If you anxiously inhaled and hoped not, you’re not alone.
After spending the past five or so years thick in the high rise pant trend, the idea of switching back to the early aughts trend is rather shocking. It deviates from the comfortability many of us have become accustomed to in having pants with a waistline that hits above the belly button.
However, as some of the fashion styles and looks from the 2000s continue to trend, it’s not exactly surprising. Low rise pants were a staple (re: Kiera Knightly level low rise pants).
And it’s even less surprising that this fad has begun to trend amongst teens and college students, otherwise known as Gen Z. These are the people who weren’t old enough to fully participate in the heyday of low rise. Old enough to remember the style (with potentially rose colored glasses), but young enough to not remember any potential disadvantages that put them out of style in the first place.
Winter Hawk, a junior journalism major, is a fan of the trend coming back because it allows her to express herself and sense of style. “I think it’s slowly coming back. And I think it’s a good thing because it is a way for people to express themselves,” says Hawk. “My mood is not mom jeans everyday.”
And when it comes to how Hawk likes to style her pants, it’s “crop tops, 100 percent.” Hawk also prefers to thrift pants like low rise jeans from Goodwill and other second hand options.
Stores like Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, PacSun, Aritzia, Princess Polly - all stores that once aided in popularizing high rise pants - now feature a variety of low rise options. The original stores popular for their low rise jeans, Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister, are currently selling low rise pants as well.
However, maybe they shouldn’t come back, the same way leggings under shorts or three layers of tank tops can stay in the past. Rachel Minkin, a senior double major in finance and information systems, is not a huge fan. “I just think high rise looks better on me personally but I do know they are trying to come back in style but I think a lot of people are resisting that and I am too,” said Minkin. “I do think they look good on some people though, but I'm just not a fan of them myself.”
Minkin’s opinion isn’t a unique one. Many people are resistant to this style of pants coming back. Some of this distaste can arguably be contributed to exactly what low rise pants are. They fall low on the stomach, thus leaving more of it (and probably some sliver of underwear) exposed. And if you look back on how people wore low rise jeans, and the inspiration people today use, hip bones and stomachs were on full display.
Maybe this made sense in a time of hypersexuality and extreme emphasis on thinness. But do they have a place today, in a post #MeToo Movement and body positivity era?
I conducted a poll on my Instagram story, asking my followers whether or not they liked low rise jeans. 32 percent of respondents were in favor, with 68 percent against the trend. The only response I received from the people who swiped up on my story, was that people didn’t like the trend because they didn’t like the way it looked on them.
And it’s hard to talk about low rise pants and jeans without acknowledging the fact that they weren’t representative of a body positive and inclusive era.
In an article for Vox titled “Low-rise jeans are back. Don’t panic.” by Rebecca Jennings, Jennings labeled the time of low rise pants as a “joyfully sleazy era of exposed hip bones in Juicy Couture tracksuits.” While it sounds fun and playful, it also sounds and is different from the time we live in today.
But as more and more stores start to offer low rise options, and more people wear them (whether for the first time or as a reversion to the past), the question doesn’t seem to be if they’re coming back, but will they last?