Tackling the trend of low rise jeans

Charlotte Becker

More stories from Charlotte Becker


Photo by Marisa Valdez

The early 2000s were really quite the time for fashion. Skinny scarves, dresses paired with jeans and rhinestones galore represent just a few of the distinctly y2k fashion trends. 

I was born in 2003, meaning my formative years were spent listening to Kesha CDs, modeling my life around Bella Swan and obsessively watching Britney Spears music videos on my family’s iPad. 

The trends of the time period worked their way into my little brain, and I wanted to dress exactly like the members of Destiny’s Child

In hindsight, some fashion trends should have been left to the stars — do not wear a loosely tied tie with your outfit in 7th grade, you will get made fun of. However, one trend that I can fully get behind is the re-popularization of low-rse jeans. 

Unfortunately, I was a bit too young to participate in the original low-rise jeans fad, but I am all for wearing them now. 

Although the style of pants has been around since the 1960s, the y2k years really launched the controversial pants into the spotlight. 

According to Vice, we can thank the R&B and hip-hop scene for the initial popularization of the jeans in the late 1990s. As trends do, the style diffused to all areas of popular culture and made its mark in the 2000s. 

The original fad was not without controversy. The y2k icons who sported the low rise pants all seemed to fit a certain body type — tall and skinny. Paris Hilton and Keira Knightley are often thought of in conjunction with low rise and the unrealistic beauty standards of the 2000s. 

The original rise of the low rise was exclusionary to anyone who was not a tall, skinny, white woman, according to Centennial Beauty. This is certainly backed by the faces and bodies that we see when we look back on that time period and the red carpet looks. 

The jeans were not made with regular people in mind. According to Centennial Beauty, the jeans were only made in small sizes, meaning people outside of a super skinny demographic were unable to participate in the trend. 

We are now witnessing Gen-z take on the trend. The more recent version of the low-cut denims includes the zoomer love for all things baggy. Low-cut, ultra-baggy pants paired with a crop top is essential for those looking to accomplish a y2k style. 

Hopefully this time around, the pants will be not only more inclusive, but also eco-friendly. 

Thanks to the ongoing inclusivity efforts and how they impact fashion brands, size ranges of clothing are increasing. This allows all body types to wear what they like and take part in trends and styles that the person feels comfortable taking part in. 

Another bonus to the recycled fad is that the jeans can be found in thrift stores. I myself found my very first pair of low-rise pants at a local Goodwill. This is a great alternative to buying full-price and newly manufactured clothing while still staying stylish.

While controversial, low rise is back and hopefully for the better.

Becker can be reached at [email protected]