Waistlines have hit new lows | Source: Getty

Throwback Trend: Are Low-rise Jeans Back?

Filled with bright colours, diamantes and denim, 2000s fashion was certainly bold. Shaped by American pop princesses like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and cult films like Mean Girls and The Matrix, the dominating styles and silhouettes of the noughties were figure-hugging baby tees, mini-skirts, body-con dresses, and most notably, low-rise jeans.

From runways to red carpets, low-rise jeans and trousers were the ultimate Y2K style that every girl band and Hollywood star simply had to partake in.

Izabel Goulart at the Cannes Film Festival, Goulart reveled in a casual street style moment, completing her low-rise jeans with a printed bralette and blazer set, braided slides, and chainlink jewellery.

Of course, despite the popularity of the ultra-low-rise pants, the trend ultimately died, giving way to the dominating skinny jeans of the 2010s (which are now officially out of style, keep up!) and eventually the straight cut and baggier style jeans we see today.

But now, thanks to brands like Diesel, Versace and Miu Miu, low-rise trousers are back.

Led by models and influencers like Bella Hadid and Julia Fox, the low-rise jeans revival is certainly a divisive, love-it-or-hate-it trend. On one hand, the low-cut silhouette offers a fun dose of nostalgia to our wardrobes, and a chance to feel like the missing member of the Pussycat Dolls (we still haven’t forgotten about the Pussycat Dolls’ Search for the Next Doll series).

On the other hand, the low-rise revival reminds many women of the unrealistic beauty ideals and toxic diet culture that prevailed during the 2000s and effectively made low-rise jeans exclusively for ultra-thin supermodels.

In an article published in the New Yorker, Rachel Syme wrote: “low-rise pants are walking billboards for extreme thinness and androgynous frames, but high-rise styles can conform to bodies of all shapes and sizes.”

But could the trend be different this time around? Will the low-rise pants trend take a more inclusive and body-positive approach in 2022?

While Miu Miu’s ultra-mini skirts and ultra-low-rise trousers from last year’s Paris Fashion Week got the fashion world talking and influencers posting, it also prompted conversations around whether the resurrection of the trend would bring back the same level of exclusion.

Hip-hugging trousers on the Versace SS22 catwalk  | Source: Getty

It’s no secret that Miu Miu showcased the revived low-rise trend in very Y2K fashion; in other words, via ultra-thin models. We also can’t help but notice many of the trend’s major proponents, like Bella Hadid, Nicole Kidman, Emily Ratajkowski and Dua Lipa, happen to be, well, thin.

However, in an article for Vox, Rebecca Jennings aptly pointed out that this time around the trend could incorporate “a wider acceptance of different body types, greater availability of plus-size clothing, more fat representation and activism — along with the undeniably fun maximalism of the 2000s.”

So, while we are still yet to see more inclusive and body-positive approaches to the trend, that’s not to say they don’t exist. i-D Magazine had Paloma Elsesser grace its cover, rocking the iconic Miu Miu set.

Love it or hate it, the resurrection of low-rise jeans -and skirts and trousers for that matter- has well and truly happened, and if Instagram and Pinterest are anything to go by, the Y2K trend is here to stay. How inclusive, and ultimately fun, the trend will be is up to us. So, be sure to throw in a Von Dutch trucker hat and baguette bag for good measure.

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