The Smallest Hill: Low-rise jeans should not make a style comeback

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt via Unsplash

I do not know who is in charge of fashion trends or who decides on which past style choices get to be recycled. Who said, “Hey, you know what I like? Those chunky dad sneakers from the ’90s.” I do not know how it happened, but I have got to say, people are making them work. While I do not think I can pull them off, Christina Kirk wears them, and this campus is better for it (Christina, if you are reading this, I love you). 

Fashion, for whatever reason, is constantly reviving itself. The denim flared bell-bottoms of the ‘70s seem to be making their way back. The hair scrunchies of the ‘80s made a huge comeback in the past few years. The biker shorts of the ‘90s resurfaced again in the summer of 2020. Styles that we thought were buried have come back from the dead. 

However, there is one fashion trend that should, in my opinion, stay very, very dead – low-rise jeans. 

That’s it. That’s all. I feel like I am not asking for much here. 

When it comes to early 2000s fashion, there is only so much that words can do, so I will refer to the presentation that Buzzfeed has put together of the physics marvel that is low-rise jeans.

The icons of early 2000s – Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Ashlee Simpson and Paris Hilton – are all protruding hip bones, flat stomachs, tiny inseams and no zippers. 

Sure, low-rise jeans are all well and good if you are Rhianna in 2005 or if you are Kiera Knightley and have almost no body fat. I, for one, have given up looking like Kiera Knightley, and that is a reality I have accepted. 

A reality that I cannot accept is where the safety and ease of high-rise jeans is gone. High-rise jeans are simultaneously flattering and comfortable – and, in them, I am unstoppable. 

I am not alone in my love of high-rise jeans. Michaela Esau, junior literature & theory and communications major, shares this sentiment.

“Higher the rise, the closer to heaven,” Esau says. 

Low-rise jeans, on the other hand, are flattering for the very select few and are far from comfort – I mean, how do you sit down in them? 

I relate low-rise jeans to the strict diet culture and extreme, ultra-thin body expectations for women in the 2000s. Just like 2000s diet culture, low-rise jeans are obnoxious, uncomfortable and unforgiving. While it is not proven, I have a theory that women wearing low-rise jeans are perpetually holding their breath.

If the gods of fashion are listening, I have three requests: I want business-casual pants to feel more like pajamas, I would like more pockets in dresses and, most importantly, I would prefer that low-rise jeans remain a horrific memory of the early 2000s. They should stay buried. In fact, I will build the tomb.

Hannah Koehler

Hannah Koehler is the page editor for Arts & Culture on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in English and psychological science.

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