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A high-rise or high-waisted garment is one designed to sit high on, or above, the wearer's hips, usually at least 8 centimetres (3 inches) higher than the navel. In western cultures, high-rise jeans were especially common in the 1970s, in competition with low-rise pants.
In western culture, high-waisted pants tend to have long zippers, ranging from about 7-10 inches long, and leave the navel either completely covered or barely shown. Zipper lengths are not to be confused with rises. High-waisted pants have rises typically 10 inches long or longer.
In European menswear, pants sat level with the navel until the 1950s, and were held up by a pair of suspenders. During the 1940s, Zoot suiters wore pants with a waistband so high that they often reached the chest.
1960s to 1990s
For males, however, high-rise trousers remain associated with nerds and unfashionable older men. During the 2000s and 2010s, male celebrities who wore high-rise jeans, including President Barack Obama, Simon Cowell, and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, were ridiculed by the press.
In ancient India, some Indian philosophers opposed saris that expose the midriff. They considered it to be a symbol of adultery.
The Dharmasastra writers stated that women should be dressed such that the navel would not become visible. Still today, some corporate offices in India have strict dress codes for women, requiring high-rise saris to be worn to avoid navel exposure.
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