band can be shaped to be slightly deeper and higher at the back than the front.

Women with a Long Body or Long Body + Short Legs need a longer rise and should consider high rise (full waist) or super high rise, 5 cm above the waist.

The Waistband on Low to Medium Rise jeans sits just above the full hip line and is a good choice for women with short body and short body+long leg proportions.  Women with A Frame body shapes should take care with this option because it emphasises and frames hip width.  It is a  a good choice for lean column, rectangle and V frame body shapes.

Low Rise (on full hip line) and Ultra Low Rise (Brazillian) are off the menu for most women except lean columns and V frames with flat tummies and small bottoms.  This style is usually made from stretch fabrics.  Sitting in low and ultra-low rise jeans runs the risk of showing bum nicks and any excess weight around the hips or tummy will show as ‘muffin top’ and neither is an attractive look.


Brrrr....hope her kidneys don't get catch a cold!

Yoke Shapes
Important:  Yoke shape and depth affects the shape, size and placement of rear pockets

Generally team straight line shapes with curvy bodyshapes and full buttocks and use the curved yokes with angular or straight bodyshapes.

No Yoke



Darts are used to control shape


This look can work well with a medium rise for a woman with a large / wide bottom


The openings for slit pockets (welt, zip or flap detail) can be placed at flattering angles




Deep Yoke



Women with a long body rise can benefit from a deep yoke.  Care should be taken with pocket placement.


Very deep yokes push the base of the pockets past the buttocks and onto the leg.  It is a device often used with the ‘sagging pants’ look.


V Yoke


The most common and flattering shape for women with curves or rounded bottom shapes.


It is a very good choice for women with the following bodyshapes -

Neat Hourglass

Full Hourglass

A frame





Straight Yoke



This shape works with medium and full waist rise jeans on women with a neat hourglass shape and a narrow waist.


It emphasises the waist curve


Women with a V frame bodyshape can use this shape on low rise jeans to give the illusion of hip width.


V Yoke


The shape gives a clear curving heart shaped outline which can help with a flat or small bottom.


It can be a useful option for women with V frame and Lean Column bodyshapes


Sometimes it is seen with very close fitting, stretch and skinny Jeans  or Jeggings

Inverted Yoke



With a Medium and low rise, this can be a useful feature for women with lean column and V frame body shapes. 


It also works for women with a short rise and small or flat bottom as pockets can be placed to give the illusion of a fuller derriere.






  1. It's probably a good idea to prepare your back pockets (in terms of any embroidery or embellishments but then hold off attaching them until after your final fitting, when you will have sorted out any alterations in the back crotch. If you attach them prior to that, you run the danger of either having them totally in the wrong position or even completely covering the beautiful yoke you've just sewn.

  2. Thanks Moley that's a really good point. I suspect it might take me a few goes to get some nice pockets anyway as I will have to practice my topstitching.

  3. Very pertinent - I've just altered the shape of my yoke, so the pockets will need altering for this. I may well change their shape, too, if I think that they aren't very flattering.

  4. Thanks for this fitting information...very useful article..