The Case for the High Rise

When it comes to knowledge about denim, I am clueless. As I start to order more for The Shoe Hive, I realize it is a learning process and I have a long way to go. There are so many cuts, colors, rinses, rises, hems, and inseam options — it can be overwhelming. The trends change so fast it is difficult to keep up. Some styles, of course, are here for many years to come; skinny jeans, for example. There are just always new options being added into the already large line-up.

The latest versions to hit stores seem to have a much higher rise than has been the norm for years. I, for one, have not been a big fan of this change. So, when I recently sat in a showroom and they pushed us to order high rise styles, Christen and I refused. But the first rep was relentless. Come on, it isn’t even that high of a rise! Just 10 inches!, our first appointment said. When Christen and I both responded with a simultaneous no way! she kept going. A nine-inch rise, come on try a 9-inch! Still we wouldn’t budge. We wrote an order with a wide array of 8-inch rise jeans and left feeling victorious.

Our next stop was Citizens of Humanity, where we had already had this same conversation over the phone with another rep. Order the Rocket, she kept saying. (The Rocket is a high-rise, skinny jean.) It is our number one booking style. Once again, Christen and I dug in our heels and refused to order them. All I could think was that these reps are in their 20s. They never tried to copy the looks on the TV show “Friends” when it originally aired. They have only ever seen it on re-runs. They didn’t live through “the Rachel” haircut and high-waisted jeans with vests!

We walked into the last NYC showroom, and yet another rep insisted we order the Rocket. We shook our heads in unison. A pair of black Rocket jeans was then tossed our way and the frustrated rep said, Just try them on and you will see.


We should have been hanging our heads in shame because, dang it, she was right. They were amazing! As in, Christen-and-I-had-never-looked-so-good-in-denim amazing.

So, to my reps at both Mother and Citizens, I owe you a heartfelt apology.

To the readers of Alexandria Stylebook, we hope you will trust us and try this trend. We started with a pair in white for this summer, now hanging on our racks. Come fall, we will have lots of options including the magical black ones we tried on, as well as three varying denim colors.

  • The latest from Elizabeth
I spent the first part of my career as a copy-writer who helped elected officials brag about their support for entrepreneurs. Then I decided to get off the printed page and do it myself. The Shoe Hive made a splash on the fashion scene in Washington, and was named the region’s best shoe store in its first year. Fourteen years later, I have tripled the store’s size and also opened a sister store, The Hive. At The Hive, we offer clothing lines that are sophisticated and approachable like Rag & Bone, Tibi, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson and Veronica Beard. We have tried to fill our racks with clothing you will want to wear all the time, elevated basics that are worth the investment.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.

The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

703.548.7105                          703.548.7110


  1. Um, so what is the definition of “high rise?”

    • There isn’t a hard and fast rule, but high rise means higher than typical. For several years now, typical rises have been 6 with a “higher rise” being an 8. The last few seasons designers have raised them to a 9 and a “high rise” would be a 10.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!