I Can’t Wait for the Return of Low-Rise Jeans & I’m Not Afraid to Admit It

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There are many things I miss about the early 2000s, like Lindsay Lohan’s promising acting career, the slow release of the Harry Potter series and the fact that it was acceptable for celebs to wear a newsboy cap for a red carpet event. But the early-aughts trend I yearn for above all is low-rise jeans.

tyra banks lindsay lohan and amanda bynes wearing low rise jeans
Getty Images

Cue the images of Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton and Keira Knightley in tiny crop tops and hip bone–baring denim, incredibly toned abs on display. Even I will admit this wasn’t a great look. But most regular women avoided the skin-baring outfit combos and instead wore these low-cut styles with button-up shirts, peasant blouses and T-shirts, thus keeping abs (or lack thereof) and peekaboo muffin tops out of the public eye.

See, as someone with a short torso and longer legs, I have never been able to figure out exactly how to make high-waist pants look good on my body. Both slim-fit tees and voluminous blouses only serve to emphasize the fact that my waistband and bra have lately become very cozy neighbors.

Plus, the fact that long inseams and short hems are trending at the same time means I often look like a reflection of myself in a fun house mirror. My upper half appears compressed into a third of the space it used to occupy, while my ankles have stretched an additional six to eight inches. Sounds attractive, no? And that’s just while standing. Once I sit down, I resemble a cartoonish old man with pants so high that passersby might worry my waistband is staging a coup on my upper body.

Low-rise jeans, on the other hand, allow my body to return to normal proportions by creating the illusion of a longer torso. They comfortably hide stomach bloat more than a pair of mom jeans ever could. This may seem contradictory, but my pooch ends up on full display in high-rise pants, unprotected from the glare of judgmental subway riders. The lower rise allows me the freedom to cover my bumps with a cozy knit, a flowing blouse or even a peplum top that doesn’t need to be tucked (or French tucked) into anything. Oh, and one more admission: I also miss the way a low-slung belt made me look like I had curvaceous hips more akin to an hourglass figure rather than the board-straight torso I have in actuality.

katie holmes lakshmi manon and jennifer lawrence wearing low rise jeans
Getty Images

To be clear, I absolutely do not miss pants cut so low that they require a bikini wax, and for the love of Britney Spears, let’s pray that whale tails never make a comeback. But I would love to wriggle into a pair of boyfriend-cut jeans with an eight- or nine-inch rise and call them my go-tos for a few seasons (or even years) to come. I’d wear them with a knit crewneck that hits just an inch longer than the top of my jeans or a relaxed button-up shirt à la Victoria Beckham.

Not to mention, celebs like Katie Holmes and Jennifer Lawrence are already finding ways to translate an abbreviated rise into something we can proudly wear in 2020. And sure, this has been a slow movement. But much like Rihanna’s ninth studio album or a reboot of Frasier, the return of low-rise jeans will be well worth the wait.

Shop The Look:


khaite kyle relax low rise jeans

Khaite Kyle Relax Low Rise Jeans

This is the exact pair Katie Holmes was spotted wearing in NYC, if twinning with Joey Potter has always been your dream.

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Citizens Of Humanity Emerson Slim Fit Boyfriend Jeans

Keep that relaxed vibe going with a graphic tee and Converse, or dress it up with a pair of kitten heels and a flirty corset top.

current elliott the fling distressed low rise slim boyfriend jeans

Current/elliott The Fling Distressed Low-rise Slim Boyfriend Jeans

The cropped hem makes these an excellent choice for any petite gals looking to bring back the low-rise.

aeo tomgirl jean
American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters Tomgirl Jean

With a size range that starts at 00 and goes up to 24, with short, regular and long lengths, there’s definitely a pair of these easy low riders that will fit you like a glove.

grlfrnd olivia distressed slim boyfriend jeans

Grlfrnd Olivia Distressed Slim Boyfriend Jeans

Why, yes, you can have a button fly on a pair of low-rise jeans, if that's your M.O.

lucky brand low rise lolita boot jean
Lucky Brand

Lucky Brand Low Rise Lolita Boot Jean

This black-wash pair from Lucky Brand has just the slightest kick at the hem, as opposed to a full-on flare, making them totally wearable in 2020.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...