Fashion trend alert: Are you ready to ditch your 'mom jeans' for low-rise denim?
Regardless of how you might feel about this belly button flaunting style, now that influential trendsetters such as Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have been seen rocking low-rise jeans, this Y2K trend is back.
I recently did the unthinkable: I set aside my collection of classic high-waisted denim to shimmy into a pair of low-rise jeans.
Years ago, I had stuffed my low riding jeans deep into the innermost recesses of my wardrobe, swearing I would never be caught dead in them ever again.
But in recent months, Y2K trends such as trucker hats, candy coloured bling and bedazzled anything have been experiencing a resurgence on TikTok and on the streets. Then before any of us could have seen it coming, celebrity trendsetters including the likes of pop star Dua Lipa and models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have been parading around in low-rise jeans.
With that, it became official. Whether you like it or not, the most dreaded but iconic noughties look of all – tummy baring, almost butt-crack revealing low-rise jeans are back.
Like many elder millennials who experienced the original wave of this trend in the early 2000s, I once practically lived in these hipbone-revealing jeans, often pairing them with baby tees or teeny crop tops a la Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Paris Hilton. Thankfully, this happened before camera phones were a norm, so there is little evidence of my #ootd back then.
What remains seared in my memory is the trauma of constantly worrying about muffin tops if I overate at lunch and how I would compulsively tug my jeans up every few minutes because they hung so low that I feared they would fall off.
So, when waistlines began to creep up and high-waisted jeans became a thing, I gladly abandoned those ultra-low styles in favour of the covered-up styles that provided so much more security in keeping the belly area nicely cinched in. Naturally, I was more than a little horrified to realise that my days of looking au currant in mom jeans could be numbered.
While today’s low-slung jeans will, of course, sit low under the belly button, they actually have a much more forgiving, relaxed fit.
But if you, too, still suffer from uncomfortable flashbacks due to your fashion booboos of the past, do not panic yet. As with many trend revivals, this is somewhat different from the OG.
While today’s low-slung jeans will, of course, sit low under the belly button, they actually have a much more forgiving, relaxed fit compared to those super tight, bum hugging versions of yore that would only fit the skinniest of waifs. So worry not, they are much less likely to dig into your hips and cut off blood circulation.
Styling a low-rise outfit is more versatile these days too. Take a style cue from Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski, who have a penchant for baring their abs with low-rise jeans that come with slouchier legs. Add a barely-there top and balance it out with chunky white sneakers and voila, this is the 2021 iteration of how to pull off this look.
Granted, although most of the fashion set celebrities spotted in this style are conventionally slim, this is actually a rather inclusive look that women in a diverse range of body shapes could pull off with panache.
If you are one of those #fitspo types who have spent most of the past year and a half of COVID-19-induced isolation and lockdowns diligently working out to Zoom fitness and yoga lessons, consider these low-rise jeans the perfect flex for your hard-earned abs while still being roomy enough to accommodate your muscled thighs and butt.
Or if you have been more inclined to languish on your couch while bingeing all the Netflix series as soon as they are dropped, there is no reason why you cannot pull off these comfy low jeans even if you have put on some pandemic pounds. If crop tops make you happy, wear them. In this era of body positivity, what matters is that your clothes empower you.
Alternatively, simply pick a top that is a little longer than the waistband for more coverage. The day I finally wore low slung denim for the first time in over a decade, I chose to ease myself back into this trend by pairing the jeans with an oversized boyfriend button up that I could tuck into the waistband.
As a bonus, unlike high-waisted pants which tend to look most flattering on those with naturally tiny waists, low-rise jeans accentuate the curves of one’s hips and booty no matter what your proportions are.
After almost a decade of wearing high-waisted jeans that cinched and held everything in, sometimes to the point of discomfort, it was – dare I say it – liberating to, well, let it hang more naturally in low slung denim and be able to take full, deep breaths with ease.
In fact, I enjoyed wearing my low-rise jeans so much that I am putting them back into regular rotation in my wardrobe. But that does not mean I am getting rid of my mom jeans just yet. If there is anything the ongoing democratisation of fashion has taught me, it is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all trend.
So yes, I might just step out of my home in an ultra-trending bra-inspired top and low-slung jeans look one of these days. But those high-waisted jeans will always be around for days when I prefer a more structured silhouette. This time, I fully intend to have my cake and eat it, too.