Low rise jeans are making a comeback, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it? Well, that only drives this resurgence more.
You see, it’s a right of passage for youth to do things the older generations dislike. Youth have always rebelled and challenged norms. They have always desired to be different. And they’re not going to stop now.
Over the past year or two, rumours that low rise jeans of the early 2000's might be making a comeback have caused an uproar in those that lived through the low rises in their youth. This reaction is not unusual for clothing, especially jeans. They have often been used as an unspoken message, as a mouthpiece and statement to challenge the status quo and rebel.
Historically, jeans were only worn by the working class for utilitarian reasons, until youth started wearing them. Jeans were even banned from schools at one point, which (unsurprisingly) only made them all the more popular. Sound familiar?
I lived through the era of low rise jeans: bum cracks and muffin tops and freezing cold bellies. All for that low rise trend. And I can assure you that it is back. Those who, like me, lived through this era may be horrified (and may be absolutely certain that they will not cave to this trend). But those who did not, well, after two years in a pandemic-induced lockdown, what better way to rebel? G-strings hanging out of baggy jeans? Put the picture online. That would horrify mum! Perfect!
The rising popularity of shopping at Opp-Shops or Thrift stores has also fueled the resurgence of the ‘hipster’ jeans. With young people having climate change at the forefront of their minds, they are seeking for more sustainable ways to live their lives. It’s a right of passage now to flaunt your thrift shop hall. The more things you’re wearing that are second hand, the better! And all the second hand stores are overflowing with low rise jeans that have been happily thrown away by women who wore them yesteryear. So, the youth have picked them up. Fashion brands are now following suit (I am wondering if HERA Denim should design a lower rise?).
But, like all trends, the low rise jean we will see in stores is resurfacing in a unique and refreshing way. This time around, the low rise is baggier, comfier. There is no squeezing the hips out like muffins. No horrible too tight stretch denim that constantly needs to be hitched up (remember ripping holes where the belt loops were located from all the tugging up?). This time around, it will be more available to different body types. Instead, it will help us feel undone, chill, and relaxed but styled (because I’m ready to say goodbye to wearing our loungewear out, but definitely want to keep the comfort. You too?).
What’s great about the denim trends now, is that there are so many more options. Back in the early 2000's the low rise jean was really the only jean option. And the only place to turn to for fashion inspiration were magazines, filled with ultra slender models and celebrities whose bodies too often felt unrelateable and unattainable. And now? There are many so ways to dress but still be current. There’s a plethora of diverse women online and on social media we can find fashion inspiration from. You really can take a trend or leave it. Basically, the low rise can be something that remains in the past, if that's what you want (I know I’m keeping my ultra high rise mum jeans).
The resurgence of the Y2K low rise jeans isn’t taking us backwards in the fashion industry, like some fear. We are not going to reverse the strides we’ve made in body inclusion and diversity. We will only be moving forwards, to demonstrate even more, how different clothing styles can work on a diverse range of body types. I don’t think any type of clothing or style should exclude any person or body shape. Ultimately, what is most important is to express yourself, have fun with clothes, and just feel amazing in whatever you wear. Whether that’s low rise jeans or not.