Share with your friends!

I’m all about looking good and adding some new, fresh pieces to my wardrobe each season. But, when it comes to the low-rise jean, I’m reverting to my 8-year-old self and screaming at the world, “You can’t make me do it!” Please, fashion gods, bring us something better.

As an aside, we have found better jeans and highlighted them at the end of this article. 

I remember wearing my painted-on low-rise jeans, with the hem of their flared hem hitting the floor just enough that they started to fray. Seven, True Religion, and Rock N Republic jeans ruled the day – and Gap made a really good, affordable pair as well. Hard to believe this was only a little over a decade ago.

Surely you remember those days and all the undergarments you would see as women sat down at restaurants or on bleachers to watch the game. My kids’ basketball games revealed way too much about the moms on any given weekend. Rhinestone thongs, lace thongs, high-rise undies, and sometimes nada. I remember even being shocked to notice that one woman’s jeans DIDN’T reveal anything when she bent at the waist. I promptly went over and asked her what brand of jeans she had on as I needed to know!

And, almost no one wore belts for some reason. Even my favorite local boutiques stopped selling belts. I’m not sure why these two things coincided, as obviously belts would have been a good addition.

Woman in low rise jeans

You remember this trend, right? See the tank that needed to fill in the gap between the shirt and the top of the jeans? She does have on a cool belt, which wasn’t seen too much in the aught decade.

Let’s be real about low-rise jeans. They work best when you are standing, and they are just terrible when you are sitting. So, dark low-rise jeans at a “dressy casual” cocktail party? You look great standing around with your dressy blouse and jeans. Oh, you want to sit and chat? Maybe have dinner? Um, that’s a problem. And speaking of sitting with low-rise jeans on, does everyone remember buckling your seatbelt each morning to find that your low-rise jeans hit you at a place that encouraged any extra softness to fall over the waistband? There was nothing like that daily confidence booster.

I wager that even Britney Spears, with her enviously flat stomach, didn’t like what those jeans revealed when she sat down.

With the dilemmas that challenged women in the era of the low-rise jean, I have a theory about a certain fashion superstar. There is a reason Tory Burch had such rapid appeal when she launched her eponymous brand in 2004: Her staple item was a tunic! It solved the low-waisted pant problem!

Oprah magazine wearing Tory Burch

This Oprah Magazine cover may have launched Tory Burch into the fashion stratosphere, but perhaps it was because of the obvious need for the longer tunic, sending 8 million people to the Tory Burch website after Oprah hosted Tory on her daytime show. (Anyone who saw that Oprah episode, which I did, found themselves captivated by the need for this top!)

RELATED: Wide-Leg Pants: 5 Tips for How to Wear Them

And, why were ruched tops so popular? As a friend said, “You can’t tell fold from fat!”

One more: Remember the camisole that you wore longer than your top? Why did we do that? We did that to hide the area above our low-rise jeans.

Yes, collectively we bought all these tops so that we could keep wearing our fashionable jeans. (If I were texting, now is when I would insert the eye-roll emoji.)

When higher-waisted jeans started to make a comeback, sometime around 2010, we all thought “NO!” as we had been brainwashed to think that low-rise jeans were flattering. They made our butts look great! They really did — if we stood perfectly still. We deserve so much more than buying into a fashion trend that confines us to only be comfortable when standing. Right?

Higher-waisted jeans look great — you just need to find the ones that work for you. If you don’t like a super high-waisted jean, the ones that hit near your belly button are still a far better purchase than the ones that hit several inches below.

Low rise jeans close-up

Low-rise jeans are just really, really hard to wear.

Oh, and as a funny memory, my low-rise jeans lasted me through about seven months of pregnancy because the waistband went under my ever-expanding belly! In this instance, low-rise jeans were the best.

But now, we’re seeing the low-rise jean make a slow but steady comeback. If you remember them fondly but are now remembering the issues we all had with them, I offer you a few examples of jeans that mimic the low-rise in their flare leg and sleek silhouette, but also manage to keep you ‘appropriate’ when sitting down and bending over — and without insulting you when you go to buckle up!

At some point in the past year, I got a pair of these HI (RISE) Honey Joe’s Jeans, and I love their sleek profile, reminiscent of low-rise flare jeans. BUT, they have none of the low-rise issues described here. They’ve become my new go-to for my “dressy” jeans. As we continue to find jeans that we’re fond of and fit this style, we’ll update options with more options below!

Joe's Jeans

Here are a couple of examples of Joe’s Jeans. I really love this cut and how flattering they are. You can see that they have the flattering silhouette of a low-rise, but they add several more inches of denim to keep your mid-section happy. Jeans on the left ($168) are found HERE and on the right ($178) are found HERE. Sizes are 23 to 34.

Joe's Jeans hi rise

Here are a couple of other examples of this higher cut with the longer, flared length. The pair on the left ($158) is found HERE and the ones on the right ($198) with a frayed hem are found HERE.

Are there other trends that you are seeing that you’d like some help navigating? Let us know at [email protected]!

**********

For the best of the South, delivered to your inbox daily, subscribe to StyleBlueprint!

Share with your friends!